If planning where you’re going to eat on vacation is a big deal for you, then you’re going to love St. John. Unlike some other Caribbean islands I’ve visited, St. John has plenty of dining options, from fancy places with killer views to basic beach bars with epic happy hours. The majority of restaurants on St. John are located in Cruz Bay although you’ll find a few in Coral Bay. Here are 11 places you should try:
For find dining and great ambiance…
Asolare: The food has a fancy pants French flair, but let’s be honest…you’re really coming to Asolare for the view. You’ll need a reservation and ask for a table along the railing. You should plan your reservation to coincide with sunset, as it’s a fabulous spot for it. While the open-air feel gives a casual ambiance, you’ll want to dress up a bit. This place ain’t no beach bar!
Zozo’s: Zozo’s does amazing food in an even better atmosphere. Housed in old sugar mill ruins at the Caneel Bay Resort, Zozo’s does Italian cuisine in fine style. You’ll definitely need reservations here and depending on the time of year, it can book up pretty far in advance.
Ocean 362: Situated on Gallows Point looking off towards Cruz Bay, Ocean 362 has amazing views and is a perfect spot for either a sunset dinner or after dinner drinks. Make reservations and request to sit in the bar area upstairs as that’s where you’ll get the best views.
For Kenny Chesney spotting…
Woody’s Seafood Saloon: Woody’s is a St. John institution and in addition to a tourist destination (thanks Kenny) it’s also a local’s spot especially if you hit it during happy hour. It’s in Cruz Bay but not near the water so I wouldn’t make it your evening’s destination but maybe just a stop before.
Quiet Mon Pub: This Irish Pub is another St. John must do and definitely your best bet for a Guinness on the island. Its upstairs location (no water views though) makes it good for people watching and you’ll always find a game on TV. Stop by for a drink or two before dinner.
For a classic beach bar in Cruz Bay…
The Beach Bar: As the name suggests, the Beach Bar is the ultimate destination in Cruz Bay for laid back waterfront dining (and drinking). It’s a casual place just a stone’s throw from the water (they actually have some tables down in the sand) and they do a great happy hour ($3 Painkillers and $4 Bush Whackers).
Joe’s Rum Hut: Right next to The Beach Bar, Joe’s has rum (duh) but also really good eats. Don’t miss the lobster pizza. You’ll get an entire lobster tail worth of lobster on your pizza and it might just be the best thing you eat on St. John.
For breakfast in Cruz Bay…
Baked in the Sun: Baked in the Sun was my go to spot to grab breakfast in the mornings before heading out to the beaches on the north shore. They make a mean breakfast sandwich and their assortment of baked goods and desserts is mind-boggling. I tried something different each time and was never disappointed. You can sit in the bakery and eat or take it to go.
Waterfront Bistro: This is THE spot to sip mimosas at brunch on St. John. Or really anytime. Great eggs, great chicken and waffles, great eggs benedict, great everything. As the name suggests, it’s right on the water in Cruz Bay. They’re also open for lunch and dinner.
For a spot in Coral Bay…
Skinny Legs: Just a little local joint in Coral Bay, Skinny Legs is one of the best spots on St. John for a burger and beer. If you find yourself over on that side of the island (maybe visiting the Salt Ponds or hiking Ram Head) then make this your lunch spot.
Chateaux Bordeaux: This controversial little restaurant boasts some of the best views on the island but you’ll have to put up with the owner’s quirks. They’ve gone to a lot of pains to protect the view (“this is a restaurant, not a viewing spot!”) so don’t be surprised if you pick up on some of that. The food is good and while some say over priced, I’ll just say that no place I ever went on St. John really seemed all that cheap. Check it out for the view, but be prepared to order a full lunch! It’s a convenient spot if you’re spending the day at Maho, Francis, or Leinster Bay.
So there’s my list of 11 places you should try on St. John depending on what you’re in the mood for. Did I miss something? Come on over to Facebook and tell me what your favorite restaurant on St. John is!
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