When traveling to another country, one must experience its culture. Tasting a country’s cuisine is one way to do so. Luckily, the British Virgin Islands forces you to do this by not having access to any American or foreign chain restaurants. Yes, you heard right. No McDonalds, Burger King, Starbucks or any of that. No worries though. We have a lot of great restaurants boasting great cuisine from several parts of the World including ours. Get your Anthony Bourdain on and discover parts unknown.
Since Hurricane Irma and Maria, a lot of new restaurants have been popping out of the wood works while current restaurants have been diligently revolutionizing their menus. Instead of going on a wild goose chase to find the best ones, I did the leg work for you. Here are my top food spot picks for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Breakfast and Brunch
This one “Fo Deh Culcha” (thanks for that saying Neiva Weeks). Tap into your Anthony Bourdain mindset and hit up this local spot for breakfast located in Road Reef, Tortola. For first timers, choose either a paté/pattie (saltfish, chicken, beef, conch or lobster) or a Johnny cake with cheese or whatever you would like to fill it with. There’s no other feeling like biting into a warm, crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside paté/pattie first thing in the morning. When it comes to choosing a beverage to wash God’s work down with, pick Bush Tea. I know you’re probably accustomed to coffee, lattes, Twinnings or Lipton but trust me on this.
Omar’s Cafe is one of my favorite spots for breakfast when I’m feeling for American cuisine with an island twist. Omar’s Cafe is your typical Mom and Pop cafe you would find down the street from your workplace back home. This cafe is a bit of a drive because it is located in Sopher’s Hole, West End, Tortola but it is well worth it! Anything on the menu is a HIT, so go ahead and order freely if you please.
If you’re in the mood for a bit of fine dining for lunch, The Dove’s DragonFly Lounge is the place for you. The DragonFly Lounge is located in a “recently renovated West Indian cottage” on the Waterfront Drive in Road Town, Tortola. My absolute favorite meal from this place is the delicious Lobster Roll with a side of fries. Their whole menu is a work of art so anything you choose will be just as delicious as the next. *Tip: Check them out for their brunch also. I’ve heard great things. Maybe I will update this blog with an experience later on.*
This restaurant is a Virgin Islands gem. Located on Main Street, Road Town, Tortola is this beautiful, eclectic restaurant ran by a local, Portia Harrigan. Their premise is farm to table dining, Caribbean style and they do it damn well. Their menu changes everyday so be sure to follow them on Facebook to be kept in the know. Once again, anything on their menu is worth trying! I’ve tried the vegan burger, the fried chicken, the rosemary chicken and the mac and cheese. Try one of their specialty drinks like the passion fruit lemonade, which is my favorite. *Tip: They also do brunch at Lady Sarah’s. Iv’e heard good reviews so look out for a blog post about my experience.*
If you’re looking for a quick lunch but great BBQ, hit up the J Blakx Food truck. With a convenient location on the Waterfront Drive beside the Governor’s House, you can get your BBQ fix with no issues. If your schedule is a bit hectic and you can’t make it to the food truck, they will happily deliver it to you. The brisket is my favorite thing to get from them.
Whenever someone asks me where they should go for dinner, I immediately blurt out “the restaurant at the Sugar Mill Hotel.” With its scenic location on the West side of Tortola, right on Apple Bay, the Sugar Mill Restaurant boasts a romantic vibe perfect for dinner for two. I’ve tasted everything on this menu but I would have to say the lobster or the lobster risotto is my go to. It is cooked to perfection EVERYTIME.
If you want a low-key dining experience built on Caribbean cuisine, go to “D Coal Pot”. The open aired restaurant makes way for incredible views of Carrot Bay, the North west side of Tortola and the islands in the distance. For the best experience, make reservations around sunset time.
For my sushi fans, there’s something for you. Located on Beef Island is this beautiful little Sushi restaurant called Marché, serving a variety of Japanese cuisine. My go-tos are the wontons and the plantain rolls. The plantain roll is the perfect combination of sweet plantains and savory cream cheese and tempura shrimp. I highly recommend trying it especially if you’re not a sushi lover. It will definitely change your mind about sushi.
This Italian restaurant located on Main Street, Tortola is a hidden gem. The restaurant is split into two levels where fine dining is found upstairs and a more laid-back experience is found downstairs. The ambience in both sections are pretty laid back which is the perfect setting for a quiet dinner for your group. Anything on the menu is a hit for me so don’t be afraid to try anything on the menu!
The Bananakeet Restaurant located on Windy Hill overlooking the North West side of Tortola and beyond is another perfect spot for a sunset dinner. Show up early and grab one of their signature cocktails from the bar while you watch the sun kiss the horizon. As the sun sets, head on over to your reserved table for an evening of fine food and quality time with friends and family. My top choices are the surf and turf, the lobster and any of their pasta dishes.
This rounds up my top picks for places to eat on Tortola. Do not feel the need to live by this list for there are more restaurants on the island that deserve your visit! Lists are in no particular order. Let me know in the comments below if you visited one of the restaurants I recommended.
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