Getting your fill of freshly caught, local seafood while on St. Croix is a must! The beautiful Caribbean Sea that surrounds the island offers up a variety of delicious saltwater fish and shellfish that thrive in this tropical climate. While you likely find salmon and shrimp on the menu anywhere in the world, St. Croix offers seafood delights such as Caribbean spiny lobster, red snapper, wahoo, mahi mahi, kingfish, and conch. Catch and cook your own fish, or leave it to the professionals chefs at one of the island’s many delectable restaurants, just make sure you don’t miss out on some fresh St. Croix seafood.
While I love to cook, I must admit that I prefer to have my fish or lobster caught, cleaned, and cooked by someone else. If you are the same way, St. Croix has a multitude of restaurants that offer seafood prepared in both traditional and inventive ways. Traditional island preparations of locally caught seafood include conch in butter sauce, fried kingfish, stewed ‘potfish’ (various reef fish), and kallaloo. Saltfish is a must-try while you are on island since it is a staple of the traditional Crucian breakfast, which usually consists of saltfish, johnny cakes, and cooked greens (such as spinach). You can pick up a traditional Crucian Breakfast at La Reine Chicken Shack if you’re ready to give it a try.
If you are craving fresh lobster, many of the local restaurants offer lobster in a variety of forms from lobster benedict and seafood pastas, to whole lobster tail dinners with all the fixings. Most restaurants here on St. Croix also take advantage of the fresh mahi mahi and wahoo and feature these local catches in everything from ceviche and sashimi, to blackened or grilled entrees with delectable sauces. A few of my favorites include the whole lobster at The Bombay Club, wahoo ceviche at Un Amore, Cruzan conch chowder at Club Comanche R.A.W., and the mahi sandwich from Beach Side Cafe.
Any given day on St. Croix you can find fresh seafood offerings on local restaurant menus that were likely caught that morning; but, if you enjoy fishing, you can always catch your own. There are several inshore and offshore fishing charters here on St. Croix that will take you out where you can reel in your own dinner! Fish for wahoo, mahi mahi, bonefish, kingfish, marlin, tuna and snapper with local guides who know the best fishing spots on the island. If you are staying in accommodations that allow you to cook your own meals, you can also buy fish and seafood from the local fisherman you see along the roadside. They will often have lobster and conch, when it’s in season. You can also visit the Saturday farmers market in La Reine where many of the fisherman sell their catch, but you have to be there really early to get the best selection.
Whatever your seafood pleasure, the island’s fantastic ocean fare that is sure to please any palette. Make sure you don’t miss a single opportunity to enjoy the bounty of seafood St. Croix has to offer. Bon appetit!
– Jennie Ogden, Editor