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Dining and Bars

There is no shortage of places to eat and drink on St. Thomas. While the major hotels have multiple restaurants that offer everything from burgers to bouillabaisse, most visitors like to venture out a time or two to sample some of the island's fare. Like the cultural stew that makes up St. Thomas, restaurant menus reflect a cross section of cuisines. While many of the dishes might be found on menus at home, others carry a Caribbean influence. Plantains, a banana-like vegetable, often come with your dinner and chutney is the de rigueur condiment. The island's ties to the United States have led many culinary school graduates to head here for stints at the most prestigious restaurants. They demand the best ingredients and create lovely presentations, a culinary aspect that trickles down to less-pricey restaurants.

Aside from fine restaurants, you will find dozens of other more casual dining options scattered around the island. They range from cozy seaside bistros to roadside stands featuring West Indian dishes. The hotels welcome you even if you are not a guest. The style and ambience of the dining and drinking scene varies widely, but by and large, expect things to be informal.

St. Thomas is among the more expensive places to dine out, but not any more so than a big city like New York or London. If you are used to more modest prices, the dinner tab can come as a shock. Since nearly everything is imported, shipping adds to the cost. A 15 to 20 percent tip is expected at the island's restaurants.