Vieques Island (PR) Dining
I'll be in Vieques for a week at the W Resort next week. Was wondering was restaurant options are worth checking out. Has anyone eaten at the W's MiX and actually enjoyed it?
I found this list here: http://www.vieques-island.com/rest.shtml but I don't think the infrastructure and options are anywhere near as developed as San Juan.
On a side note, I'm coming into San Juan and staying in OSJ for a day, anybody have a recommendation between Marmalade and Dragonfly for a fine dinner? I want to do either Baru or the museum restaurant for lunch depending on whether we see the fort or the museum.
Spent a week in Vieques last year for the holidays - You are so lucky to be going! It is by far my favorite place in the Caribbean. Honestly we never stepped foot in the "W" complex, as it's kind of far (relatively speaking, as the island is manageable in size) from the best beaches and food. We rented a house and a car, but did go out to eat more than I thought we would.
You MUST have a car...if you plan on going to the amazing beaches, you can not do without one! I wouldn't even recommend a scooter as the roads to some beaches can be difficult to manage even in a jeep.
Ok, on to food.
El Quenepo, in Isabelle 2 - Amazing - best food on the island. Best dinners we had the whole week. We loved it so much we went for NYE, they printed out a reserved card for our table with our names on it, so cute! And it was a super fantastic vibe. Don't miss it.
Sol Food - a lunch truck came highly recommended to us, but because of the holiday, they closed on the second day of our trip - so go as soon as you get there! I'm still sad I missed out. it's on the corner where you turn to go to the beaches heading towards Esperanza.
DON'T go to Richards cafe. Just don't.
We also went to Uva, which was decent.
We stayed closer to Isabelle Segundo, so we didn't really venture to Esperanza. When we did it seemed super touristy - and bland in my opinion, but as I said w didn't explore too deeply.
There was a panaderia (bakery) near the Cantina la Reina place, it's just a local spot, but good cafe con leche and order pan tostada con mantequilla (toasted bread with butter) for B'fast and you will be happy!
The food scene in Vieques has come a long way in just 5 years (the link you have is completely out of date). The restaurants at the W are not among the best (while I do like the gazpacho served on their lunch menus). The W has not yet found its footing and is overpriced.
The top restaurant is El Quenepo in Esperanza (the Gringo town on the south coast). You simply have to go. It has risen to become of the best restaurants in the Caribbean. Their mofongo baked in a breadfruit/squash crust is extraordinary (ask for it as it's not on the menu). Just about everything they put together is memorable and better than anything else on the island.
Sol Food truck is outstanding, when it's open. I've been to the island three times and caught it open only once (probably because I spend all sunny days on the beach).
Lazy Jack's Pub has the best electric oven pizza in the world (try the Hawaiian). And Isabel Seguda has a lovely restaurant called Conuco that serves local dishes (in addition to Coconuts, which is also good).
If you must have a steak that reminds you of the city you left behind, then Next Course is fairly good (great service and atmosphere, but hit and miss on the food). And there are new places opening soon. Check the Vieques Island Blog for news and updates: http://vieques-island.blogspot.com/
So long story short - rent a jeep, get away from the W, grab the list of top 32 restaurants from Trip Advisor and find a meal of a lifetime. Vieques is a leader in beaches and is slowly and surely making a name for itself in cuisine. You will want to return for the beaches, Lazy Jack's, and El Quenepo.
Totally in agreement with El Quenepo...and with any luck you'll have an incredible sunset before your meal. The staff is enormously friendly.
If you happen to be near the "Inn on the Blue Horizon", up the road about a mile, stop in at the bodega across the street for fresh-picked carambolas (star-fruit)!
re: Mike R.
ANd there is a star fruit tree outside the front entrance of Next Course. The fruit appears in the spring (May / June).
The staff at El Quenepo are outstanding, even if the owner is a little pretentious and full of herself. But then again, she has earned it. She has the best establishment in the northern Caribbean, if not the whole sea. El Quenepo has a long way to go before it reaches Mama's Fish House infamy, but it is on the path. It's Michelin star material.
I'm envious of your trip. I spent a week on the neighboring island of Culebra in 2008. Stunning.
Whilst I don't have a recommedation for a fine dinner, I'm afraid - I couldn't leave the thread without giving a shout out to La Bombonera, for breakfast or lunch. A hard working, bare bones diner, with incredible coffee, mallorcas (traditional pastries) and sensational rice & beans.