One of the most popular restaurants in downtown Charlotte Amalie is welcoming Gladys’ Cafe (Royal Dane Mall, 340/774-6604, 7 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 8 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Sun., $7–15). Set in a restored waterfront warehouse, Gladys’ draws a crowd of loyal regulars for her traditional breakfast, served with lots of hot coffee and even the morning paper, if you like. At lunch, retreat into the air-conditioning for sandwiches, soups, and salads, or order from the West Indian menu of saltfish, mutton stew, or conch and fungi. Buy a bottle of Gladys’s own hot sauce as a souvenir, or taste her excellent Bloody Mary.
Across the street from Emancipation Gardens, near Fort Christian, Jen’s Deli (43–46 Norre Gade, 340/777-4611, $5–10) is a popular stop for lunch or breakfast among the downtown crowd. This small storefront shop tends to get crowded at peak hours; otherwise it is nice place to sit with a drink and read the morning paper. Sandwiches range from traditional favorites to imaginative wraps. The daily soup special is also a big favorite.
In the midst of bustling A.H. Riise Mall in historic Charlotte Amalie you will find Amalia Cafe (24 Palm Passage, 340/714-7373, $12–18), a popular lunch and dinner spot that serves Spanish cuisine, including tapas, paella, and some killer sangria.
Taco Fiesta Bar and Grill Express (Hibiscus Alley, 340/774-6600, 6 a.m.–10 p.m., $3–10) serves a lot more than just tacos. You can get a hearty breakfast here for $7, or a sandwich for less than $8. Try the jerk chicken wrap ($7) or tofu burger ($6). Of course, there are also tacos (including mahimahi, shrimp, and tofu), burritos, and Mexican-style combination platters. Look for Taco Fiesta behind Banco Popular on the waterfront.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Virgin Islands, 4th edition