ROANOKE, Va. – A new restaurant is bringing a taste of Puerto Rico’s island flavors to the Star City.
With arms wide open and loud cheers, Delicias Boricuas owners and staff are welcoming new customers to their new restaurant situated in Downtown Roanoke.
For nearly seven years, Karyna Nevarez and her family ran a catering service offering tropical flavors and herbs of Puerto Rico.
Now, they have a place to call their own at the Crafteria on Church Avenue.
“It is just very exciting,” Nevarez said. “It is something we have dreamed about for a very long time.”
From savory rice and meat dishes to sweet desserts like tembleque, a coconut pudding, Nevarez recreates popular island cuisines in the kitchen.
In minutes, customers were nodding their heads and cleaning their plates.
The name alone brings a taste of the island: Boricua means Puerto Rican people, and it’s a term used with pride as it derives from indigenous roots.
“We are always very engrained with our culture and it means a lot to us,” Nevarez said. “We try to expand it. We try to spread it everywhere we can.”
With flags draped around the restaurant, Nevarez’s roots from Bayamon are on full display.
This is a tradition Nevarez gets to pass down to her children, and now she can encourage local customers to support Puerto Rico.
“We can actually motivate people to do a little bit of tourism in Puerto Rico as well,” Nevarez said. “That would be our little grain of salt into all that the island needs at this moment.”
Delicias Boricuas is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.