Sunset on St John

Best Restaurants in St John USVI

December 17, 2020

St. John is the smallest island in the USVI, but that doesn’t mean that restaurateurs don’t fit in a dizzying array of eating establishments here. From fine dining to comfort food to cuisine with national flair, St. John certainly rocks the food scene. However, with such a large selection, you may find yourself wondering which ones you should try out during your travels. Fortunately, we’ve narrowed down 10 of the very best for you that you’re sure to enjoy. Let’s discuss what to expect when dining in before you head out.

What to Expect When Dining in St John's

Restaurants work hard to make your dining experience one you will never forget so expect slower service than you are used to at home. When it comes to making their exceptional food, the restaurant is often sourcing local ingredients from local farmers and artisans and then deftly preparing it in their kitchens. The fare is definitely not the fast food you may be used to, and nor should you want it to be. 

Some of the restaurants on this list don’t take reservations, but it’s still best to make them whenever possible. Also, get there early, as being located on an island usually means supplies are limited. Running out of ingredients is normal and expected, so don’t be surprised if a certain dish sells out. However, you can limit the chance of it happening or experiencing a long wait if you get there early. 

Many of the restaurants close early, usually by 9 pm. A few spots that serve the late-night crowd, such as The Tap Room, which stays open until 11 pm. Due to Covid-19, please call the restaurants as things change every day. It’s important to always wear a proper mask and observe COVID guidelines and social distancing when visiting restaurants in the USVI.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way and got you hungry for more, let’s dig into that top 10 list, shall we?

Top 10 Restaurants in St John

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1. La Tapa

La Tapa is a contemporary street-side restaurant in the heart of Cruz Bay that offers an eclectic collection of dishes with an authentic Spanish flair. USA Today lists it as one of the top ten restaurants in the USVI. Part of it making the A-List, no doubt, is owed to the rotating menu of fresh fish and vegetables they get from local fishers, farmers and artisans. The locale serves West Indian fare, aromatic seasoned meat and seafood, but they are probably the most well-known for their mean and loaded paella. There is no children’s menu, per se, but the chef can whip up kid-friendly plates of pasta and mini-sized entrees. On Mondays, you can enjoy live jazz music.  

Restaurant Facts

Address & Telephone

CENTERLINE RD

CRUZ BAY, ST. JOHN  

340.693.7755

website

2. Sun Dog Café 

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The Sun Dog Café is a popular alfresco gem that has garnered accolades as a popular travel and leisure pick, even though it has a kitchen about the size of a Volkswagen Bug. The spot provides opportunities to enjoy dinner the night you arrive on St. John or to enjoy brunch before you catch the ferry on your last day of the trip. Menu listings at the Sun Dog offer everything from salads and sandwiches to pizza and more. For dinner, you can tackle the whimsically named the “Burrito That Ate Cruz Bay” and wash it down with their signature melon liqueur-loaded piña colada, the Geckolada.

Restaurant Facts

Address & Telephone

NORTH SHORE RD
CRUZ BAY, ST. JOHN  

340.693.8340

website

3. High Tide Bar & Seafood Grill 

https://www.instagram.com/hightidebarandseafoodgrill/

High Tide, located on Cruz Bay Beach, is an open-air restaurant with a family-friendly vibe. You can start with conch fritters served with remoulade sauce  and move on to food that sticks to your ribs like Surf & Turf, a Smoked Pork Cubano or a Mahi-mahi sandwich. After your main course, you can snack on some Mango Passionfruit Cheesecake. The kids' menu at High Tide includes favorites such as chicken tenders and hot dogs and fries. Patrons can soak up the sunset vistas over Cruz Bay while enjoying live music or catching a game on one of their big screens. 

Restaurant Facts

Address & Telephone

STRAND ST.

CRUZ BAY, ST. JOHN  

340.714.6169

website

4. Skinny Legs Bar & Grill

https://www.instagram.com/skinnylegsvi/

It’s not a vacation without a visit to Skinny Legs in Coral Bay. The restaurant sits alongside achingly beautiful beaches, and the food at this bar is very affordable, allowing you to eat comfort food and sip rum cocktails without breaking the bank.  Their menu includes specialty sandwiches, salads and pulled pork nachos with house-made tortilla chips & fresh salsa. However, it’s their juicy cheeseburgers with extra toppings and seasonings that really slay. Skinny Legs also features fun activities such as sports, horseshoes and darts. The laid-back vibe there is perfect, and you may even catch a glimpse of Coral Bay’s native wild donkeys strolling by while you’re lounging. 

Restaurant Facts

Address & Telephone

9901 ESTATE EMMAUSST

CORAL BAY, ST JOHN

340.779.4982

website

5. 1864 the Restaurant

Diners on Trip Advisor said it best, “DON’T MISS THIS PLACE!” What they are talking about 1864, Extra Virgin Bistro’s “oh my” sister restaurant that opened back in June. Since then, the high-end seafood spot has been getting rave reviews for their sophisticated wine list, gorgeously plated entrees and amazing atmosphere. Chef Tommy Garfield leads the mighty kitchen staff at 1864, and his team creates incredible culinary masterpieces like House Summer Rolls filled with ingredients such as colossal blue crab and fresh local mango. The raw bar has offerings such as patriot oysters, chilled colossal crabmeat and oyster and quail egg shooters. 

Restaurant Facts

Address & Telephone

MONGOOSE JUNCTION, SUITE 503

CRUZ BAY, ST JOHN

340.774.1864

website

6. Cruz Bay Landing

If Cruz Bay Landing doesn’t serve the best breakfast in St. John, they have come in a close second. They offer diners an extensive breakfast menu, and it’s a good place to fuel up for the travels ahead. Breakfast consists of several styles of eggs benedict, fancy pancakes, loaded breakfast sandwiches and more. For an even more intense food experience, pair breakfast with one of their tropical or sorbet flavors of mimosas or stop in later for an espresso martini made with locally roasted coffee from the Virgin Islands. Cruz Bay Landing has wickedly good vegetarian Rotis for lunch, too. On Tuesday – Sunday, you can order fresh cut steaks and listen to live music. 

Restaurant Facts

Address & Telephone

6D CRUZ BAY TOWN 

ST JOHN

340.776.6908

website

7. Lime Inn Restaurant & Bar

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Decorated in a fun-colored citrus theme, is one of Cruz Bay’s longest-running restaurants, the Lime Inn. Guests can choose from three, four, or six-course tasting menus, and their specialties are simply works of art. Gastronomic delights include clam chowder from a passed down family recipe and Basilica del Mar with Basil Pistou Fettuccine that’s laden with ocean-fresh clams, mussels and shrimp. They make pasta such as the black squid ink fettuccine they serve with Grilled Wild Salmon themselves. Moreover, pie devotees shouldn’t duck out before trying their decadent Semifreddo, a frozen key lime pie with a graham cracker crust, house whipped cream and candied lime zest. 

Restaurant Facts

Address & Telephone

KING STREET

CRUZ BAY, ST JOHN

340.776.6425

website

8. The Longboard

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Sushi lovers rejoice! The Longboard, one of the hottest restaurants in the Caribbean, is for you.  Guests from all over flock to this surf locale, and once you dig into the flavors of this coastal kitchen, you’ll see why. They don’t take reservations, and because of that, it’s always a good idea to get there early. Once you score a table, though, you’ll be privy to delicious poke bowls, sushi rolls, ceviches and a “longboard” of gourmet tacos – all prepared using local Caribbean spices, freshly-caught seafood, and locally-grown fruit, herbs and greens. Yes, Please!

Restaurant Facts

Address & Telephone

1 PRINCE ST, 

CRUZ BAY, ST. JOHN

340.715.2210

website

9. Woody's Seafood Saloon

Please do yourself a favor while you’re in St. John, and make a stop at Woody’s to get their fantastic Shark Bites. Their buttery, cajun spiced Bites are made out of, drumroll please, Mahi-mahi (much to the relief of sharks everywhere). Woody’s also has good music, a fun atmosphere, tasty bar food and a kicking happy hour. Guests keep coming back for standbys such as homemade pickles, creamy pasta salad with crab, hamburgers and conch fritters. Of course, what is dinner without Woody's signature Bushwacker? Their flavorful take on this Virgin Islands original is arguably one of the island’s best, and it packs a wallop, too. 

Restaurant Facts

Address & Telephone

PRINCE ST, 

CRUZ BAY, ST JOHN

website

10. Morgan’s Mango Restaurant

Last but not least, is Morgan’s Mango. This north shore restaurant features a sensory experience that it owes to a seafood-heavy menu selection and West Indian-Latin flare. Dive right in with an appetizer of Argentinian fusion empanadas, Fresh Catch of the Day served Voodoo Style (blackened and served with salsa), or Tuna Tartare served with Yucca Chips. Another excellent pick, whether you are vegetarian or not, is the veggie platter. The dish comes with quinoa risotto, local organic greens, fried sweet plantains, black beans, fresh seasonal vegetables and truffle-infused mashed sweet potatoes. Try the bread pudding for dessert (flavors change daily), or slurp on one of their tropical frozen bar drinks while enjoying the ambiance.

Restaurant facts

Address & Telephone

North Shore Rd

Cruz Bay, St. John

340.693.8141

website

Book a Luxurious Villa

The true acid test for a really good food guide is if it makes you hungry while you are putting it together. And as you’ve probably guessed, this one had us wanting to head out for some delicious USVI grub and cocktails by the time we finished. To book a luxe villa or get information about fun things to do, see and eat during your USVI vacation, please contact us at the Hills, St. John. 

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