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Unique food recommendations on Vieques (but ok for kids)

NC
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Unique food recommendations on Vieques (but ok for kids)

On Vieques 5 nights in July. Staying in Santa Maria area. Now I realize the island is compact but I have read some less than flattering reviews of food, especially on the North Side of the island. “Gastro-wasteland” was one review. Then those restaurants that rank highest overall are like steak joints and “special occasion” spots.

Do folks have recommendations for good food (regardless of area) on Vieques? We have two kids but I don’t want it to be too cheesy or touristy. But some meals outside or with a view are always welcome.

My wife and I are foodies (hate the term, but if the shoe fits….) and like to go where the locals go but not married to that. Again, with kids, I don’t want it too fancy. I’d like some good locally sourced food/seafood…local flavors….but I probably need kid friendly options too.

I mean they like Thai and Indian back here at home so its not like they are close-minded, but they are 6 and 8…so burgers or pasta or pizza are the go-to safety nets. Although we do plan to knock back some adult beverages before/during dinner, I don’t want to be at bars every night just so they can get pizza. Ah the joys of parenthood…

Sol food and other “road” options will make up the bulk of our lunches…I’d like some memorable unique meals especially for breakfast and dinner. Nice settings….good food options….views….or unique clientele….

Chez Shack appears everywhere….draws very mixed reviews. Sounds like ideal for setting but the reviews of the food (on “special” nights like grill night) are poor. Plus. is it too pricey??

Conuco was suggested but sounds like the outside dining is centered around a gravel patio.

Maybe Ocean View Bar is a good mix?

Any thoughts are appreciated. Cheers,

NYC
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1. Re: Unique food recommendations on Vieques (but ok for kids)

hmmm,

well, I'm not sure which reviews you read, but I think there is alot more info than what you seem to have gotten. Anyone that called Vieques a "gastro wasteland" is either ignorant or had an agenda to put a bad light on the Island. You might want to read the reviews more thoroughly.

Vieques' dining is varied and diverse. You can go fancy at Mix on the Beach at The W Orquideas or El Quenepo. Medium fancy at Next Course Conuco Bili Veritas Mucho Gusto and El Patio. Bar food at Duffy's Bananas or Lazy Jacks. Good ocean view dining at Trade Winds. Trade Winds also has the best breakfast in my opinion. I love the corned beef hash. And The W gets good reviews for their breakfast. Richards cafe(although someone said is closed I don't know it for sure) is good for kids. They have easy food including fried chicken as well as good local food. El Resuelve is a local place that serves excellent Puerto Rican food including a variety of empanadas.

Aside from restaurants there are multiple food trucks and kiosks.

There are good food places and places you may think is no good. Thats going to happen anywhere. Some restaurants are really good. But if you are looking for a culinary orgasm you might be disapointed. High expectations usually lead to high disapointment. Just keep an open mind and enjoy the food.

There are more positive reviews than negative. Conuco's outside dining is on gravel, but you dont have to sit outside. If you are willing and looking forward to eating from a truck, you should be ok with gravel or wood benches or cheap seats as long as the food is good. no?

Don't over think it. Vieques is a place to have to fit into to get the most out of. If you fight it you will not get most out of it.

NC
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2. Re: Unique food recommendations on Vieques (but ok for kids)

great thoughts - thanks for sharing. I think its our first trip with the kids so I am trying to please everyone.

The "wasteland" comment came from a purported native Puerto Rican - thats what it spooked me.

We'll roll with it and try to lean on the locals from whom we are renting to steer us right.

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Unique food recommendations on Vieques (but ok for kids)

Haha- you must be hangin' out on some of those high faluttin' Foodie boards to get all that negative feedback!

We never visit in the summer, so we're not sure if off-season closures will affect your plans, but it may be a concern-- hopefully someone more familiar can comment on this.

We take no issue with Frankipoo's thorough list. Next Course would probably tick most of your boxes, but obviously you won't want to be heading there every night.

I guess we'd have to also label ourselves with the F word. However, we're foodies who love to cook, so we have a lot of fun exploring the street & super markets to see what we can come up with to fix at home. It sounds like you'll be in a rental house--will it have a grille? Now, we fully understand that most Mom's relish the thought of not having to cook while on vacation, perhaps even more than they relish the thought of sitting on a nice beach with a good book, so maybe Dad & the kids could have some fun whipping up a couple of tasty meals. (also takes away that inconvenient mix of adult beverages & driving on twisty dark roads that are prone to sudden equine encounters). We've always found the beef & chicken at Morales supermarket to be pretty darn tasty. We also make a batch of burritos pretty much every time we visit.

Here's our burrito recipe- if you feel like it, browse around for some of our other Vieques food adventures on our blog:

…blogspot.ca/2010/…burrito-birthday-bash.html

(BTW, some of the best outdoor meals we've ever had have been consumed in gravel courtyards in the French countryside!)

Good luck with your plans & have fun!

NC
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4. Re: Unique food recommendations on Vieques (but ok for kids)

Thanks! we do plan to do some cooking at the house too. My concern with the gravel courtyard was my kids who never stop running around and finding things to pick up and weaponize. Should have clairfied that.

The negative comments about food on Vieques (esp in Isabel) were all from this TA site/forum. But fortunately there are many more positive than negative. We are looking forward to our visit.

Saludos!

Vieques
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5. Re: Unique food recommendations on Vieques (but ok for kids)

Orquidias and Veritas and Taverna are closed in the summer as the chefs all have Northern restaurants .

I had a great Mexican meal at Mar Azul on Tuesday (Coqui Fire Night) and Sue does a nice job at the Ocean View almost next door.

I have eaten twice in the last 2 weeks at Bieques Bistro in Isabel and had great meals. I also have had Mr Sushi a couple of times recently, once there and often we take out and eat it at home.

I certainly think Coconuts and Conuco are worth trying also.

Mamasongas does a mean hamburger and I love love love the seafood chowder.

Resuelve is a standby for Puerto Rican food

I have not tried Sabores the new local place next to the Funky Beehive but have heard good things.

Next Course is not quite in Isabel as it is mid island and it is a favorite of mine.

I seldom venture the 4 miles to the Esperanza to eat often because there are good choices here on the north side.

Hardly a Waste Land!

NC
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6. Re: Unique food recommendations on Vieques (but ok for kids)

WholeGrain...thanks so much! I usually dont try to overthink this but since we'll be there during Patronales, I have been told to sort out reservations ahead of time.

Vieques
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7. Re: Unique food recommendations on Vieques (but ok for kids)

Well

There will be dozens of food stands set up around the plaza for Patronales which may actually free up more space in some of eateries because there will be SOOOO much food available in town

Charlotte, North...
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8. Re: Unique food recommendations on Vieques (but ok for kids)

good point wholegrain. I think I will just wing it. Maybe reserve something the first night. some place I can be assured the kids find something they want to wat, whcih is outside/with a view for mommy and daddy to get their drink on since it will have been a long day. but that isnt purley limited to "bar food."

Sounds like Tradewinds or something along the Malencon would fit the bill

cheers

Chandler
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9. Re: Unique food recommendations on Vieques (but ok for kids)

Skip the fish ar Tradewinds....pasta was ok but contained celery and cabbage, not somwthing I expect in pasta.

Charlotte, North...
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10. Re: Unique food recommendations on Vieques (but ok for kids)

hmm. that is weird. good to know. maybe I will keep looking...

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