- Conch Chowder at Molly Malone's (St. Thomas; tel. 340/775-1270): Island chefs pride themselves on their conch chowder, but Molly has got the other cooks beat. Savory, spicy, perfectly flavored conch chowder is served nightly.
- Creative Salads at Robert's American Grille (St. Thomas; tel. 340/714-3663): The homemade salads here are the freshest on the island. A delightful treat is the Elysian salad, made with mesclun tossed with roasted walnuts, Bermuda onions, chopped tomatoes, and a house-made dried cranberry-and-poppy seed dressing.
- Callaloo Soup at Miss Lucy's (St. John; tel. 340/693-5244): Callaloo is a spinachlike vegetable native to the West Indies, and local chefs know how to make one of the island's most satisfying soups from this humble plant. Self-taught Miss Lucy seems to impart a magic touch to her kettle. We always go for a second bowl.
- Garlic Chicken at Vie's Snack Shack (St. John; tel. 340/693-5033): Some residents of St. Thomas cross the bay just to sample some of Vie's fabled garlic chicken. We don't know exactly what she does with the bird, but it's such a savory concoction that the dish becomes addictive.
- Succulent Pastas at ZoZo's Ristorante (St. John; tel. 340/693-9200): You can enjoy an array of appetizing pastas at one of the finest Italian restaurants in the Virgins. It doesn't get much better than the lobster ravioli with wild mushrooms and toasted pine nuts.
- Seafood Chowder at Le Château de Bordeaux (St. John; tel. 340/776-6611): Even if you're from New England, you'll savor the West Indian seafood chowder here. The chef uses the freshest fish and just the right spices.
- Margaritas at Morgan's Mango (St. John; tel. 340/693-8141): Thursday is officially Margarita Night, but on any night the bartenders will whip up your favorite margarita. Only Jimmy Buffet knows how to do it better.
- Tantalizing Curries at Savant (St. Croix; tel. 340/713-8666): The spicy dishes of Thailand and Mexico are served at this Christiansted eatery. We always go for the Thai curries, which are as good as some of those served in the mother country. The red-coconut-curry sauce is among the finest we've ever sampled.
- Lobster Pasta at the Bombay Club (St. Croix; tel. 340/773-1838): We've never been able to work our way through the menu here, because we always like to fill up on the fresh lobster pasta, which is cooked to perfection and well seasoned with delectable hunks of fresh lobster.
- Mahimahi at Round Hill Vacation Villa (Tortola; tel. 284/495-9353): Joycelyn and Allan Rhymer perform wonders with one of our favorite fishes, mahimahi, serving it with a savory garlic-butter sauce.
- Home-Cooked West Indian Meals at Mrs. Scatliffe's Restaurant (Tortola; tel. 284/495-4556): Mrs. Scatliffe's Restaurant is the domain of everyone's favorite B.V.I. grandmother. She'll feed you the most authentic West Indian cuisine in the B.V.I., including spicy conch soup, curried goat, a whitefish called "old wife," and more.
- The Spareribs at Pusser's East (Tortola; tel. 284/495-1010): Even if you're from the South, you'll salivate over the ribs served here. Like all barbecue chefs, the cooks here keep their sauce a secret -- and is it ever tasty.
- Mud Pie at Pusser's Landing (Tortola; tel. 284/495-4554): Mud pie may appear on many menus, but it's a classic at Pusser's, home of "the rum people." It's so rich that no one ever asks for a second helping. Don't like mud pie? Dig into the mango soufflé.
- Conch Fritters at Top of the Baths (Virgin Gorda; tel. 284/495-5497): From the Bahamas to Key West, hundreds of chefs proclaim that they make the best conch fritters. We'd like to nominate the cooks at this little eatery for their spicy, delectable fritters, which are meals unto themselves.
- The Painkiller at the Soggy Dollar Bar (Jost Van Dyke; tel. 284/495-9888): We can't compete with the yachtsman who drank 10 Painkillers in 1 night, leaving him feeling no pain indeed. But this delectable rum-based drink, whose recipe is a closely guarded secret, gets our vote for the best-tasting rum punch in the B.V.I. Its home is the bar at the Sandcastle.
- Grilled Swordfish at the Cow Wreck Beach Bar & Grill (Anegada; tel. 284/495-8047): This elegant fish is grilled and flavored to perfection here. "It gets no better," proclaimed one happy diner at the table next to us, and we agree. Our dish was so fresh that the fish must have been just "harvested" from the sea.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.