Head to the Caribbean for These Fantastic Food Experiences
A Few of Our Favorite Caribbean Island Restaurants
by Brian Major
Is food as big a part of your decision-making process when planning a vacation? Then, you should consider a Caribbean getaway to explore the islands’ diverse cuisine.
A Vacation travel agent can help you arrange first-rate cuisine experiences – from fine dining in in upscale gourmet restaurant to casual meals at family-owned eateries.
Regardless of category or character, the Caribbean’s best culinary experiences are built around the region’s distinctive blend of African, European and West Indian cultures as well as their unique spices, fruits and other defining ingredients.
Here’s a short list of Caribbean islands that offer some of our favorite foodie experiences. And with help from a Vacation travel agent, you should consider adding to your itinerary for your honeymoon, destination wedding or vacation.
Tiny Anguilla is one of the Caribbean’s smallest islands, but its culinary offerings are first-rate. Anguilla’s award-winning restaurant scene features independent world-class venues alongside elegant eateries at several of the island’s luxury resorts.
Enjoy savory Caribbean specialties among the lush gardens at Blanchards Restaurant in Mead’s Bay. Directly next door, the Beach Shack serves casual fare infused with locally grown, organic ingredients.Veya Restaurant in Sandy Ground serves contemporary Caribbean dishes by Culinary Institute of America graduate chef Carrie Bogar, who fuses exotic flavors from around the world in every dish served on the menu. Meanwhile, wine connoisseurs can sample a variety of vintages at Malliouhana Restaurant, which has wine cellars that house more than 25,000 bottles. It’s one the region’s largest collection of wines.
The southern Caribbean island offers visitors a broad slate of exquisite culinary experiences, from fine dining at The Cliff restaurant to casual Creole fare at Brown Sugar. For casual fare, take a stroll along Pebbles Beach to find Cuz’s shack, where tasty “cutter” fish sandwiches await.
Visitors and local alike can partake in grilled fish, Bajan pudding and souse served from street stalls and open-air restaurants at Friday night “fish fry” street fairs in the Oistins neighborhood. Beyond the Barbados delicacies, the events also feature arts and crafts vendors and booming calypso and soca music.
Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) officials have designated 2018 as its “Year of Culinary Experiences,” highlighting culinary events focused on Bajan traditions.
Bahamian cuisine has something for everyone. The Nassau-based mega-resorts Atlantis and Baha Mar feature a variety of fine dining venues for visitors to try located on several islands in the archipelago.
While visiting, you can learn Bahamian culinary traditions via interactive demonstrations with executive chef Elijah Powe at the historic Graycliff Hotel and Restaurant. Guests here can eat a three-course meal, take wine-making classes and sommelier guided-tour of the Graycliff’s world-renowned wine cellar.
The Cayman Islands are often described as the Caribbean’s “culinary capital.” While several islands claim to vie for the unofficial title, Cayman offers a winning combination of high-end epicurean experiences from more than 200 restaurants to classic local cuisine served in small restaurants and beachside eateries.
Looking for a fine-dining experience? Try Blue by Eric Ripert or Abacus, which offers sophisticated dining in Grand Cayman’s upscale Camana Bay development. And for a lowkey casual experience, visit Heritage Kitchen or VIVO.
If you’re visiting the Cayman Islands in January, consider staying at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, host of the annual Cayman Cookout, with more than a dozen celebrity chefs in attendance.
The African, Caribbean, European and Indian roots underpinning Martinique cuisine are heightened by the island’s close ties to France. Your culinary dreams will be fulfilled in Martinique if you enjoy food with a blend of French creativity and Caribbean flavors and spices.
Foodies can sample chef Jean-Charles Bredas’ combination of Creole, European and Caribbean cuisine with classic French gastronomy at Restaurant Le Bredas. And at La Table de Marcel in Fort-de-France, chef Marcel Ravin creates dishes made with locally grown, raised or caught produce, ingredients and seafood.
If rum is more you’re thing, you’re in for a treat! Martinique is home to “rhum agricole,” produced from sugar cane rather than the traditional molasses. Martinique rhum is produced in 14 distilleries and carries the French “Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée” designation, which denotes that this rhum meets very strict standards. means this rhums meeting strict standards. A travel agent can help you arrange a tour of two of Martinique’s best-known distilleries, Habitation Clément and the Depaz Estate.
Nevis is the smaller half – 36 square miles to be exact – of the dual Caribbean nation of St. Kitts and Nevis. Although there are no chain restaurants, casinos or crowds; Nevis does feature lush landscapes, serene beaches and an array of top-shelf dining experiences. Visitors can opt for fresh seafood and upscale farm-to-table dishes at the Gin Trap, or head to the beachside restaurant Sunshine’s, a popular spot known for its local specialties and potent rum cocktails.
Island resident Rodney Elliott operates Rodney’s Cuisine, where visitors can sample authentic recipes handed down from generation to generation, including swordfish, Johnny cakes and “goatwater” meat stew. Join the locals and finish the meal off with a glass of soursop juice.
Inspired by this article and want to speak with an expert travel agent about how you can plan an unforgettable culinary tour of the Caribbean islands? Let one of Vacation’s on-call travel experts match you with an expert travel agent to customize an itinerary you’re going to love.