In a land where fried and processed foods prevail, Cafe Tresbe is a Godsend. On a food tour around the city of San Juan is when I first tried this place, and I ended up going back twice because the food was so good.
Try any of the tacos or sliders on the menu and get the papaya smoothie. It’s all fresh and locally sourced full of protein, tomatoes, various root vegetables special to Puerto Rico, and sprinkled with a little lime juice. They even have their own citrus hot sauce made with secret house ingredients that gives the tacos a bit of a kick. The tacos were delicious, went down smooth, and it felt like I was doing something good for my body.
Take one bite and the veggies and shredded chicken fall everywhere and the sauce drips down your fingers, leaving you to use a fork to eat the remains, lick the sauce off your fingers in a gesture to the kitchen that the food is “finger lickin’ good.”
The kitchen itself is housed in an old shipping container and painted neon yellow with a patio deck attached at the side and adorned with all outdoor seating including plastic picnic tables and matching yellow chairs and umbrellas. It is here where time seems non-existant and slips by unnoticed, and I’m beginning to think that’s not such a bad thing.
Cafe Tresbe’s menu is reasonably priced compared to some of the other fancy sit-down joints in town and offers chill vibes, perfect for a lazy beach day. There is always music playing as well but it isn’t so loud that one couldn’t sink into a good book. If you go by car, there is free street parking or a gravel parking lot behind the cafe where you can also park for free.