Saint Thomas Dining, Bars and Pubs
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Discover places to eat, local hot spots, bars and pubs in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
There is no shortage of places to eat and drink on St. Thomas. While the major hotels have multiple restaurants that offer everything from burgers to bouillabaisse, most visitors like to venture out a time or two to sample some of the island's fare. Like the cultural stew that makes up St. Thomas, restaurant menus reflect a cross section of cuisines. While many of the dishes might be found on menus at home, others carry a Caribbean influence. Plantains, a banana-like vegetable, often come with your dinner and chutney is the de rigueur condiment. The island's ties to the United States have led many culinary school graduates to head here for stints at the most prestigious restaurants. They demand the best ingredients and create lovely presentations, a culinary aspect that trickles down to less-pricey restaurants.
Aside from fine restaurants, you will find dozens of other more casual dining options scattered around the island. They range from cozy seaside bistros to roadside stands featuring West Indian dishes. The hotels welcome you even if you are not a guest. The style and ambience of the dining and drinking scene varies widely, but by and large, expect things to be informal.
St. Thomas is among the more expensive places to dine out, but not any more so than a big city like New York or London. If you are used to more modest prices, the dinner tab can come as a shock. Since nearly everything is imported, shipping adds to the cost. A 15 to 20 percent tip is expected at the island's restaurants.
The island's main town serves as its culinary heart. Dozens of bistros welcome cruise ship passengers for lunch. At night, hotel guests and locals fill the tables.
At the upper end of the credit card bill and opposite ends of town, Virgilio's and Hervé Restaurant & Wine Bar attract well-heeled customers for fine dining in lovely surroundings. Hervé Restaurant & Wine Bar, on Kongen's Gade, provides lovely views and a fusion of French, Italian and Caribbean cuisine. Virgilio's, a local hot spot for in-town government officials and professionals, leans toward Northern Italian.
A tad less pricey are spots like the casual Café Amici in A.H. Riise Mall for burgers, salads and sandwiches or Lillian's Caribbean Grill to dine on West Indian fare like kallallo, a spicy okra stew, or local fish and fungi, made or cornmeal and okra.
For budget meals, try Texas Pit BBQ. This take-out stand has three locations in St. Thomas. Gladys's Cafe, in the alleyway shopping area called Royal Dane Mall, dishes up a mixed bag of American and Caribbean food to an equally eclectic clientele.
Hillsides outside Charlotte Amalie
Banana Tree Grille at Bluebeard's Castle Hotel is a hike up from Charlotte Amalie, so take a taxi if you are not staying there. The restaurant dishes up delicious contemporary fare along with its sumptuous view.
Mafolie Restaurant at the Mafolie Hotel is a hot spot for steak and seafood as well as gorgeous views of the Charlotte Amalie Harbor.
Havensight is home to numerous restaurants, most catering to the cruise ship crowd that throngs the area every day. Delly Deck in Havensight Mall is an island standby. Serving standard fare like burgers, reubens and fried chicken, it can be one busy place. Across the street at Al Cohen Mall sits Pizza Amore, home to pizza by the slice and huge submarine sandwiches for take out or eating in. For a little nicer ambience, try the Havensight Café in Havensight Mall. The food runs to sandwiches and specialties like bagels and lox.
Frenchtown, a small community near Charlotte Amalie, is a food connoisseur's paradise. Great restaurants sit cheek and jowl with casual bistros. Alexander's Cafe, open for lunch and dinner, sees a good smattering of visitors joining local business types for eclectic fare. The patés are especially good.
Between Charlotte Amalie and Red Hook
A string of hotel-based restaurants on both the north and south coasts serve a wide variety of cuisines in varying settings.
On the south shore and a few miles east of Charlotte Amalie and the Havensight area, the huge Marriott Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort and the adjacent Morning Star Beach Resort reign over the restaurant scene. Havana Blue, a lovely seaside restaurant serving Latin-fusion food, is the best of the lot.
In Estate Nazareth, on the south coast, Blue Moon Cafe at Secret Harbor Beach Resort conjures up contemporary cuisine with tropical flair in a lovely beachfront setting.
Visitors heading out of Charlotte Amalie towards Red Hook along the northern route should not miss Randy's Wine Bar & Bistro. Located in the Al Cohen's Plaza, along with a paint store, a bakery and a dentist, the restaurant with its American-style menu is a local favorite.
Located on the north coast at the Point Pleasant Resort, the Agave Terrace is one of the island's best restaurants. With several prestigious awards on its wall, the restaurant serves mostly seafood.
Bustling Red Hook is home to several restaurants. The casual Grateful Deli in the Red Hook Shopping Plaza serves up eclectic cuisine popular with locals. Since it is also a cyber-café, you can check your e-mail while you eat.
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