Hello all! This is a topic I have been wanting to share with you comprehensively for a very long time. In many Caribbean and International tourism destinations, the native culture of the place remains somewhat apparent, despite outside influences. I recall being in Costa Rica and eating “Tipico” or typical Costa Rican food nearly every day! And, on our trip to Grenada this summer, locally inspired cuisine was the norm. Here on St. John, it is unfortunately a bit more difficult to seek out the local and Caribbean inspired dining options. But, they are out there in abundance. And well worth the search!
Caribbean inspired cuisine is, in my opinion, some of the best in the world. Hearty stews and soups made with love, scratch and made to order fry bread and meats, warm and savory spice blends and fresh and local fruits, fish and vegetables combine to bring to the table the feeling of being in a grandmother’s kitchen…food that makes you feel like home.
You won’t necessarily find burgers and fries in these places. Instead, fried fish and chicken, succulent stewed plantains, callaloo stew, warmly spiced rice and peas (beans), fried dough stuffed with savory meats, seafood or vegetables (pate), goat water (stew), fresh vegan and vegetarian dishes, johnny cakes and roti stuffed with delectable curry spiced fillings stack the menu at these St. John establishments that will cure your hunger and soothe your soul.
There are many places on St. John that offer these homespun culinary creations which will warm your soul, and your belly, from the inside out. Take a look at the following list and, next time you’re visiting, consider expanding your horizons and supporting local cuisine by stopping by one, or a few, of the following businesses.
Island Breeze– At the entrance to the Windmill Bar
Heading East– Next to the Drive-In
Miss Lucy’s– Just before Salt Pond
Ekaete Pink Corner- At the Coral Bay Intersection (pink corner)
Love City Cafe- Storage container next to the old Pickles in Paradise building
Forward to Your Roots (Amore Arowako Vegan Club) – Near the basketball courts
Hillside Terrace – On the hill across from the tennis courts
Hercule’s Pate Delight– Just down the hill from the Lumberyard
Nella’s Lounge– Across from Hercule’s
P & P By the Sea– Frank Bay…Hours vary so call ahead 340-693-8587
The Roti King– Lumberyard parking lot
Shaibu’s Grab & Go Gourmet– Second floor of the Marketplace
Uncle Joe’s Barbeque- Across from the Post Office
If you’re reading this, and you see that I missed someone, please shoot me a message so that I can updated this page. The permalink can be found on the Local Livin’ tab on this site for easy reference for your next trip to St. John. Also, for local food options on all of the US Virgin Islands, please check out By The VI, a collection of local businesses on St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix.