Wednesday, July 16, 2008

st. john, st. thomas, and the british virgin islands: the food

image courtesy of:

I've been trying to figure out how to blog about eating in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, where I spent a week last month. There's only one small problem- the Virgin Islands are really, really vegan-friendly! It's so easy to find good food that I have too many photos and stories on my hands. So after trying to find a way to fit all the culinary goodness into a post, I've decided to go with the simplest: just posting photos of the food, and linking to the restaurants where we find them. In my next post, I will show off some of the fabulous drinks that I tried while down there- and maybe throw in some photos of the cute animals from the islands!

(Note: we spent the majority of our vacation on St. John, 2 days in St. Thomas, and 1 day in the BVI)

West Indian tofu curry at Sweet Plantains restaurant.

Breakfast tamarind from a tree!

One of the many purveyors of Ital food on St. John. Ital is a huge help to vegetarians and vegans, since many Rastafarians follow vegetarian diets of varying degrees.

Fresh gazpacho and house-made lentil burger at Shipwreck Landing.

Some yummy groceries from the Starfish Market: different flavors of hummus, whole wheat bagels, ginger beer.

Produce from roadside stands: coconut, plantain, yucca.

Organic micro-greens from Josephine's- she grows them right on the island!

Spicy and delicious in hummus wraps.

An awesome invention at The Beach Bar: cesar salad dressing that uses portobella mushroom paste instead of anchovies! (Make sure to ask for the salad without cheese)

Red beans and rice, hold the sausage, at Vie's Snack Shack.

Fancy food at Asolare restaurant: spicy tofu and soba salad. (This was only an appetizer, but Asolare allows vegetarians to replace any protein on the menu with tofu, and the chef makes a different vegetarian/vegan dish (to order) every night.)

Less fancy, but every bit as enjoyable (if not more!) food from an Ital street vendor at the Cruz Bay market. Tofu chunks, stewed veggies, plantains, coleslaw, and rice, with an energizing sorrel drink. I got excited every time I saw this stand at the market- he wasn't there every day, but I could eat his stuff all the time.

Platter of island goodness at Miss Lucy's full-moon party: rice, plantains, squash, sweet potatoes, corn pudding and bread.

A tasty veggie burger at Sidney's Peace and Love bar and restaurant on the island of Jost van Dyke.

A humongous, meal-worthy serving of guacamole with fresh-made tortilla chips at Duffy's Love Shack in Red Hook, St. Thomas.

Just some of the signs of veggie-friendliness from all around the Virgin Islands.

And, the obligatory Bazu eating fruit shot. I found this mango on a ledge under a mango tree while walking around Charlotte Amelie in St. Thomas and couldn't resist. Sweetness, thy name is a mango tree.

Conclusion: vegans and vegetarians will be hard-pressed to find a travel destination more suited to their needs. From fancy restaurants to street food vendors, dive bars to tourist attractions, supermarkets to road-side stands, you will never lack for a variety of fresh veg. food in the USVI or BVI.

Next post, drinks!


Guinnah said...

We didn't take our usual trip to Mexico this summer and reading your post made me all the sadder to not be somewhere tropical and troublefree. Great post - thanks for sharing all the bounty!

Pink Theory said...

Oh my gosh! All that food looks amazing, especially that plate with the beautiful plantains, but really it all looks so delicious. Thanks for this post. I had no idea that the Virgin Islands were so vegan friendly!

VeggieGirl said...

I feel as though I can literally reach into my laptop screen and sample the food - your photography skills are uncanny, Bazu!!

jennycestcake said...

Now that's my idea of a great vacation!

springsandwells said...

Oh my gosh Bazu, I had no idea. I never would have guessed. All that food is looking so good. Musty is ready to pack and get on the airplane after looking at all that yumminess! mmmmmmmmm!

:) Amey

Vegan_Noodle said...

Sigh.... makes me long for another visit to St John. Isn't it wonderful how vegan friendly it was?

Erin said...

Okay, wow! Who knew all that great food was available in the Virgin Islands? At first I thought for some reason your trip was only four days long and I was going to say dang, girl...that's a lot of food for four days :) A lot of delicious food! I could probably eat that plate from the street vendor every day too.

Mihl said...

Ha ha, the problem is that they are really vegan friendly? Come on, let's all move there and call it vegan islands.
I am totally overwhelmed by your post.I really can't decide which picture I like best, everything looks so amazingly tasty.Sounds like you had the most awesome time!

Katy said...

Omg, everything looks amazing! I'm longing for island life!

Theresa said...

Looks like your trip was more than amazing. Thank god for Ital food!

kindkitchen said...

WOW! That is so great that you had so many wonderful food choices. I love the "Palm Tree Hugger Burger" already! hehe

Oh, and I definitely couldn't have resisted the mango either! :)

Kati said...

I am sooo craving a beach holiday. Your food pics look as refreshing as a dip in that clear blue Caribbean water!

aTxVegn said...

That's what I would call a perfect vacation - great food at a beautiful beach!

Vivacious Vegan said...

I want to get away!!! Oh, how I would love to be lounging on a beach with a mango and a pina colada right now. Your tropical food finds look delicious.

Glad you were able to have a nice vacation.

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

A great tour! We did the BVI by boat several years ago, and as vegetarians, and I think the options have really improved since then. Cool!

Melisser said...

That is SO rad! You're fired for not taking me with you, we're supposed to be global together!

Sarah C. said...

Glad you had such a good time there and were able to eat out so much! I was on ST. John for 10 days in May but only ate out twice (we were camping) - once at Sweet Plantains (which I loved) and once at a street vendor in Cruz Bay who did vegan West Indian and Asian fare. Sounds like next time I go back (and there WILL be a next time!) I'll have some more restaurants to check out.

Emmy said...

Oh my gosh! Those are some delicious eats you found on your vacation. This post made me seriously hungry for food (and a vacation). Hope all is well with you and Daiku *HUGS*

pixiepine said...

That guacamole looks especially amazing!

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

Seeing your photos made me nostalgic for my trip to the USVI...Glad to know so many more vegan options popped up since I've been there! That definitely makes me want to go back one day. Sounds like you had a great time!

Sylvia said...

You write very well.

Dedra said...

Thanks!!! That is too awesome.. i was so concerned about this. Good to know!

Anonymous said...

So, I went to the beach bar today and was disappointed to learn that the Caesar salad while having no anchovies, is now made with egg. And they didn't know, but thought the veggie burger had cheese.

bathmate said...

I liked it.