Desayuno, almuerzo y comida!
Breakfast, lunch and dinner!
More than enough restaurants along the Malecon in Esperanza to satisfy every eater and every meal. Also a few grocery stores and a small bakery for meals “in” and snacks.
We ate most of our meals, especially breakfast, out. We also grabbed a few staple items at some of the markets for snacks, things that we could store in our tiny fridge in the casita at Coco Loco.
We had our first meal at Belly Buttons restaurant. After our insanely long 24 hours of travel to get from Denver to Vieques, we shared a chicken skewer plate. Fresh from the grill!! We returned Sunday morning (and 2 more) for breakfast. For $9 we got scrambled eggs, potatoes, 3 small slices of toast (local bread) and a protein. That first morning, I also went for an Irish coffee!!! The food is cooked to order, seasoned well and reasonably priced. The bar is open and they also have coffee (only 1 refill) and juices. We ate here our last nite, too, dining on tacos for Mexican Night.
They always have specials and will make you sandwiches for the beach. Wednesday’s are Paella Night, where a local guy cooks from scratch while you watch. Unfortunately, this conflicted with our bio bay tour or we would have partaken.
The restaurant, like most if not all in Esperanza, is not open everyday. Breakfast is not served until 9A, so for us early risers, this can be tough! One of the reasons to have some staples on hand to get you by until 9A. (We also brought protein powder with us and drank a big glass upon waking each morning.)
It is all open-air seating, but there are covered areas, to include the bar. For those who like hot sauce, Belly Buttons has a local bottle on the tables, Viequesrican, for your dining pleasure and which is also for sale for $5 (this was Chris’s souvenir!!).
Get thee to Bananas for the Rum Punch, especially at $4 for Happy Hour!
We tried Bananas for dinner one evening. We had a Puerto Rican favorite, mofongo, plantains mixed with a protein, flattened and lightly fried, as our appetizer. This is a great spot, also open-air seating, from which to watch the water and the comings & goings along the Malecon. Again, while relaxing with a couple Rum Punches!
Also check them out for accommodations ~ they have a guest house!!
At the very west end of the Malecon sits Trade Winds. Like Bananas, this is both a restaurant/bar and guest house. We enjoyed breakfast here our last morning. The seating is above ground-level, affording you breezes, sunshine and great sea views, all under cover, or you can sit on the patio under an umbrella. The prices are similar to Belly Buttons for breakfast and the food is equally delicious! And for those looking to satisfy your coffee fix, refills are unlimited!
These were the only restaurants we tried, but they are, by no means, the only ones in Esperanza! As I said earlier, the restaurants have odd hours, at times, and are completely closed some days. If you can, check their sites in advance to make a loose plan of when you can try the ones which interest you.
There are three small markets in Esperanza and one bakery (panaderia).
La Tienda Verde, aka the Green Market, is right at the “entry” into Esperanza and is the biggest of the three and is also open the latest, closing at 9P. We recommend shopping here for the selection, to include alcohol!! Just remember, it costs more to get groceries TO an island, so prices reflect this. It can easily be reached on foot during your stay!!
The other two markets and the panaderia are just north of the Malecon, on the west end. Also within walking distance.
This is the second biggest market, which closes at 6P. Right next door is the panaderia, open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 7A-11A. This is where you can get some coffee before the restaurants open!! Bonus, they serve a small breakfast menu (there are a few tables inside) and sweets (cookies & rolls)!! You can also get sandwiches to go, which would be great for those beach days and the long return travel days!
The lower level of this building houses the smallest market and one which only opens in the evenings. It is just around the corner from the market & panaderia, so when that market closes, this one usually opens.
There are also two grocery stores in Isabel Segunda, which would be larger with more options, to include meat. If you have rented a vehicle, then you could head into town to shop around. If you do head north, make sure to stop at the fresh farmer’s market. It is on 201, just south of 200. I believe it is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until 5P. We were craving fruit (and we needed some more limes for our sangria!). The produce is fresh and the prices on target. Don’t miss out!!
We had chicken wraps and a delicious pina colada (with a floating shot of rum) at Abe’s Mar Azul, which overlooks the water. The dinner menu, recited to me by the owner & chef, sounded fantastic….but we were starving after hours on the scooter (rationing our water) and needed to eat immediately.
Put on your sandals + sunscreen, try the mofongo, drink during Happy Hour, grab some groceries for the road. Get out there and enjoy the taste of Vieques!