A Taste of the Caribbean

Our favorite Caribbean islands offer an array of delectable dishes just waiting to be sampled.

chairs in the caribbean
Photo courtesy of Anse Chastenet

Raise your hand if you call yourself a foodie. Even if you’re not in the running to be the next Iron Chef, chances are you’ve been Instagramming your meals or clicking out some posts about your favorite dishes on your iPhone — there are more than 40,000 food blogs these days. So it stands to reason that honeymooners are looking for something to bite into when they’re booking their trip of a lifetime. One of the world’s most popular regions for romance — the Caribbean — is also an international hub for a cornucopia of fabulous food.

St. Lucia

food and wine on st lucia
Photo courtesy of Rendezvous

Just a sleepy speck a decade ago, St. Lucia is now a honeymoon magnet. A variety of resorts, many set between the Pitons, emerald-carpeted twin peaks, and an impressive roster of international chefs entice any visitor. French-born Xavier Ribot heads up The Coal Pot and Chef Xavier Restaurant and Bar, whose sunny, art-filled ambience and refined menu marry French technique with West Indian flavors. Choose your fish and your sauce: Creole, curry, island pesto or garlic butter.

Sweden’sBobo Bergstrom of The Edge, Fire Grill and Starfish is locally beloved for his light, colorful fusion creations like tropical sushi and island-spiced duck with peppered pineapple jelly. Traditional island eats include cassava “bread,” made from an indigenous root vegetable that’s more like a loaf cake, with fresh fruit. Green bananas and salt fish, which features the local fruit with codfish, is considered the island’s official dish. Another favorite is St. Lucia crab back made of local land crab meat and, typically, lemon-garlic butter.

stuffed tomato
Photo courtesy of Anse Chastenet

Where to Eat: Weekly dining events draw visitors as well as locals. On Fridays at 8 p.m, there’s the Anse La Raye Fish Fry on the village’s main street. The Dennery Seafood Fiesta resounds each Saturday at 4 p.m. on the beach. Here, local seafood is grilled up over fire pits while bands play. Castries Market, in the island’s capital is the Caribbean’s oldest and flaunts a variety of crafts and local foodstuffs; pick up some banana ketchup, St. Lucia’s ubiquitous condiment.

More Foodie Finds: Cacao is a top crop on St. Lucia. Island Routes’ Chocolate Decadence tour is a favorite way to explore the local cacao farms, called estates. Beware: St. Lucia’s breakfast drink, cocoa tea, may prove addictive. The Saint Lucia Distillers’ Rhythm of Rum excursion highlights award-winning labels like Chairman’s Reserve and Admiral Rooney.

food from st lucia
Photo courtesy of Anse Chastenet

Where to Stay: Beautiful Anse Chastenet perches on a peninsula overlooking the Pitons. Hillside deluxe rooms, at around 1,300 square feet, offer the best views with an open balcony fourth wall. Gourmet offerings include the property’s own organic farm’s produce, cooking classes and surfside candlelit dinners for two. Three eateries (one of which is a tree-house dining terrace) feature a wealth of menu options—veggie, Creole, St. Lucian-East Indian fusion menu and a not-to-be-skipped chocolate dessert selection (room rates start at $345 a night; ansechastenet.com).

Rendezvous, an adults-only, all-inclusive boutique hotel, sits on a two-mile beach backed by gardens. A romance concierge arranges activities for two including mixology classes. The resort’s signature restaurant, The Trysting Place, specializes in French-Caribbean cuisine, with fresh fruit garnishes and sauces, in a romantic setting (room rates start at $370 per person, per night and are all-inclusive; rendezvousstlucia.com).


cocktail from Anguilla
Photo courtesy of Cap Juluca

Maritime Anguilla was visited and settled by adventurers from all over — England, France, Spain and Africa. Therefore, the island’s cuisine is, by nature, multicultural and multifaceted. Today, international chefs push the envelope of this fusion cuisine. Top dishes include fritters (savory with seafood or sweet with coconut and allspice), callaloo stew (a thick soup with spinach-like greens), allspice dusted seafood bisque and a variety of fresh-from-the-sea delights.

Where to Eat: Locals love On Da Rocks, known for its tropical-fruit rum punch, johnnycakes (cornmeal flatbread), whelk soup (sea snail) and the Sunday crayfish special, which costs only a few bucks and includes fries. Da’Vida, with spectacular water vistas, memorable seafood chowder and an early evening Anguillan tapas menu, is a favorite spot for sundowners. Some barefoot spots include Tasty’s, celebrated for grandma’s stew chicken, and Mango’s Seaside Grill, which serves fresh, simple seafood and house made tropical ice cream.

scallops from anguilla

More Foodie Finds: A popular time to visit Anguilla is in late July for the Summer Festival, which showcases all manner of cuisine. Take a tour of the Old Salt Factory and Pumphouse to see how salt was farmed. KoalKeel, set in a historic plantation house, has a rum cellar, as well as shopping, elegant island dining and high tea service. KoalKeel also operates island tours and tastings.

Where to Stay: The first and last name in luxurious food-centric experiences is the CuisinArt Resort & Spa, a pioneer of the farm-to-table resort concept. Here, the dining is as global and sophisticated as the clientele. Five restaurants include Tokyo Bay, for Japanese sushi made from exquisitely fresh fish and Italia, for artisanal pasta. Le Bistro at Santorini offers private, customized Chef’s Table dinners with wine pairings. For swashbucklers, there’s a Pyrat Rum Tasting of Anguilla’s best-known spirit brand (room rates start at $425 a night; cuisinartresort.com).

Private villas dot Cap Juluca’s exquisite Maundays Bay beach. The posh resort’s 18-hole championship golf course was designed by Greg Norman, and its dining is overseen by Caribbean-raised chef Dean Samuel. The restaurants include Pimms, considered one of the Caribbean’s best, with light French-Asian-Anguillan cuisine. Spice offers seductive Moroccan dishes and equally sultry ambience. Blue is more casual, with panoramic views, tropical recipes and beach-party dinners on Monday and Friday (room rates start at $495 a night; capjuluca.com).

Next: Discover Jamaica and Puerto Rico