The History of Puerto Rico’s Pork Highway
Native to Spain, lechón, or spit-roasted pig, is popular in most regions where Spanish colonists left their mark. But in Puerto Rico, lechón is a national dish – a family-style feast that’s traditionally served at festivals. Follow the snaking mountain roads south of San Juan, however, and you’ll find a highway where every weekend brings a party worthy of the best bbq pork.
La Ruta de Lechón, or the Pork Highway, is about a 45-minute drive from Puerto Rico’s capital, San Juan, in a rural area called Guavate. Here, a stretch of road spanning a few miles is hugged by a row of lechóneras (restaurants specializing in lechón).
Legend has it the Pork Highway began as a handful of neighbouring lechóneras and, as their numbers grew, so did the scale of their pig roast celebrations. Live music adds a party vibe to many of these spots, where Medalla beers flow on tap and diners spill out into the street, setting the scene for a massive community shindig.