Top 10 foods to try in the Caribbean

Caribbean cuisine varies hugely from island to island. Evolved from both Spanish and African influences, here we take a look at the dishes you simply must try.

Top 10 foods to try in the Caribbean

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Goat stew

Goat is hugely popular in the Caribbean, where it is a meatier and more succulent choice than in the UK. Varying in flavours and richness, everyone claims that their mother’s version of goat stew is the best.


Like much Caribbean cuisine, callaloo has its roots in West Africa. This vegetable-based dish is a thick stew of leafy greens, coconut milk, and either meat or seafood.

Jerk chicken

Jerk is a hot, spicy Caribbean flavouring made with cinnamon, pepper and cayenne. It is mostly used with chicken and originally hails from Jamaica, one of travel expert Lost Waldo’s favourite destinations

Macaroni pie

If you visit the Caribbean islands, this dish may take you by surprise. Served as a deep-fried macaroni cheese pie, it represents comfort food at its best.

Ackee and saltfish

Another Jamaican favourite, ackee and saltfish is a popular breakfast dish. Ackee, a fruit, is cooked with vegetables and boiled salted whitefish. If you can’t make it to Jamaica, you can try this dish in London.


Another thick stew of meat and vegetables, pepperpot comprises aubergine, squash and potatoes with beef and cornmeal dumplings. It is a very satisfying and hearty dish.


Being surrounded by warm, abundant waters, all Caribbean islands serve a range of delicious seafood. Both fish and shellfish are worth sampling; for example, try the black grouper steaks, grilled flying fish and shellfish washed down with rum at a coastal eatery.


When it comes to seafood specific to the Caribbean, conch is a popular option. This large sea snail is a meaty option and turns up in everything from soups to stews and even salads.

Roast pork

This dish has its heritage in Spanish roots, making it more common on islands such as the Dominican Republic and Cuba. The roasted pork is served with beans, rice and plantain, with the beautiful pork drippings bringing flavour to everything on the plate.

Chicken with rice

Also known as arroz con pollo, this dish is more common on islands with Spanish influence. It is a catch-all term for a dish comprising marinated chicken served with rice.

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