The best local restaurants in the US Virgin Islands are great for enjoying Caribbean fusion cuisine on a budget. The archipelago is a fascinating holiday destination for travellers who want to experience boundless white-sand beaches and an abundance of scuba diving opportunities.

    Its dining scene is equally diverse, with scores of restaurants and bars providing top-notch cuisine from all over the globe. But if you want to dine with the locals, there’s a great collection of tasty dining options across the main islands – St Croix, St John, and St Thomas. Read on for our favourite places to dine like a local in the US Virgin Islands.

    1

    La Reine Chicken Shack

    A casual spot offering jerk chicken and johnnycake

    La Reine Chicken Shack serves some of the best grilled dishes in the US Virgin Islands. Standouts include the charcoal chicken and johnnycake, both of which have an unmistakable smokiness that keeps this modest venue attracting crowds of hungry diners throughout the day. Pair your choice of mains with tasty sides, such as baked macaroni, coleslaw, and plantains.

    La Reine Chicken Shack occupies a rather discreet spot along a leafy road in central St Croix. Every foodie should visit this local institution during their stay in the US Virgin Islands.

    Location: 24-I, Christiansted, St Croix 00820, US Virgin Islands

    Open: Monday–Wednesday from 10.30 am to 6 pm, Thursday–Saturday from 10.30 am to 8 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +1 340-778-5717

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    2

    Bumpa’s Sandwich Shop

    Enjoy waterfront views with a tasty breakfast

    Bumpa’s Sandwich Shop is an excellent spot for when you’re craving a tasty local breakfast or lunch. One of the most popular family-run destinations along Charlotte Amalie’s waterfront, its breezy rooftop sitting area lets you soak up the coastal atmosphere.

    The cuisine at Bumpa's Sandwich Shop is a low-key affair, with classic options like breakfast burritos, banana pancakes, and French toast to help you start the day. For locally inspired options, try the much-loved speciality sandwiches, such as the steak and Caribbean plantain wrap with mango chutney.

    Location: 38-A Waterfront Hwy, St Thomas, VI 00804, US Virgin Islands

    Open: Daily from 7.30 am to 3 pm

    Phone: +1 340-776-5674

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    3

    Heidi’s Honeymoon Grill

    Soak up panoramic views while enjoying fish tacos

    Heidi’s Honeymoon Grill is one of the only restaurants on Water Island, a popular day-trip destination that’s accessible only by ferry. This relaxed eatery is at the pinnacle of Providence Hill, presenting striking views of Honeymoon Beach and the nearby island of St Thomas.

    Heidi’s Honeymoon Grill has a longstanding reputation for serving some of the best fish tacos in the US Virgin Islands. However, the restaurant also offers delicious cheeseburgers and cold beers. If you’re looking for light entertainment, bingo nights regularly take place at this local joint.

    Location: St Thomas 00802, US Virgin Islands

    Open: Sunday–Friday from 11 am to 3 pm, Saturday from 11 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +1 340-777-5288

    Map
    4

    Dinghy's Beach Bar and Grill

    Strong cocktails and classic beach food overlooking the water

    Dinghy's Beach Bar and Grill is found on Honeymoon Beach, one of the most beautiful spots on Water Island. This casual eatery is great for when you want a great tasting cocktail with a vibe to match. Once you’ve finished swimming in the turquoise water, simply wander up the shore to find plenty of tables and hammocks.

    If you’re looking for a snack, there’s everything from hot chips and salsa to BBQ chicken tenders. You’re also welcome to build your own beach burger or dive into something substantial like jerk chicken or tuna poke bowl. Thanks to an upbeat party atmosphere and endlessly rewarding views, Dinghy's Beach Bar and Grill is one of the best restaurants in the US Virgin Islands.

    Location: Honeymoon Beach, St Thomas 00802, US Virgin Islands

    Open: Daily from 10.30 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 340-227-5525

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    photo by Greg Heartsfield (CC BY 2.0) modified

    5

    Uncle Joe's BBQ

    Hearty plates of ribs and jerk chicken

    Uncle Joe’s BBQ is a beloved local spot that everyone visiting Cruz Bay must visit at least once. The delightful smell of chicken and ribs wafting from this colourful corner shop can’t be missed. While it’s mostly a takeaway spot, a few tables and chairs are available along a footpath for those who want to dine in.

    While the menu at Uncle Joe’s BBQ is largely limited to chicken and ribs, as well as sides like potato salad, corn and coleslaw, every dish is simply packed with flavour. The Cruz Bay Ferry Dock is only a short walk away, making it a convenient place to eat for those waiting for the ferry in St John.

    Location: St John, Henry Samuel St, Cruz Bay, St John 00830, US Virgin Islands

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 340-693-8806

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    6

    Woody's Seafood Saloon

    A local dive bar offering casual cuisine and happy-hour drinks

    Woody's Seafood Saloon is a laidback dive bar in Cruz Bay, just a short walk from the waterfront. Although the eatery is certainly unassuming from the outside, the food and welcoming atmosphere are beloved by everyone who visits. It's a nice place for a low-cost but delicious lunch or a late-night drink.

    You can enjoy a wide range of regional treats, especially shark bites, conch fritters and curly fries. For something more filling, try the Mahi sandwich or shrimp platter. Woody's Seafood Saloon becomes a thriving watering hole as the day rolls on, thanks to its popular happy-hour promos. 

    Location: Prince St, Cruz Bay, St John 00830, US Virgin Islands

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 11 am to 1 am, Friday–Saturday from 11 am to 2 am, Sunday from 11 am to midnight

    Phone: +1 340-779-4625

    Map

    photo by Brad Spry (CC BY 2.0) modified

    7

    Singh's Fast Food

    Serving Caribbean and Crucian dishes since 1975

    Singh’s Fast Food is one of the oldest restaurants in St Croix, having been around since 1975. Fresh roti is its biggest draw, though you can also find tasty Caribbean and Crucian dishes on the menu. Standouts include chicken, goat, and conch fish.

    If you're looking for something even heartier, the restaurant's barbecue ribs and johnnycakes are considered among the best on the island. Singh's Fast Food is a great place for travellers looking to dine on a budget and with the locals.

    Location: 23 King St, Christiansted, St Croix 00820, US Virgin Islands

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 8 am to 9 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +1 340-773-7357

    Map
    8

    Off the Wall

    Delicious, homely classics like pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs

    Off the Wall is in Christiansted, along St Croix’s scenic northern coast. This beach bar offers unmatched views of Cane Bay Beach and the Caribbean Sea. After you’ve finished sunbathing or scuba diving, you can simply head up the sand to this relaxed restaurant for a sumptuous lunch or dinner.

    There are numerous western favourites to enjoy, but Off the Wall’s pizza is widely recognised as one of the best on the island. You can also opt for hamburgers, hot dogs, and deli sandwiches. Those with dietary restrictions are bound to enjoy the casual joint’s weekly vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free menus.

    Location: Christiansted, St Croix 00820, US Virgin Islands

    Open: Saturday–Thursday from 11 am to 9 pm (closed on Fridays)

    Phone: +1 340-718-4771

    Price: 17.774562854464104, -64.80959071590388

    9

    Vinny’s Food Cart

    A much-loved food cart serving Caribbean takeaway

    Vinny’s Food Cart is one of the go-to destinations for locals who want a quick bite in Charlotte Amalie. Located a short walk from Coki Point, the team behind this outstanding food truck serves up jerk chicken and pork ribs loaded with Caribbean flavours.

    Vinny is always up for a chat, while his homemade meals are bound to impress even the most discerning gourmet traveller. Following a relaxing morning exploring the coastal scenery, head slightly inland to find Vinny’s Food Cart and experience what makes this takeaway cuisine so special.

    Location: 11B Frydendahl 00802 Charlotte Amalie, US Virgin Islands

    Open: Monday–Friday from 8 am to 5 pm (closed on weekends)

    Phone: +1 340-998-3838

    Map
    10

    The Smoking Rooster

    Enjoy smoked meats coated in homemade sauces

    The Smoking Rooster is a top-notch barbecue joint that keeps Long Bay’s residents well-fed with simple but delicious smoked creations. Everything is saturated in homemade salt rubs and sauces. The eatery also uses American Oak to give each dish a unique flavour that’s instantly recognisable.

    With seating available in its garden courtyard or cool dining room, The Smoking Rooster is an especially great place to visit on a warm day in St Thomas. There’s a fully stocked rum bar where you can sample several fascinating Caribbean and American tipples.

    Location: Havensight Dock, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

    Open: Daily from 11 am to midnight

    Phone: +1 340-715-2625

    Map
    Hudson Brown | Contributing Writer

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