4 Best Restaurants in Vieques, Vieques and Culebra

El Quenepo

$$$ Fodor's choice

This elegant yet unpretentious spot (the owners, Scott and Kate Cole, don't mind if you show up in anything from a dripping wet bikini with a cover-up to a ball gown) brings fine dining and a touch of class to the Esperanza waterfront. Local herbs and fruits, such as quenepas and breadfruit, appear in artfully prepared dishes that the Coles call "fun, funky island food." Scott is the chef, known for seafood specials highlighting the daily catch, as well as dishes you're unlikely to find elsewhere in Puerto Rico, such as braised goat masala. Kate is the consummate hostess. The wine list is large (note: there's a $25 corkage fee) and the cocktail menu is small but inspired. Six stable doors open to ocean views. Lucky walk-ins can grab a seat at the more casual high-bar tables, but for the full experience, make a reservation.

148 Calle Flamboyán, 00765, Puerto Rico
Known For
  • fresh fish and seafood
  • excellent service
  • good choice of wine and cocktails
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. No lunch, Reservations essential

Tin Box

$$ Fodor's choice
Tin Box is, quite literally, a tin box serving barbecue platters and po'boys piled high with smoked chicken, pork, fried shrimp, or ribs, served with classic sides like coleslaw, baked beans, and cornbread. A sushi bar rounds out the offerings—you can't go wrong with one of the rolls made with local spiny lobster.



Overlooking the Caribbean in Esperanza and geared to tourists, this longtime, open-air favorite has playful rain-forest murals climbing its walls. Claim a spot at one of the curvy, teal-colored, concrete tables or under an umbrella out front, and order the red snapper sandwich (popular at lunchtime) or the jerk chicken. Salads are excellent, including the Caribbean (field greens with mango, avocado, and plantain), but be sure to save room for the namesake dish: deep-fried bananas with finger-lickin' hot honey sauce. When the sun goes down, Bananas is one of the hot spots on this side of the island.

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At some point during your time in Vieques, you should end up at Duffy's, the island's most popular hangout, where customers tend to sit elbow-to-elbow around the bar (the owner is a real character, and locals love to to chew the fat with him). Don't dismiss the food, though: in addition to burgers, fries, and other standards, there are chalkboard specials like conch fritters, scallop ceviche, grilled rib eye, or pan-seared pork loin—all a cut above the usual beach fare. Wraps, sandwiches, and fried finger foods round out the menu.