Christiansted ranks right up there with such foodie hotspots as Fort de France, Martinique, and Grand Case, St. Martin, on a Caribbean Journal listing of the 10 Best Caribbean Cities for Food. St. Croix came in at No. 7.
“St. Croix has one of the region’s highest concentrations of talented young chefs, and, though it’s happened under the radar, St. Croix has become a major player on the region’s food scene,” Caribbean Journal wrote in explaining Christiansted’s inclusion on the list.
In response to an email question about criteria, Caribbean Journal said that the list is based on its own on-the-ground experience, looking at a range of factors including walkability, variety, concentration of restaurants and quality of food. The latter was the most important factor.
Port of Spain, Trinidad, took first place. Nearby San Juan was second. Kingston, Jamaica, third, followed by Fort de France. Kralendijk, Bonaire, came in fifth; Nassau, Bahamas, sixth; followed by Christiansted. Willemstad, Curacao, was eighth; Grand Case, ninth; and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, tenth.
While the recognition went to Christiansted, the caption included below a Christiansted sidewalk scene includes all of St. Croix.
“We’re so excited to see we’re getting positive feedback,” Eat@CaneBay owner Kat Pugliese said.
Pugliese said St. Croix has high quality food for such a small island and that, while the Caribbean isn’t necessarily known for its great food, everyone who comes on vacation has to eat. “We’ve strived to put in on the map,” she said.
Pugliese said that no matter what the budget or palate, St. Croix restaurants can satisfy.
And she said that in addition to the annual Taste of St. Croix, other events like the Agricultural Fair and Crucian Christmas Festival have an emphasis on food.
Eva Barton, who owns Blue Moon Restaurant in Frederiksted, agreed that although St. Croix always had more than its fair share of excellent restaurants, Taste of St. Croix helped give the island recognition as a food destination.
The island’s laid-back lifestyle and seasonality of the restaurant business has helped attract recent culinary school graduates who come for a season or so because it’s easy for newcomers to find a restaurant job.
“They can grow and try out different things,” Barton said.
Carl Gotts, who works with Vacation St. Croix, a St. Croix-based vacation villa management company owned by his wife, Marti Gotts, said guests always ask for favorite restaurant recommendations so the inclusion on the Caribbean Journal could be a good marketing tool. “Foodies travel,” he said.
Caribbean Journal is a Miami-based web publication covering the Caribbean.