Foodies will not be disappointed by the quantity and quality of the dining in St. Thomas. There are over 150 restaurants, cafes and snack bars on the island, ranging from high-end gourmet hotspots to lowbrow beach bars.
Sushi salad at Buddha Sushi — Photo courtesy of Karen ElowittIt's the top-of-the-line establishments that have helped St. Thomas cement its reputation as a culinary hotspot in the Caribbean. These restaurants boast highly-trained chefs who hail from Europe, the U.S. and the West Indies and are always finding inventive new ways to please the palate. Havana Blue and Coco Blue, both part of the St. Thomas restaurant group, fuse American with Asian, Latin and West Indian influences – with a heavy emphasis on seafood. Don't leave the island without trying Coco Blue's North Drop Frenzy or Havana Blue's coconut chipotle ceviche.
Fine dining on the northside includes such favorites as Old Stone Farmhouse, where the enchanting low-light atmosphere enhances the enjoyment of exotic meats such as kangaroo and elk, and Thirteen, where seemingly every menu item involves bacon: bacon-wrapped scallops, bacon-wrapped chicken, and even brownies a la mode topped with pretzels and bacon.
Scallops and filet mignon at Old Stone Farmhouse — Photo courtesy of Karen ElowittIn Frenchtown, two notable eateries should not be missed: Alexander's Bella Blu, and the breezy Oceana. Though not as consciously innovative as Havana Blue or Coco Blue, they offer solid, flavorful selections in an elegant atmosphere. Bella Blu mixes European and Middle Eastern dishes, such as schnitzel, tzatziki, baba ganoush and hummus. Oceana's classic surf and turf menu of Caribbean lobster, filet mignon and ribeye steaks is served up in a historic oceanfront building.
This being the Caribbean, seafood is a primary theme of the dining scene. Of course it's a staple at all of the fancy-schmancy places, but it's also worth trying at some of the less posh eateries. Buddha Sushi, for example, a chic sushi joint near the east end, excels in both standard and off-the-wall sushi creations. If you're not the experimental type, stick with the California rolls or nigiri sushi, but if you want your socks knocked off, try a Smooth Kriminal roll, a sushi pizza, or even a sushi quesadilla.
The Pie Whole, a brick oven pizzeria in Frenchtown — Photo courtesy of Karen ElowittA true foodie can't visit St. Thomas without trying some West Indian-inspired seafood, which there is an abundance of. Some notables include the "Captain Nemo" at Cuzzin's, a blend of lobster, native conch, scallops, and shrimp served over pasta. For a little gourmet romance, head to the dimly-lit dining room at Mim's Seaside Bistro, where the house specialty is coconut-curry lobster.
And of course there is plenty of cheap-but-superb comfort food dished out at even the most ordinary of places. Jack's, for example, a seaside bar at Point Pleasant Resort, offers perfectly-cooked chicken wings with a choice of nine different sauces. And the brunches at Hook, Line and Sinker on the Frenchtown waterfront feature hearty eggs Benedict and omelets. For an excellent meal while you're at Secret Harbour beach, just amble over to the Cruzan Beach Club and dig into the ahi tuna nachos, which have got to be the best thing ever invented.
Lime-in-de-coconut calamari at Coco Blue — Photo courtesy of Karen ElowittCruzan Beach Club also offers incredible gourmet pizzas, but they are rivaled by a couple of other joints. Pizza Amore, in Havensight, regularly wins awards for its hearty pies. And The Pie Whole, a brick oven pizzeria in Frenchtown, serves up specialty pizzas as well as pasta, salads and more.
Last but not least are sweets. Sugar addicts can find many things to write home about in St. Thomas, including the classic key lime pie at Fish Tails, the gooey lava cakes at XO Bistro, and the delicious s'mores at Duffy's Love Shack.