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Eat Local Food – A Guide to St. John’s Caribbean Inspired Eateries

Eat Local Food – A Guide to St. John’s Caribbean Inspired Eateries

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!

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Delicious Roti from The King- Mr. Hill

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.

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One of the best things about local cuisine? $20 will feed you TWO tasty meals! – Smitty’s Island Breeze

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.

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Home cooked at Heading East

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.

Sunsannaberg

Island Breeze– At the entrance to the Windmill Bar

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Smitty at Island Breeze, offering up his delicious pates, stewed chicken, johnny cakes and goat water!

Heading East– Next to the Drive-In

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Heading East is just “east of Susanaberg on the left side of the road.

Coral Bay

Miss Lucy’s– Just before Salt Pond

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Miss Lucy’s By the Sea – Lunch and Dinner, Open Mic on Thursdays and Sunday Brunch

Ekaete Pink Corner-  At the Coral Bay Intersection (pink corner)

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You can’t miss this iconic restaurant at the main intersection in Coral Bay- Stop by for a heaping plate of homecooked food, served with love

Love City Cafe- Storage container next to the old Pickles in Paradise building

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The Love City Cafe serves breakfast, lunch, coffee and smoothies – TRY THE BAKED GOODS!

Cruz Bay

Forward to Your Roots – Near the basketball courts

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Looking for some healthy, yet divine, options? Forward to Your Roots offers Caribbean inspired vegan and vegetarian cuisine

Hillside Terrace – On the hill across from the tennis courts

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Hillside Terrace, perched above the tennis courts, offers a birds eye view of the hustle and bustle below while you enjoy a rotating menu of lunch and dinner options

Hercule’s Pate Delight– Just down the hill from the Lumberyard

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If you don’t know what Pate is, or you do but have never tried it, stop here first. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

Nella’s Lounge– Across from Hercule’s

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The picture is obviously dated (see the Lumberyard still standing), but Nella’s food is timeless. A rotating selection of meats, fish and Caribbean spiced side dishes made with love and served for lunch and dinner

P & P By the Sea– Frank Bay…Hours vary so call ahead 340-693-8587

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Lobster bakes, pig roasts and rib specials are just a snippet of what you might find here…if you can happen upon them being open! Follow P & P on facebook in the link provided to stay up to date on their VERY special yet infrequent events!

The Roti King– Lumberyard parking lot

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For maximum lunch satisfaction: Look for the red bus, order the roti.

Shaibu’s Grab & Go Gourmet– Second floor of the Marketplace

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Healthy salads, grain bowls, soups, fresh fish make healthy eating quick and easy at Shaibu’s Grab & Go Gourmet!

Uncle Joe’s Barbeque- Across from the Post Office

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BBQ ribs or chicken and a selection of sides for lunches and dinners- Uncle Joe’s secret BBQ is absolutely decadent!

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.

8 thoughts on “Eat Local Food – A Guide to St. John’s Caribbean Inspired Eateries”

  1. You forgot to include Coco Kim’s up by the new Supermarket on Centerline Road!
    He is one of the nicest, Happiest, most accommodating business owner I’ve ever met and knows his way around chicken, potato salad and painkillers like no other.

  2. Before Irma, there was a place near Kimberley Boulon’s gallery, I think Etta was the woman’s name. Is that still there?

  3. TY for this! We’d love to know about the little Latin cuisine place near the gravel lot…don’t recall the name but I know you can find it! Love your posts…ty so much for this great info and look forward to reading more!!!

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