There might not be a more idyllic tropical setting than St. John. The beaches, many of which are set in the island's National Park, feature protected bays of clear teal water that barely lap against the shore, and each one is more gorgeous than the next. You couldn't ask for better weather, either: low 80s, light breeze, consistent sunshine, and surprisingly tolerable humidity. This is what you come here for.
What is strangely lacking here is great food. When my initial search for good eats, farms, and markets didn't turn up much, I figured the resort-focused island simply hadn't garnered much chatter about the food scene. After a week here, I'm starting to think there might be a reason for that. Most of what you see are tourist-trap joints with pub-y food that's not as good as you'd find in the States. Even the local grocery stores don't have much in the way of local food.
That said, there are a few noteworthy spots—both for dining out and food shopping—that are worth seeking out. Check out the slideshow for a sample, and as always, please report back with your own good finds.
- Fish fry, roti, conch fritters, and conch chowder at Miss Lucy's
- Sushi at Caneel Bay's Beach Bar and Grill
- Local produce at Josephine's Greens at Coral Bay Organic Gardens
- Smoothies and coconut water at Our Market Smoothies
About the author: Liz Bomze lives in Brookline, MA, and works as the Senior Features Editor for Cook's Illustrated Magazine. In her free time, she freelances regularly for the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, the Improper Bostonian, and Martha's Vineyard Magazine; practices bread-baking and canning; takes photos; reads; and watches baseball. Top 5 foods: fresh noodles, gravlax, sour cherry pie, burrata, ma po tofu.