Wander SJU for 15 minutes and you’ll be fighting déjà vu: After passing the same bar a handful of times, you’ll wonder what else there is. Skip the walkabout and score local flavor to go, drink deals and free diversions.
» BEST PLACE TO EAT The next best thing to strolling between pastelerías of Old San Juan is a quick visit to Quesitos, a kiosk near the Delta Airlines check-in counter. Opt for a quesito, a cream-cheese filled puff pastry, or the sweet, egg-rich bread known as Mallorca, stuffed with ham and cheese. 787-791-1840
» BEST PLACE TO GRAB A DRINK Head to the Best Western hotel’s second floor to BJ’s Bistro, a sushi and cocktail joint. A beer costs just $5 and you can fill up on spicy tuna and California rolls, miso soup and dumplings. Cock- tails are also available starting at $7. bestwestern.com
» BEST SOUVENIR SNAGGING If you can’t stand the heat, skip the sauce. Tabasco fans might underestimate this clear-colored, vinegar-based infusion of peppercorns, garlic and still more pepper. But after a couple drops of the locally made Mi Madre de Pique de Puerto Rico you’ll agree that other contenders pack the punch of a wound-up toddler. Pick up at any Dufry shop. piquemimadre.com
» BEST REASON TO LEAVE THE TERMINAL Boycott the airport’s $10 cervezas: Exit, cross over to the garage and park your tush at Buffalo Wings Sports TV & Grill. Every drink is cheaper by at least a buck or two, pours are heavier and Wi-Fi is free. Wing fans can fill up on 13 varieties, including Caribbean, Cajun, Japanese and garlic. 787-253-2111
» WILD CARD Spend $20 for the 15-minute cab ride into Old San Juan. Explore the forts, or opt for a dose of culture with a visit to the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico or the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico, located just blocks apart.