Caribbean cuisine offers a superb mix of dishes using delicious local ingredients such as fresh fruit, seafood and a variety of fresh fish.
The quality of hotel restaurants range depending upon budget and resort. Most of the all inclusive resorts offer a buffet style menu, but with a good selection and variety. The menu usually operates on a three week cycle so you are unlikely to find that the same menu is served twice. Some all inclusive's also have an a la carte restaurant, which will require pre booking and in some cases an extra charge is levied.
If fine food is a priority when selecting a hotel, click here to see our list of recommended hotels.
If you are particularly keen to sample a variety of different restaurants, then we suggest that you choose a hotel on the west coast of Barbados, which has an excellent range of quality restaurants including Daphne's , The Cliff, Lone Star and the Fish Pot. Our team can recommed local restaurants on each of the islands based on personal experience. When visiting the islands the team are keen to explore the best rum punches, flying fish or jerk chicken!
Vegetarians, or others who have a specific diet, should advise us at the time of booking as we can then confirm whether your choice of hotel is able to meet your dietary requirements.
West Indian food has a distinctive flavour and is traditionally quite spicy. A typical West Indian menu might include pumpkin or callaloo soup, fresh fish, lobster or crab, conch (often as fritters) and Rice 'n peas, often served with coconut milk. For a tasty snack, try a roti (a kind of west indian chicken wrap) or a Johnnie cake (fish cake).
Some villages such as Oistins in Barbados or Anse le Ray in St Lucia have a weekly 'fish fry', where you can take to the streets with the locals and sample freshly barbecued fish washed down with a cold 'Red Stripe' or Carib beer, to the beat of the local reggae band or the inevitable 'Bob'.
Tropical fruit and vegetables are, of course, prolific. Fresh bananas, plantains (like an unsweetened banana - usually fried) yams, breadfuit, pineapple, mango, papaya, guava and coconuts are available just about everywhere.
Rum is the national drink of the Caribbean and is the base of some superb cocktails including rum punch, pina colada and daiquiri. Our favourite is the traditional planters punch which is made from rum, water, a twist of lime and sugar and dusted with ground nutmeg.
There are a variety of local beers, all of which are very drinkable, the most popular being Red Stripe (Jamaica), Banks (Barbados) and Carib or Stag (Trinidad and Tobago).
There is also an excellent range of soft drinks, including a non alcoholic fruit punch, the inevitable Cokes, Fantas and Sprites and a refreshing 'Ting' (grapefruit juice). Fresh coconut's are often available and many street vendors will chop the top off with a machete in front of you and hand you the coconut with a straw, so that you can drink the fresh milk.