Authentic food in St. Thomas?
Does anyone know where to get authentic, Islands food in St. Thomas that is not ridiculously overpriced? This is my family's third trip to St. Thomas, which is an amazingly beautiful place to visit, but with poor options for food. Ok, not poor, but it's hard to find food that is representative of the island for dinner. During the day there's lots of options, particularly in Charlotte Amalie, ranging from trucks to sit-down places. However, at night we've mostly eaten either overpriced Euro places (Craig and Sally's) or overpriced pub food. I've never been very impressed with the European places, and while I understand the island mark-up, the quality is never up to snuff. I can't decide if this is a shortage of quality ingredients of chefs, or a deliberate attempt to take advantage of visitors who may be willing to spend money to get to the island but won't know any better about food.
Instead, I'd rather eat dinner somewhere more representative of the island. (I can get overpriced Euro food or crappy pub burgers back home.) Is Trenchtown Rock any good (even if it's Jamaican, not St. Thomasian.) Anywhere else? I'm all for the trucks near the St. John ferry, but my parents are timid. Any other options?
Well, I'm a fan of Craig and Sally's, so I may not be your best advisor.
That said: Cafe Amalia, near the touristy shopping/harbor area, serves fair to pretty good Spanish tapas. However, they have a chorizo-stuffed burger—topped with manchego cheese and olive tapenade, and served on a buttery bun, crisped on the cut side—that was so mind-blowingly delicious I returned to get another one the very next day. They'll even cook it medium-rare.
I don't see it on the online menu, so maybe it's a lunch-only thing?
Are you open to taking the ferry over to STJ? If so, we like the Lime Inn. Local lobsters are available most nights. Lots of local fish opinions, our favorite is the whole grilled snapper.
Sogo's is probably the closest thing to West Indian cooking, you will find goat curries, pates and the like. It is a very casual, concrete floors, plastic furniture type of place
Both have been open for years and years, a testiment to the quality of their food and service. Both are an easy walk from the ferry dock.
We had a really poor lunch experience at Cuzzin's two weeks ago. No conch salad, but had conch for fritters and full dinners (too much food for mid day). so opted for fritters which proved to be more fritter than conch so maybe they were running low or out of conch. Anyway, rest of lunch menu looked worse than the tourist oriented Paradise bar down the alley way between Front and Main. Glady's in the Royal Dane Mall area would be an interesting option to try next time or Sea Side Inn near Red Hook.
Ate at Gladys' this week. Conch fritters were OK- like a hush puppy. Conch chowder was OK. Nothing was great, but it was a cute place with great service. Cuzzins was recommended as local food but we didn't make it . Udderly Delight was soooo good and near Magen's Bay. Rum Raisen shake , with rum of course.
I wouldn't say authentic food in St. Thomas is all that good, even in Charlotte Amalie. Glady's is okay. In fact, I wouldn't eat anything on their regular menu. The authentic stuff like salt fish and oxtail are on their "specials."
In true Caribbean fashion, the nomenclature for the island residents and their food is fun & quirky. St Thomas = St. Thomians, St John = St. Johnians (pronounced jone-ian) and St. Croix = Crucians. Just a little FYI.
That being said, I would recommend Victors New Hideout - up on the hill overlooking Crown Bay. Good view, good food and affordable to boot. Check it out!
The New Latitude 18 has awesome ethnic food. At least one of the new owners is fr Trinidad, I believe. Every other Sunday night for dinner is Carib food. The other Sunday nights are southern/country home cooking. Lunch & dinner menus have curried rotis and other 'local' food. Reasonably priced. Live music most night too!
So we were in St Thomas two weeks ago and had a little misadventure on the Safari Bus that left us on random stretch of road past Red Hook.
It was the best thing that could have happened to us-- we saw a tiny outdoor bar with two tables and went to see if they were cooking anything up.
We were treated to a delicious and cheap ($12 per plate) meal cooked by a rasta guy named Bow. He just opened the place, and intends to have music there several nights a week.
We had jerked chicken and a whole pan-fried grunt (a little tasty fish). Both came with a little salad and rice n beans. Delicious, and as authentic as you can get.
Bow sat and talked with us for about 45 minutes as well. We were the only ones there, except for the occasional friends who stopped by.
Do yourself a favor and avoid all the other "authentic" or blatantly tourist crap on St Thomas (the Johnians call is "St Trauma"). Go give Bow your business
He's at 42 Frydenhoj, across from the Food Center supermarket, on the lower road between Red Hook and Charlotte Amalie