Puerto Rico is a beautiful tropical island in the Caribbean full of beautiful historic sites, gorgeous eco-tourism spots, and a vibrant night life. If you’re also the type of traveler that sets time aside for shopping, this is the perfect guide for you! You’ll get the most authentic recommendations on how to shop like a local because… I am one! No strings attached and no collaborations. This blog will mention shops and brands, both physical and online, that Puerto Ricans love from clothing, art, jewelry, makeup, and more. Here are the top places where Puerto Rican locals go shopping:
- 1) Chroma Local, Mall of San Juan
- 2) The Fashion Lounge, Mall of San Juan
- 3) Coquí el Original®, Old San Juan
- 4) Playero, Old San Juan
- 5) Necromancy Cosmetica, Río Piedra
- 6) Valija Gitana, Old San Juan
- 7) Sandía, Intagram: @sandia.pr
- 8) LenTjuela, Calle Loíza
- 9) Pictorika and Mulatta Collaboration, Instagram @pictorika_pr and @mulatta.ch
- 10) Aleeneado, IG @aleeneado
- 11) Bonus: Best Shopping Malls
1) Chroma Local, Mall of San Juan
While The Mall of San Juan is the shopping site for very high-end retail like Louis Vuitton, Tiffany and Co®, and Jimmy Choo, it is also home to popular local brands. Chroma Local is an all-in-one stop shop because its focus is showcasing and selling talented Puerto Rican-made works and designs. The store contains over 30 different local brands ranging from clothing, jewelry, home décor, bags and wallets, personal care, and even games. Chroma Local established themselves as the patrons of incredible local designers in order to compete with big commercial stores and highly-valued brands. The best part is you can support Chroma Local by visiting them in the Mall of San Juan or purchase items on their website for shipping within Puerto Rico and the States.
2) The Fashion Lounge, Mall of San Juan
The Fashion Lounge local clothing store has stayed at the top of the most popular clothing boutique stores in Puerto Rico because it has a range of options. The Puerto Rican-woman owned brand offers super cute, fashionable pieces for women of all ages. One of the main factors to this is that it offers diverse styles- flowy, slinky, baggy, strappy, long-sleeved, skirts, pants, maxis, you name it! It also sells clothing for different settings: work, home, nightlife, daytime and beach looks. You can find the Fashion Lounge not just in Mall of San Juan, but also in San Patricio Plaza, if you’re in the Guaynabo area, and in Galería Paseos, if you’re in Cupey.
3) Coquí el Original®, Old San Juan
It is not an easy task to find locally-designed, authentic, high-end jewelry in Puerto Rico crafted from precious metals like solid 14k gold and solid sterling silver .925. More common is to find locally-owned stores that resell popular commercial brands like Rolex, Pandora, and, well, just about any big brand you can think of. Additionally, you can find beautifully-hand crafted or hand-finished jewelry that are spectacular for their singularity, but difficult to replicate in masse without proper machinery. However, if you are a high-end jewelry aficionado, this jewelry store in Old San Juan is the perfect shopping spot for you! Designed by Natalio Barquet, and owned by his daughter, Daniela Barquet, Coquí el Original® sells jewelry designs inspired by Puerto Rico’s beauty and culture. Stop by the store at Calle de la Fortaleza 200 in Old San Juan or visit the online store at coquieloriginal.com. Shipping is complimentary on all items!
4) Playero, Old San Juan
Player’s “About Us” roughly translates to: “Our passion are the sea and waves. Adrenaline and interacting with nature are our guides. We truly are surfers from the heart.” Therefore, Playero is one of the top brands for locals in Puerto Rico to get anything beach and nature-related. Browse beachwear for adults and kids, hoodies, tank tops, long-sleeves, sandals, T-shirts, and more. Pair with much needed headwear under the sun like caps, visors, beanies, buckets, and volleys. They also offer some of the best accessories like koozies, sunglass croakies, bottle openers, mugs, towels, wallets and more! Shop in Playero and you’ll have everything for a successful and fun beach day!
5) Necromancy Cosmetica, Río Piedra
If you love makeup, Necromancy Cosmetica is the best place to get a 100% locally-owned and made makeup. Their branding is so unique, with its mysterious goth-style aesthetic, that it has become a popular makeup brand in Puerto Rico. They specialize in cruelty-free, handcrafted lipsticks, meaning, there is 0% testing on animals. In addition to lipsticks, they offer beautifully-witchy eyeshadow palettes and pigments. Necromancy Cosmetica is truly a unique brand and located in the most popular University Center of San Juan named Río Piedras.
6) Valija Gitana, Old San Juan
This local brand of bohemian-style clothing is one of the most popular and boasts different locations all over the island. Valija Gitana has been a long-standing clothing brand that has cute, vibrant-colored clothes with diverse tropical prints, cuts, and fabrics. The brand is particularly popular amongst the younger generation since it focuses on playful, flirty, petite pieces like crop tops, miniskirts, and summer dresses.
7) Sandía, Intagram: @sandia.pr
Sandía, meaning “watermelon” in Spanish, is the best toddler-baby clothing brand owned by two incredibly talented Puerto Rican women that hand craft and sow each piece. The textiles’ prints and designs are also 100% made by the dynamic duo. While the brand focuses on pop-up shop events and bazaars, you can always support the children’s clothing brand on their webpage sandiapr.com. Another awesome perk of the brand is that they offer very, very cute sets for parents to match with their toddlers. Can you say, family picture time!
8) LenTjuela, Calle Loíza
La Calle Loíza is an overall great, very local street to stroll through, shop and eat. Find second-hand stores, cafés, and delicious local restaurants as well as a buzzing nightlife. While shops are local, most are resellers of other clothing brands. One featured local store that is popular and has been in Calle Loíza for about 6 years is LenTjuela. The unique feature of this store is that it has 3 focuses: vintage clothing, new trends, and local designers.
9) Pictorika and Mulatta Collaboration, Instagram @pictorika_pr and @mulatta.ch
This is an AMAZING brand that, while it does not have a physical store, the Puerto Rican owner, Krystal del Mar Rodríguez, designs the prints and creates the multipurpose textiles. There are a myriad beachwear stores that offer tropical throws, but Pictorika is 100% locally-made. Purchase head scarves, skirts, bandanas, tops, and even purses! The bonus is, Krystal collaborates with another local brand, Mulatta Caribbean Heritage by Natalie González Mejías that practices slow-fashion and eco-friendly designs. As a very unique addition, each item bought comes with a tag that is created from seed paper you can plant and will actually grow into a plant! If you prefer to offer your support to local brands online, these are two great accounts with unique styles.
10) Aleeneado, IG @aleeneado
If you’re a traveler that searches for unique, locally-made art pieces, Aleeneado is the art brand for you. The artist’s concept, Anaida Lee Ríos, is one-line-art pieces. As soon as she touches the canvas, she draws continuously until finished. While her color aesthetic is primarily gray, black, and white, she does a range of custom orders with vibrant colors, as requested by the client. She also prints her art designs on cute tote bags, purses, stickers, phone cases, and planners. Aleeneado is a great brand for a varied space for art, from high concept pieces on canvasses to commercialized items for everyday use.
11) Bonus: Best Shopping Malls
In these malls, you’ll find a mixture of both local and big commercial brand stores.
- Mall of San Juan
- Plaza las Américas
- San Patricio Plaza
- The Outlets of Montehiedra
- Plaza del Sol
- Plaza Carolina
- Plaza Río Hondo
- Plaza Suchville
It is important to underscore that these local brands and stores operate mainly from the metro-area of Puerto Rico! Meaning, there are truly awesome and popular brands to also go and shop at all around the island. But that can be the subject for another blog!
¡Salud y Éxito!