10 of the best restaurants with outdoor seating in Sainte-Croix
The Galleon’s outdoor area overlooks Green Cay Marina – Photo courtesy of Nicole Canegata / The Galleon Steaks & Seafood
Among the easiest Caribbean islands to visit during these post-vaccination times, St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands does not require a COVID test, passport, or roaming fee. To top it off, despite what the pandemic has done to restaurants on many islands, Sainte-Croix has actually seen restaurants flourish.
Its rural temperament, moreover, is conducive to the thriving harvest of artisan farms and markets that support the vibrant restaurant scene. The island’s mild, marine climates have always been synonymous with year-round alfresco dining, and here are 10 of the best for safe and scenic alfresco dining.
Salt – Large pond
A range of entrees in Salt – Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton
Don’t be fooled by the location of the side road and the appearance of a roadside cabin, Salt uses the freshest local ingredients and interpretations to create their handcrafted cocktails and select a specialty menu for it. brunch, lunch and dinner.
The cheese board is always upscale, or start with the compressed watermelon salad. Marinated red onion and tomato jam sparkle the flavor of the pressed prosciutto panini. The shrimp and ham add to the consistency of the mac and cheese. There is seating on the porch and windows through the breeze in the dining room make it feel like you are out in the open and island.
Savant creates a sense of outdoor magic – Photo courtesy of Savant
Savant’s Courtyard, the preferred seating option, is nestled in lushness and candlelight. Its old Danish bricks and 350-year-old above-ground cistern set the historic tone, but the menu is modern and eclectic off-grid.
From simmered Caribbean lamb to cassava-crusted fish of the day, the dishes combine a sense of belonging with global influences. Savant is a top choice for a romantic evening that offers setting, food and service.
Frederiksted’s hippest spot, The Fred stretches between pool and sea – Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton
Before the pandemic, St. Croix’s second town, Frederiksted, was making strides as a cool hangout, mostly due to the opening of The Fred, a boutique hotel connected to the water. Now there’s Fred, the restaurant – such a fancy place to see and see for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (no breakfast on weekends, though).
Its sleek bar, poolside setting, water views, and even cool toilets make it the island’s talking point. Its menu also ticks all the boxes: vegetarian lasagna, chicken and sweet potato waffles, parmesan truffles and a bowl of grilled salmon, for example.
The Queen’s Chicken Hut
The Queen Chicken Shack rotates over 360 chickens a day – Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton
Sainte-Croix isn’t all about fine dining and million dollar sights. Follow locals to their favorites like the Chicken Shack, a must stop at the airport. Before you sit on the open-air porch, peek back to watch dozens of roast chickens twirl around at any time.
It’s not hard to guess the specialty here, but don’t miss out on some of the best johnnycakes on the island. There are other Crucian culinary traditions to choose from as well: oxtail stew, barbecued ribs, and baked macaroni.
The deep end
The Deep End Pool Bar & Grill is a local secret at Tamarind Reef Resort – Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton
Another laid back option – but this one with lovely views of the sea and offshore islands – Deep End is also known for its nightlife. During the day, the menu caters to Island and American palates; rule burgers and fish sandwiches.
After 5 p.m., the dinner menu becomes a bit more formal with entrees such as seared tuna steak and honey fried chicken. The poolside dining area at Tamarind Reef Resort is fully open with as little or as much overhead coverage as you’d like.
The Buccaneer Resort
Dine fine without leaving the beach at The Buccaneer – Photo courtesy of The Buccaneer
Sainte-Croix’s most revered historic beachfront property has three dining venues, all al fresco with views of the water, beach, golf greens or the rolling skyline of the Isle.
All three restaurants accept reservations and often entrances from the public, but The Mermaid, which slams on the sand, is most popular with hotel guests and non-guests alike. The lunch and dinner menus feature local seafood as well as typical beach cafe bites. It is known for its seasonal themed evenings built around Mediterranean cuisine, roast pork, Italian cuisine and other buffet specialties.
Also planted on the beach, Beauregard’s is super laid back with light bites. In the mansion, The Terrace opens for breakfast with an elevated panoramic view that starts the day in the best possible way.
Breezes off the port fan Caroline’s Experience – Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton
One of St. Croix’s newer restaurants, seating outside Caroline is limited, but the view over Christiansted Harbor is worth waiting for its famous all-day breakfast (from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily). There is also a small lunch menu starting at 11 am, and the cocktails made with fresh fruit juices are another highlight.
Try the salted pretzel cinnamon roll to share as a starter. It’s delicious on its own, but you also want to try specialties like the goat cheese and spinach galette, chicken waffles, or five spice bananas. Wash it down with Bloody Maria or something bubbly and juicy.
At lunch, the Caesar is tossed in a tamarind vinaigrette; and the fontina and horseradish cream complement the French dip.
Try the Passion Mule cocktail at Hamilton’s – Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton
Another newcomer to the downtown scene, you won’t easily find Hamilton’s. He likes to keep a secret profile, but Sainte-Croix’s foodie crowd always fills the place most nights. Its outdoor seating is also hidden inside the historic building in an intimate courtyard.
From the show kitchen come creatively composed seafood and meat dishes, such as lamb shank with cremini mushrooms, Cajun seafood tagliatelle and pan-seared wahoo with white herb butter.
Ziggy Island Market
Gas station / convenience store decor obscures Ziggy’s culinary potential – Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton
When it comes to Ziggy’s, it’s true what they say about finding the best food at gas stations. Its open-air side deck and Libation station, extensions of the convenience store, are known for their cold drinks and hot West Indian dishes such as salted fish or beef patties (similar to Jamaican patties), curry roti, chicken. baked johnnycakes and banana fritters.
Chef Aaron also prepares themed dinners and Sunday brunch. From southwestern shrimp to Chinese pork dumplings to all-American sloppy joes, take them away or enjoy them on the deck with the knowledgeable locals.
Le galion Steaks and seafood
Take a bite of the most divine crab cake ever at Galleon – Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton
Long-standing tradition at Green Cay Marina, The Galleon was recently restarted by chef-owner Charles Mereday, who has run a number of USVI restaurants (including the venerable Old Stone Farmhouse in St. Thomas), from the late 1990s. His team cleaned up the space with an emphasis on the large outdoor deck overlooking the marina.
Access to the water not only offers luxurious views, but means the kitchen receives the first dibs on the fishermen’s catch. Chef Mereday exerts his refined and comforting magic with dishes such as BLT wahoo, prawn scampi, lamb chops and passion fruit bread pudding.