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bsnave Jul 20th, 2006 03:27 AM

St. John Restaurants?
My husband and I will be visiting St. John in October. We'll be staying at Caneel but would like to enjoy the restaurants in Cruz Bay for dinners. Any suggestions for casual, good eating spots? Also, where would you recommend for a special anniversary dinner - a romantic place with a nice view and good food - anywhere on St. John?

mahobaygirl Jul 20th, 2006 03:59 AM

We always stay in Coral Bay and tend to eat at the villa or in the coral Bay restaurants. However, we always make a trip to Cruz Bay for Uncle Joe's BBQ!

poss Jul 20th, 2006 06:50 AM

Zozo's-- the restaurant "atop" Gallows Point: wonderful view and very good food (last there 2 yrs ago-- don't know if there've been changes)
Happy Anniversary! Many many more casual restaurants in Cruz (they're all pretty casual). Check under Restaurants: St John

christiegr Jul 20th, 2006 07:21 AM

For casual we enjoyed Compass Rose at the Mini Golf place up the road from the Dolphin Market.

They gave us a drink at sunset and the sunset view was amazing!

Other places that we enjoyed:

Sundog Cafe in Moongoose Junction
Deli Grotto for a sandwich
La Tapa has great calamari
JJ's Texas Toast
The Beach Bar

Others love The Lime Inn but our experience was just OK.

Have fun! The time of year that you are going is will basically have the beaches to yourself!:)


iamq Jul 20th, 2006 07:22 AM

For casual places, we had great fish and Caribbean lobster at The Lime Inn and good fish at The Fish Trap. The food at Margarita Phil's was also very tasty.

Our favorite meal on the island was over in Coral Bay at Sweet Plantains.


tewels Jul 20th, 2006 12:15 PM

Zozo's for romantic sunset dinner.
Don't miss the fried calamari!

christiegr Jul 20th, 2006 03:36 PM

We also enjoyed Margarita Phil's ...they have great Lobster tacos!


kinners Jul 21st, 2006 10:38 AM

Anniversary dinner you could go to Equator at Caneel or Asolare. A more casual option would be The Balcony--you eat right on the waterfront.

CaliNurse Jul 21st, 2006 12:04 PM

Second Mahobay's rec for Uncle Joe's BBQ To-die-for ribs !!!!!

BTW, Since you'll be at Caneel- heard the lunch buffet there is great, not too expensive, with wonderful mouthwatering desserts. It's on my "next-time" list.

bsnave Jul 21st, 2006 08:10 PM

Thanks to all of you for the wonderful tips! We are really looking forward to St. John to celebrate our 35th anniversary.

CaliNurse Jul 21st, 2006 11:37 PM

Bsnave, Is the "71" in your email address for the yr you were married? Happy planning and anticipating for your 35th Anniversary!!
(Sorry if this is a duplicate--Fodors posting momentarily stalled out.)

brenandg Jul 22nd, 2006 08:15 AM

The Lime Inn was our favorite meal. Also liked La Tapa alot. Definitely try Uncle Joe's BBQ. Very good. No sign, just look for the big silver grill by the ferry dock or follow your nose.

publisher Jul 22nd, 2006 08:50 AM


As a St Johnian resident there is no need to leave Caneel to dine really. But if you must have a quiet intimate anniversary dinner, Zozo's tends to be busy and noisy in my opinion.

I'd do either la Tapa and reserve the table inside left corner not on a Monday or Saturday....or better yet-Stone terrace which has a beautiful view of Cruz Bay--ask for far corner terrace table away from bar.

For the best sunset dining both lunch and dinner go to Panini Beach Trattoria at Wharfside Village.

Casual dining is best at Fishtrap Restaurant with the best seafood on the island!

Uncle Joe's BBQ across from post office is simply awesome--totally unpretentious and delicious and affordable.

The new 30 year veteran executive chef at Westin Resort is cooking up killer food beachside and that open to public.

Coral Bay: Island Blues.

Check out this web site for more information about lifestyle and culture in Virgin Islands and St. John.

CaliNurse Jul 22nd, 2006 11:46 AM

Publisher, so glad you mentioned the Westin!! The Beachside Cafe Restaurant was wonderful for dinner--7 entrees, 7 happy folks!!
Plus, location on the beach with gas-lit torches, flow-through breezes, live music, friendly and attentive service, made for a lovely "vibe."

poss Jul 22nd, 2006 12:35 PM

Jumping in here with question to Publisher: I'm beginning to believe I may need to re-think our plans for our Dec. St John trip. We've happily vacationed there half a dozen times, splitting our 10 days between Gallows and Caneel (the later whose food I think is mediocre at best, by the way-- even at the Equator, which is not so bad; Sugar Mill terrible). But: Having very quiet accommodations is most impt to us (one of the reasons we enjoy Caneel). All our stays at Gallows have been very quiet (we're in unit 7) and also Zozo's has always been nice and quiet. If for one reason or another, Zozo's has significantly changed since we've been there (2-3 yrs ago), I'm going to look for somewhere other than Gallows. Would appreciate in-put from you or others. Thanks much!

publisher Jul 22nd, 2006 05:01 PM

We put all our friends at Gallows. Units 1 through 8 off season.1 thru 5 in season.

In season the units directly across from ZOzo's get the noise...

We have guests dine at Stone Terrace for award winning food and wine list, Panini for the best sunsets and awesome northern italian, La tapa for everything, Fishtrap for seafood, joe's BBQ for amazing BBQ cheap across from psot office...all short walks from Gallows---

Zozo's also changed chef's from founding chef "scotty" to another.

Caneel has new executive chef Alex Chen who's food is great!

Same for Westin St. John--new chef and great food.

Come back!

poss Jul 23rd, 2006 03:09 PM

Thanks, Publisher: In fact, we're in Unit 3 (I'd forgotten), so I assume that'll be fine noise-wise. I do hope the new chef at Caneel is good-- my husband and I both thought the food was pretty medicore two years ago. (But, ah, the beaches and the snorkeling!)

bluefan Jul 23rd, 2006 03:22 PM

hey publisher (and others please chime in), which restaurants would be suitable with a 2.5yr old?

good to hear that the Westin and Caneel have new, terrific chefs as we'll be visiting both in late October

publisher Jul 23rd, 2006 04:14 PM

2.5 year old???

humm....westin can handle it...

Avoid la tapa, stone terrace, Panini....

FISHTRAP rstaurant across from Wharfside village in cruz bay.. would be perfect!
ASk chef owner Aaron to do a Sesame street "Bert and Ernie" routine !

THere's a pizza shop at Wharfside Village too...

CaliNurse Jul 23rd, 2006 04:45 PM

Bluefan, for casual food, if i recall right, are children's menu selection sandwiches at Deli Grotto in Cruz Bay's Mongoose Jct. Good food--eg sandwiches, light fare-- for all ages--tables outside or inside with AC! Also at Mango Deli in Westin Resort's shops area, where they will pack picnic lunch in a cooler you can take to the pool or out for the day.
I listed some favs on my TR. Since we were usually with small children, including 4 yr old, all listed would be appropriate for your 2.5 yr old.
If you can, drive out one day to Haulover, and have a simple lunch at Vie's--her 2 yr old grandson may be there to play with your little one. It's a different island feel from Westin or Caneel. You can also use Vie's family beach across the road. It was lovey-- on my list for next visit!

publisher Jul 23rd, 2006 04:58 PM

I agree!

Deli Grotto really nice...owner Dan used to operate the infamous Grateful Deli in St. Thomas.

Coral bay: Vie's is what St John is all about from a historical well as miss lucy' gotta try the full moon party pig roast! Family freindly too!

jackiehammond Jul 23rd, 2006 08:59 PM

For casual, I liked Woody's (great calamari and good burgers). I also loved the island salad at the Equator. Paradiso in Cruz Bay had okay food, imo. Stay away from the chocoate eruption dessert at the Equator for $20...not very good, and i LOVE chocolate!

happy anniversary! :)

bluefan Jul 23rd, 2006 09:22 PM

thank u to all my fellow fodorites

gofishtlp Jul 25th, 2006 06:38 AM

You may want to check out the list of restaurant closings posted by Ruth at St. John Spice for that time frame...

islandizzy Aug 4th, 2006 10:07 AM

Happy Anniversary. You will love St. John and I hear its pretty quiet in October. We love the Stone Terrace and had our wedding there. Great all the way around. We enjoyed the food at Zozo but despite the beautiful view was not our favorite. Since when do you need a reservation to sit at a bar? We've had good experiences at La Tapa and Ten Tables. Get out to Skinny Legs for a burger if you can. Enjoy!

christiegr Aug 4th, 2006 04:45 PM


Senorita's Pizza is the name of the place in Wharfside Village that Publisher is referring to.

We ate there on our last trip (Sept 05).It was cheap and good pizza.You can sit outside at a table.

Also Ronnie's pizza is good.It's near Chilly Billy's if I remember correctly?It is family friendly with games for the kids to play.They also deliver!

The mini golf place is fun for kids.We took our 10,8 and 3 year old there in June 05 and all of them enjoyed it!


bluefan Aug 5th, 2006 10:47 PM

thanks christiegr,
you're quite a valued poster here on the caribbean forum. and if you haven't checked out the hawaii forum lately, i posted some recent vid clips on an island we both enjoy :D

happy anniversary and sorry about piggy-backing off your original question; nonetheless, it's been a fun and informative thread :)>-

Hols Aug 9th, 2006 01:27 PM

With all these responses, I can't believe that someone hasn't suggested Asolare or Chateau Bordeaux. Both would be perfect for a special anniversary dinner. They have great food and views with excellent atmosphere. You will need reservations.

Book at Asolare about an hour before sunset and the views towards St. Thomas are stunning. As for a table on the patio by the railing. The restaurant was originally a residence, with stone walls and charm. Very stylish. Locate just outside of Cruz Bay. French Asian fusion.

Chateau Bordeaux sits high up on the hill in the center of the island with views to the east overlooking the BVI. Again make sure you plan for sunset. The restaurant has a bit of a victorian feel IMHO. The food is excellent.

christiegr Aug 10th, 2006 07:05 AM

Thanks for sharing the info. on your video clips!I just viewed them and it was great!I especially liked the one Kee' Beach snorkeling..I love turtles!:)

Click on Bluefan's name and find the post titled "Video clips from that Hell Hole Kaua'i" will get to snorkel with a turtle!:)


NS07950 Aug 19th, 2006 07:47 AM

We are regulars at Caneel but rarely eat anything but breakfast or lunch there (and lunch is at the bar). There are so many interesting choices in town and the previous posters have covered all our favorites (Paninis, Stone Terrace,etc.). We love the Lime Inn (especially the frozen key lime pie! Definitely make sure you have reservations for dinner in December because the restaurants do get crowded.

carib Aug 19th, 2006 12:10 PM

Asolare or Chateau Bordeaux are highly over-rated and expensive for what you get. Asolare service and atmosphere is alot to be desired.

The old restaurant management group ownd by winston bennett (integrated resources) was sold to the new owner of The Balcony Restaurant,

Bennett's group ran asoloare, chateaux bordeaux, chloe and bernards, simple feast.

Simple feast was spun off. And has gone downhill as well.

Stick with La Tapa, Panini Beach, Stone Terrace, Fishtrap, Joe BBQ (cheap eat-best BBQ in islands) Lime Inn.

Check out new menu and world class chef and food at the Westin Resort. we loved it.

Avoid Zozo's too--- Overpriced for what you get. Great sunset--but a $12 glass of house wine?? Go to Panini or stone terrace for sunset.

Tage Restaurant chef Ted quit. We dont go there anymore.

Sundog is in a shopping center and can be hot with outside dining.

Margarita Phil's is cooked by a non-mexican trained "chef". Food is OK but not authentic really given prices charged.

bsnave Aug 24th, 2006 07:35 PM

Thanks so much to all of you for your great suggestions. We are really looking forward to our anniversary celebration in St. John!

Spoonty Aug 28th, 2006 11:41 PM

Well all I can say is, without a doubt best food on the island consistently is TEN TABLES.

The food is delicious and the view at sunset is glorious! It's fine dining in a casual setting with great, friendly service.

The new chef/owner Paul Trujillo will really look after you any time, especially on your anniversary I am sure.

It's relatively new so go try it - you'll love it. We did and we're going back whenever we're on the island.

I have a copy of the menu, if you'd like to take a look I can email it to you...

Beckie Sep 3rd, 2006 06:33 AM

Hello everyone, have enjoyed lurking on this site. Now that the Villa is booked and ticket's bought I have a couple of questions for Publisher and all.
We are three couples (50ish in age) staying in Southern Cross Villa in April. None of us have been to St. John before. The area is Chocolate Hole Bay. Can anyone tell me about the area in general? Do we need a car or is taking a cab the way to go? Are we near any great restaurant's? We are all food & wine lovers. There will be a very small wedding of one of the couples who have been together 20 yrs. Who would be the best caterer to call to come to the Villa, in your opinion? I believe the owner's of Southern Cross own The Lime Inn and see that some on this board have enjoyed it ... anybody know if they cater? They don't have e-mail.
Best beach? Best place to snorkel?
Sorry this is so long winded. Looking forward to hearing from you.

carib Sep 4th, 2006 08:01 PM


A very little known fact is that chef Alex Ewald at la Tapa does very exclusive catering under these circumstances.

She can be reached at [email protected]

Best restaurant is Stone Terrace with its Wine Spectator award winning list...the food is simply awesome.

Ten Tables suffers from a bad location and basic atmosphere. Food may be great but all dining is context-- lets face it--it overlooks a half built shopping center.

I've read publishers comments and agree with all of them...

I left the island a few months ago because of the problems on island...But I return 3 times aweek for business.

Weekends usually Sunday I snorkel at Hawknest.

Tuxedocat Sep 4th, 2006 08:26 PM

Okay, Carib, that was a bit too tantalizing... what do you mean "problems on the island"...inquiring minds who own property om STJ want to know.

Beckie Sep 5th, 2006 05:18 AM

Thanks for your reply carib I will check out La Tapa and chef Alex! What about the car situation? Is there a car service that can be booked in advance(6 people and luggage) that operates from STT to St. John? Or just take cabs ... was thinking a service might be more reasonable. If we rent should it be in St. Thomas and take the car ferry, or St. John?

Tuxedocat Sep 5th, 2006 10:24 AM

Beckie: I don't know of any car service that will pick-up at the airport and run you all the over to STJ, but it's an intriguing idea. It would be costly in any case because just the roundtrip car ferry is $40-50, then taxis charge about $12/pp (I think, haven't taken this taxi in a long time) for the airport to Red Hook (plus a charge for each piece of luggage), and then there'd be more per person on STJ, and then a premium to be tacked on for private service. If you are nervous about or just don't want to deal with finding your way from the airport to the car ferry in Red Hook, I'd take taxis to the passenger ferry at either Charlotte Amalie or Red Hook, and make arrangements to rent a vehicle on STJ. If you feel up to it, you could rent a 7 passenger minivan or better yet, the 3 row seat Durango at one of the agencies at the airport(We do this most often ourselves) and drive to the car ferry. It ends up being a good deal since it eliminates the need for taxi, luggage and ferry fares per person. A last word of advice, with 6 people, I'd encourage minimizing luggage as much as possible. It's not the South Pole. There are stores if necessary. It's a pretty casual island so no need to pack the ball gown. :) But of course, you'll still have a ball.

carib Sep 5th, 2006 01:55 PM

When I stay on st john now--I use st john car rental located at:

I also use Avis rent a car at airport.
They let you take cars to st john with only a $300 hold on credit card....

Beckie Sep 7th, 2006 04:44 AM

Thanks so much Tuxedocat and Carib!

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