Gemelo y Su Rumba (Carr. 981, km 4.3, Yabucoa, 787/585-6284, Mon.–Thurs. 9 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri.–Sun. 9 a.m.–midnight, $1–18) is a casual open-air bar and restaurant serving exceptional empanadas during the week and fresh fish specials Thursday through Sunday. The owner, Leftie, is a musician, and he turns the place into a lively music venue on Sundays when crowds flock there for the live salsa music and dancing that goes on throughout the day.
Restaurante El Nuevo Horizonte (Carr. 901, km 8.8, Yabucoa, 787/893-5492, fax 787/893-3768, Wed.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–8 p.m., $12.95–28.95) offers inside dining on seafood and Puerto Rican cuisine while enjoying the ocean view from high up on a mountain peak. Outside is a kiosk serving empanadas and other Puerto Rican–style fritters and beers.
Palmas de Lucia (Hotel Parador Palmas de Lucia, Carr. 901 at Carr. 9911, Playa Lucia, Yabucoa, 787/893-4423, www.tropicalinnspr.com, Sun.–Thurs. 8 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 8 a.m.–10 p.m., $11–17) serves three meals a day. Lunch consists of burgers, ribs, and chicken fingers, but dinner specializes in a variety of fresh seafood, including halibut, shrimp, and lobster, as well as Puerto Rican dishes such as mofongo and asopao.
AquaMar Steakhouse & Seafood (Carr. 901, km 1.7, Maunabo, 787/861-1363, Mon.–Wed. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Thurs.–Sun. 11 a.m.–11 p.m., $12–34) is a contemporary, dressy-casual restaurant serving Angus and Kobe beef, seafood, pasta, and exotic meats, including ostrich, buffalo, and boar. It also boasts a large selection of wines.
Café Terraza Panaderia y Respoteria (11 Ave. Calimano, Maunabo, 787/861-3375, daily 7 a.m.–11 p.m., $2–5) serves everything you could want, from whole baked chickens and Puerto Rican cuisine to pastries and sandwiches. There is also a small market selling cold drinks and dry goods.
Los Bohios (Carr. 760, km 2.3, Maunabo, 787/861-2545, Wed.–Sun., $10–18) is a casual open-air restaurant overlooking the ocean that serves Puerto Rican cuisine, seafood, and steaks.
Open daily and serving three meals a day is the small seaside Ocean View Terrace (at Caribe Playa Beach Resort, Carr. 3, km 112, Patillas, 787/839-6339, fax 787/839-1817, www.caribeplaya.com, daily 8 a.m.–10:30 a.m., noon–3 p.m., and 6–9:30 p.m., reservations required for dinner, $14–19), which specializes in continental and Puerto Rican cuisine. The menu includes pasta, whole fried snapper, and mofongo.
© Suzanne Van Atten from Moon Puerto Rico, 2nd Edition