Tapas, Sangria and Paella in St. Thomas: Amalia Café…Best Spanish Fare on Island!

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Amalia Cafe on St. Thomas is a special place for me. It’s a Spanish restaurant and one of my favorites on St. Thomas. I first visited there in the spring of 2014 after meeting the owner, Randolf Maynard (he goes by Maynard), at the Taste of St. Croix where we were both judges. That night was one of my highlights of living in the islands. Pure magic!

A couple of weeks after the event I convinced my husband to check out Maynard’s restaurant with me. Neither of us had been, and at that time I was in the early stages of helping out with a local television production called ‘Best Bites’. I was staking out restaurants where we could film for the show and this was the perfect opportunity to check it out.

Amalia Cafe is located in Palm Passage in the heart of Charlotte Amalia, near the waterfront and shopping areas. It’s in a nice location down a stone-paved alley. The restaurant itself is beautiful and has all out-door seating (covered). There is often a nice breeze blowing, and there are ceiling fans to help out when the air is still.

Best Sangria on island!
Best Sangria on island!

We went for lunch on our first visit. Maynard was there and remembered me. I introduced my husband…we all chatted a bit, and then we ate! We ordered the sangria to start…I think I have had it every single time I’ve visited since! It is simply the best…best on island for sure, and perhaps the best sangria I’ve had period. You can order it by the glass, the carafe, or by the pitcher. When you order by the carafe or pitcher you get a full carafe or pitcher as well as 2-4 glasses to start off with. I’m convinced the pitcher is the best bang for your buck. It seems like a lot, but in St. Thomas you can take to-go cups if you have any leftover (yes, this applies to alcoholic drinks, too!)…though I must say we rarely had leftover sangria. 😉

Their starters – or tapas – were also delicious. You could really make a meal out of several starters if you wanted. My favorites were the garlic shrimp  (I advise you to order some bread to go with it so you don’t leave behind any of those delicious garlicky juices) and the octopus, which was always so tender. The photos of the starters did not turn out as clear as I had thought, but they give you an idea…

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Tender octopus cooked with potatoes and garlic.
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Garlic shrimp…make sure to order the bread to mop up those delicious juices!

 

 

 

 

 

There are several dishes which I always had trouble choosing among on the menu. The Zarzuela was a favorite (see photo below). The seafood – shrimp, mussels, various fish – was always cooked perfectly, the portion size was just right for me, and I loved the side of rice topped with raisins and pine nuts.

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Zarzuela de Mariscos: seafood dish with a tomato brandy sauce, served with rice on the side (topped with some raisins).

Paella Valenciana was another favorite…and a specialty of the house. The seafood and chicken are cooked in fish stock with the saffron rice. On our final visit here (at least for this time period) my husband and I shared a a portion for two. It came out in a nice sized paella pan and was a nice sendoff back to the mainland.

Paella Valenciana
Paella Valenciana
Poached Pears in Red Wine
Poached Pears in Red Wine

And for the grand finale: Poached Pears cooked in red wine, served with ice-cream. So tasty after a wonderful meal. We were brought a straw as we finished so as to not miss a drop of flavor. Sigh…I was in heaven…

 

 

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Maynard and I at Amalia Cafe. I first met Maynard when we were both judges at the Taste of St. Croix in April 2014.
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Seated in the restaurant looking out…you can see why it’s called ‘Palm Passage’
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Inside the restaurant

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If you find yourself on St. Thomas, I highly recommend a stop here for lunch and/or dinner.If you see Maynard, tell him I say hello! And please, DO NOT FORGET the sangria!!

http://www.amaliacafe.com/

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Please share with your friends, thank you!

8 thoughts on “Tapas, Sangria and Paella in St. Thomas: Amalia Café…Best Spanish Fare on Island!

    1. St. Croix has amazing food! There are some wonderful farms which offer CSA shares, something we did when we first arrived in St. Thomas. And such a gorgeous island. Much of it is flatter than St. Thomas, but there is the rain forest section (where most of the farms are located).

  1. Um. Wow. I’m speechless. Not to mention hungry. The description of the food and that picture of the paella. Oh yum!!!! Total yum. Thank you for the post. It was fabulous and delicious, even if it was vicariously delicious.

    1. It really is one of the best on the island!! We had two favorites: that one and another one called Thirteen. I will do a post on that one another time.

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