A perfectly colorful lunch at Conuco

I’m constantly nagging my parents for not taking advantage of living in paradise. You know… like enjoying a beautiful hike as your afternoon workout or having piña coladas for lunch. That’s what I would do as a retiree in the amazingly gorgeous island of Vieques.

Every once in a while I do manage to convince them to check out some of the new restaurants I’ve been following on Instagram. Then based on their experiences, I go check them out too. This year, it was Conuco’s turn.

Located in a revamped traditional Isabel Segunda home, this family-owned venue has been serving island favorites with a modern flair for a few years now. I immediately fell in love with its rustic elegance – the tin roof, the colorful garden, the simple wooden bar, and the veranda around the property. 

In honor of its name Conuco - which refers to the Taino garden plots - the restaurant also has an urban garden in the back with some of the herbs and produce consumed at the restaurant.

It was the perfect setting for a tapas-style lunch. My parents are not big eaters, so I pretty much ordered the entire appetizer menu and asked for a table next to the “conuco” .

We ordered the ceviche in plantain cups, stewed crab pastelillos (empanadas), shark skewers with arepitas and shrimp pizza. Everything was super fresh and perfectly seasoned. And to wash it all down, my mom and I ordered the Tenderete and Aqua cocktails, two of the most popular ones. Conuco also has a great selection of wines and artisanal beers to choose from.

The restaurant gets pretty packed around dinnertime, and their menu, designed by Chef Rebecca Betancourt, changes slightly depending on the season. They also offer special dinners and entertainment regularly, so it’s well worth it to follow them on Facebook.

If you’re planning an upcoming trip to Vieques, I would say Conuco is definitively a must. It’s slowly taking a leading role in Vieques’ new culinary landscape. My parents have already become big fans.

Ceviche in plantain cups

Tenderete and Aqua cocktails

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