Influenced by the British, French, and Amerindians (the original native inhabitants of the island), St. Lucian food is a delicious melting pot. From conch and saltfish to green figs and juicy mangos, sampling the flavors of this beautiful island will be a memorable part of your vacation.
Explore Caribbean culture while eating your way through the eclectic St. Lucia food scene. Here are 13 dishes and drinks to try during your visit.
St. Lucia is one of the best Caribbean islands for food, and if there’s one dish to try while visiting, it’s this flavorful conch stew. Made with the quintessential Caribbean conch, lambi is one of St. Lucia’s most celebrated dishes—and is in no way related to lamb, as the name might suggest).
The conch is pounded down before being pan-fried and then cooked within a stew. The South Caribbean island is known for preparing this famous meal Creole style, as a stew with a mix of spices including curry powder, garlic, scallions, salt, oil, coriander, and thyme and vegetables such as carrots.
Lambi is often a feature of local barbecues and street parties. The dish occasionally graces restaurant menus, typically as an appetizer, but you’ll have better luck finding it at an outdoor barbeque or as street food.
Green Figs & Saltfish
The national dish of St. Lucia is another must-try. Green bananas are the country’s largest export and are one of the main ingredients in this meal, as well as in several other St. Lucian dishes.
Prepared with green bananas (referred to as “figs”) and salted codfish, this culinary staple has a wide array of variations, sometimes using different types of fish and side accompaniments.
Ingredients such as cilantro, parsley, garlic, pepper, and onion enhance the flavor as the saltfish is stewed, and then served alongside the softly boiled green banana.
The recipe has been passed down from generation to generation, and although it’s enjoyed year-round, it’s a popular dish to eat on the weekends, as well as during the annual Creole Day Festival (Jounen Kweyol) in October.
Green fig and salt fish is typically served with a salad on the side, consisting of lettuce or cabbage, cucumber, carrots, tomato, and avocado.
The dish features on many restaurant menus around the island, but one of the top places to try different variations is at the Castries Central open-air market in the island’s capital. Vendors sell this famous dish with their own individual twist on the recipe.
Breadfruit is a key item within the cuisine of St. Lucia and can be prepared in multiple different ways, often served as a side.
The versatile starch can be baked, boiled, fried, roasted, and even dried before being ground into a flour. One of the best-loved breadfruit dishes is in the form of deep-fried balls.
The breadfruit is mixed with seasonings, rolled into a ball with breadcrumbs as an outer coating, and baked. These breadfruit balls are a common snack or weekend side dish served with a spicy dipping sauce.
It’s also paired with smoked herring, which is stewed with local seasonings, creating a dish that is plated along with a helping of cucumber salad, avocado slices and vegetables.
Breadfruit casserole is yet another popular way you’ll find it prepared. Since the round green fruit is so versatile, it’s possible to find it in some form on many menus throughout the island.
This traditional stew is another St. Lucian favorite, typically made with goat or mutton, although other meats such as chicken, beef, turkey, pork, oxtail, or cow’s hoof can also be used.
A lot of seasonings such as onions, garlic, cinnamon, brown sugar, cloves, thyme, orange peel, cassareep (cassava juice), and hot pimento peppers give it maximum flavor.
The meat and starches like yams or potatoes are slowly cooked with herb seasonings for the ultimate spicy pepperpot stew. Dip some homemade bread in your bowl and enjoy one of the comfort foods of St. Lucia.
A great local snack to try while visiting St. Lucia is Accra, sold by most street food vendors and grills on the island. These salt fish cakes or fritters are deep-fried and delicious.
Made with shredded salted codfish or tinned tuna, scotch bonnet peppers, and seasoning such as garlic and scallions, this savory appetizer can be addictive.
Accra isn’t just a savory snack; it’s also a popular breakfast item, paired with morning tea, as well as a holiday favorite on Easter.
Accra can be found throughout the island in restaurants, at market food stalls, and small food shops. The combination of crispy texture, salt and punchy flavor makes this a top St. Lucian food to try.
Satisfy your sweet tooth while in St. Lucia with a traditional dessert. Paime (also referred to as pemmie) is a Creole sweet treat that pays homage to the island’s heritage.
It’s made with a mixture of mashed pumpkin, dried coconut, cinnamon, sugar, and cornmeal that’s all tucked inside a green banana leaf. The concoction is tied up and boiled; you’ll know it’s finished cooking when the leaf turns a brown color and the inside has become firm.
Variations can be made with raisins, too. This specialty dessert item is a local favorite that is usually part of the Creole Day celebrations, held at the end of October. It’s also served at Christmas, but if you can find it on an island menu outside of the holidays, make sure to try it.
The crowd-pleasing cassava bread is a versatile side dish in St. Lucia. The flat bread is made from cassava, a root vegetable, which is ground into flour and then turned into the round bread cake everyone loves.
It can be made in many different flavors in addition to plain, such as chocolate, raisin, banana, ginger, cherry, and saltfish. Try a few while visiting the island and see which is your favorite.
One of the top places to go for freshly baked cassava bread is Plas Kassav, meaning Cassava Place. This family-owned bake shop is located near the village of Canaries, on the island’s west coast, and offers tours of its factory as well as a chance to taste and buy its bread.
Cassava bread is often served with soup, avocado, butter, and much more and should be on anyone’s food list when visiting St. Lucia.
This comforting, delicious soup is a St. Lucian culinary staple with ties to West Africa. The broth is made from callaloo, a leafy vegetable similar to spinach, that grows abundantly throughout the Caribbean.
Depending on your preference, the soup can be made with various cuts of meat, or Caribbean seafood like shellfish or lobster. For the most authentic, locally preferred version, try the crab and pigtails callaloo soup. Onions, garlic, okra, and potatoes compliment the protein and coconut milk and spices create a rich, full flavor.
This soup is popular and made in island homes, but can also be found on the menu of restaurants serving local fare. The Castries market is a great place to try this healthy soup, as are festival times such as Creole Heritage Month and National Day, when it’s served among other St. Lucian culinary classics.
Boudin (Black Pudding)
Saint Lucia’s boudin, or black pudding, is for more adventurous eaters interested in trying local cuisine.
Don’t be misled by the name, as it’s not a dessert, or pudding-like at all. Served in sausage form, it’s a mix of pig or cow blood, herbs, spices, and either cracker crumbs or rice. The mixture is put into a casing made of pig or cow intestines and then boiled to cook it.
The well-seasoned meat has a dedicated following, although it may not be for the squeamish. You’ll find boudin at local restaurants and may find the best one by word of mouth.
This comforting soup is a hearty meal and is very popular on the island of St. Lucia. Typically made with meat such as beef, pork, or lamb, it can also be cooked with saltfish.
The ingredients include pumpkin, potatoes, yam, carrots, and lentil or red beans, mixed with seasonings and hot peppers for a bit of a spicy flavor.
The soup is cooked in a large pot, usually on Saturdays for family get-togethers or special events. Although it was traditionally only served in homes, it’s now more widely available in restaurants. While in St. Lucia, venture to the Castries Market to try a bowl of bouillon, or stop by one of the local eateries.
Of course, no culinary adventure in a destination is complete without trying some of the local beverages as well. In the hot and sunny Caribbean climate, there are few things more refreshing than a cold beer.
After a day of ticking off your list of things to do in St. Lucia, crack a Piton beer and sip it in paradise. This local beer is a crisp, light pilsner and is the most popular brand on the island. Its name pays homage to the Pitons, the twin mountain peaks that define St. Lucia’s landscape.
A typical snack or side dish found throughout the Caribbean is the classic fried plantains. With a combination of crispy and sweet texture and flavor, it’s no surprise that they’re a favorite item on St. Lucia as well.
After being cut into pieces and fried in coconut oil with light seasonings like salt, the caramelized plantains are best enjoyed by dipping them into the quintessential island spicy sauce for a sweet, salty, tangy sensation.
You’ll find fried plantains on most restaurant menus, at street food vendors, and the Castries Market, which is a whole culinary journey in itself.
Hot Bakes and Cocoa Tea
Try the St. Lucian version of hot chocolate, which is a bit lighter than the warm drink we know and love. This less creamy drink is a touch bitter from the dark cacao and usually has nutmeg, cinnamon, or star anise sprinkled on top.
Paired with deliciously fluffy fried bakes, this duo is an island favorite, often enjoyed for breakfast or a snack.
Bakes are made from flour and fried, with a bit of cinnamon. Although simple, they are the perfect quick bite and found all over the island whether it’s a street food vendor, at the market, or on one of St. Lucia’s beaches.
Perhaps the most island-inspired drink you can have while visiting St. Lucia is the classic rum punch, popular throughout the Caribbean. The combination of high-quality Caribbean rum and fresh, sweet juices make you feel the laid-back island atmosphere to its fullest.
Local dark or white rum is mixed with orange, pineapple, and lime juice before simple syrup, bitters, grenadine, and a sprinkling of nutmeg or cinnamon are added. The result will have you wanting to clink glasses again and again while in beautiful St. Lucia.
A luxury cruise is a fantastic way to experience the wide array of amazing St. Lucian food, from lambi to fried plantains. Browse our luxury cruises to St. Lucia and book your island vacation today.