The Best Waterside Restaurants in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands

Restaurants come with scenic views in Charlotte Amalie Bay
Restaurants come with scenic views in Charlotte Amalie Bay | © ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy
Robert Curley

The yachting capital of the US Virgin Islands is well known as a cruise port: in high season you’ll find one, two, and even three giant cruise ships tied up at the Havensight dock. If you’re sailing your own boat, however, go ashore and find a winner, whether your tastes run to beach bars and burgers or elegant waterfront dining. Culture Trip picks the best restaurants in St Thomas.

Dive into these top spots for a bite to eat by chartering.

Navy Beach at Yacht Haven Grande

Part of a trio of sailors’ bars (the others are in Montauk and St Maarten), Navy Beach is a beacon to boaters with its bright shiplap interior and long, signal-flag draped bar. A lively sailing crowd gathers to nosh on small plates and sip Caribbean cocktails or selections from a well-curated wine list: three fixed-price menus hail small, medium, and large appetites.

If you’re looking for well-assembled sushi just an edamame bean’s toss from the sea, Enkai is the way to roll. Reopened in Charlotte Amalie after the original Frenchtown locale was wiped out in a 2017 hurricane, Enkai has a stellar local reputation for its creative sushi rolls, some featuring local fish and ingredients like caramelized plantain, others with unexpected surprises like jalapeño bacon and tempura crawfish.

Blue 11 at Yacht Haven Grande

A veteran chef from the Ritz-Carlton St Thomas applies his vast culinary skills to four- and seven-course tasting menus paired with globally sourced wines, each artistically presented at the restaurant’s show kitchen-cum-bar. Chef David Benjamin’s creations feature pan-seared local fish with sides prepared from island-grown produce like pigeon peas, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and green bananas.

Dinghy’s Beach Bar and Grille on Water Island

Druif Bay is one of the loveliest anchorages in the US Virgin Islands and it’s just a short outboard putter from this legendary beach bar just in St Thomas. A longtime fixture on Water Island’s Honeymoon Beach, Dinghy’s attracts locals and sailors alike with freshly caught fish, boat drinks, locally brewed Leatherback beer, and an entirely laid-back attitude to match the toes-in-the-sand ambiance.

Iggies Beach Bar in Bolongo Bay Resort

The legendary Iggie’s Beach Bar at the Bolongo Bay Resort hasn’t yet reopened after being wiped out in Hurricane Irma in 2017, but in true island fashion, the owners turned misfortune into opportunity and created Iggie’s Oasis, a multilevel bar/restaurant centered on the resort’s swimming pool. The burgers and ribs have always been big draws at Iggie’s, but the restaurant also has an extensive vegan and vegetarian menu.

Oceana Restaurant and Bar in Frenchtown

Charlotte Amalie can feel overrun when cruise ships are in port, but from the waterfront deck of this restaurant in the quiet Frenchtown neighborhood it’s easy to channel an old-school Caribbean vibe as you watch seaplanes taking off and landing while enjoying some of St Thomas’ best dining. Seafood is a menu star, of course, but there’s also a deft hand at work preparing imported steaks, and all of the desserts are made in-house.

Pie Whole in Frenchtown

In the mood for a casual meal off the dock? Pie Whole might just be the best pizza joint in St Thomas, and while it’s not on the water, it’s worth the one-minute walk from the Frenchtown Harbour Marina to dig into one of their brick-oven pizzas, washed down with your choice of brews from the restaurant’s surprisingly deep craft beer list.

Duffy’s Love Shack in Red Hook Plaza

You can technically see the water from Duffy’s, but you’ll have to look past the parking lot to get a glimpse of blue. This bar and grill is not much to look at — it’s literally in the middle of a sprawl of asphalt — but it’s also one of the best party scenes in St Thomas and a must-do on any visit to the port of Red Hook. Tiki drinks in funky cups are a frequent prelude to the ferry ride over to nearby St John, and the food menu leans into the theme with Caribbean and Polynesian pu-pu platters.

Sunset Grille, by Secret Harbour Beach

Sailors may argue that there’s no better place to watch a sunset than from the deck of their boat, but if you find yourself ashore on St Thomas this out-of-the-way restaurant is about as good as it gets. A top-rated destination for fine seafood, the Sunset Grill’s dining room offers unobstructed west-facing views of the harbor and a menu that satisfies whether you’re just looking to nibble at a few small plates or replenish your stores with shrimp or lobster surf and turf.

Sail in style to these top waterside restaurants.

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