Explore the Food of St. Lucia

Saint Lucia Food & Drinks

Dining in St. Lucia offers vacationers spice, relaxation, and eclectic local cuisine. Travelers seeking restaurants will find everything from international cuisine to barbecue jump-ups in St. Lucia.

While many of the chefs in 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.

Caribbean Food

St. Lucia plays host to a number of all-inclusive hotels where international cuisine delights guests. Vacationers who wander away from the hotels will be richly rewarded by the unpretentious bistros, vendors, and mom and pop shops that add local flavor to the landscape. Visit a fish fry in Gros Islet, Anse La Ray, or Dennery and try barbecue, tatiri (a small fish, deep-fried and eaten whole), and chargrilled tuna steak. Whether you’re looking for excitement and dancing (Gros Islet) or something slightly more subdued (Anse La Ray, Dennery), fish fries are an economical way to experience local cuisine and culture. The bill at Anse la Ray will be about $5(USD) per person and includes a drink.

For something different, try one of the island’s plantation-style restaurants. And as on many Caribbean islands, fast food is also a ready, low-cost option and includes burgers, barbeque, and pizza.

Travelers who have spent the day hiking or snorkeling may wish to relax in one of the moderately priced restaurants that are concentrated largely in the tourist areas. These establishments offer a variety of fares, from Asian, Indian, and Mexican to the local Creole and Amerindian, to American Nouveau. Many also offer outdoor seating with views of beach or mountain sunsets. A meal at one of these eateries will cost between $12(USD) and $20(USD) before drinks and tip.

Culinary Styles

Travelers can cater to their own culinary tastes and budgets in St. Lucia. Whether the evening dinner brings with it relaxation or excitement, many of the locals treat dinner as the optimal time for “liming,” or hanging out.


Creole is the foundation of St. Lucia’s culinary style, a result of early French colonization of the island. Today, a variety of international influences, such as British, Indian, and Amerindian, combine to create palatable options for hungry visitors.

French influence

Although the British took control of St. Lucia in 1814, the French influence on the island’s cuisine has prevailed. African influences can also be seen in tomato-based sauces combined with spices, starch, and clever garnishing. A local chef’s spice rack is sure to include thyme, ginger, clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Onions, peppers, garlic, and lime are also popular savory seasonings. Almost every local table sports a jar of hot pepper sauce. Another unique condiment is banana ketchup, a mixture of banana, herbs, and spices. Be sure to try pepperpot soup, full of beef, spice, and callaloo, a leaf resembling spinach. Pig’s tails and boudin, or blood sausage, are also enjoyed in stews.

Local ingredients

Local ingredients take center stage in the island’s dishes. Fresh fish, vegetables, and fruit are bountiful in the fields and waters of St. Lucia. A fruit called sweet sop, or sugar apple, has creamy white flesh with a taste and texture reminiscent of custard. Soursop is in the same family as sweet sop. Bwapen, also known as breadfruit, is a large fruit that is boiled or fried and eaten regularly by locals. The beans of the tamarind tree are used in relishes and beverages. The tropical love apple is a sweet fruit that should be part of every couple’s picnic basket.

Saltfish and green fig

The national dish of St. Lucia is saltfish and green fig. Early slaves discovered that saltfish was a good source of protein. This dish of fried saltfish and cooked banana, however, may not immediately appeal to many visiting taste buds. Other popular fish include tuna, mahi mahi, snapper, wahoo, and tatiri, a small fish that is deep-fried and eaten whole. Cod is also used in accra, a salted fish fritter. Lobster and conch, island favorites, should only be eaten in season, from September to April. Side dishes include cassava, corn (often blackened), and sweet potatoes – all of which point to the Amerindian (namely Arawak and Carib) influence upon island food.


Indian and British influences have also crept into the island’s cuisine. Curry is popular on the island, and like Creole dishes, packs a tasty punch. Try colombo, made of curried goat, lamb, or chicken. There is also roti, a dish similar to a “wrap” and made with unleavened bread and curried vegetables or meat. Select establishments serve traditional British fare in the form of ploughman’s lunches, steak and kidney pies, and chips.

Coconut water

A refreshing drink is the perfect companion for a day in the sun. Coconut water, drunk straight from the split husk of the fruit, is safe to drink and can be bought at markets and vendors along the road. Familiar sodas are also easy to find, should you want a caffeine boost or a taste of home.


Rum is a favorite drink throughout the Caribbean, and St. Lucia is no exception. St. Lucia’s own rum distillery, St. Lucia Distillers, is situated in the Roseau Valley. While Bounty is the rum of choice on the island, consider trying Denros, a strong white rum, and Old Fort Reserve, a dark rum. Rum shops, called cabawes, are great places to experience the local culture. These huts often sell groceries, loose cigarettes, beer, and of course, rum – straight or on the rocks. Rum and cola is also a popular drink in St. Lucia, and is part of the meal at the Anse la Rey fish fry.

Coffee liqueurs

For a different type of spirit, try Ti Tasse and La Belle Creole Black, popular coffee liqueurs. Piton, the local brew, is often referred to as the “mystic mountain brew” and comes in regular and low calorie versions. A shandy is a mixed drink of beer and ginger ale, lemon, or sorrel.

St. Lucia bears the culinary marks of many cultures, making its cuisine varied and inviting. Take time to explore the island’s many delicacies. An inquisitive traveler with an open mind and palate will be richly rewarded for trying the spicy, eclectic, and exciting food of St. Lucia.


Those seeking the elegance of fine dining should look to Soufriere, Rodney Bay, and the area east of Castries. Many of the island’s hotel restaurants also offer higher-end cuisine. Expect the bill to also be higher-end, starting at around $20(USD) and sometimes exceeding $30(USD).

All-inclusive hotels in St. Lucia offer patrons exciting menus, respected chefs, attentive service, and convenience. But visitors who are willing to venture away from their resorts will find relaxing restaurants, lively fish fries, and local vendors all teeming with French and spicy Creole influences.

Tourist areas

The majority of restaurants in St. Lucia are concentrated in the tourist areas, namely in and around Castries, Soufriere, 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, Mexican and Nouveau American cuisine. Barbeque, 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

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. The fish fry at Anse la Rey, also on Friday nights, is somewhat lower key, and attendants dine at communal tables.

Fish fry St Lucia


During the busy winter season, reservations are essential for moderately priced and fancier restaurants. Service in St. Lucia is often extremely friendly. In fact, some restaurants will arrange for transportation to and from their location. Managers sometimes greet patrons as they are seated. While the atmosphere is usually one of “liming,” dress is conservative. Beachware should be reserved for the sand and sun.

Mom and pop restaurants

Few of the smaller, mom and pop restaurants and nearly no vendor accepts credit cards, so it is wise to have cash on hand. Most establishments list their prices in both Eastern Caribbean Dollars and U.S. Dollars and will take both forms of currency. Change is given predominantly in Eastern Caribbean dollars. An 8 percent tax and 10 percent service charge are usually added to the bill, but you may tip more if the service was informative and attentive. If a tip is not included, 10 to 15 percent is appropriate.


With the exception of hotel restaurants, many establishments close their doors on Sundays. During the off-season, hours may change or restaurants may close for weeks at a time. Generally, the hours for restaurants are 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. for breakfast; Noon to 2:00 p.m. for lunch; and 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. for dinner.

Best Hotels for Dining in St. Lucia

The unique flavors available when you’re away from home can be one of the most memorable parts of a vacation, and St. Lucia offers some rich and unique dining opportunities. Restaurants all over St. Lucia serve meals that are prepared using local styles and seasonings.

St. Lucia Hotels with the Best On-Site Dining Options

No matter how much you plan to explore the local restaurants, you will likely find yourself eating quite frequently at your hotel. So if you’re trying to decide where to stay in St. Luciait makes sense to evaluate the dining options at each hotel. Not only is it convenient to eat at your hotel, but many of the hotels are known for their excellent food, so the people at the next table may be local residents, or visitors from another hotel.

Hotels in the table below have been ranked by the number of restaurants offered, as well as the size of the hotel relative to the number of restaurants. This gives top billing to hotels with the greatest dining variety and smallest crowds. Hotels with a small number of rooms per restaurant typically provide a more intimate dining experience and more personalized service.

However, there’s more to consider than simply how many other people are dining in the hotel’s restaurants. You can also learn whether room service or on-site snack bars are available, or if the hotel has garnered any awards or special recognition for its dining.

St. Lucia Hotels with the Most Nearby Dining Options

You might also want to consider the location of your hotel relative to nearby restaurants. Regardless of how varied or enjoyable the food may be at your hotel, you may want to visit some of St. Lucia’s local restaurants, particularly if your vacation lasts more than a few days.

Staying at one of these highly ranked hotels, you’ll have plenty of nearby restaurants to choose from. If you stay at the Harmony Suites, for instance, you’ll be within walking distance of 8 local restaurants, and you’ll have 9 more choices nearby if you rent a car or take a taxi.

Nearby Restaurants in St. Lucia Hotels

Your options for enjoying the local fare needn’t be this limited, however, since you also have the option of eating at many of the other hotels in St. Lucia. Considering that option, you might want to avoid a hotel that is located far from any other hotels. The hotels in this table are ranked by the number of restaurants at hotels nearby, first based on walking distance and second based on a short driving distance.

Many of St. Lucia’s finest restaurants are found within hotels, so you may find yourself dining with style at another hotel. Click on the name of each hotel and you’ll go to a page with detailed information concerning everything above and beyond just the cuisine served by nearby restaurants and how far away they are. You’re a few clicks away from everything you might want to know about a specific hotel, or visit another section of our site to learn more about St. Lucia.

Final Word

Restaurants in St. Lucia are wholly unique, and your dining experiences can be a significant and enjoyable part of your stay. Explore your options. Whether coming off of a boat, a beach, or a mountain, find a meal that will get you through another day of adventure and relaxation in St. Lucia.

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