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US External Territories Travel Guide

US External Territories — Food and Restaurants

All of the US External Territories offer American cuisine mixed with local foods. Depending on where you are, the food will be influenced by local ingredients and individual island heritage. Mostly, fresh seafood features heavily on the menu. For example, if you are in Guam, you will find fish, octopus, and crab together with vegetables, fruit, and sashimi (a raw fish delicacy, with influence from Japanese cooking). Puerto Rico has a lot of fresh fish from the Atlantic Ocean, commonly cooked with plantain (a type of savory banana) and served with rice.

Bars and Pubbing in US External Territories

The territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands have several entertainment options for tourists. Aside from an established American expat community, they have established tourist destinations. You can choose to take up the entertainment at the resorts and hotels, which, in the high season, provides nightly action in the form of dinner and dance shows. Or you can venture out to where the locals go.

Perhaps the liveliest of the US External Territories is Puerto Rico, simply because it has the largest population and close ties to its upbeat Caribbean and fiery Latin American neighbors. The best options and busiest bars are found in San Juan, the capital city. There are a few nightclubs here, including Brava (Punta las Marias, San Juan, Puerto Rico) and Wet & Liquid (Punta las Marias, San Juan, Puerto Rico). For a bar with a view you can try one of the beach bars that face the ocean in Condado, such as Barlovento (Condado, San Juan, Puerto Rico) or Waikiki (Condado, San Juan, Puerto Rico). For anyone feeling lucky, there are also several casinos in Puerto Rico, such as those at San Juan Hotel, Ritz Carlton, and Marriott Isla Verde (San Juan, Puerto Rico).

In the US Virgin Islands, some of the best bars are on St. Thomas, including Island Time Pizza, Caribbean Saloon, Fat Boy’s, Duffy’s Love Shack, Molly Malone’s, and XO Bistro (Red Hook, East End, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands). St. Croix has the Brew Pub (Christiansted, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands) with its great selection of beer.

Dining and Cuisine in US External Territories

High quality dining is provided throughout American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. There is a good range of food options catered to tourists’ tastes, and all of these destinations receive a high amount of visitors each year. There are gourmet dining options or you can opt for a humble family-run restaurant. Alternatively, there are well-known US chains restaurants and fast food outlets providing familiar options.

Traditional Chamorro food is a highlight of Guam. Typical ingredients include lemon juice, coconut, and chilies. A typical dish in Guam is kelaguen, which uses all these ingredients to marinate fish. The lemon juice chemically cooks the raw fish, which is then served wrapped in a warm corn tortilla called a titiya. One place where you can try Chamorro food is Chamoru-Tei (Tumon, Guam).

There are also the American chain restaurants of Planet Hollywood, Hard Rock Café, and Chili’s (Hagatna, Guam) located next to the shopping outlets in Hagatna. These chains are popular with Japanese tourists, who make up 90 percent of visitors to the island, as well as other nationalities. Additionally, you will also find just about every other style of international cuisine at restaurants located around Guam.

The US Virgin Islands has some of its best restaurants in Christiansted, such as the casual Rumrunners (Hotel Caravelle, Christiansted, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands), a waterfront eatery that excels with its Sunday brunch to the backdrop of live steel pan music.

Puerto Rico offers a vast choice of dining, from international options in San Juan to local food at coastal locations. Try Al Dente (Calle Recinto Sur 309, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico) for Italian fare or El Asador, The Grill Old San Juan (350 San Francisco St., Old San Juan, Puerto Rico) for local Puerto Rican cuisine in an exclusive and romantic setting.

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