At hotels 3% sales tax may be added to meal charges.
On weekdays in the capital the lunch hour begins at 1300 and places fill up quickly. Dominicans eat their main meal at lunch time and it is often hard to get anything other than takeaways after 1600 or on Sun except at hotels. If you have a car, try different hotel restaurants on different nights and check when the barbecue specials etc are being held. Generally, Dominicans eating out do so in restaurants at lunchtime and in hotels at night.
Fried chicken, bakes (a fried dough patty filled with tuna, codfish or corned beef) and rotis (pancake-like parcel of curried chicken and veg) are the most popular snacks available in most bakeries. There is plenty of local fruit and vegetables, fish and ‘mountain chicken’ (crapaud, or frog) in season. Try the seedless golden grapefruit, US$1 for 6 in the market. The term ‘provisions’ on a menu refers to root vegetables: dasheen, yams, sweet potatoes, tannia, pumpkins, etc. To buy fresh fish listen for the fishermen blowing their conch shells in the street; there is no fish shop but fish can be bought in the market on Fri and Sat, get there early, usually EC$7 per pound. Try the sea-moss drink, rather like a vanilla milk shake (with a reputation as an aphrodisiac), also drunk on Grenada. There is little in the way of international or fast food on the island except, Kentucky Fried Chicken, corner of Great George Street and Great Marlborough Street and Perky’s Pizza, corner of Queen Mary Street and Cork Street. Good range, tasty, not too expensive.
La Robe Créole, 3 Victoria St, T4482896. Créole and European, vegetarian available, good but expensive, service inattentive, open Mon-Sat 1100-1500, 1830-2130. Under the same ownership is the Mousehole Café, underneath. Excellent for little pies and local pasties. Mousehole Too, 10 Kennedy Av, near Whitchurch Centre, T4482896. Has seating, open 0800-1500. Pearl’s Cuisine, 50 King George V St. Good local food and service, reasonable prices, also mobile wagon in town centre catering for lunchtime takeaway trade.
Restaurant Paiho, 10 Church St, T4488999. Good Chinese food, delicious fruit punch, uncrowded, slightly pricey, open Mon-Sat 1100-1500, 1730-2230, Sun 1800-2200. Coco-Rico, Bayfront. French restaurant, bar, wine store and grocery, excellent range, good service, pleasant environment, sidewalk café. Torino’s, above Prevo Cinemall on corner of Old St, Kennedy Av. Excellent home made pasta, evenings only, and the best cappuccino on the island, open 0800-2200 Mon-Sat. The World of Food, next to Vena’s Guesthouse. Local dishes but unexciting, good breakfast about EC$10, lunch and dinners EC$20-30, drink your beer under a huge mango tree which belonged to writer Jean Rhys’s family garden.
Guiyave, 15 Cork St. For midday snacks and juices, patisserie and salad bar, popular, crowded after 1300. Cartwheel Café, Bay St (next to Royal Bank of Canada). Clean, on waterfront, good place to stop for a coffee; Continental Inn, 37 Queen Mary St, Roseau, T4482214/5. Open 0700-2130, créole cuisine, mountain chicken, seafood, rotis, delivery in Roseau area, credit cards accepted. Cornerhouse, 6 King George V St, T4499000. Opposite Old Market, open Mon-Thu 0730-2200, Fri-Sat 0730-2400, soups, salads, sandwiches, excellent bagels, music, books, magazines, newspapers, internet access, popular pub quiz night Wed 2000.
Port of Call, 3 Kennedy Av near Bay Front, T4482910. Bar and restaurant, open 0830-2300 or until 2200 on Sun, snacks or à la carte, créole, seafood, takeaway available. Creole Kitchen Ltd, in Woodstone Shopping Mall on corner of George St and Cork St. Fried or barbecued chicken, sandwiches, burgers, cold drinks, open Mon-Thu 0800-2300, Fri-Sat 0800-1200, Sun 1500-2300. Cottage Restaurant, Hillsborough St. Friendly, fish, rice, salad and provisions for EC$10.Orchard, corner of Great George and King George V Sts. Friendly yet slow service, but food OK, good callaloo. For vegetarian food try Back-A-Yard, on Castle St, just up the hill from the Garraway Hotel. Lots of ‘snackettes’, for example Hope Café, 17 Steber Street. Good local dishes and snacks, lively, open till late; Celia’s Snack, on Great Marlborough St, EC$1.50 for delicious bread and codfish, good local ice cream, fruit juice. Erick’s Bakery has a small patisserie on Old St for ‘tasty island treats’. On Thursday night the Ocean Terrace Restaurant at the Anchorage has a good value barbecue buffet and reggae band.
If staying in town there are 2 places worth taking a taxi to eat: Papillote, T4482287. Book before 1600, take swimming costume and towel for bathe in sulphur pool under the stars; Reigate Hall Hotel, book ahead, slow service but ask to eat out on balcony overlooking valley of Roseau, catch the sunset for spectacular view.
George Chicken Shack, on roadside between Emerald Pool and Pont Cassé. Small bar, cold beer and great fried chicken. La Flambeau Restaurant at Picard Cottage, near Portsmouth. Comfortable, has an attractive beachside setting and a varied menu. Purple Turtle, Lagoon, Portsmouth, T4455296. On beach, open Mon-Fri 1000-2300, Sat-Sun 1000-0200, snacks and full meals, local and international food, karaoke at weekends. Mango’s Bar & Restaurant, Bay Street, Portsmouth, T4453099. Yellow and white house with tin roof, mural inside of island life, varied menu, open daily 0800-2300, credit cards accepted.
The Almond Beach Bar and Restaurant at Calibishie on the north coast has very good food and fresh fish. La Guingette de Calibishie, Main Road, T4457783. French chef, French wines, seafood, steak, chicken, barbecue and entertainment Friday, open daily 0800-2300, view of Les Saintes from terrace.
The DomCan’s Café is pleasantly located right on the beach at Calibishie, T4458769. Good service, open 0900-2200, lunch of sandwiches and burgers, dinner fish, chicken, mountain chicken. New Stop Café and Bar, close to Trafalgar Falls. Overlooking river, just down the road from Papillotte, tiny, outdoors, seats 10-15 people, delicious food, contact the proprietors in the morning (c/o Mayfield Denis) to arrange menu, also good for beer, conversation and reggae. Forest Bistro, T4487105. Near school, Soufrière, run by André and Joyce Charles, reserve in advance for lunch or dinner, generous portions of home cooked fresh fish, home grown vegetables, licensed.
The Sundowner Café, Herche’s Place Hotel, T4487749. Open Tue-Sun, jazz nightly, extensive menu, specializes in fish and seafood, great view of Scott’s Head. Roger’s Fish Shack and Bar, Scotts Head, good food and service. Chez Wen, Scott’s Head, T4486668. Overlooking the bay serving shellfish and drinks, popular with divers. Marilyn’s, by the Rosalie River in the east, about 1 mile from boxing plant, run by Americans Marilyn and Tony, lovely setting on covered patio with river gushing over large rocks amid lush foliage, limited menu of local and American food, rooms to rent planned.