The island of Vieques off the east coast of Puerto Rico in the beautiful Caribbean Sea is a nature lover’s paradise, with gorgeous beaches, hiking trails, snorkeling, and tons of fun. There’s no better way to wind up the day’s adventures than with a delicious meal at one of the island’s restaurants – here’s our pick of the best.
Gastropub, Restaurant, Healthy, Seafood, North American, Caribbean, $$$
‘Conuco‘is a Spanish word of Taino origin that means a small plot of land used for agriculture where the farmer usually grows a variety of crops like beans, corn and coffee. Chef Lourdes Bustillo’s culinary creations display this variety in her masterful dishes such as fresh asparagus soup topped with caramelized leeks, or homemade cherry tomato marmalade served with fresh artisanal white farmer’s cheese.
Biekes Bistro is another gourmet restaurant in the downtown area of Vieques. They use fresh organic locally-produced ingredients whenever possible, and you can certainly taste the difference – all of their dishes pop with flavor and color. Pair each course with a glass of wine from their extensive collection.
For such a small island, Vieques is abundant in gourmet cuisine. Next Course is in the interior of the island and offers astounding creations to tempt any palate. They have a number of dishes that are meatless – perfect for vegetarian visitors – and many of their menu items are gluten-free.
Bar, Restaurant, Seafood, Caribbean, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, $$$
Stop at El Resuelve on your way to an excursion in the interior for some amazing authentic Puerto Rican food – mofongo, alcapurria, and empanadas are on offer here, all super tasty and fresh. Wash it down with a cold Medalla beer and you are one step closer to yet another perfect Puerto Rican day!
The three main areas of Vieques are downtown, the interior and La Esperanza, which is where you’ll find Cafe del Mar. This is a lovely simple restaurant that serves an awesome Bloody Mary and other creative cocktails, as well as daily specials including pulled pork sandwiches and meatloaf. They often post their specials on their Facebook page, so check it out and head over, or message them and they’ll let you know what’s on for that day.
Also in Esperanza is El Quenepo, an elegant gem of a Puerto Rican establishment and one of the best restaurants in all of the country. Creative savory dishes that meld local flavors with exotic recipes and a very relaxed and attentive atmosphere will have you wishing you didn’t have to leave. While it will be difficult, try to save room for one of their amazing desserts, such as their goat’s cheese cheesecake.
At Tito Bloque not only will you get amazingly fresh seafood cooked up by Tito’s wife, but if Tito isn’t sleeping in his hammock, he’ll sit down with you and answer all of your questions about Vieques, its history, what to see and do and where he thinks this island and Puerto Rico as a whole is moving toward. This no-frills restaurant is perfect for a relaxing meal and inspiring conversation – be aware that though they don’t serve alcohol, they don’t mind if you bring your own to have with your meal. If it seems as if it’s closed, check anyway or give them a call. Tito may just open up and cook for you anyway!
If you like spicy food and hot HOT sauces, then Coqui Fire Cafe is the place for you – one TripAdvisor reviewer claimed they’d travel across the ocean for Coqui Fire hot sauce. The cafe specializes in Mexican food and makes incredible enchiladas, burritos and chile relleno. If the dish isn’t hot enough for you, try one of their sauces, and then grab a couple of bottles to take home. Be sure to try the Coqui Fire margarita for something a bit different.