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Oct 21, 2004 04:34 PM

St. John's In USVI Recs

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Five of us are going for a girl's week vacation in St. John's in November. Any recent recs on restaurants, markets, local haunts are appreciated. Thanks 'Hounds

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    If you have a car, the single best thing on the island is Vie's Snack Shack in the rather deserted East End of the island. Conch fritters, johnny cakes, pates, and other yummy local things like fried chicken or chicken stew depending on the day of the week, Vie's mood, and what time you get there. Literally a shack, with a few picnic tables surrounded by aggressive scrap-seeking chickens (the cousins of the deliciously fried ones you'll be eating). Vie is a delight, and the food is finger-licking good, and doesn't cost much either. Only for lunch.

    In Cruz Bay, we liked Uncle Joe's BBQ, an outdoor patio with chicken and ribs grilling away and sending up a wonderful smell that reels you in, as well as Fred's, west Indian food and tropical foofy drinks and live music at night. Both are very informal and quite cheap, attracting locals as well as tourists.
    There's also a guy with a cooler and a grill selling Caribbean lunches (fish, lobster, conch) directly across from the ferry landing. Yum.

    Miss Lucy's in Salt Pond was slightly more upscale, but only slightly, with good West Indian food, and a serene outdoor patio far away from the Margaritaville aspects of Cruz Bay.

    I can't recommend the food at either Caneel Bay (where I stayed part of the time) or the Westin (where some of our friends were). Stupid "continental" stuff not worth the money.

    Don't expect great variety - it's all fried fish, conch or chicken, with generous helpings of hot sauce and the delicious johnny cakes (a fried pouchy type thing) and pates (the local take on Jamaican style patties - NOT what we think of as pates). But it's hearty and yummy and if you follow the locals, you'll do OK.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Elaine(Snutteplutten)

      For some good local recs, post on's board's (both) and I'm sure you'll have lots of replies. There are bunches of good places to eat on ST. John. And they run the gamut from the super casual to upscale. Nice thing about "upscale" here is that you don't need to be dressed up. Bermuda shorts, Hawaiian shirt and sandals are fine for men. Comparable for women (I would write down what they wear, but I don't know what they are called! Haha! Sundresses? Blouses? Wraps? I dunno!

      Elaine's post is right on. I would also add "Skinnylegs" to the list. It's not a West Indian place, but it is very "local", with the boaties and long-time ex-pats on island and good prices, too. Caneel Bay has a Sunday brunch that is wonderful, but it's something like $55/per...includes drinks,though!

      Definitely rent a car while on island so you can explore. I mean, taxis will do the trick, but they charge "per person" and you must have a destination in mind. Can get kinda pricey.

      To avoid strange looks, there is no "S" in "St. John". "St. John's" is a city on the island of Antigua. "St. John" is an island in the USVI. People here are kind of anal about it. Haha!