Although the Caribbean isn’t regarded as one of the gastronomic hubs of the world, it should be. The amount of food on offer, including fresher-than-fresh seafood, exotic fruits that have been freshly picked and a selection of tantalizing spices are enough to leave anyone's mouth watering.
One of the most interesting things about the food in this part of the world is its history; the best way to describe it is “unique”. In a single dish you can find influences influences from France, Britain, Spain, Netherlands, America, Sweden and even Denmark, which is due to the colonial presence these countries once had in this part of the world.
Each island that makes up the Caribbean has its very own unique style of food that sets it apart. Cubans, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans and Martiniques all have their own traditional foods, so it’s possible to travel from island to island and never have the same meal.
Whilst it’s only in recent years that locations within the Caribbean have started to focus on the food they sell, it’s amazing at the quality that’s already on offer. This blog will focus on the best cities that offer gastronomic experiences that you’ll never forget.
When you hear Port of Spain it’s likely ships come to mind before food, but it’s well known to residents that you can discover some of the best food you've ever tasted in these parts. In fact, it's fair to say that Trinidad may very well be the capital of culinary ventures in the Caribbean.
Situated by the sea, this place is not so much a restaurant but an
open-air picnic area. People sell their own homemade food from stalls that surround the perimeter. Notorious for generous servings, you can expect foods including succulent fish or mouth-watering chicken accompanied with callaloo, macaroni pie, or even plantain and rice.
One of the most famous stalls is Mr Juice. It’s here you can hydrate yourself with a sea moss milkshake or fresh cane juice. If you like to be adventurous with your food and drink selection, then this is the stall for you.
Dopson’s Roti Shop
If you ask a local in the area for a recommendation, it’s likely they’ll suggest Dopson’s Roti Shop. The fillings are always fresh, generous and succulent. To experience a traditional Caribbean breakfast, arrive in the morning and you will find eggplant, saltfish, tomato choka and smoked herring all on offer.
For an interesting dining experience, the Sweet Lime is worth a visit. A restaurant bar that features an open air kitchen, this establishment is one of the best places to enjoy dishes crafted with local ingredients. The set lunch menu isn’t only affordable but extremely generous in size. There’s also a more expensive dinner menu that features grilled meat, salad, fish and other seafood.
Within Kingston, a new breed of Jamaican chefs have forged their own identity by adapting traditional food, native to Jamaica, and bringing them in to the 21st century. Even if you do want something more traditional, then there’s enough street food to keep you fed for days.
Boon Hall Oasis
Like a real life paradise, Boon Hall Oasis attracts tourists and locals alike. Follow a footpath down through the veil of flowers and vines to discover a restaurant situated by a trickling stream. Enjoy a buffet of curry goat, ackee, mackerel rundown, stewed fish and other traditional Jamaican favourites. There’s even a selection of mouth watering puddings. We recommend you try out the Sunday brunch at least once.
A restaurant that proves you shouldn't judge a book by its cover is the Moby Dick. Don’t be fooled by the plastic tablecloths, this eatery is frequented by some of the most important judges and lawyers for over a hundred years. This is the best location to get curried goat, and they have an interesting conch version complete with roti, salad, rice and fresh fruit juices that’s always in demand.
Devon House Bakery
A bakery that’s only visited by people in the know, Deven House Bakery is small in size but sells some of the finest lobster patty’s you’ll ever taste. There’s also a number of eye catching cakes and fresh juices which can be the perfect addition to any picnic.
Scattered across the city of San Juan is a selection of top quality restaurants, ranging from old school locations to places that are more innovative. There’s little chance you’ll be disappointed no matter where you dine in this area.
Duck Soup Inn
It might not be the cheapest restaurant in this location, but it’s well worth the money. Situated a short 4 miles from Friday Harbor, hidden behind a luscious woods and water, Duck Soup showcases some of the best fine dining San Juan has on offer.
Here you can find scallops, oysters and an award winning blueberry habanero chicken, all enhanced by herbs from their very own garden. There’s also a large wine list featuring island produced specials.
Don’t be confused by the name, the only prescriptions you’ll be receiving in this establishment consists of sandwiches, ice cream soup and much more. It’s also one of the few eateries in the world that are open at 365 days a year at 4.30am.
A legendary deli found in San Juan, you are able to eat in or takeout and enjoy salads, tacos, sandwiches and other delicious foods. This may sound fairly average, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The dishes on offer here feature some of the most unusual infusions of local ingredients.
It’s that popular that if you want to eat in, keep a sharp eye for an available table.
More often than not, Kralendijk is forgotten about when it comes to food due to it only being small. But thanks to an intriguing blend of Dutch, European and Caribbean flavours, it has earned a place on our list.
A restaurant ran by a local lady called Rose, Rose Inn has become a local favourite by a mix of people. You are able to eat dishes such as goat, fish stew and fried chicken at mismatched tables that are covered by trees, Service is often hectic, but that adds to the overall experience.
If you want to dine whilst feeling completely chilled, Rumba Cafe is a must visit establishment situated in the heart of Kralendijk. Located by the sea, the cafe serves some of the freshest fish you’ll ever find, accompanied by luscious green salads. Sit back, enjoy your food and watch as life passes by in this relaxed cafe.
Wil’s Tropical Grill
A much loved Caribbean bistro that’s famous for representing the bright colours of this region through their food, Wil’s Tropical Grill is an exciting place to dine. One of the most popular dishes is shrimp with creole spices, although the orange glazed fresh fish is a close second. The main influences ranges from Jamaica all the way to Brazil.
Very much like Port of Spain, Nassau has an intriguing mix of street food and cultural restaurants. It’s just so easy to relax all day eating a cracked conch and then spending the evening in a luxurious five star restaurant.
A party location hidden within Nassau, this collection of colorful shacks is known to locals as “the fish fry”. Many people believe you haven’t properly visited Nassau unless you make a pilgrimage to this location. Conch fritters, “sky juice” (a blend of coconut water and gin), and fried snapper are all waiting for you.
Hidden away within a historic building covered by palm trees, this elegant bistro is hidden away from other tourist catered locations. You’ll instantly feel at ease as you relax on the homely back patio. Food choices range from seafood to pasta and even pizza. There’s an amazing selection of local wines, although for something more refreshing it’s recommended you try the ginger lemonade.
This is a selection of the best cities in the Caribbean that provide amazing restaurants, cafes and everything inbetween. Hopefully the stigma is now broken and you understand that the Caribbean holds some of the best eateries you’ll find in that part of the world. It’s all about trying something new and these cities offer just that.
What do you think of this blog? Have you visited the Caribbean before? Are there any restaurants you recommend? Let us know on Twitter: @Cruisenation.
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