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Dec 3, 2008 09:21 AM

Places to eat in Vieques

Does anyone have up to date info about good places to eat in Vieques?
I tried reaching Cafe Media Luna but their phone number was out of order.

Any recommendations on good kiosks/street food?

Where can we find good coffee?

Where is the best seafood on the island?

Any recommendations for breakfast on the healthier/creative side?

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  1. My wife and I just got back from Vieques Saturday. Far and away the best place on the island that we've eaten is El Quenepo in Esperanza, opposite the eastern end of the Malecon. This place is so good it's a shock to find it in such an out-of-the-way location. Seriously, it would be a destination restaurant in a major city on the mainland. One of the more credible travel sites (TripAdvisor, I think) rates it as the #2 restaurant in all of Puerto Rico - that's not just Vieques but San Juan and the entire main island too.

    I'm particularly fond of their approach to churrasco (skirt steak). They grill it on a lava rock (not more than medium rare, please!), then slice it and serve it over cheesy black beans, topped with pico de gallo and a drizzle of lime cream, and on top of that a big pile of perfectly-deep-fried ultra-thin sliced crispy onion strings. It is seriously good eating! They also have a great Argentinian malbec on the wine list for that pairs beautifully with it.

    Bibi nearby is good, but not nearly on the same level.

    Tradewinds is OK for American-style basics. Stay away from a place in the middle of the Malecon called Mucho Gusto - we ate there once and renamed it Pocito Gusto.

    We drink tea, not coffee, so I can't help you with that. As for street food, when we were there last March there was a guy most evenings at the east end of the Malecon selling fresh homemade seafood salads in hot, cooked-to-order arepas, but he was not there last week. Don't know if it's seasonal or he's out of business. As you can probably tell, we spend most of our time in Esperanza, not Isabella II.

    The Green Store has a very good selection of wines. Surprisingly, the hardest thing to find on the island is good fresh fruits and vegetables. The supermarket on 200 coming out of Isabella II (much easier to park at than its sister store in "downtown" Isabella) gets its weekly delivery on Wednesdays, so that's the day to go for the best selection. The alternative is the produce stand at the corner of 200 and 997 (outdoor tables plus a walk-in refrigerated semi-trailer), but he's VERY expensive, at least for you and me - I've been told by reliable sources that he charges wildly different prices to locals and tourists.

    Enjoy, and please report back when you get home about your food experiences there. We love the place and will be back again as soon as we can get the time off.

    Edit: P.S. One thing you cannot get on Vieques for love or money is fine cheese, the markets carry nothing better than Kraft (and not much variety of that), so we brought a selection down with us.