Culinary Styles

Photo credit: © Rohit Seth |

The Kittitians and Nevisians put local produce, seafood, spices, and game to excellent use in their cuisine. The region's abundance of fresh fish, fruits, and vegetables, helps cooks on St. Kitts and Nevis fuse local fare with Caribbean spice.

Where should you start when looking for dining on St. Kitts and Nevis? A good place to begin is in Basseterre, St. Kitts' capital, where restaurants represent a range of cuisines. Other cities, such as Charlestown or Newcastle on Nevis, also have many varied types of restaurants, but local fare is also easy to find.

Breakfast usually consists of saltfish and johnny cakes...,


St. Kitts and Nevis are mountainous isles, and growing fruits and vegetables can often be difficult in this type of terrain. But the fertile soil makes up for the slopes and rises. Cassavas, yams, pumpkins, avocados, breadfruit, golden apples, gineps, wild cherries, and seagrapes are among the islands' bountiful harvests.

Seafood is extremely important to the island diet. Spiny lobsters, crabs, conch, shrimp, and snapper are common delicacies, especially when paired with West Indian curries. Some popular main dishes are rikkita beef (beef marinated in champagne with Italian dressing), cookup (rice and peas with meat), salt fish, and roasted suckling pig. Goat water, also known as goat stew with fresh vegetables and dumplings, or "droppings."  Breakfast usually consists of saltfish and johnny cakes, with fresh coconut juice to wash it down, but saltfish really shines in the national dish of Stewed Saltfish with Dumplings Spicy Plantains, and Breadfruit. 


Coffee is served throughout most of the day, so are fresh fruit juices, squeezed from local, hand-picked produce. In Basseterre, ask for a glass of fairling, a local fruit punch, or a bottle of sugary grapefruit drink called Ting. If you get the chance, take a short trip to one of the many sugarcane fields. Most farmers will gladly sell you a large stalk. Pull back the husk and suck on the juices with a glass of Caribbean rum, preferably a dark rum to contrast with the sweetness of the sugarcane.

For dessert, try an upside-down pineapple cherry cake, perhaps with a scoop of soursop ice cream. Seasoned fruit, especially gineps, mangoes, and grapefruit, are also special after-dinner treats on St. Kitts and Nevis, where culinary techniques are simple, the results delicious.

Depending upon what you're interested in sampling, you'll have to choose which restaurants to visit.  Check out Restaurant Directory, where you can sort eateries by cuisine.  You may know exactly which restaurants you'd like to eat at already, in which case, click here to search by restaurant name and pull up contact information and more.  If you like to plan every moment of your vacation in advance, you can map out your gastronomic path by searching for hotels you are considering staying at from our extensive listing of accommodations on the islands (A to Z: Hotels in Detail), and view which restaurants are nearest your accommodations alongside a wealth of other details regarding the lodging site.  Finally, check if the hotels your considering, or others nearby, have restaurants worth eating in at our article about the Best Hotels for Dining Options.

Allow yourself to indulge while you stay on St. Kitts and Nevis.  Though you may have to travel off the beaten path to enjoy some of the island's more authentic treats, it is worth the trek.  Eat up and enjoy every flavor that St. Kitts and Nevis have to offer.


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