Food in the Turks and Caicos

When dining in Turks and Caicos, remember: the atmosphere may be casual, but the experience won't be

Photo credit: © Tim Sackton

Turks and Caicos Food

Dining in Turks and Caicos is a surprisingly casual affair. Travelers can sit back, relax, and enjoy the fresh catch of the day. The price of meals, however, is not always quite so relaxed.


Because dining is generally a casual affair, travelers need not worry about dress codes at most restaurants. Relaxation is the norm in Turks and Caicos, and reservations are not usually required, although they may help to ensure a spot for an important dinner, especially at the more popular locations.  If a restaurant requires a reservation, this will serve as a hint to you that finer dress is required.  If you are unsure about appropriate attire, be sure to contact the restaurant in advance with any questions you may have. 

Around the islands you'll find restaurants featuring everything from Continental to Asian cuisine, but regardless of how international the cuisine at a particular establishment, it is still common to have a section of the menu devoted to typical Turks and Caicos fare. 

Culinary Styles


Islanders love "boil fish and grits" for breakfast...


The topography of Turks and Caicos in general does not lend itself to a great deal of produce production.  All though there are rare cases such as on North Caicos where sugar cane, sweet apples, sweet potatoes, and more can be grown, islanders rely mainly on freshly caught seafood and imported foods to fulfill their dietary needs.  This is why international fare is so prevalent when it comes to restaurant choices.

If dining on traditional Turks and Caicos cuisine is something you want to check off your vacation "to do" list, options do exist.  Start with breakfast and lunch.  Islanders love "boil fish and grits" for breakfast, and "boil fish and johnnycake" for lunch.  For supper, fresh seafood alongside peas and hominy is a staple.  In fact, once upon a time, when an island wife was asked what she was serving for dinner, her typical response would be "peas and hominy and penn on."  "Penn on," was slang for "Depends on," meaning that dinner would be peas and hominy, and the meat would depend upon whatever fish or game her husband had caught that day. 


Beverages in Turks and Caicos don't vary much from what visitors would find in their home town.  Restaurants serve a variety of coffees, teas, and soft drinks.  Water from the tap is safe to drink, though some foreigners agree that it has a "funny" taste.  Rum and beer are popular choices of the strong sort.  Rum punch is a favorite, but any bartender can mix up your favorite drink upon request.

No matter where you go in the Turks and Caicos Islands, you'll certainly find delicious dining, but it may come with a higher price tag than on other islands.


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