Top 10 Things to Eat in Dominica

Dominica is considered the nature island, and if you ever get the chance to visit this port of call on a Caribbean cruise, you’ll see that it certainly lives up to its name. Featuring beautiful vistas, pristine beaches, waterfalls, lush rainforests and plenty of areas for hiking and diving, there is no shortage of fun, exciting things to do. But it’s the special food in Dominica that you definitely don’t want to miss!

With a range of influences from many different cultures, Dominica’s cuisine is a mix of Caribbean, French, Asian and African dishes, resulting in the most flavorful meals you might ever taste. With an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients, the island’s top restaurants, casual eateries and small food stands serve up an array of island cuisine that will have you wondering what to eat next in Dominica!

Consider the following options when you visit Dominica. No matter what you choose, you won’t be disappointed!

1. Mountain Chicken

You might be in for a bit of a surprise if you order this dish because it doesn’t actually contain any chicken! The mountain chicken actually refers to a species of giant frog native to the area. The legs, which form the basis of a dish, is considered Dominica’s national food. If you’ve ever had frog’s legs before, then you know that they indeed taste a lot like chicken. Mountain chicken’s legs are fried up with spices and seasonings and served along with local vegetables such as yams, yucca, pumpkin and plantains.

cooked frog legs, known as mountain chicken in dominica, served with sauce

2. Manicou

A special food in Dominica, this delicacy is a truly tasty dish you’ll definitely want to try! Made from opossum, it is smoked over a low fire or put into a stew and served with rice. Seasoned with various spices, it is a real treat! Many of the eateries have their own special blend of spices when smoking the opossum. If served in a stew, you’ll find it accompanied by lots of fresh, local vegetables and a bit of spice from scotch bonnet peppers!

3. Agouti

Another special food in Dominica, agouti refers to an animal similar to a squirrel or a guinea pig. It is native to the area and often prepared in a similar manner to manicou. Served in a stew with a spicy curry sauce, along with various vegetables, it’s a hearty dish that makes quite a meal.

4. Callaloo Soup

A Creole specialty, callaloo soup is a hearty dish filled with a wide assortment of delicious, fresh local vegetables, and specifically the leaves of the callaloo plant, which is similar to spinach. The soup is seasoned with various herbs and spices. It’s quite healthy, as well!

callaloo soup made in dominica

5. Chatou Water

No, chatou water isn’t a special bottled spring water — it’s octopus soup! A one-pot dish containing chopped octopus, of course, dumplings, and other ingredients such as assorted vegetables. It possesses a distinctive taste and a wonderful broth that you’ll truely savor.

6. Sancocho

This is a flavorful beef or chicken stew made with local vegetables such as cassava melon and plantains. The assortment of herbs and spices, such as cilantro, garlic, cumin and paprika add levels of flavor to the dish, and a sauce made from onions and tomatoes is scooped over the top when serving. When you taste it, you’ll understand why this comforting and filling dish is a treasure of Dominica’s cuisine!

sancocho made with chicken and vegetables from dominica being cooked on the stove

7. Sorrel Punch

This popular beverage from Dominica is a sweet and refreshing punch. Made from the sorrel plant; the plant is boiled and blended with various spices and a good amount of ginger, making it a rather healthy drink as well. It is popular during Christmas but you can find it served throughout the year in many eateries around Dominica.

8. Codfish sandwich

Fresh cod is perfectly seasoned, sautéed or fried, and then served between two pieces of crispy bread. It’s rather simple, yet very delicious, and a great meal to give you some extra energy as you explore the many things Dominica has to offer.

fried codfish sandwich made with tomatoes and lettuce

9. Local Rum

On the island of Dominica, you can find plenty of local rums. It is definitely the drink of choice for the residents and visitors of this port of call. Order a few of the many rum cocktails offered at eateries, cafes and beachside bars until you find your favorite. And don’t forget to sample some of the popular brands that are infused with different herbs and spices, such as rosemary and cinnamon!

10. Fresh Fruits

Much of Dominica cuisine focuses on using fresh, local tropical fruits. Mangoes, papayas, bananas, guava and pineapple are found in abundance, and you can enjoy them as freshly squeezed fruit juices, in cocktails and in many other dishes. As you explore the island, you might even get the chance to pick some fresh fruit right off the trees!

variety of fresh fruits being sold in dominica including bananas, mangos, and papayas

As you can see, you have quite a few options when eating in Dominica. A Caribbean cruise to Dominica will enable you to visit the island and try a good number of these fabulous local dishes. Even if you choose to shy away from the more adventurous dishes like manicou or agouti, some of the other foods will definitely provide a wonderful and satisfying culinary experience.