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A Guide to Vegetarian Holidays in the Caribbean

Explore the Caribbean's culinary options

Traditional Caribbean food is full of meat. In fact, the islands have one of the highest rates of meat consumption per person in the entire world! That may come as no surprise to those of you who have visited the Caribbean, considering the sheer amount of jerk-marinated meats and fish that the food usually consists of. However, there are also a large number of tasty vegetable-based meals to enjoy whilst on your holidays. Certain Caribbean islands are also more accommodating than others, and so it’s important to do you research beforehand. If you have no idea where to even look, no worries… here is our comprehensive guide to vegetarian holidays in the Caribbean.

Top veggie-friendly countries in the Caribbean

The Caribbean has a very rich and diverse heritage, therefore what may be commonplace in one country may not be the case for another. Culture, religion and local produce all affect the types of foods that are commonly available in each individual country, which can make finding places to eat as a vegetarian or vegan quite difficult in the Caribbean. Here are a few of the easiest countries to find a bite to eat in.

Jamaica

Jamaica has a huge Rastafarian population, and as such, the island benefits from a large range of vegetarian and vegan restaurants. Even if an eatery doesn’t specify that they are vegetarian/vegan, they are sure to have at least a few different options for you. What’s more, due to the Rastafarian belief in natural living, you will also benefit from a lot of organic and fresh produce whilst in Jamaica. Win, win!

Trinidad and Tobago

Also a hot spot of Rastafarians, Trinidad and Tobago offer a good amount of vegetarian and vegan eateries. Top locations are Port of Spain, Castara, and Crown Point.

Grenada

Though it may be small, Grenada is well known as an eco-country and therefore has a fair number of plant-based options available for the meat-free consumer. Better yet, all of these eateries come with amazing seaside views to accompany the delicious food!

St Vincent and the Grenadines

The main island and its smaller counterparts offer many different types of cuisine, and if you’re willing to water taxi around them all, then you can experience some truly amazing veggie grub. Veejays in particular has some great reviews, which you can find on the south end of mainland St Vincent.

Dominica

Dominica is a mid-sized Caribbean island that has many vegetarian and vegan options in restaurants ranging from high end to low end. However, restaurants here tend to only have about 2-10 options on the menu, so it’s definitely not a great location for fussy eaters.

Foods to look for

As mentioned, a lot of the dishes available in the Caribbean are made with local produce. If you’re not from the Caribbean, then a few of the names may sound nothing like what you’d imagine them to be. To help all you hungry veggies and vegans, here are a few common, plant-based food items to look out for when you’re checking out the local menus.

Ackee

Ackee is a fruit with pale yellow flesh, and it is commonly served as a side dish with saltfish. The fruit has a creamy, soft texture and a mild – if slightly sour - taste.  As such, ackee goes well with sweet foods such as fruit or dumplings. It is available all over the Caribbean.

Tostones

We know you’ve heard of plantains, but have you ever heard of tostones? Tostones are twice-fried plantains that are absolutely delicious. Eat them with a spicy dipping sauce for maximum flavour. These are more common in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands.

Callaloo

This traditional dish is essentially Caribbean collard greens. This popular side dish is available pretty much anywhere in the Caribbean, so you’ll never be far from it.

Roti

Roti is a type of thin pastry that is filled with a multitude of ingredients. The most popular ones are goat or chicken curry, but there are plenty of restaurants that offer soy or just plain vegetable stew instead.

Pholourie

Incredibly popular in Trinidad, Tobago and Guyana, pholorie is a dish of fried, spicy dough balls that are positively moreish. They are usually eaten with a chutney dip and make the perfect snack item for a lazy afternoon in the sun.

Cornmeal Coo-Coo

This dish is made by mixing cornmeal with okra, and it is actually the national dish of Barbados. It is usually served as a main meal with saltfish, but you can simply ask for it without the fish. Filling, tasty, and available almost anywhere, you’ll definitely want to keep this one in mind.

 

We hope this guide has helped any of you who are planning a vegan or vegetarian holiday to the Caribbean. It can be slightly more difficult, but it’s definitely achievable.

And now that you’re a little more informed on where to go and what to look for, why not have a look at some of our Caribbean holiday deals? We have some great offers available at very competitive prices.

 

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