The street food is also on point
If you’re seeking something hearty to balance the upteenth piña colada you drank, find a tripleta truck, from the depths of which someone will hand you a sandwich containing nearly a pound of meat.
And not far from San Juan is the small beach town of Piñones, which will become synonymous in your memory with snack shacks. Arrive hungry and try as many frituras (fritters; fried stuff; stuffed things that are fried) as you can. I always feel like proximity to the sea is wasted on orders that aren’t seafood, but you’ll find chicken, beef, and pork options here too. Start with bacalaítos (salt cod fritters) or maybe alcapurrias (like a croquette, made from mashed plantains, taro root, and/or yucca), then find room for piononos (deep-fried, stuffed plantains) and canoas (kinda the same, but in canoe shape). You will want to consume these with a Medalla Light, the local beer that for Puerto Ricans occupies the emotional territory of, say, In-N-Out for Californians, or a Coney Island hot dog for New Yorkers.
How does tipping work?
Glad you asked. Plan to tip the same way you would on the mainland. Except not, because you came here both because you wanted a good time and because you want your tourism dollars to go as far as possible. Add a bit extra to help set the locals back on their feet -- most things are so cheap anyway that a few percentage points will make very little difference to you or your budget.
Do you know about chinchorreo? Sit down, because it is time to learn
Legally, I must usually advise you to lay down a starchy base before drinking large quantities, but that is not conducive to the deeply sensible Puerto Rican pastime that is chinchorreo.
Chinchorreo is like bar-hopping, just for food and dancing in addition to alcohol. You can see the logic of this immediately; different places do different things best. You get sangria from one establishment, a mojito from another, chicharrones a bit farther up the street, pasteles somewhere else, coquito, Medalla Light of course. You’ll find happy-hour deals the tune of three beers for $5, or the coveted one-for-$1. (Remember, though, that Old San Juan is also residential, and prized for its serene, relaxing vibes -- don’t be a rude fratty jerk or trash it.)