My family and I recently stayed in Rio Grande. My wife read the reviews about El Varadero on Tripadvisor.com and wanted to give it a try. On our way we decided to call to get directions, as we had read the reviews stating that it was difficult to find. Izzy, the owner just stayed on the phone with my wife and gave turn-by-turn directions through Fajardo! It was not difficult to find.
The food, service and atmosphere were wonderful. I had a snapper and my wife had mahi mahi. Both were cooked and seasoned perfectly. The restaurant had several different homemade hot sauces, which were excellent. We also had a ceviche appetizer and conch arepa. Both were perfect.
El Varadero appeared to have quite a few locals. I generally avoid restaurants at resorts and restaurants that only cater to tourists - I want to eat what the locals eat when I travel. The marina was a beautiful location. The restaurant was covered, but open to the marina. The prices were very reasonable. (My snapper at Varadero was $13 less than the snapper I had two nights earlier.) We also found them to be kid-friendly.
The wait staff was very helpful and friendly. The owner, Izzy came over to our table several times to ask whether we had any questions or needed any suggestions. I suggest trying El Varadero early in your trip so you have the opportunity to go back.
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