With a homey atmosphere and friendly service, Arians Bar & Restaurant is the go-to spot for authentic St. Thomian meals. The conch in butter sauce and stewed mutton are local favorites and tend to sell out quickly, so be sure to call ahead to reserve these specialties. Don’t miss the fresh local juices, including sorrel and passion fruit.

Tucked into a small shopping plaza on the east end of St. Thomas, De’ Coal Pot Restaurant has been serving up local dishes in a welcoming space for years. The extensive menu features a broad selection of Caribbean fare like curried goat, roti and conch. But the standouts are the oxtail stew served with fungi (cornmeal and okra) and red pea soup. This is also a great spot for vegetarians.

An island staple for decades, Gladys’ Cafe combines the charm of St. Thomas hospitality with lovingly prepared Caribbean and American dishes. Featuring a dining room accented with stonework walls and a gleaming mahogany bar, the cafe serves local delicacies like stewed oxtails and conch chowder. The signature Kallaloo soup is a must-try. Famous for her homemade hot sauce, owner Gladys sells bottles of it in mango, mustard, tomato and oil-and-vinegar flavors. 

At intimate, upscale Blue Eleven, aquamarine ceilings, coral-colored chairs, and photos of beaches conjure the feeling of being by the ocean. Chef Benji offers innovative tasting menus of seven, nine or 11 courses. His creative take on traditional Caribbean cuisine includes jerk chicken sided with plantain gnocchi and pan-seared lobster tails with pumpkin puree.


The humble, no-frills Singhs Fast Food delivers flavorful rotis and plates of classic Caribbean food. Singhs provides  fast food — walk up to the counter and order from what you see displayed on metal trays.  Generous portions of curry chicken, goat and shrimp rotis are mainstays. But don’t forget sides like macaroni pie and stuffing (made Crucian style with yams and raisins).

It doesn’t get more local than visiting the pumpkin-orange Cruzarican Spot food truck and ordering well-seasoned favorites like fry kingfish, arroz con pollo or potfish, along with johnny cakes and plantains. The truck is open Wednesdays through Saturdays, and the menu changes weekly.

The lemon walls of D’Yudi Bar & Restaurant match the sunny service of this family-owned eatery. D’Yudi focuses on the overall customer experience, from the lovely food presentation of its professionally trained chef to the genial attitude of the servers. The menu features local and Latin specialties like spiny lobster, bull foot soup and bacalao (saltfish).

A beloved local landmark that delivers some of the best chicken and johnny cakes on the island, La Reine Chicken Shack is as much a hangout as it is an outdoor chicken shack. On any given day, you’ll spot men playing dominos, friends meeting up for rum and cokes, and families devouring the expertly seasoned rotisserie chicken. Besides chicken, the menu provides a daily changing menu of selections like beef steak, barbecue ribs and stewed goat, with sides that include baked macaroni and tostones.


You can’t miss the forest-green building of Caps Place, nestled on a corner in downtown Cruz Bay. If you do, the salsa and merengue rhythms blasting from the windows will definitely catch your attention. This casual spot dishes up tasty plates of stewed bananas, ceviche, stewed goat and stuffed pates. 

The coral walls of Ekaete Pink Corner house the ultimate in St. John home cooking traditions. The interior resembles the quaint dining room of a favorite aunt, with madras tablecloths and wall carvings. The menu changes daily and the restaurant is cash-only. Signature dishes like oxtails, fish and fungi or curried goat are popular. Save room for homemade ice cream and smoothies.

Perched on a hill in Cruz Bay with a breezy open terrace, Hillside Terrace supplies a rotating offering of Caribbean dishes, along with rooftop views of the island. Fried chicken, stewed chicken and pigtails are popular selections.

A landmark St. John institution, Miss Lucy’s is famous for stunning ocean views and live music (on Thursday nights). Besides island hallmarks like conch fritters and Kallaloo soup, Miss Lucy’s is known for serving a crunchy grouper Reuben sandwich. For breakfast, don’t miss the signature piña colada pancakes.

Learn more about USVI’s local cuisine.

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