St Lucia food: the best dishes to try on holiday

If you've ever wondered what the food in St Lucia is like, you'll be interested to learn that this beautiful Caribbean island is blessed with a diverse and exciting larder, fabulous restaurants – and a good supply of rum.

By Saga team

Published 4 May 2024

From the fresh seafood landed daily on the island’s golden shores to the delicious mangoes and rich avocado trees that thrive throughout its lush interior, the basic ingredients for the classic St Lucia menu burst with colour and vitality.

It’s easy to see why the local seafood is a menu mainstay here. Sitting in an open-air restaurant on the coast with a glass of wine and a bowl of shellfish is a highlight for many travellers to the island, but whether you eat out at a top restaurant, or simply have a barbecue on the beach, you’ll experience some unbelievable flavours.

The coast around St Lucia sustains an abundance of fresh fish and shellfish, which the restaurants on the island love to showcase – none more so than the delicious lobster found here. Some are even caught by local divers using nothing more than a snorkel and a hand spear.

You’ll find many restaurants serving this delicacy, with recipes ranging from steamed lobster tails to lobster ceviche and even spiny lobster sushi.

St Lucia food fact:

Lobsters caught in the Caribbean are quite different from UK lobsters – they’re spiny with large tails and long pointed barbs instead of claws.

Lambi, otherwise known as conch, are large shellfish whose succulent meat is served in spicy Caribbean sauces. You’ll spot the colourful shells of the conch used as a decoration all around the island.

One of the most popular ways to prepare the lambi is to make it into fritters. These are delicious and make a great starter. Rodney Bay, in the northwest of St Lucia, has many restaurants where you’ll find this tasty treat.

St Lucia food fact: Conch is pronounced ‘conk’!

A popular breakfast dish in the Windward Isles, saltfish accras are fried fish cakes made from salted cod and mixed spices.

These crispy, spicy delights are often seasoned with scotch bonnet pepper and served for breakfast in St Lucia. You might not be used to this much heat in the morning but it’s a great wake-up call.

Banana and plantain plantations are found throughout St Lucia; and one of the country's top exports. Their importance to St Lucia was proved in 2022, when the government stepped in to aid farmers with supplies and $2.4 million in aid after more than 75% of St Lucia's banana and plantain crops were destroyed by Tropical Storm Bret.

Green figs and salt fish is St Lucia’s national dish – the islanders refer to green bananas as figs and they’ve been an important part of the local diet on St Lucia for centuries.

In this dish the figs are peeled and boiled in saltwater before being mixed with boiled or flaked cod. The fish is mixed with sautéed onions, peppers and local herbs and spices. The dish has been a feature of the culture here since colonial times, when salted fish was a cheap source of food.

Today, green figs with salt fish is no longer considered a meagre dish, and you’ll find it on the menu in most St Lucia restaurants.

The carefree island culture on St Lucia is complemented by the island’s cuisine, which never gets too fussy. While they are a type of banana, plantain is savory rather than sweet and when fried, it can be eaten on its own or as a side dish served with other delicacies from the island.

They’re perfect for an afternoon snack if you’re lazing on the beach. Local chefs tend to fry them in a little bit of coconut oil and season them with salt before serving.

Plantain is a true staple of the Caribbean and you’ll find it served in lots of different guises on your trip to St Lucia.

This Caribbean favourite is a spinach-like soup made from the leaves of the leaf vegetable callaloo, which is abundant in St Lucia.

The recipe originated in West Africa and combines the callaloo leaf with seasoned meat, garlic, potatoes, onions, okra and coconut milk. Variations on the traditional recipe might include crab, conch and fresh St Lucia lobster.

Make sure you try breadfruit, a local favourite, during your travels here. It’s a classic staple of St Lucian cuisine and a memorable tropical flavour. Breadfruits are quite like potatoes but have a sweeter, starchier taste.

They are served in many different ways: stuffed, boiled, and even cooked in a pie. If you don’t think you’re quite ready for a pie, try some fried breadfruit with your main meal. Dipped in some mayonnaise or a spicy sauce these golden-brown delights are a delicious treat.

Breadfruit is high in fibre, which can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. This St Lucia favourite is also high in Vitamin C and potassium.

The Caribbean (including St Lucia) is famous for its incredible rum. Darker rums with a fuller taste, the bottles are exported all over the world – and, of course, enjoyed on the islands where they originate. The sweet spirit is an important part of Caribbean culture.

For a summery variation on the traditional rum flavour, try a glass of St Lucian rum punch. Made with orange juice, lime juice, angostura bitters, cinnamon, nutmeg and rum, this moreish cocktail goes down easy.

It's the perfect accompaniment to a St Lucia barbecue on the beach.

Taste buds tingling? Plan your visit – explore our collection of St Lucia beach holidays and discover the island’s cuisine for yourself.

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