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Where and What to Eat in Saint Lucia (2024 Update)

Updated: May 28

Saint Lucia is the Caribbean’s Eden and definitely one of the best islands one can visit in the East Caribbean region. A relatively close destination (8 hrs flight from the UK and even closer from the US), a pretty laid-back culture and quite safe too, ideal for family holidays with kids, and an emerging foodie destination.
I'm Niko Douniko and this is my St Lucia Food Guide!
Saint Lucia Food Guide

Why St Lucia?

Apart from the pristine beaches and lush tropical rainforests, St Lucia's food scene won't disappoint. Although not the most famous destination on the world food map, neither as vibrant nor cheap as Asian foodie hotspots (like Thailand, Vietnam and India), Saint Lucia is definitely a hidden gem and an emerging foodie’s destination. And for some good reasons:

(A) St Lucia has not yet evolved into a commercial fishing economy; therefore seafood on the island is still artisanal, meaning all tropical aquatic livestock is fished to be served fresh on the island’s tables. Isn’t that alone a reason to go?

(B) The freshest and tastiest fruits and vegetables grow here year round, loaded with natural flavour and sweetness from tropical sunshine. Bananas, coconuts, cocoa beans, mangoes, avocados, breadfruits, citrus fruits, and root crops such as carrots, yams and sweet potatoes are some of the most popular products, seen in most of the dishes cooked on the island

(C) Saint Lucia belongs to the “Spice Islands” complex, along with neighbouring Martinique, Grenada and others. No wonder why the region is called "West Indies". Spices grow in abundance and things like nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and allspice dominate St Lucian dishes.


All the above are beautifully and uniquely combined in what is called “Creole” style cuisine, a blend of African-tropical with Indian, French and European infusions and techniques.



Is Food Expensive in St Lucia?

One thing to keep in mind is that although food is in abundance on the island, St Lucian restaurants are not cheap. Double the prices compared to Asia for sure, while I found the St Lucian restaurant scene closer to the European, at least price-wise. There are no Michelin-starred restaurants on the island. Most of the food served is very authentic and tastes homemade, so I think some of them worth the extra penny. In this post, I've listed all restaurants with their average price per person at the time of our visit (Jan 2022). Most of the island’s restaurants, even the most casual, are referring to tourists I believe, mainly from the US which is very close, and therefore priced accordingly.

All printed menus in St Lucian restaurants display the prices WITHOUT the 10% VAT and the mandatory 10% tip.

Now if you are a budget foodie, don’t be put off; there is a lot of amazing food being sold in "shacks" (traditional Caribbean style kiosks serving mostly street food classics) and almost everywhere across the island. And the food is awesome! Shacks sell reasonably priced food (locals eat mostly there) and are safe for tourists.


As I said, there are places where you can eat amazing food, reasonably priced and there are also expensive posh restaurants. As a family, we appreciate and savour all sorts and forms of food wherever we go and St Lucia was no exception. While on the island, we ate in quite a few from all categories, be it restaurants or shacks. For this post, I've selected 8 amazing restaurants in St Lucia where the food was fantastic, for different reasons. I’ve put together this guide to match all budgets and styles. Some are on the expensive side but really worth it, and there are also suggestions on what and where to eat if you’re on a tighter budget. I wish I had this guide in hand before I travelled to St Lucia, it would have saved me time while I would have most likely eaten in these places more than once.

Street food in Soufriere Saint Lucia
Street food barbeque at Soufriere on Saturdays

Bars and Restaurants Map

Press that little star to save the map in your Google Maps. The map will then automatically appear on your Google maps app under "Saved" and then "Maps":




1. Treetop Restaurant

Location: close to Soufriere

Budget: Expensive fine dining (around £50-60 pp incl. drinks)

When to go: Sunset

What to eat: Curries! (fixed set menu)

Tip: Book a table for around 17:30 (just before sunset) and get a jacket with you, it can get chilly at night as it’s at a higher altitude.

Kids: there’s no kids menu and it's a bit of a tricky place for toddlers with the wooden structure all over. Just call the restaurant in advance to check what’s on the menu for kids. We were just fine with our kiddo there, keeping him busy with toys on the table to contain him.

Treetop restaurant Saint Lucia

Treetop was the best experience we had in a restaurant in St Lucia, if not one of our best dining experiences ever. And it's not just the food alone (a delicious Indian-Caribbean fusion menu), but also the decoration, ambience, welcome drinks and of course the mesmerising views of the pitons and the tropical rainforest.

Treetop restaurant Soufriere St Lucia
Welcome drinks over dramatic tropical sunsets @Treetop Restaurant

It is recommended to book well in advance as it can be a popular destination and they only book and cook for a specific amount of tables/people every evening. I suggest calling the restaurant and letting them also know your dietary requirements in advance as they prepare set menus every day (it's not 'a la carte'). The food is served Indian style, most of the plates are curries but on the mild side, basically merging the Indian flavour with the Caribbean spirit. Mind you, it is a bit rough to get there (better drive a 4WD or get a local taxi) and there's no sign on the main road as you drive uphill from the town of Soufriere. So you have to be heavily based on your navigator or take some old-school driving direction advice from the restaurant beforehand. The scenery is totally worth every penny you spend and the sweat you pour to get there. It is a stunning place… literally standing on a huge treetop wooden floor and popping over the trees to give you this breath taking view of the pitons and the surrounding tropical vegetation… To put it straight, if there's only one expensive place you plan to visit in St Lucia, that should be Treetop without a shadow of a doubt.



2. Naked Fisherman

Location: Near Gros Islet

Budget: Beach fine dining (£40-50 pp incl. drinks)

When to go: Lunch

What to eat: Fish stew, Creole BBQ, Lobster

Kids: kids are welcome and hey-ho there’s fish and chips on the menu for them! they can play right on the beach so remember to bring some beach toys to keep them busy.

Naked fisherman beach bar restaurant
Naked Fisherman nested in a tropical cove

Naked fisherman is nestled on a natural cove just below Cap Maison hotel, a quick 10 min drive from Rodney Bay. If you’ve been to Greece (specifically Halkidiki), it will remind you of some very cute beach bars/grills in small coves, hidden under Mediterranean trees and bushes. To get to the beach and the restaurant, you have to walk a wooden staircase down to this small piece of paradise. The restaurant is a modern style beach fine grill/dine kind of thing (not sure there’s a specific classification for this), the food is Asian-Caribbean fusion and everything is freshly caught and beautifully presented. There are traditional things to eat, but with a modern twist, such as the Creole fish stew served in clay pots, Creole-style barbeque sharing platters and a delicious and massive grilled lobster!



3. Duke’s Place

Location: Gros Islet

Budget: Cheap Eats/Street Food (around £7-£8)

When to go: Friday or Saturday lunch or dinner time

What to eat: Grilled fish (catch of the day) with rice or ‘Lambi’

Kids: there’s plenty of space outdoors for kids to play and the fish is delicious and not spicy.

Duke's Place Fish shack
At Duke's Place Fish shack

Duke’s place is merely a fish shack converted to a big outdoor BBQ plaza on Fridays and Saturdays, starting at noon until about midnight. This place is famous for the jump-up street party with barbequed fish every Friday. You get this sense Duke's place is good straight away when you see the locals queuing up early in the afternoon. Worth the visit as it's very authentic and the fish incredibly tasty and fresh: marinated, grilled and served in a special secret and super delicious sauce. No need for reservations, just show up, stand in the queue and grab a box to eat by the beach or on the benches around. They also serve Lambi (a traditional Caribbean dish made of Conch, a mussel and lean seafood meat which is cooked creole style in spices). If you are staying around Rodney Bay/Reduit Beach, Gros Islet and Duke’s place is a very cool day out and about.





4. Chic

Location: Reduit Beach (hosted by Mystique Resort)

Budget: Mid-range (£20-30 pp)

When to go: Open only for dinner

What to eat: Seafood dishes. Don't miss mango creme brulee and banana flambé (photos below)

Kids: Highchairs available, kids’ menu available, delicious and nutritious soups available.

Mystique hotel view to the ocean
Chic restaurant (bottom right) as seen from inside Mystique Hotel

If you are staying at Mystique resort, Chic is a must. But even if you are not, they accept reservations from visitors. By the way, Mystique is an amazing choice as it’s right in front of the fantastic Reduit beach. The food is delicious both in Chic and in the main resort’s restaurant. Besides the fact that you wake up and walk right to the beach, Reduit is perfect for families, with calm and warm water and a huge sand stretch for all sorts of games and fun.

Reduit Beach Mystique resort St Lucia
Reduit: the best beach of the island

Although it's right in front of the ocean, Chic has no direct views of the ocean. The feeling in the restaurant is like being in a windowless Brasserie, winter in Paris. For how depressing might this sound, it is not bad for a change, especially on a sticky hot or rainy night on the island. The aesthetic is quite rustic, Belle Epoque/Art Nouveau kind of thing and all very carefully decorated and orchestrated. Food-wise a great selection, creole style with fresh seafood stews and super tasty colourful sauces made of local fruits and coconut milk. Inspiring menu with creative combinations and a decent wine list. But what blew our minds really, were the desserts. We returned to this restaurant just to eat one more time their incredible mango crème Brulee and the banana flambé in rum reduction. Simply divine!


They say like father, like son. A little new food photographer is born:

Little food photographer


5. The Pink Plantation

Location: Castries

Budget: Fairly priced (around £30-40 pp incl. drinks)

When to go: Lunch (book in advance)

What to eat: Crab, Catch of the day, Chicken Creole style

Kids: Plenty of things to do and gardens to explore and play in a fenced backyard. Kids menu is not offered but they prepare dishes for kids if you ask. There's plenty of space for baby buggies and couches to get the kids to play seated comfortably.

Best Restaurants Saint Lucia

Pink Plantation St Lucia
Castries Bay as seen from Pink Plantation garden

It's not just the food and breathtaking views of Castries Bay from the restaurant but also the history, architecture, art gallery and the plantation’s surrounding lush gardens, open to visits while waiting to be served. The service is 5 starred, everyone is so relaxed, polite and attentive at the same time. The food is delicious, well presented Creole-style with European infusions, and the dishes of good size quantity-wise. What a delightful experience to eat all that and gaze at this scenery! The place also sells some authentic handmade ceramic vases and plates (like the ones you see in my photos), a perfect gift to take back home.


On the downside, it's a little tricky to locate it if you decide to drive there; Google maps will take you through crazy shortcuts sometimes quite steep but it's all asphalt. Rest assured the Google maps location is accurate and you will eventually get there. Also, better book ahead and get there for lunch or early dinner to enjoy the views and the garden in daylight.



6. Roots 2

Location: Marigot Bay

Budget: Mid-range (£10-15 pp incl. drinks)

When to go: lunchtime for views, dinner time for the best food

What to eat: BBQ chicken, seafood, burger, pasta

Kids: most welcomed; the couple that owns it (Sue and Fluffy) is so energetic and chatty with kids, being parents themselves. Our kiddo loved it there. They also serve delicious chicken pasta and banana chips with special banana ketchup for their little clients.

Marigot Bay View
Marigot Bay view from Roots 2

Roots 1 is a beach bar down at Marigot beach. Roots 2 is the newcomer, a reggae bar-restaurant that overlooks the beautiful Marigot Bay from the hills. To enjoy the views, I suggest visiting afternoon for lunch. Bear in mind the lunch menu is limited to snacks like burgers, colourful salads and pasta that Sue is preparing for you on the fly. The big party menu is on BBQ nights. Most Saturday nights Fluffy grills fresh juicy chicken, seafood and local specials straight off his Charcoal Grill, along with his special secret sauce and reggae tunes. I suggest calling them (they can be quite slow with emails) to ask which days and nights they can accommodate you. The restaurant is very small and not open daily (Google opening times are just estimates) so you better call Sue. This restaurant became famous from the Netflix show “Restaurants on the Edge”, so get a glimpse of this episode on Netflix before you head there, the place is even better than its TV looks!



7. Saltfish

Location: Soufriere (part of the Green Fig eco-resort)

Budget: Fine dining - fairly priced (around £30-40 pp incl drinks)

When to go: Sunset (for great views of Soufriere bay)

What to eat: Green figs (St Lucian traditional dish), jerk chicken, fish tacos, soups

Kids: A nice fun place for older kids, there’s a huge mango tree with a wooden treetop house that you can climb and plenty of space on the couches for kids to play or even nap. Be extra cautious, there are a lot of stairs and pools around the restaurant area.

Saltfish restaurant Soufriere Best Restaurants Soufriere
View to Soufriere Bay from Saltfish restaurant

It’s a new kid on the block (opened mid-2021) and we accidentally discovered it when we stayed at the hotel (it's not even listed on Tripadvisor). And what a find that was! Saltfish was the best valued fine dining we did in Soufriere. I'm confident to make this statement after having visited a few of TripAdvisor’s top 10 list (like the Mango Tree, Dasheene and Bamboo where the price did not quite meet our expectations). The food in Saltfish is top-notch, I would call it a 'sophisticated take on local and regional classics'. It’s a fantastic place to try the traditional ‘Green figs’ dish (which is merely made of green bananas served with saltfish salad) in an elevated execution by the restaurant’s chef but I also recommend their excellent fish tacos, jerk chicken and seasonal soups. The views are incredible (I thought I was in Rio de Janeiro, overlooking the city from some nearby hilltop) so better book a table for around sunset time (usually 17:30 is a good time).

There's also a bar adjacent to the restaurant area which spins some fantastic cocktails and upbeat nights with live music. Don't miss their incredible Rum Punch... absolutely delicious and refreshing!

St Lucian Rum Punch Recipe
Rum Punch: a St Lucian cocktail made of strong white rum, tropical fruit juice, angostura bitters, grenadine and a pinch of nutmeg.

Check my Rum Punch recipe right here



8. The Island Chef

Location: Soufriere

Budget: Mid-range / shack style (£15 pp incl drinks)

When to go: Lunch/Snack time where no reservation is necessary

What to eat: ital cuisine (i.e. Rastafarian vegan) but also offers fish and chicken.

Kids: the island chef can cook customised meals, kids can have noodles or rice with fish or vegetables. You can also take away and eat by the nearby beach (benches available).

Saint Lucia Street Food
Speedo, the Island Chef.

I accidentally stumbled upon this little shack while visiting the adjacent farmer’s market. The owner, Speedo (photo), is a friendly local chef that owns and cooks in the best spot of Soufriere, overlooking the ocean. He’s also located just behind and attached to the farmer’s food market, where he sources his vegetables fresh daily. Great spot and a passionate cook! The kitchen is very organised and looked very clean indeed. There are a few tables too, not something fancy just old school collapsible tables with plastic chairs. Speedo does not offer a specific menu (as you can see in the photo) but this is the whole idea behind his shack, the customer gets a customised meal from the chef depending on their needs. Fancy fish or just vegan? Want it spicy or mild? Are you looking for carb-loading to climb the pitons? Whatever the requirement, the chef will prepare a plate to match it. The food is fresh, made to order, and reasonably priced (don't forget to ask the price before ordering) and the place is so beautifully located. Great vibes and so authentically Caribbean!



9. Mama Tilly’s

Location: Laborie Beach

Budget: Mid-range / shack style (£15 pp incl drinks)

When to go: lunchtime

What to eat: BBQ lobster (if available), fish or chicken

Kids: No high-chairs for toddlers and tables are a bit cramped. For older kids it's fine, mama Tilly is such a kind person and will take good care of kids. She’ll prepare a custom portion for kids with pasta noodles and chicken tenders and, on a good mood day, will treat them with free ice cream at the end.

What must have started as a shack, has now evolved into a quite famous grill tavern on the island. Mama Tilly’s is a local off-the-beaten-track food spot in Laborie, a fishing village close to the airport, or 30 min drive from Soufriere. Laborie is built around a fantastic tropical beach (photo below), nice to visit and relax yet a bit of hit and miss for swimming as it’s often being battered by the Southern winds. Mama Tilly’s small tavern has 4-5 squeezed tables and mama is running the place herself. She's serving mostly locals and a few foodie tourists making their way to Laborie just for her food, as there’s not much to do in this village really. If you are looking for THE authentic St Lucian food experience away from the tourist crowds, this is your place. I suggest getting there early for lunch, her speciality lobster flies away fast. But even if you’re late, there’s certainly something delicious waiting for you like Caribbean style bbq chicken, pork chops and locally caught fish, all cooked to perfection and served with whatever sides are on the day’s menu: plantain, rice or noodles, fried breadfruit, potatoes or salad and zingy mama sauces.

Laborie super exotic beach
Laborie Beach: an utterly exotic beach at the South of the island, away from the tourist crowds


Conclusion

The Caribbean is magic although can be very expensive. Saint Lucia is definitely a paradise on earth with its lush rainforests but also trending to get a place in the world food scene. If not there, definitely in your heart. I know some will have not many days to visit all these places and inevitably will have to make a choice (depending on budget or location) so here are my top recommendations for those cases:

North: I genuinely think that if I was to choose a few places that I would come back for, this would be definitely the Duke's Place at Gros Islet not just for the fantastic barbequed street food but for the jump-up Friday night party and the rum punches. I would definitely not miss The Pink Plantation (perhaps combined with a visit/day trip to Castries), it is by far the best place to eat and immerse into nature in the north of the island. For those looking to combine a day trip for a swim in the sea and a beach restaurant with lobster and fresh fish, The Naked Fisherman is the place to be.

South: If you are South (Soufriere) I would definitely, totally go back to the Treetop Restaurant (even just for a drink) for the breathtaking views and the mouthwatering Indo-Caribbean food. And if I was to choose a place closer to Soufriere, that would be the Saltfish restaurant, way better than all the surrounding hotel restaurants we tried!



Get a SIM with Mobile Data for Saint Lucia

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So if your phone supports eSIM (google it to check first) why not try an eSIM data package before you arrive from pioneer telecom provider Airalo? 👈Click my affiliate link and search "Caribbean Islands" if you are up for island hopping or "Saint Lucia" if you only plan to stay in St Lucia, and browse and choose from the available eSIM packages.

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