Travel

The Best Caribbean Islands for Foodies

Go for the beaches, stay for the food
The Best Food in the Caribbean Islands
Photo: lucky-photographer/Getty Images

Though the Caribbean is typically visited for its white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters, it’s increasingly becoming a destination for food lovers.

Looking to plan a food-fueled Caribbean vacation but don’t know where to start? These seven Caribbean islands tend to offer the best of the best for gourmands who want to try delicious local fare without missing a second of the breathtaking scenery.

While traveling to 25 countries (and counting), Lindsay writes about her passion for food, travel and culture. You can follow her adventures on Instagram at @lindsaypaigestein and @nomnomblog.

  • Jamaica

    For mouthwatering jerk chicken, bammy (cassava) pancakes and callaloo stew, head to Jamaica, where a flavorful, richly spiced cuisine offers tinges of African, Indian, British, French, Spanish and Chinese influences. Scotchies, a must-try joint in Montego Bay, serves up the best jerk chicken and pork on the island. First-time visitors should also get their hands on Tastee Patties, miniature flaky patties (filled with ground beef, vegetables, chicken or cheese) sold at stores throughout Jamaica.

    Photo: lucky-photographer/Getty Images

  • Cayman Islands

    In the Cayman Islands, travelers should try heavy cakes made from coconut, cassava, sugar and spices; local Caybrew beer; conch stew; and the coconut snapper at Heritage Kitchen, a must-try. The new Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa offers culinary experiences like food-and-wine pairings with a private chef and cooking classes for kids.  

    Photo: rmanera/Getty Images

  • Trinidad and Tobago

    Trinidad and Tobago's rich and diverse culinary heritage includes distinctive Creole traditions and cuisines, and is known for both its street food and its upscale dining. On this twin-island nation, curried crab and dumplings reign supreme, as do stewed chicken, pelau (seasoned rice and broth), macaroni pie and oxtail.

    Photo: kbycphotography/Getty Images

  • Puerto Rico

    Be sure to try Puerto Rican asopao, a hearty gumbo made with either chicken or shellfish, and don't miss out on aromatic Puerto Rican coffee, which is produced right on the island. Additionally, a vibrant tourism scene has produced quality restaurants like Pikayo, serving fusion fare, and Oceano, a beachfront spot with upscale Caribbean classics.

    Photo: dennisvdw/Getty Images

  • St. Barts

    Head to St. Barts for an updated take on traditional French cuisine and seafood like mahi mahi, red tuna and red snapper. The island's annual St. Barth Gourmet Festival, which takes place in the fall, is a gastronomic blowout that brings together chefs from all over the world; guests can sample tasting menus, watch mixologist competitions, sign up for gourmet dinners and more.

    Photo: Reed Kaestner/Getty Images

  • Barbados

    Don't leave Barbados without trying breadfruit, a starchy superfood and staple of the Barbadian diet. Lush breadfruit grow on trees throughout the Caribbean; they can be roasted, fried, baked or boiled, and they're usually served alongside meat dishes.

    Photo: master1305/Getty Images

  • Anguilla

    Be sure to try Anguilla’s crayfish, which can be found at beachside BBQ shacks and restaurants across the tiny island. Other delectable Anguillan dishes include island snapper with peas and rice, West Indian-style curried goat and grilled lobster. The island is also known for its food trucks; two standouts are Hungry’s Good Food, doling out eight homemade soups, and Papa Lash's Food Van, whose signature cheese patty is a local favorite.

    Photo: Chris Williams/Getty Images

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