Here’s a scenario that may ring familiar: you land on the Caribbean island of your choice and decide to veer a bit off the beaten path to explore the local culinary landscape. Instead of finding succulent, grilled fish or a steaming bowl of down-home goodness, you’re affronted by a $25 over-priced grey hamburger and soggy fries. It’s happened to most of us. But I’ve asked some seasoned gastro-explorers for their favourites and compiled a starter list of not-to-be-missed, reasonably priced dining options that will have you licking your fish-fry greased fingers in no time!


The “Spice Island” as this lush gem is called thanks to the abundance of mace, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and ginger grown there, is framed by turquoise waters and a green, verdant setting.  Toronto chef Joanne Lusted, a sun-seeking recipe developer decided that Grenada offered something special when she read Canadian Ann Vanderhoof’s travelogue “An Embarrassment of Mangoes.” In it, Vanderhoof and her husband leave their fast-forward lifestyle behind for two years of island discovery.  The chapter “Sweet Grenada” literally made Lusted cry. “I knew something special was waiting for me on this teeny island paradise. The Grenadian people are so completely endearing, and the island so beautiful, after two short weeks we felt like locals. Grenada will always be one of my favourite places.”

Here are some of her favourite places to eat on the island:

Deyna’s Tasty Foods – St. George’s, Grenada 440-6795

Ask a local where to savour the national Grenadian dish known as Oil Down (a stew of fish, salted meat, coconut oil, and breadfruit) and they’ll direct you to this no-frills favourite in downtown St. George’s. Owner/Chef Diana and her husband only serve this time-consuming to prepare specialty on Fridays where brimming bowls of Oil Down makes a hearty lunch. Lusted advises you come early and wait if necessary because it sells out fast! Other tasty options: roti, and stewed fish or pork served with trad trimmings such as fried rice, sautéed noodles, provision (boiled starchy tubers), salad and callaloo.  Lunch for two with a Carib beer or juice $30.

Gouyave Fish Fry– Gouyave, St. John’s Parish

Along the main strip of the vibrant fishing village called Gouyave, aka “the town that never sleeps,” you’ll find a string of stalls cooking up jerked marlin, lobsters, conch and grilled snapper to name a few. Live music, a boisterous street party atmosphere and good food are the name of the game here and everyone is welcomed. Every Friday night from 6pm onward, vendors lining St. Francis and St. Dominic streets grill, fry, steam and boil seafood favourites. Don’t miss the fish cakes with fry bakes (the local, sweet, unleavened bread), barbecued snapper and shrimp. Wash it down with a rum punch and prepare to be enchanted. Prices vary but are always reasonable.


Calgary Herald and CBC Radio One food reviewer and travel writer John Gilchrist knows a thing or two about dining out.  On his first foray into the Caribbean, Gilchrist explored the well-heeled, small coral island south of Cuba long visited for its famous Seven Mile Beach and the new architectural eco-marvel, Caymana Bay.

Here is one of Gilchrist’s Favourites: Sunshine Grill – West Bay Road, 345-949- 3000 (

The little restaurant no one knew about a few years ago is today pulling in awards and accolades for their famous Cayman style fish tacos and yes, even their burgers. Located at the Sunshine Suites, Gilchrist heard that the poolside restaurant, decorated in typical, Grand Cayman style was a must-try while on the island. “I like this place because it’s away from the beach and the traffic; they make and serve simple food, done well and at reasonable prices.” He recommends the famous fish tacos (stuffed with grilled Mahi with a chili avocado sauce) savoured poolside, washed down with a Pusser’s Rum Painkiller cocktail. Carnivores can opt for the Appleton rum-glazed ribs or a cheeseburger in paradise. Lunch hovers around the $10 mark, dinner specials under $20 per person.

And last but certainly not least, we take you to Barbados where fish cutters reign supreme.

Cuz’s Fish Shack-
Brown’s Beach- close to the Hilton Hotel
Many understandably descend on the island for its more upscale, annual Food, Wine and Rum Festival – but if you’re looking to eat like a local, make haste to Cuz’s. A tried and true favourite, this small, colourful shack offers the best fish cutters- sandwiches made to order using the catch of the day. Many claim the very best is the Blue Marlin sandwich with your choice of fried egg or cheese, topped with mayonnaise, BBQ sauce or the local favourite- Scotch bonnet sauce. Served on “salt bread” (not the usual sweet Bajan bread), this cutter comes with tomato, lettuce and pickle. Open from around 9am to 5pm, two sandwiches and a beer will run you under $10.

Lusted and Gilchrist agree- the best way to eat anywhere, especially in the Caribbean, is to eat what the locals eat. A sense of curiosity, adventure and even patience will reap delicious, edible rewards for the willing.