Looking for Saint Lucia eateries? Here are our favourite diners on the Caribbean island, plus where to get the best rotis, rum concoctions and fish curry.
With a worthwhile environment, the inexhaustible Caribbean Sea and culinary forces that elongate from East India to Western africa, Britain and France, it’s no amaze that meat is a central element of Saint Lucian culture. Fish soups and chicken mixtures are often found on local menus, while breadfruit, figs, pineapples, bananas, yams and scotch bonnet peppers are easily available. Fried and roasted dough concoctions are also commonplace on Saint Lucia, perhaps best experienced in the national dish: Johnny cakes( gues savoury donuts) with salt fish( sauteed fish with spices and onions ).
Best street food on Saint Lucia Jump Up
If you’re staying in the north of the island don’t miss this street party, which takes plaza every Friday night in Gros Islet. Rum cabins and grill stallings start setting up shop at around 6.30 pm, but the drinking and dancing don’t get perfectly travelling until much last-minute; if you’re there to gathering, don’t even think of leading before 10 pm. For a more gentle ordeal, go at around 7pm and intelligence to Duke’s Place for some of the best, home-cooked fish on the island. At a bank of metal-drum barbecues, huge quantities of lobster, marlin and mahi-mahi are cooked. Join the( fast-moving) queues to make your collect, then move along makeshift tables choosing rice and “auntie’s” fig salad( doused with a gorgeously garlicky costume, the’ figs’ are actually green bananas, trained as a vegetable rather than a fruit) to go with it. Next, intelligence over to the Duke’s Place bar to line-up a rum punch, then make your carry over to one of the contiguou outing counters to chitchat to a mix of neighbourhoods and tourists while you chewed; a huge dinner and a couple of rum pierces will cost you less than a tenner.
Bay Street, Gros Islet
Head to Duke’s Place bar and say a rum swipe to eat with fish right off the coals
Liz Hot Roti
They may be a traditional Indian flatbread, but, for Saint Lucians, rotis are a delicacy in their own right. On Reduit Beach, in Rodney Bay, Liz( look for her’ Liz Hot Roti’ sign) replenishes them with everything from marinaded goat flesh to shrimp, plus homemade sizzling sauce, for the perfect sea lunch. It’s simply a improvised stop, which Liz also exchanges heated coconut cake and fruit juices from, but it’s so successful that imposters have implemented in order to simulating her … so be sure to buy the genuine article!
Reduit Beach, Rodney Bay
Best beach forbid on Saint Lucia The Naked Fisherman
Part of the Cap Maison resort, this Smuggler’s Cove beach bar serves informal lunches and dinners on some nights( blizzard crab claws, lobster cocktails, burgers, creole barbecue timbers …) at beachside counters. Even if you’re not staying at the inn, it’s worth going for a sundowner. Not exclusively does the bar act its own, island-brewed, Naked Fisherman IPA, but it’s also known for its signature rum concoctions( try Saint Lucia’s treacly Chairman’s Reserve Rum in a Spicy Mango, with mango puree, lime juice and homemade jalapeno syrup ).
If you crave slightly better refined dining, thought to the resort’s main restaurant, The Cliff at Cap. It’s open-air with a stunning clifftop mounting: below you, frigatebirds swoop over the atlantic provinces and, if you squint, you can see over to the island of Martinique. The menu veers towards creative French/ West Indian cooking( signature dishes include ceviche of shoal conch and ahi tuna, and Kurobuta pork belly with razor clams, squid and coconut sud ), but The Cliff is also a great spot for a boozing: the bar has only one superb selection of rums.
Order a rum cocktail by the beach, concluded with local Chairman’s Reserve rum
Best chocolate experience on Saint Lucia Boucan inn
See exactly where the cocoa in your Dizzy Pralines comes from at Hotel Chocolat’s 250 -year-old plantation( and adjoining boutique inn ), near Soufriere. Set against the Piton mountains, 1,000 metres above the Caribbean Sea, Boucan hotel is as indulgent as a Rocky Road slab. Relax with a pick-your-own cacao-oil massage( try heady cacao-rose, or fragrant cacao-cinnamon ), take a plunge in the infinity puddle, head off on a plantation tour or start your own chocolate bar on a bean-to-bar experience. Rooms, announced’ luxe pods’, have four-poster couches, open-sky rainforest showers and lush Petit Piton views from your own private veranda. Plus they’re embellished in rich mahoganies and tusks, to subtly show those chocolate hues.
The restaurant( perfectly targeted for Petit Piton panoramas) make-ups use of the entire cocoa pod: fresh, tangy mushy in cocktails and sorbets, and roasted cacao nibs for spice. Try yellowfin tuna with a cacao nib layer and garlic cacao butter sauce, with a slope of grey chocolate mince. And Rabot Chocolate Lava for dessert, inspired by adjacent Soufriere volcano- a dome of chocolate sponge with a molten chocolate interior, represented solely from Hotel Chocolat cacao beans.
Take a safarus of the Hotel Chocolat plantation before trying a cacao-laced dinner at Boucan
Best casual dining recognizes on Saint Lucia Jambe de Bois
There’s a Robinson Crusoe vibe at this Pigeon Island cafe, with its driftwood furniture, brightly coated lasso moves and waterside adjusting. The island( now be linked to Saint Lucia by a causeway) is popular with day-trippers from inns in neighbouring Rodney Bay, who came to see snorkel really offshore, or hike up to the Fort Rodney. Many of them detour into this appealingly hippyish blot along the way.
Home cooking is the order of the day, with simple dishes such as callaloo soup, homemade crab cakes and banana crumble. It’s too a great spot to sit and sip a Piton beer overlooking the water.
Pigeon Island, 00 1 758 450 8166
Run by a local mother-daughter duo, Martha’s Tables sits exactly beneath Petit Piton in Soufriere and provides straight-up home-cooked food on its verandah. Try breadfruit dances( the prickly oval outcome delicacies like freshly cooked bread when cooked ), and freshly-caught mahi mahi in Martha’s rich and spicy special sauce.
In Castries, Hardest Hard is where neighbourhoods go for lunch. It’s a humble menu- six-or-seven’ plates’ to choose from, and the same number of liquors( try tamarind juice)- that affords a great flavour of Saint Lucian cuisine. From gentle saltfish bake to not-for-the-faint-hearted salted pigtail bouyon, it’s all piled high on bright yellow sheets; although the kitchen runs out of food rapidly at lunch meter, so get there early.
Flavours of the Grill
Flavours of the Grill predicts simply that: locally-caught seafood or meat, simply grilled and had participated in curries( shrimp in coconut curry is a favourite) or alongside garlic potatoes, rice, okra and light-green beans. The simple, modern eatery is just south of Rodney Bay( it’s recently moved from its original Gros Islet location ), and there’s live jazz every Friday night- enjoy it with a banana daiquiri in hand.
Close to the Windjammer Landing, near Rodney Bay
Best romantic dining blots on Saint Lucia Orlando’s
It’s exclusively regional ingredients now( including unadulterated vanilla pods and additional maiden olive oil ), transformed into illuminated, beautiful dishes. Set at the northern end of Soufriere, Orlando’s is an al fresco restaurant – you eat in a courtyard garden- that serves’ Ti Manje’( tiny platefuls) of Caribbean food: cucumber and saltfish salad, for example, and mahi mahi with sugared potato layer, skewered on sugar cane sticks.
The Coal Pot
Across the bay from Castries, and next to genteel Vigie Marina, The Coal Pot has been cooking fresh fish for over 50 years. Try kingfish, barracuda, dorado or lobster, served with ratatouille and fiery ginger sauce, or genuine St Lucian’ crab back’- neighbourhood crab sauteed with herbs in a garlic-butter sauce. Food is served on patterned plates coated by the owner, shimmering torches give the seat a nostalgic feel, and its waterside point reaches for the excellent( if somewhat smug) anniversary snap.
Best marketplace on Saint Lucia
Rough-around-the-edges Castries marketplace, first established in the 1890 s, is the biggest on small island developing, with over 300 regular merchants and a Vendor’s Arcade annex( a far more recent addition) on one side that acts as a showcase for local eateries and craftspeople. You can buy everything from green figs to banana ketchup, hats made of grass and raw cocoa lodges here( grate the latter and mix with bay foliages, cinnamon and nutmeg to shape Saint Lucian hot cocoa tea ). The best time to visit is early on a Saturday morning- when in-the-know locals do their shopping.
John Compton Highway, Castries
Best arranges remained on Saint Lucia East Wind Resort
For a pampering suffer with a more neighbourhood flavour than some of the larger useds- and a more intimate setting( there are only 30 guest bungalows plus a beach live)- this leafy, all-inclusive retreat, right on La Brelotte beach in the northwest of small island developing, is a recommended alternative. Accommodation is scattered between pretty gingerbread shacks and older rondel-style suites in the thorough plots, plus a handful of coast apartments; all are spoiling, with gigantic bunks, indulgence lavatories and conscientiously furnished mini saloons( unlimited chilled champagne can also be supplied if you really want to celebrate ).
The structure at East Breaths has a more regional flavor than some of the island’s bigger recourses, and is set within extended tropical gardens
At the heart of the recourse is a beachfront bar, restaurant and open-sided lounge area, while just behind them are two chic pavilions- one for expert yoga and pilates grades( included in the price ), the other home to a spa. Other activities included in the rates are watersports, garden-variety safaruss( ask to see the on-site banana’ museum’, where several varieties of the outcome are germinated) and cooking categorizes( ours, with chef Linton, taught us how to impel ritzy smashed fish, the tender crispy coating a blitzed-up mix of onion, garlic, sizzling sauce, sage, basil, sugared peppers, olive oil and lime juice ).
Breakfasts are a highlight, with a different fresh smoothie or juice available every day and, alongside the usual suspects( toast, local jams, humid outcomes, bacon and eggs ), a choice of fresh flannel-cakes and omelettes made to order. Local tones pop up, extremely: johnny cakes with lettuce figs and saltfish, perhaps, or little homemade coconut and cinnamon wheels. Lunches, meanwhile, are different every day but revolve around marinated and barbecued meats and fish( weeks later, one of our party is still talking about East Winds’ barbecued spare ribs ), stews, paella and brightly emblazoned salads and features( jackfruit salad, buttered greens, marinaded veg, dasheen bullets …). If it’s on offer, try the prawn soup, a wholesome-tasting light, peppery broth laced with plump seafood.
“Theres a lot” of regional smells at breakfast, from humid results to homemade coconut and cinnamon rolls
In the unlikely event that you get hungry during the day, homemade patty is served in the parlour each afternoon( we happened to be there over the island’s Independence fetes, and also got to try local sugareds such as sour-sweet tamarind balls and coconut fudge) and there’s an all-day bar menu listing items such as grilled fish skewers. Save space, though, for clever four-course evening dinners. Overseen by competently mentioned director chef Tomislav Cukman, elegantly demonstrated saucers stray from tuna confit with potato salad to Caribbean-style light-green banana bouillon, seared barracuda with cauliflower and wasabi paste and chocolate and raspberry entremets( traditionalists can opt for the likes of grilled pear with prosciutto crisp, roast rack of lamb and banana donuts with spicy toffee sauce ).
As for the bar, while it’s all-inclusive at East Breeze, a grown-up crowd implies no-one overdoes it. Piton beers and residence wine-coloreds are favourite and outcome pierces( with or without rum) are always available. There’s frequently a cocktail of the day, but our advice is to try the neighbourhood rum. Chairman’s Reserve, produced on the island, is a smooth, failsafe alternative with soothing, humid fruit documents; but if you crave something a step forward from service standards, ask for a glass of Admiral Rodney rum, with its vanilla and toasted oak flavour.
Sit back and watch the sunset with the cocktail of the day, specially when it’s laced with the most wonderful neighbourhood rum
For more information on the island, investigate stlucia.org
Words by Rhiannon Batten and Charlotte Morgan
Photographs by Rhiannon Batten, Steve Barnes and Hotel Chocolat