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Grocery Shopping in the Virgin Islands: a Complete Guide

Grocery Shopping in the Virgin Islands: a Complete Guide

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The Best Grocery Stores in the Virgin Islands

Whether you live on the islands or are visiting, it’s important to find the right grocery store to meet your needs—especially if you’re watching your wallet.

The majority of produce, meat, dry goods, dairy, and other products in Virgin Island grocery stores must be shipped in. This adds to their shelf price, making groceries more expensive. In particular, those which must be kept refrigerated or frozen during shipping can really rack up dollars on the receipt.

All hope is not lost, however. After speaking with shoppers on island, I’ve compiled this list of the top places to find the groceries you’re looking for, no matter your budget.

These stores are not placed in any particular order or ranked, and while there are some grocery stores which didn’t make the list, that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth visiting—they just weren’t a crowd favorite. Each one here offers something special for its customers, creating happy shoppers. Many residents regularly shop at more than one of these stores!

Ready to find the best products, produce, and deals? Let’s get started.

Where to Shop on St. Thomas

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1- Plaza Extra Tutu

Plaza Extra is a longtime staple for island groceries. Adjacent to Tutu Park Mall and centrally located to downtown Charlotte Amalie, Red Hook, and the Northside, its convenient location makes it popular with many residents.

Plaza Extra is one of the largest grocery stores on island, but isn’t wholesale, making their wide selection and low prices all the more impressive. It has well-reviewed meat and dairy departments and all the Indian food staples you can ask for. Fruits and vegetables are stocked on Sunday, so shop Sunday and Monday for the freshest produce. Plaza Extra also sponsors a volunteer-run plastic recycling program on Saturdays, earning it bonus points for environmental stewardship.

2- PriceSmart

Not far from Plaza Extra, PriceSmart was the only wholesale grocery store to reopen on St. Thomas soon after hurricanes Irma and Maria hit in 2017 (an event known locally as IrMaria). As a result, until competitor Cost-U-Less reopens, PriceSmart is the place to go for all your bulk shopping needs.

PriceSmart is spacious and very popular. To avoid crowds, do your shopping late in the day on Friday or early morning on weekends. Many products in the store are the same brands carried by similar wholesale grocers on the U.S. mainland. This often makes for good deals and quality, but just like most wholesale stores, a membership is required to shop.

3- The Fruit Bowl

If you leave TuTu and head down Raphune Hill to Wheatley Center, you’ll find The Fruit Bowl. Established in 1975, the store is walking distance from the Havensight cruise ship dock, Yacht Haven Grande Marina, and several residential areas. This means the store provides fresh produce for shoppers hailing from places both far away and right around the corner.

Don’t be fooled by the storefront’s small size: the space is absolutely packed with the island’s widest variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other produce. Shoppers love the store’s cleanliness, friendly staff, and happy atmosphere. Produce is stocked on Monday morning, if you’re looking for the absolute freshest selection.

4- Food Center

Don’t worry, East End and Red Hook: I didn’t forget about you! Located across from both the Independent Boatyard & Marina and Oasis Cove Marina, Food Center is a supermarket serving visitors and residents on the east end of St. Thomas. A large grocery, the store also offers hot plates of local food.

Shoppers at Food Center appreciate the stateside, supermarket quality of the store and its selection. With a wide variety of international food products, and an impressive hot sauce collection, it is regarded as the staple grocery store for many living and visiting out east. It’s a large one-stop shop for all of your grocery needs.

5- Moe’s Fresh Market

Located in Red Hook across from the ferry dock, Moe’s Fresh Market is in the business of fine wines and delicious food. Buying local for everything they can, and seeking only the highest quality produce, meat, cheese, coffee, and more for everything else, shoppers at Moe’s appreciate knowing they’re browsing one of the best grocery selections on island.

Shoppers report that Moe’s produce lasts the longest once it leaves the store. They also appreciate the fresh, locally-caught fish sold there. With plenty of specialty items to choose from, Moe’s Fresh Market is the choice grocer for those stocking up for vacation, planning a special occasion, or simply seeking convenient shopping in Red Hook. 

6- Pueblo

With two locations, Pueblo can be a convenient stop for your grocery needs. One is located near the airport and the other in the busy Havensight area, many locals choose to stop there after work so be aware of crowds around 5:30PM! You can find fresh fruit and the standard dry goods that you can find everywhere else here!

Where to Buy Groceries on St. John

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Beautiful St. John, the place of undeniable beauty and a much more laid-back feel than her more metropolitan sister, St. Thomas. Being much smaller, both in population and size, there are of course fewer grocery stores on this island. Most of them are situated in the Cruz Bay area which is their major city and where the ferry dock is located. The others are in Coral Bay which is the next area most densely populated. You can find most of anything you need at the St. John grocery stores, but you will notice that the prices here are a bit higher than they are on St. Thomas or St. Croix. Because of this many locals might decide to take the ferry over to St. Thomas to get at least their bulk item needs.

1- Dolphin Market | Cruz Bay & Coral Bay

2- Love City Market | Coral Bay

3- Pine Peace Grocery | Cruz Bay

4- Starfish Market | Cruz Bay

5- St. John Gourmet Market | Chocolate Hole

Major Grocery Stores on St. Croix

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St. Croix is our largest island, and also the flattest. Because of this, the agriculture scene is much bigger here–which as you can guess is a huge pro to living or visiting there. Fresh produce galore! Although there are more smaller grocery and convenience stores on St. Croix compared to the other islands, we are just going to list St. Croix’s best, and largest grocery stores. However, you can easily get the basics at one of the many smaller shops that you find spread throughout the island.

1- Plaza Extra East and West

2- Seaside Market and Deli

3- Quality Food

It’s All About Finding What You Need

Many Virgin Islands residents shop at multiple stores to meet their grocery needs. One family may rely on one for household essentials and dry goods in bulk, another for fresh fruits and vegetables, and others for everything else.

Adventurous visitors can certainly do the same: whether you’re looking for quality groceries nearby, or are willing to make a trip for a good deal, you can always find plenty of great options to meet your needs.

Happy Shopping!

If you have questions or if you would like to see something added to our list, send us a quick message at info@whattodo-vi.com!

Author: Shannon Burton

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