As the travel experts at Culture Trip say, the British Virgin Islands or BVIs are “a tropical paradise and a travel destination steeped in glitz and glamor,” and those who have already visited know that the islands are packed with fantastic dining options. Ranging from high-end eateries to beach shacks, they all feature unforgettable flavors that emphasize the local cuisine as well as the wide variety of cultures that have passed through the area.
It is fair to say that the tagline for the restaurant, Cocomaya, says it all: “restaurant, bar, lounge, beach.” It is an authentic beachfront eatery that has booths and seating directly on the sand. It is Virgin Gorda’s newest offering and blends elegance with beach chic. As the website for the restaurant explains, visitors will want to try the “signature cocktails in our open-air bar, or drink them right on the sand! Enjoy an exotic blend of Asian and Latin cuisines with creative twists such as: Spicy Calamari Salad and our Tempura Shrimp Lettuce Wraps; or try our Sushi, including our famous CocoMaya roll. Follow this with Crispy Aromatic Duck, Steak, and much more.”
The travel enthusiasts at Forbes say a bit more about it, describing its design as “chic” and the menu as a good balance of shared places and heartier fare that includes grilled steaks and Korean rice cakes. There is an extensive wine list as well as the restaurant’s signature “Cojito”.
Reservations are essential because the restaurant is frequently busy and those who want the beach seating will have to book it well in advance.
The Tents of Tortola
According to the travel enthusiasts of Afar, there “are more flavors to be found in the BVI than there are islands, where freshly caught seafood and locally grown produce are served up in delicious fusions of Spanish, East Indian, African, French, Dutch, and English cuisines. Must-tries in the BVI include johnnycakes, fish and fungi (fried fish with cornmeal and okra), and the aptly named Painkiller (a fruity and frozen dark rum cocktail).” And, the Tortola area is noted for its many roadside eateries (including tents and trucks) that offer many of these specialties and classics.
Consider that there are lots of “chicken buses” and roadside BBQ stands that locals and travelers enjoy. Some of the most recent favorites include:
· It Bang Good – Often found near the Village Cay Marina it specializes in barbecue and pork, and stays open until around 8 PM, offering hearty sides and everything from ribs to dove pork.
· Dareo’s – This is usually found “at the edge of the Road Town Softball Field and across the street from Elmore Stout High School,” where locals and travelers come to savor the delicious dishes from this roadside tent. Specializing in chicken and ribs, it is noted for the deliciousness of its BBQ sauce.
· Panche’s – This is a long-standing option that stays open until late into the evenings. It has classics like fried chicken and French Fries, but it also has delicious fish dishes and more.
· The Pit – This is a chicken bus that is open only two nights a week and parks near the Roundabout area. It serves up grilled lobster, BBQ and more.
· Nito’s – Among the first chicken buses, it is in Baugher’s Bay and is famous as a local destination for authentic island comfort food
And as those experts in Afar also note, you can drive or explore the “main road from Sea Cows Bay to Road Town and you’ll come across numerous roadside tents selling everything from fresh fish to local fruits. The best stands are located close to Carrot Bay, where you can find steaming pockets of fish cooked in foil and fresh-squeezed mango or guava juice.”
In addition to those already noted, some of the other “must try” eateries in the BVIs include, Deadman’s Beach Bar and Grill on Peter Island, Hog Heaven, the Sugar Mill Restaurant, the BananaKeet Café, Dove Restaurant and Wine Bar and the Pavilion at Little Dix Bay.
If an elegant evening meal is what you seek, Brandywine Estate is a famous spot with great views and delicious dishes, and at the opposite end of the spectrum is Island Roods with its laid-back vibe and delicious lunches.
Dining in the British Virgin Islands is an essential part of a fun and memorable trip and you now have a long list of good options to consider.