caribbean food

Find out what to eat and drink for a complete Caribbean experience. (Photo: Getty Images)

Eat + Drink

Island Flavors: Tuck Into the Best St. Thomas Restaurants and Cuisine

They say that gastronomy is the heart of every culture and the island of St. Thomas is no exception. St. Thomas restaurants and cuisine represent a mixture of Caribbean flavors, unique ingredients and aromas that delight the palate. You’ll certainly never know a place in its entirety until you have tasted its local cuisine.

While enjoying St. Thomas’s alluring beaches, unrivaled sunsets and dazzling landscapes, try some of its typical dishes and immerse yourself in its succulent recipes—rich in flavor, color and aroma.

This gastronomic guide, designed for all kinds of taste buds, will recommend what to eat and drink in order to live a complete St. Thomas Caribbean experience—captivating dishes and cocktails full of unmissable flavors.

Callaloo Soup for Health Food Lovers

bowl of callaloo soup
Rich in vitamins, this flavorful soup is typical in several Caribbean islands. (Photo: Getty Images)

This soup with a funny name is a delicious Caribbean dish made with a combination of crushed taro or malanga leaves, diced squash, onion, celery, cayenne pepper, hot chili, coconut milk, and a mixture of fine herbs that are sure to wake up your taste sensations.

Rich in vitamins, this flavorful soup is typical in several Caribbean islands. Try it at Gladys Café as a starter and get ready to enjoy its mix of flavors.

Patí: The Caribbean Version of Empanadas

Think of a fried empanada (meat pie), only this version is richer and tastier than any other recipe. This popular Caribbean bite can be filled with beef, pork, chicken or fish marinated with spices.

Its dough is soft and tasty, typically made by local streets vendors. The patí is ideal to try during a picnic or after a relaxing day spent seaside. Bumpa offers a delicious version.

Make Way for the Conch, the Snail King of the Caribbean

salad made with conch
A salad made with conch, the snail king of the Caribbean. (Photo: Getty Images)

Caribbean cuisine is recognized worldwide for its unique flavors, explosive combinations and for its ingredients. And the classic dish, conch (or lambí), is no exception. Known as the “snail king”, the conch is a sea snail species that is very common on all the islands of the Caribbean.

This coastal dish is an aphrodisiac by nature and can be served in different ways: as a fried food stewed with garlic, curry and spicy soups, or served au gratin with white wine in its shell. Its flavor is similar to that of clams. Try it at Jen’s Island Cafe for an unmatched experience.

Fungi: The Star Side dish

Don’t let its name fool you. This classic Caribbean Island dish bears no relation to mushrooms. To describe this dish, think of a Caribbean-style polenta made from cornmeal.

Soft and creamy, this fungi bite is served as a side dish in every five-star restaurant or neighborhood joint. Accompany it with fried fish, chicken, or beef. The fungi served at Petite Pump Room is the perfect starter for any main course.

The Painkiller: The Virgin Islands’ Most Popular Cocktail

painkiller cocktail
Refreshing and tasty, the painkiller is ideal to be enjoyed during happy hour at sunset. (Photo: Getty Images)

If you are visiting St. Thomas, you cannot miss The Painkiller, one of the most celebrated cocktails on the island. This drink is made with rum, pineapple juice, coconut and orange juice.

Refreshing and tasty, enjoy it during happy hour at sunset. Order one (or two) at Greengos Cantina.

The Cruzan: An Indigenous St. Thomas Option

Made with Cruzan Rum, a rum especially prepared in the US Virgin Islands, this drink is a definite must-taste. Served with freshly made pineapple or strawberry juice, the Cruzan cocktail mixes fruit flavors—ideal for those who prefer sweeter options.

We recommend ordering one while enjoying the sea’s proximity at Fish Tails.

The Bushwacker: A Sweet Tooth’s Dream

Think milkshake-turned-cocktail that can be sampled at any local bar. Made with Baileys, amaretto and kahlua, this cocktail is a real happy hour dessert designed especially for those with a penchant for sweet and creamy options.

The Paradise Point Restaurant bar claims to be the home of the Bushwacker, so be sure to ask for one there.