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which island has the best food in the caribbean?

pamplemouse Apr 22, 2010 03:54 PM

trying to figure out where to go for our honeymoon in november and would like to stay somewhere that has great local food, excluding puerto rico, jamaica, and dominican. not looking for anything too precious, i am assuming (and correct me if i'm wrong) that better "gourmet" food can be found in the states. where would you go if it was based on food alone?

  1. m
    madamebatignolles Jul 25, 2011 03:01 PM

    St-Martin is my favorite for restaurants and cooking at the villa just great!

    1. k
      Kniss Jul 3, 2011 12:13 PM

      I agree with JayL, Trinidad & Tobago offers a rich fare of cuisine: Chinese, Indian (North, South, and a local twist), Creole, Middle Eastern, Brazilian, Thai, Japanese - with a range that suits the hoi polloi eating by the roadside vendors right up to high brow dining at the 5 star restaurants.

      Barbados comes close for quality (they offer good creole and international cuisine), but is too expensive in comparison IMHO, and doesnt have the variety offered in T&T.

      1. c
        CldSkndNdle Jun 22, 2011 06:31 AM

        Hi there! Just curious to see what you ended up doing for your honeymoon...
        I was searching the CH boards for ideas for our honeymoon in November (this year) and have similar inquiries as you did. Hopefully you had a great time where ever you decided to go and came back with some rec's!

        4 Replies
        1. re: CldSkndNdle
          b
          Bkeats Jun 23, 2011 02:26 PM

          Hi CldSkndNdle, picking up on this old thread. As I stated in my previous post, I highly recommend St Barts. Went there for our honeymoon many years ago and have been back several times in additon to visits to many other islands. Nothing else compares to the quality and diversity of food. The island is also a very unique place. Its got great beaches to go with the gallic style.

          1. re: Bkeats
            c
            CldSkndNdle Jun 24, 2011 01:29 PM

            Thanks for the tip! Any particular places to stay that really stand out in your mind?

            1. re: CldSkndNdle
              phelana Jun 24, 2011 02:20 PM

              I liked St. Barths well but it's VERY small...I prefer Anguilla..not huge but good size, easy to navigate and there a plethora of amazing places to dine.......let us know where you end up..happy traveling and eating..

              1. re: CldSkndNdle
                b
                Bkeats Jul 5, 2011 03:35 PM

                SBH is quite small and there are only a few hotels on the island. By law, nothing can be more than 2 stories so the places are small and intimate. We stayed at the Guanahani on our honeymoon. The price range at the hotels is moderate to nose bleed levels. I would put Normandie as moderate and Eden Rock or Le Toiny at the other end. If you can't afford to stay at the latter two, you should try to eat at either of them. We rent a villa now when we go for the room and privacy. I would suggest you check out www.sbhonline.com to do some research. Read the stuff on the forums, ask questions, you will get a lot of info on where to stay and dine.

          2. b
            Bkeats Jul 6, 2010 09:30 AM

            Great local food - hmmm, I've been to several Caribbean Islands and while there are great local dishes, I would not say in general there is not great local cuisine. The cracked conch or conch burgers in the Abacos, stewed conch in the BVI, bbq ribs at a lolo in St Martin are wonderful and I love eating them, but if you're going on your honeymoon and want to have a new great food experience every day, go to St Barths. The french influence permeates everything. If you stay away from the high end classic french places, you will find wonderful food infused with Caribbean flavor. The classic french stuff is great too, but no different than what you would find in NYC or Boston. And St Barths is also just a wonderful place to be. If St Barth is a bit too dear in price, than Grand Case/Marigot in St Martin comes close.

            1. steve h. Jul 3, 2010 03:32 PM

              Bequia is the choice of this sailing family. Pick up a mooring, take your dinghy ashore and follow your nose. You can fly into St. Vincent and take a ferry over if you'd like. Bequia has a number of charming B&Bs, villas and so on but its vibe is low-key and strictly its own. Plenty of good places to eat/drink, all within walking distance of each other.

              3 Replies
              1. re: steve h.
                phelana Jul 4, 2010 01:03 PM

                Steve, I love Bequia..so charming. I don't recall it being a main culinary destination but its been awhile..I betcha they have great local eats. I recall Macs Pizza but otherwise nothing stood out for me...

                1. re: phelana
                  steve h. Jul 4, 2010 02:24 PM

                  The EC can be a culinary experience for intrepid travelers. Sitting back, waiting for good stuff to come to you implies a resort. I'm not fond of resorts.

                  1. re: steve h.
                    phelana Jul 5, 2010 03:33 PM

                    Indeed Steve..think Oistens Fish Fry in the Gap in Barbados..street food in the EC islands...BBQ, goat water, coconut water, fish fry..wow..

              2. m
                mcolon Jul 2, 2010 10:26 AM

                I know you are excluding Puerto Rico but there is an island off the coast of Puerto Rico called Culebra. Some of the world's most beautiful beaches, no 5 star dining here but great local food nonetheless. But if you are looking for some seclusion I highly recommend Culebra. Only locals know about this island and if you go you will see that many of the people that live there are Americans that fell in love with the place and stayed there.

                1. j
                  JayL Jun 27, 2010 06:00 AM

                  Great "local" food is the key here. I personally wouldn't go on a Caribbean food adventure wanting to be served by a "chef". You can get haughty cuisine in many countries...and you might as well do that here in the States. Hopefully you'll find the right island that can offer you great local cuisine.

                  The most outstanding food can be found on Trinidad & Tobago. Trinidad isn't exactly a tourist/honeymoon destination. The sister island of Tobago offers more along the lines of vacationers, but I'm not sure of restaurant options there. Street food is the way to go in most Caribbean countries...or find a good local fete to attend.

                  Best of luck on the quest.

                  1. phelana May 4, 2010 04:44 AM

                    Jamaica dining was so so for me. Local eats for sure amazing...Jerk cannot compare. San Juan has some great chefs. Pikayo, Pamela's, Dragonfly to name a few I have loved. If you have a choice consider French Sint Martin, St. Barths or Anguilla for amazing dining.

                    1. southernitalian May 3, 2010 01:50 PM

                      Another vote for the French side of St. Martin. Second is Puerto Rico. Everything else is in between those two and Jamaica is last.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: southernitalian
                        phelana May 4, 2010 04:43 AM

                        I have traveled to most of the Caribbean islands and Anguilla's dining the most diverse and imho the best. Some examples include Luna Rosa, Veya, Koal Keel, Picante, Hibernia, and Malliouhana to name a few. I cannot wait to try Jacala in June for my 4th trip to AXA.

                        1. re: southernitalian
                          financialdistrictresident Jun 23, 2011 09:35 AM

                          southernitalian & phelana, OP said no PR. . .

                        2. a
                          ajs42548 May 3, 2010 01:35 PM

                          Sint Maarten/St Martin has the most upscale restaurants in the Caribbean. Many of them are on the French side in Grand Case.

                          1. Veggo Apr 23, 2010 08:21 AM

                            There is plenty of "gourmet" throughout the Caribbean. For a honeymoon mix of fine dining and local flavor, I suggest St. Martin /St. Maarten, Provo (Turks & Caicos), and new to my list would be Ambergris Caye, Belize. Cuba is a definite no.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Veggo
                              c
                              crewsweeper Apr 23, 2010 09:33 AM

                              Veggo, where on St Martin/St Maarten? Other than the Grand Case recs, which are prevalent here and elsewhere. More likely a nice lunch in Marigot or Phillipsburg. Always up at Orient Beach.

                              1. re: crewsweeper
                                Veggo Apr 23, 2010 10:01 AM

                                You're bad.....daytime bar food, conch fritters and the like with a Heineken, is better in Phillipsburg on the leeward side around the marina, later Marigot for dinner after cleaning up. Cupecoy used to be my fave. Always fun to drive the ring road in a jeep and sniff out the roadside fare. Orient? I have the keel, alright, but the main sail doesn't set like the days of old.

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