Eat, drink and party! 

From rustic street stalls to elegant beachfront restaurants, there’s a Caribbean culinary experience to suit all tastes and budgets – and great rum cocktails too

Caribbean cuisine is a delicious melting pot of ingredients, flavours and cooking styles, shaped by its rich heritage. Over the years, the native dishes of its indigenous people have been influenced by the Spanish, French, British, West Africans, Dutch and East Indians, and if that doesn’t create enough variety, each island has its own local delicacies too.

Food Angiulla

Hot sauces, fiery marinades, spicy rubs, fresh fish, succulent seafood, tropical fruits, organically-farmed meat, vegetables and grains, the Caribbean has it all, plus, of course, its famous tipple. Dark, white or gold, the rum comes in a variety of shades and is the key ingredient in the region’s fruity cocktails – from a rum punch to a pina colada – guaranteed to get you in the mood for one of its ‘jump-up’ street parties.

sTREET life  

Perhaps the most famous ‘jump up’ takes place in Saint Lucia every Friday at Gros Islet, where locals run makeshift bars, craft stalls and barbecues and set up sound systems playing music from disco to Afrobeats. Each night of the week, Rodney Bay Village in the north of the island features a popular lively strip of restaurants, late-night bars and nightclubs with karaoke, DJs and bands playing soca, reggae and more.

In Barbados, Fridays are the night to check out Oistin’s Fish Fry, a weekly evening seafood market. Join the queue at Uncle George’s stand for plates piled high with perfectly grilled mahi-mahi, tuna, marlin, or kingfish, served with ‘macaroni pie’.

Fine dining

Food stlucia

For that special occasion, splash out at Le Petibonum on Martinique and L’Esprit on St Barthelemy in the French Caribbean, known as a gastronomic powerhouse.

At Duggan’s Reef in St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, enjoy beautiful views of Buck Island while you devour the creamy lobster bisque and do some celebrity spotting. Alternatively, get dressed up for dinner at the elegant Kendrick’s in the historic Quin House in downtown Christiansted.

Laid-back and local

Food stmaarten

For a mellow vibe with unrivalled sunset views, chill out at Jamaica’s famous Rick’s Café in West End, on top of a 35-foot high cliff. At the open-air Pier 1 on the Waterfront tuck into succulent seafood, jerk chicken or curried goat while enjoying live bands. Or, join one of Jamaica’s farm-to-table tours at Jakes, an organic farm on the southern part of the island, or Zimbali in the hills of Westmoreland on the western side. For another authentic, local dining experience, book a table at Miss T’s Kitchen in Ocho Rios.

A Barbados seafood experience not to be missed is Cuz’s on Pebbles Beach, where for six decades a father and son have served the island’s famous ‘cutter’ – fried marlin filets in a soft salt bread bun and topped with a slice of cheese, honey mustard or Bajan hot sauce.

In Antigua, immerse yourself in the food and culture in the private home of chef Nicole Dennis and learn how to create gastronomic masterpieces with locally-farmed produce and herbs with a special blend of spices.

Or join the charismatic Tiffany Azille-Henry on a Eat n’ Lime Food Tour, a three-hour walking tour that takes in Brownie’s Bakery, an institution for its breads and pastries, and a cocktail-making experience.