Awe-inspiring white sand beaches and gorgeous rainforest hikes await you in the port of St. Lucia. A jewel of a Caribbean island that has a unique colonial history and draws crowds of visitors every year. French, native and African cultures have fused together here to create not just an exciting way of life, but a truly spicy and flavorful cuisine that includes special St. Lucian dishes that you just can’t find anywhere else.
Of course, in the major cruise ship port like the one in St. Lucia, you will also find international fare, including Asian and North American-style specialties, but it’s well worth it to try the local “creole” plates as well. Fresh seafood of the Caribbean, the abundance of tropical fruits and vegetables of the island and the mix of spices brought in from afar combine to create a unique culinary experience that top the list of things to do in St. Lucia.
Here are the top 10 things that rank as the best food in St. Lucia.
Cooked in large pots and served at family gatherings as well as celebrations, bouyon is a delicious soup made from local ingredients that must be tried by all who visit this magical island. Based on chunks of sweet potato, pumpkin or yam, as well as ham hocks or slices of pork, this hearty stew both fills the stomach and warms the heart. When ordering bouyon in St. Lucia, you can always ask for the hot sauce on the side, as locals like to fire things up with scotch bonnets, which are among one of the hottest peppers on Earth!
Like many of the Caribbean islands, St. Lucia is crazy about the shellfish known as conch, which provides a nice large piece of tender meat perfect for cooking up in a variety of ways. Here on the island, however, conch is served up creole style, which means it is heavily spiced before being pan-fried as a special St. Lucia dish called lambi. Most restaurants in the tourist areas and along the waterfront serve St. Lucia lambi and, although it’s the kind of plate that might sound strange at first, it usually has visitors lining up for seconds.
3. Fresh Lobster
You can thank the local divers who brave the deep waters of St. Lucia’s coves every morning for the fresh lobster served for lunch on the island’s restaurants. With large juicy tails packed with meat, these St. Lucia lobsters are a delicacy that are prepared a variety of ways on the island, from steamed to sushi, and they always get rave reviews.
4. Callaloo Soup
The African influence on St. Lucia food is apparent in dishes like callaloo soup, a creamy coconut milk-based broth that is loaded with spinach (callaloo itself) as well as veggies like okra, potatoes and garlic. There are many different versions of this local favorite across the island, including callaloo soup containing conch, lobster, fish and other fresh items from the Caribbean Sea.
As soon as you step off the cruise ship and into any port town in St. Lucia, you will not fail to see Accra, a local favorite, being sold on the street. Made from salted codfish that is packed into a ball and then seasoned heavily before being deep-fried, Accra is a great afternoon snack that goes together perfectly with your favorite choice of beverage. Even if just stopping to do some shopping in St. Lucia, you should grab one of these delightful snacks to go!
6. Green Figs and Salt Fish
When ordering St. Lucia’s national dish, don’t be surprised when it comes with green bananas instead of the kind of figs you are used to back home. Fig is just the local name for the island’s top export food. Widely served all over the island, green figs and salt fish has been filling bellies for centuries and is quite tasty when the fish itself — which is usually cod but can be many other local varieties — is fully spiced before it is dried and cured for preservation.
Served with a spicy sauce or sometimes just mayonnaise, breadfruit is a popular St. Lucia food that grows on a local tree and can reach the size of a melon. Starchy yet sweet, breadfruit is also served alongside main dishes and cooked into yummy little “breadfruit balls” that are mixed with cheese and vegetables before being fried.
8. Pepper Pots
Pepper pots are a general name given to a wide range of chicken or lamb-based stews made from scratch and whatever leftovers or local ingredients are on hand in family homes in St. Lucia. While pepper pots are more of a home-style delicacy on the island, more and more restaurants are starting to serve them. You can now find them almost everywhere you go. True to name, however, pepper pots are often super spicy hot — so be forewarned!
9. Banana Cake
When you get a sweet tooth going, try a slice of St. Lucia’s famous banana cake. Loaded with nuts and spices as well as mashed fresh bananas, many visitors think of banana cake as a bit of heaven on earth.
10. Fry Bakes
Also called float bakes, no list of what to eat in St. Lucia would be complete without the mouth-watering breakfast treat known as a “bake.” Simply made from deep frying some sweet dough into a pancake-style doughnut, fry bakes are local staples that will wow the whole family.
Note: Onboard activities, shore excursions, and dining options may vary by ship and destination.