So as you all know, we receive a lot of questions here at News of St. John. One of the top questions we’re asked about is dining. We are extremely fortunate on this island; we have a ton of great restaurants. From local dishes like oxtail, saltfish and roti, to fresh seafood, steaks, burgers and more, St. John really has it all. Today we’d like to tell you about the dining offerings over at Mongoose Junction.
For those of you who are not familiar with Mongoose Junction, it’s a dining, shopping and entertainment complex located in Cruz Bay just minutes from the ferry dock. It’s a beautifully-constructed stone buildings that was designed to emulate the Danish sugar plantation ruins seen throughout the island. (We recently posted an overview of the complex. Click here to read it.)
There are seven unique dining options at Mongoose Junction: 18°64° The Restaurant; Bajo El Sol Gallery, Art Bar and Rum Room; Greengo’s Caribbean Cantina St. John; North Shore Deli ; St. John Scoops; Sun Dog Cafe; and The Tap Room.
18°64° The Restaurant
1864 is open for lunch and dinner, and a Happy Hour raw bar Monday though Saturday. (This restaurant was named for the coordinates of St. John.) Much of 1864’s food and beverage programs are made fresh in house, including house baked breads, desserts, freshly butchered meats and fish, and a burgeoning herb garden much like its sister restaurant Extra Virgin Bistro. Its bar program is packed full of house made infusions, fresh squeezed juices, syrups, bitters, and occasionally rotating locally made Kombuchas on draft. From its spicy and tangy passionfruit margarita, to one of the island’s most diverse “By The Glass” wine selections, it’s always worth popping in to see what they’re cooking up next! With three different menus served throughout the day, there is a little something for everyone to enjoy in 1864’s beautiful, open air dining room.
Bajo El Sol Gallery, Art Bar and Rum Room
Bajo El Sol is a hybrid art gallery, bookstore, café, rum and craft cocktail bar. At the Art Bar, you’ll find Puerto Rican espresso coffee, freshly brewed bush tea, Caribbean chocolates, wine, craft cocktails, lite savory bites and locally made pastries, such as guava tarts, passionfruit cheese cakes, rum cakes & coconut truffles. You’ll also find the largest selection of aged rums in Cruz Bay, which can be sampled in curated tasting flights. Bajo El Sol hosts numerous events including Jazz, Art & Wine Down with Jazz duo Broheem & Love every Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Rhyme & Lime every last Saturday of the month from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Read your own poetry or someone else’s. Or if you don’t wanna rhyme, come, listen and lime!
Greengo’s Caribbean Cantina St. John
Greengo’s is a great little Mexican restaurant in Mongoose Junction. It offers fresh margaritas, slow-roasted meats, and homemade tortillas which are rolled in its St. Thomas tortilla factory. All of this is in addition to more 350 tequilas which are featured prominently on its wall. It’s a fun environment with brightly colored murals throughout the restaurant and numerous TVs. Greengo’s is a great spot to catch your favorite sporting event too. Every day is happy hour at Greengo’s! It offers $5 margaritas, $3 Mexican beers and $3 house barrel tequila every day from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Cheers to that!
North Shore Deli
North Shore Deli is one of my go-to spots when I am looking for a great sandwich, breakfast and more. It serves house-roasted deli meats, as well as a myriad of other homemade Grab and Go selections. It’s a one stop shop for signature sandwiches and salads, Grab and Go, desserts, cocktails, cold drinks, smoothies and more. It even makes its own sauces and baked goods. Oh and it has one of the best homemade veggie burgers on island … Yum!
St. John Scoops
St. John Scoops makes its own ice cream right here on St. John. It offers ice cream, sorbet, adult ice cream (Did someone say Painkiller ice cream??!!) and waffle cones along with smoothies & Slush Puppies! Scoops uses local ingredients whenever possible and has lots of island favorite flavors like mango, guava, passionfruit, Soggy Dollar Painkiller and Blue Chair Bay Rum Cream ice cream and/or sorbet! Every hour is happy hour when you can add a shot as a topping to any ice cream, smoothie, or Slush Puppie!
(I am starting to get very hungry and thirsty just thinking about all of these great food and beverage offerings!)
Sun Dog Cafe
Sun Dog has been dishing up good eats for more than 20 years. It offers brunch, lunch and dinner in a casual courtyard setting. The New York Times made it a Travel and Leisure pick for St. John, commenting “a remarkable menu for a kitchen the size of a Volkswagen Beetle.” From the crab cake benedict at brunch, to a great chicken philly with roasted red pepper aioli at lunch, to shrimp vera cruz – a Sun Dog original – everything is prepared with love in its tiny kitchen. Sun Dog also offers live music. Its Wednesday Night Jam features aspiring and established musical talent playing impromptu, often with special guests, New Orleans Friday Night, with a jazz duet plus Jambalaya, Fish Fry, Shrimp Po Boys and more, Catch the Vibe Sunday Nights with Mark Wallace and Friends featuring Ivanna Chinnery. All music is 6 p.m. to 9 pm. It also features happy hour daily from 3:57 p.m. to 6 p.m. Yes, you read the time right. 🙂 It offers $3 domestic beers, $5 Painkillers and $7 Bushwackers. This spot is not to be missed.
The Tap Room
Last, but certainly not least is one of our favorite island spots – The Tap Room, a restaurant that prides itself on its fresh, locally crafted beers and sodas that they’ve have been creating on St. John since 2004. All of The Tap Room’s beers, sodas, and infusions are made in house. Its passionfruit gose specifically uses locally grown passion fruit from St. John, and salt from Salt Pond. I’m not sure it gets better than that, folks! They also use local guava, genips, and starfruit to make different versions of this gose. They offer happy hour daily from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. when you can enjoy $1 off all draft beers, and $5 off its delicious stone-fired pizzas.
So I’m sure by now, I’ve convinced you to try one, if not all, of these spots on your next trip. And if you are lucky enough to be visiting this month, here are a few events you will want to check out:
There is live music five times a week in March! Sundays at Sun Dog Cafe, Mondays 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for Mongoose Monday, Wednesday Open Mic at Sun Dog, Thursdays Jazz Wine down at the Art Bar, and Friday New Orleans Jazz at Sun Dog. Bajo el Sol will also have Rhyme & Lime, Saturday, March 28th.
Now what are you waiting for folks, go ahead and plan your next visit!
Tag: Where to eat on St. John