We spent this past week in Vieques, Puerto Rico. As much as we loved the experience we couldn’t wait to get back and tell you about our adventures. While we were there we put together this list of our favorite places to eat in Vieques, Puerto Rico.
Fish Market – ‘Pescaderia’
If we had signs that said, “Hi, We’re Tourists!” it probably would’ve been just as telling as our faces. We walked in with our confused faces leading the way and were quickly greeted by the woman inside. She explained to us that the only fish they had left was from yesterday’s catch, but…hold on…the boat is coming in now. We waited and watched in complete awe as the men shuffled off the tiny fisherman’s boat. They carried huge buckets of Spiny Lobsters and crates full of Groupers and Conch. The Catch of the Day! Seeing as Bella was on vacation and wanted to relax, she figured, what better way to relax than to cook for our party of 13! I know, not exactly what I would personally call relaxing but hey if she’s cookin I’m eating! Fun Fact: They will ask to filet your fish for you and I recommend you saying yes. Something amazing will happen, but you’ll just have to travel there to see what it is!
Note: They are only open during the week till noon.
Bili feels like you are in the middle of the Mediterranean in Puerto Rico. With the white walls and accents of bright colors it is an eye catcher from the start. We broke off from the massive pack and ate with just 5 of us. To start we chose many mouthwatering small plates to share. We chose everything from Mofongu Puffs to Chicken Wings. Of course we made sure to start the meal off with a Rum Punch (THE island drink). For the main dish I had the pesto covered Gnocchi with grilled Snapper, this dish was highly recommended to us by the server as the staff favorite and it definitely held up to the hype. Bella had the Spiny Lobster and Paella, this was finger licking good and if I went back I would definitely get this again!
Note: Highly recommend getting a bunch of small plates and trying a lot of things!
Now, as NY’ers we are not only followers of the term “Happy Hour” but it’s our Blessed Be New York basic fundamental habit to participate in the Hour of Happy. So when we heard that the Tin Box had it we literally jumped in our Jeep and headed to it! We drove through the winding roads that almost seemed to be a one-way till traffic is coming right at you. Once you hit the gravel parking lot you know you are in for a treat. The name is perfectly descriptive as it is built around a tree with a tin roof, thus creating you guessed it, a Tin Box! Now take a seat and make sure to ask for the fresh juices of the day! Every day we were there (cough cough 4 times in one week cough cough) they had fresh watermelon, tangerine and grapefruit. I had a grapefruit martini that was LIFE CHANGING and Bella had a watermelon mimosa. You can make any mix drink with any fruit juice of your choice! As for THE Happy Hour specials, you have no choice but to try the tacos. I personally loved the pork and Bella liked the chicken. Both were without a doubt worth the splurge of drum roll please… $2! But don’t let that price fool you! We weren’t in NYC price range anymore, but it sure tasted like we were!
Note: if you go for dinner or want to have a little more to eat then the tacos get the sushi! Un-Effin-Real. Also they are farm to table. Look over the patio and you can see their farm amidst the trees.
Off the beaten path Coqui Fire is a little slice of what feels like your neighbor’s kitchen. You are greeted by a warm hello by a lovely woman who seats you with a smile and a chat. After being there for a few moments, the chef came out and described the specials. It felt like we were VIP. I was at the far end of the table to I couldn’t hear him well. I decided to go speak to him over the three foot wall to the kitchen. He was so helpful and suggested I get the last Salmon. They had a wonderful island style drink menu which, as the bonus, you can add shots of their homemade hot sauce to! Needless to say this is where the “fire” comes from in their name. Stuff was No Joke. And our food was mind blowing! My salmon was cooked to perfection and won the Meal of the Night by our group. They sell their hot sauces around the island in grocery stores. We of course couldn’t help but to pick up the hottest bottle at the grocery store to take home to Bella’s brother! He laughs in the face of hot sauce. We will see if he can handle the sweat factor 15!
Note: The space is very small and very popular and closed on weekends so make reservations. You can also get things not hot for those who don’t like the spice.
This place is a food truck!..a non-mobile food truck. Permanently located off of Route 997 near the Wildlife Refuge. Right near the entrance to a cluster of beaches. Unfortunately it is a hit or miss if it will be open or not. I found it to be open Friday- Sunday 11am-3pm, but sometimes that changes. Now brace yourself because you will most likely be waiting in a line but please do wait! You will then be greeted by two fellow NY’ers! You know, just another person we met who went on vacation and didn’t leave (a common thread). YOU MUST GET THE EMPANADAS. If you do nothing else we recommend, please do this! Both the beef and veggie are out of this world. I am still dreaming about them. We also got the Carnitas. The meat was so tender I just couldn’t stop! I stuffed myself to maximum capacity and then some. Our friend Christy got the Bob Marley. This was equally as awesome, just make sure you are a spice lover for this one. It packs a serious punch.