El Local Vieques – Uncommon Envy
I missed a lot of things on my all-too-brief visit to Vieques in October 2022. (For such a small island, there really is a lot to see and experience here.) Among my biggest regrets: not dining at El Local Vieques.
I mean, the exterior of the place should’ve provided me with more than enough reason to peek inside, right? The entire building is emblazoned with la Bandera de Puerto Rico. Usually that portends great things, in my experience.
In the particular case of El Local Vieques, I came to discover later, the great things are of a culinary variety. A distinctly authentic Puerto Rican and Viequense culinary variety of Caribbean food that just must be insanely delicious.
I mean, just check out the El Local Instagram feed! Everything looks amazing, though the lobster and octopus dishes really have my mouth watering.
According to our friends at Discover Puerto Rico, El Local Vieques is pretty new too. The restaurant emerged from the aftermath of Hurricane Maria (2017) when three friends got together to open the place.
Were they inspired simply by pride in their culture and culinary traditions? Or, is El Local an answer to a decline in authentic PR eats in Vieques as the island becomes increasingly Americanized post-Maria?
I hope to answer these questions, and determine if El Local’s food tastes as great as it looks, on my next visit.