Street food is a big part of the authentic Caribbean culture, and you're more likely to find local islanders queued up at a roti cart or jerk shack than at a fancy tourist restaurant. Caribbean street food is cheap, delicious, and can even be healthy. The food offers a real taste of the islands in exchange for a few dollars and a little sense of adventure!
Spicy jerk food was invented on the west coast of Jamaica, and you can get good jerked chicken, pork, fish, and even vegetables from roadside stands and beach huts all around the island. Jerk recipes vary but always start with a mix of chili peppers, allspice, and thyme.
Jamaican street vendors sell patties—soft, semisweet half-moons of dough wrapped around pureed beef, chicken, or other heavily spiced ingredients—but you can also pick them up cheap at several competing takeout shops.
Bake and Shark
Maracas Beach on Trinidad is the best place to get this famous seafood sandwich—a hunk of shark meat deep fried and served on a bun with a variety of toppings, from simple to unusual.
Chickpeas wrapped in a thin dough are a cheap fast-food staple in Trinidad. It is also popular for breakfast during Carnival for filling your belly to moderate the effects of the day’s planned drinking.
This popular street food shows off the East Asian influence on Caribbean culture—it consists of curried chicken, goat, or other ingredients in a tasty wrap.
Just like it sounds, this is the sweet juice from a freshly cracked coconut. Available at street stands throughout the Caribbean, where a vendor will use a machete to lop off the top of a chilled coconut, insert a straw, and—voila—a refreshing, natural treat!
This Indian-Jamaican specialty is a mix of curry, scotch-bonnet peppers, and chopped goat meat. You can find this aromatic stew not only in Jamaica but throughout the Caribbean. Mind the bones!