Local flounder sandwich
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What: Common catches from the Caribbean waters around here include snapper, rock lobster, mahi-mahi, grouper, wahoo, and mackerel, among others, and it’s quite common for these to show up on menus across the island—even on resorts, we’d hope. If you see it offered with creole sauce, it’ll be coated in a tasty, spicy mess of onions and peppers, usually sautéed with garlic and thyme.
Where: In popular Dickenson Bay, just north of St. John’s, Tony’s (268-462-6326, Dickenson Bay) offers this on its regular, everyday menu (as opposed to goat water and other local specialties, served only on Saturdays). The area gets a bit hectic and crowded with beach chairs and roaming hawkers—this is a touristy spot—but the restaurant, a beach bar-café hybrid, is friendly and the local food’s good. Expect loud music.
When: Daily, 7:30am-11pm
Order: The pan-fried snapper with creole sauce (US$16), slathered in sautéed onions and red peppers, was served with rice and beans, a pile of peas, potato salad, coleslaw, and a side salad. Quite a lot of food, actually, and it paired well with a cold Wadadli on the beach. Aside from the Saturday menu, Tony’s offers at least one local dish a day; during our visit it was a deliciously hearty, thick chicken soup with dumplings.
Alternatively: It’s easy to find seafood here. In this same general area—the beaches north of St. John’s—we like Russell’s Bar & Seafood Restaurant (268-462-5479 or 268-726-5242; Fort James Beach, map) as well as Miller’s By the Sea (268-462-9414; Fort James, map). In St. John’s, try The Quay ( 268-562-8147; Redcliffe St., map) or dinner-only Papa Zouk Fish’n’Rum (268-464-0795; Hilda Davis Dr., off Dickenson Bay Rd., approx. map), which is beloved for—you guessed it—its local fish and its rum, of which it boasts more than 200 varieties. Further south, below Jolly Harbour, O.J.’s Bar and Restaurant (268-460-0184; Crab Hill, approx. map) is another popular seaside spot for seafood.
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