While many of the chefs on St. Lucia draw heavily upon the spices and garnishes of Creole cuisine, the island's fish fries, hotel restaurants, and unpretentious beach bars ensure that the overall fare is varied, international, and compelling.
The majority of restaurants on St. Lucia are concentrated in the tourist areas, namely in and around Castries, Soufrière, Rodney Bay, and Gros Islet. Establishments are sparse on the eastern coast of the island, and the terrain becomes inaccessible north of Dennery. Expect to find all types of food in the tourist areas, from pizza and fast food to Asian, Creole, Indian, French, and Italian cuisine. Barbecue, drinks, and fruit can be purchased at vendors, although you should be sure that the fruit is both peeled and washed for health reasons.
Fish fries offer cheap and lively alternatives to restaurant dining. The Friday night fish fry at Gros Islet provides an exciting, vibrant atmosphere. It is, however, monitored by police, and women should seriously consider attending only with a group of people. Anse la Rey, meanwhile is a great place to stop on Friday nights when they host a somewhat low-key Fish Fry where attendants dine at communal tables.
...delight in dining on tuna, mahi mahi, and snapper.
French and Indian culinary styles have heavily influenced the traditional methods of food preparation on the island, but what really stands out about St. Lucian food is the attention to detail. Presentation is everything to St. Lucian chefs, though the cost is never the taste. Luckily, the fertile soil of the island produces foods that are both wonderfully delicious and beautiful, and animals who consume these foods benefit from the natural bounty. This affords chefs the opportunity to focus on appearances rather than work on taste.
The typical diet of St. Lucians consists of limited protein, lots of starches, and fruits and vegetables. Typical protein choices are different than most American travelers will be used to: chicken back, pork hocks, and pig tail to name a few. Seafood is available in abundance, however, and many travelers delight in dining on tuna, mahi mahi, and snapper. National specialties include plantains, green figs, and salt fish.
Get into the island spirit by imbibing perhaps the most tropical of beverages, coconut water, drank directly from the split husk of the fruit. Fresh fruit juices are also great thirst quenchers, and particularly tropical feeling. Sodas, coffees, and teas are easily accessible on the island, so you can find comfort and familiarity.
Straight up, on the rocks, or mixed into a fruity cocktail, rum is a popular alcoholic beverage on St. Lucia, and the island is home to its very own distillery. Piton is a top local beer, and coffee liqueurs are favorites. To really drink like a local, try a "shandy," a drink mixed with beer, ginger ale, lemon, or sorrel.
Travelers can cater to their own culinary tastes and budgets on St. Lucia. Whether the evening dinner brings with it relaxation or excitement, many of the locals treat dinner as the optimal time for simply relaxing and hanging out with friends .
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