Explore our Cuisine

Delicious Dishes to Enjoy

While many of our upscale restaurants specialize in the world’s finest cuisines, our local dishes are rooted in the traditions and ingenuity of the former enslaved Danish plantation workers and the humble ingredients available to them. This included the fish and other seafood they caught, the vegetables and fruits they grew and less commonly used parts of livestock. These very same ingredients, along with flavorful herbs and spices, have been transformed by cooking techniques developed over generations into the delicious dishes we all enjoy today.

Traditional dishes

St. Croix

Authentic island food you’ll find on local menus include fish and fungi, or “foon-jee,” a cornmeal with a light and creamy consistency similar to polenta. Stew conch, another local delicacy, uses a pressure cooker to make the meat incredibly tender.

Street food

St. Croix

Street food you can easily pick up and enjoy include pates — fried turnovers filled with ground meat or salt fish. Rotis are savory East Indian flatbreads rolled with curried or stewed meat and vegetables. Favorites at any island meal are Johnny cakes — slightly sweet, deep-fried dough. Another dough delight is dumb bread, baked in a lidded skillet

Chicken fry eateries

St. John

Our aptly named chicken fry eateries are hidden culinary gems. Chicken fry restaurants specialize in scrumptious fried chicken that’s crisp and surprisingly light. The chicken is made the traditional way — seasoned and lightly coated with breading before it’s deep fried.

Puerto Rican dishes

St. Croix

Puerto Rican influences can be found throughout our islands, especially on St. Croix. A traditional dish you’ll likely see on restaurant menus is mofongo, which is made up of mashed and fried green plantains. Other plantain delicacies you’ll want to try include amarillos and tostones.

Rum

St. John

Distilling juiced sugar cane into liquor is an art and science that has been perfected at Cruzan Rum on St. Croix since 1760, overseen by the same family for generations. Cruzan Rum’s award-winning taste is a result of careful blending and aging the spirit in charred, new-oak barrels.

Local drinks

St. Thomas

Our islands are home to many tasty local drinks you’ll want to seek out and try. Bush teas are made with herbs and spices, many with healing medicinal properties, that are primarily available at farmers markets. Maubi is a slightly spicy drink flavored with tree bark and allspice.

Upscale dining

St. Thomas

All three of our islands are home to sophisticated fine dining restaurants, often located in town or at luxe resorts. Some of the restaurants, especially on St. Thomas and St. John, are perched high up in the hills and boast spectacular ocean views. You’ll also find restaurants that focus on a specific country’s cuisine, such as Italian.

Beach bars

St. Thomas

Our friendly beach bars are the ideal place to sip a frozen tropical drink (made with locally distilled rum) while soaking up the sea breeze and swaying to the rhythms of a live band. Be sure to visit one or more while you’re on the islands.

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