Culinary Styles

Photo credit: © Diane Uhley |

While nearly all of the islands in the Caribbean offer mouthwatering dishes, countries in the French West Indies typically draw travelers who place the enjoyment of fine wine and French and Creole cuisine high on their vacation list.

Like Martinique, Guadeloupe signals its status as an overseas territory of France through its fine cuisine. As it has done on so many other islands, French food has mingled with African, Asian, and Carib influences to create the culinary melange that is Creole. Emphasizing powerful spices, local fish and vegetables, and tomato based sauces, Creole cuisine offers a savory alternative to the more traditional French fare found in Guadeloupe. Visitors with a hankering for other types of food will also find a variety of international cuisines served on the islands.

Traditional French cuisine on the island ranges from lobster profiteroles and foie gras, to rack of lamb, red snapper, and pork medallions. Herbs such as thyme and a variety of cream sauces are used with flavorful results. The heavy influence of French cuisine is also found in the availability and popularity of wine. Diners can pair their game dishes and fresh Caribbean seafood with wine from around the world.

Fusing traditional French cuisine with local ingredients and the influences of African, Asian, and Caribbean culinary styles, Creole is the ubiquitous Caribbean cuisine. Local ingredients used in this cuisine include plantains and christophenes, as well as chadron (sea urchin), ouassous (freshwater crayfish), chatrou (octopus), langouste (lobster), lambi (conch), land crabs, and a number of types of fish.

Popular items featured in Creole cuisine in Guadeloupe include accras (fritters made from cod or vegetables), calaloo (an herb soup made with bacon and a spinach-like leaf), migan (bananas and breadfruit), souskai (green fruits with lime and hot pepper), accras de morue (deep-fried codfish fritters), and féroces d'avocat (a very spicy salad of avocado, cassava, and salted cod). Hot sauces such as sauce chien spice up island dishes significantly. Colombo (curry) preparations are popular on the island with (cabri) goat, pork, or other meats. Boudin (spicy blood sausage) is found alongside other meats, including rabbit, opossum, dove, and chicken, and a fun pairing of Moules et frites (mussels in broth served with French fries) is served in some of the islands' cafes. 

One of the newest culinary concepts in Guadeloupe is Rótisseur des Isles, a meal consisting of the guests picks from the salad bar, roasted meats, and a mouthwatering French dessert to complete the experience.  Visitors will also find many of their favorites from home at various locales throughout the islands, including pizza parlors, and Indian restaurants. 

...white, chocolate, coconut, and other rums...


If Creole is the ubiquitous cuisine in the Caribbean, rum is the most popular drink. The main islands of Basse-Terre and Grand-Terre have several distilleries. Marie-Galante, with its plentiful sugarcane, has several distilleries that produce rum that ranks among the best in the region. Popular rum concoctions include ti punch, made with rum, sugarcane syrup, and lime; planters punch, made with rum, sugarcane syrup, fruit juice, and pomegranate syrup; and shrub, made with rum and orange peels. In Grand-Terre, Damoiseau has award winning white, amber, old, and vintage rums. On Marie-Galante, distillers include Distillerie Bellevue, which makes strong and potent rums; Distillerie Bielle, which makes white, chocolate, coconut, and other rums; and Distillerie Poisson, which produces the highly regarded Rhum du Père Labat. Although none is produced on the islands, wine is also a very popular libation.  Whether you favor fine French wine or a fruity rum cocktail, the drinks in Guadeloupe will hit the spot after a day of hiking in the national park.

You don't have to search very hard in Guadeloupe to find any of the above mentioned foods, along with other international cuisine, and those dishes that you have come to expect back home.  Still, you can arrive in Guadeloupe with a gastronomical plan, so you ensure you get to sample every last bit of fare that sparks your interest.  Visit our Restaurant Directory where you can search for eateries by the type of cuisine that they serve.  If you know the name of the restaurant you'd like to dine in, click here.  For many vacationers, the location of the restaurants they choose is key.  Visit our A to Z: Restaurants in Detail page, where you can view a list of the accommodations you are considering, and learn about all their offered accommodations - including which restaurants are situated in the vicinity.  If staying at a hotel with a restaurant on property is important to you, check out our article titled Best Hotels for Dining Options.

With French, Creole, Indian, Italian, and other cuisines available throughout the islands, travelers have a culinary cornucopia to choose from as they dine in Guadeloupe.


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