Gorgeous sandy beaches, swaying palms, incredible warm waters, and stunning mountainous island landscapes – the Caribbean is known for many amazing things, but you might not think of it as a center of great dining. However, the Caribbean is full of amazing places to eat and interesting, innovative dishes and cuisine, and if you are not taking advantage of this aspect of your next Caribbean vacation you are missing out!
From traditional island cooking and amazing seafood to chic fine dining and amazing fusion cuisine, there are a wealth of wonderful restaurants and eateries on almost every island in the Caribbean.
So if you are cruising through the eastern Caribbean and want to indulge your foodie side, here are some of the best places to eat and Caribbean cuisine to try.
Often described as the ‘food capital of the Caribbean’, Anguilla is a must-visit for anyone with gourmet tastes. Despite being a fairly tiny island, it boasts over 100 restaurants, with an impressive range of up-and-coming chefs as well as established veterans. The classic Caribbean cuisine is blended with inspirations from France, Spain, Africa, and the US, creating a wonderful combination of flavors and dishes.
For upscale, chic dining, St Barts is hard to beat. This is one of the most luxurious islands in the Caribbean, and as you might expect the restaurants match the high quality of the resorts and hotels. As well as fine dining restaurants like Tamarin St Barth and On The Waterfront, the island plays host to the annual Saint Barth Gourmet Festival in November, which is a real treat for foodies.
Another island often described as one of the best in the Caribbean, St Martin benefits from its deep French roots with wonderful fusion cuisine that is always offering something new. Boasting some of the best seafood in the archipelago, as well as fascinating island twists on classic French fare, St Martin is well worth a trip to discover the lolos (open kitchens) serving wonderful Creole cuisine.
Martinique technically remains part of France to this day, one of the departments y territoires d’outre mer or DOM-TOMs. It is even a part of the European Union! As a result, Martinique is probably the best place in the Caribbean to go for true cordon-bleu French cooking, although there is a remarkable and inventive fusion side to the cuisine here as well. From grilled sea bream and stewed octopus to sea snail, the French roots are strong, but there is also a huge African and South East Asian influence, most readily seen in Colombo, the island’s traditional spice blend that adds a distinctive flavor to many of its most famous dishes.
If you are looking for the most traditional and famous West Indian dishes, then Jamaica is where to go. Huge portions of curry goat and ackee and saltfish, accompanied by patties and rice and pea, washed down with plenty of Dragon Stout, make dining in Jamaica a real treat.
Trinidad is all about its street food and draws deeply from its South Asian community for most of its flavors and inspirations. From ‘doubles’ (flatbreads stuffed with garbanzo bean curry and tamarind paste) to pholourie (fried dough stuffed with spices) just wandering around the local markets here is enough to get your taste buds tingling. You’ll find plenty of parathas and rotis, as well as a wide range of delicious curries – Indian cooking with a Caribbean twist.
Wherever you end up in the Caribbean you are likely to encounter amazing flavors and fascinating cuisines, with each island offering something a little different, and an amazing range of food cultures. Don’t miss out on the chance to experience the variety on offer, everywhere you land!