What's For Dinner?

Those who travel cheapest travel longest and, while everyone should try the local restaurants, guests can save a lot of cash by cooking for themselves in our hostel kitchen. Make some friends and cook family style or pack yourself a quick snack for the beach. Check out these recipes for cheap meals you can make with items available in Esperanza.

Basic Rice & Beans



  • 1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans (habichuelas coloradas) or 1 (16 ounce) can pink beans (habichuelas coloradas)

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon adobo seasoning (a flavored salt used in latin cooking)

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 slice cooked ham or 1 slice salt pork or 1 slice Canadian bacon, cubed

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 (5 g) packet sazon con azafran seasoning (comes in envelopes in a box, gives color and a distinct flavor to latin dishes)

  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons sofrito sauce (comes in a jar, a necessary ingredient in Puerto Rican cooking)

  • 1 1⁄2cups white rice, uncooked




  1. Cook white rice as instructions on package of rice say to (5 minute rice is perfectly fine).

  2. In saucepan, heat oil on low-medium heat and put in the ham, salted pork, or Canadian bacon.

  3. Once it starts to sizzle, add the garlic powder and Adobo seasoning.

  4. Then add the Sofrito and Sazon con Azafran seasoning, stir.

  5. Next add red beans (drain most of liquid, just a little bit is needed to pull the sauce together).

  6. Mix and serve!


Oatmeal is included in the free traveler's breakfast at the hostel, and you can't go wrong with free! Here are some different ways you can prepare it.

Stove Top: Boil 1 cup of water and add 1/2 cup of oatmeal. Cook until the oatmeal is sof. You can add nuts, berries, syrup, sugar or anything else!

Microwave: In a microwave safe bowl cook 




There is free oatmeal, toast, jam, milk and coffee available in the kitchen every morning from 8am to 11am

Vieques Grocery Stores


A small corner store about five minutes walk to the west of the hostel. They normally have potatoes and onions, cereal, selected frozen foods and a decent selection of canned beans.

Green Store

This store is a seven minute walk to the east of the hostel. They offer basics like eggs, some frozen meat, cheese, ice cream and large liquor selection.

Morales Supermarcado

This is a larger grocery store in Isabel with more options than the smaller markets of Esperanza. The have a small produce department, meat counter and lots of dry goods. Just ask a publico to take you and pre-plan when they should pick you up.

Easy Black Bean Soup



  • 3 cans of black beans with liquid

  • 1 lb salsa

  • 1/2 cup of cilantro or ricoe

  • 2 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 clove garlic




  1. Stir all of the ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until simmering

  2. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes

  3. Serve!

Look for the "free boxes" in the kitchen where past guests leave non perishable items to share

Want a break from cooking? Try Lazy Jacks, our attached bar and restaurant, for awesome pizza, tacos burgers and more!