While island dining may have its unifying features wherever you go, there is something about the Caribbean that will make any food lovers’ heart skip a beat. There is nothing cookie-cutter about the charming islands in the Caribbean as each has its own unique history, influences, and traditions that have developed over the years. This in return has left an imprint in everything from the local culture to the cuisine and it couldn’t be truer here on the U.S. Virgin Islands, too. Where sugarcane plantations once stood, glorious luxury resorts have now found their home and rum has, in return, found its way into mouthwatering culinary inventions. From conch fritters to butter-sauteed Caribbean lobster and refreshing papaya salads, the cuisine here is both inspiring and delightful. Accompanied by some of the world’s finest wines in award-winning restaurants, you can expect some of your most memorable meals to be served right here in the US Virgin Islands.
Caribbean Fish Market
If there is one thing to love about island dining, on top of those al fresco evenings in the warm Caribbean breeze sitting under the stars, it is the incredibly fresh food with an always unique local flair. An embodiment of that, without a doubt, is the Caribbean Fish Market in St. Thomas. While the name might imply a buzzing, loud traditional fish market, this place is anything but. The welcoming restaurant has an incredibly vast and fresh seafood offer but the place itself is known for a relaxed fine dining atmosphere, which creates the most remarkable result. World-class staff will advise you on the freshest daily options for locally caught seafood or offer fantastic choices for meat lovers and vegetarians alike. As you sip a glass of chilled Marlborough sauvignon blanc paired with some of the chefs’ finest creations, an extra treat for your senses comes in the form of soft melodies from the on-site Piano Bar. That’s what we call dining Caribbean style!
Galangal in Christiansted is all about the French Asian Fusion Cuisine served in an intimate Southeast Asian-style dining room full of authentic artifacts from various countries. This authentic connection is at the very essence of Galangal as spices and curry powders are brought directly from various regions in Thailand to create memorable dishes served here, at the heart of Christiansted. The restaurant has been favored by locals and travelers alike for over a decade, since the restaurant’s opening in 2008. The flavorsome menu fits perfectly in this tropical setting with its refreshing options of cold Vietnamese summer rolls, Thai style coconut soup with galangal and shrimp, local green papaya salad, and beautifully prepared catch of the day seafood options. Gently braised Asian beef short ribs and a rack of lamb are perfect for meat lovers and the quality of each dish doesn’t cease to impress.
Located at the very heart of the Cruz Bay, Terrace is a French-influenced restaurant redefining fine dining in the Virgin Islands. Chef Erica Miner leads the culinary parade with the goal to offer an elevated yet accessible menu full of fresh local and flown-in seafood, premium cuts of meat, and other remarkable ingredients that come together in a well-orchestrated fine dining experience. A clear favorite not just due to the fantastic dishes, but also the spectacular view – Terrace overlooks a gorgeous waterfront vista from its rustic stone terrace setting offering the diners a truly romantic setting for their meals. Caribbean lobster, grass-fed beef, juicy lamb, and locally-grown greens and herbs are the star players on the varied menu, where each dish is prepared with careful precision and passion for good food. Moreover, Terrace is renowned for its extensive wine list, which has earned this restaurant numerous awards and recognitions, including the Wine Spectator Awards in 2015 and 2016.
Zion Modern Kitchen
Zion Modern Kitchen in Christiansted boasts a modern laid-back atmosphere with a hint of old island charm that puts the incredibly refreshing culinary creations and artisan cocktails first. Island-inspired cuisine will persuade everyone who has tried it once to plan the next visit as the fresh options are truly some of the finest in the Virgin Islands. Pepper-crusted yellowfin tuna with wasabi aioli and a teriyaki drizzle proves that with a little bit of imagination and true culinary craftsmanship well-loved dishes can spark newfound joy. The half roasted chicken is dressed in cruzan rum mushroom gravy that again puts a unique spin on more of a traditional dish. For the talented individuals working at Zion Modern Kitchen, the show doesn’t just stop with food – you won’t find a cookie-cutter cocktail here. Each cocktail has been reinvented to meet a new standard that reflects the spirit of boh Zion Modern Kitchen and St. Croix itself.
Ingredient-driven and thriving on historic influences, Balter in Christiansted is a restaurant where eclectic cuisine with French, British, and West Indian roots come together to form something truly unique. Chef Brian Wisbauer embraces local recipes and seasonal produce foraged from the mangroves, ocean beds, and the rainforest. Freshness is key thus creating a well-balanced and island-appropriate menu that feeds both the body and soul. The Balter purple salad is an amazingly refreshing creation with shaved radishes, roasted beets, port-poached apples, local greens, goat cheese, and toasted pecans. The Guyanese curried duck leg with plantain basmati croquette is something where you will truly see the historic influences come to life. Balter is founded by sommelier Patrick Kralik thus incredible wine pairings are to be expected.