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Andrew Zimmern's Favorite Caribbean Restaurants

F&W contributing editor Andrew Zimmern may be famous as the host of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, but as a trained cook he also loves delicious foods. Here, Zimmern shares some of his favorite finds while traveling all across the Caribbean, from Jamaica’s best jerk chicken to Virgin Gorda’s superb conch fritters.

Anguilla

Caribbean Restaurants: KoalKeel
Photo © Susan Croft Photography.

KoalKeel, Anguilla

“Incredible seafood like crayfish ravioli and pigeon pea soup make this the best spot for inventive cuisine and traditional Anguillan fare. The rock-oven chicken needs to be ordered a day in advance, and it’s worth it. The 15,000-bottle wine cellar is inspiring for grape juice heads.” koalkeel.com

Barbados

Caribbean Restaurants: The Cliff
Photo courtesy of The Cliff.

The Cliff, Barbados

“Make reservations early to get a seat on the terrace for an amazing view and stuff yourself silly on Asian-influenced Caribbean food that is the best of its kind on the island. Go for the curry-tinged grilled swordfish, red chile steamed mussels and coconut conch fritters.” thecliffbarbados.com

Cayman Islands

Caribbean Restaurants: Blue by Eric Ripert
Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton.

Blue by Eric Ripert, Cayman Islands

Eric Ripert brings his amazing talents to the Cayman Islands. The menu is inspired by his seafood-focused New York restaurant, Le Bernardin, with the fresh, local ingredients of the Caribbean. A stunner.” ritzcarlton.com

Caribbean Restaurants: Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink
Photo © Pascal Pernix / Camana Bay.

Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink, Camana Bay, Cayman Islands

“I love Michael Schwartz’s food, and this Grand Cayman outpost delivers on all of his brilliant cooking and creative bandwidth. The simple grilled fish, callaloo, and mango desserts are superb, but the little green Thai eggplants sautéed with pine nuts, bell peppers, raisins and Thai basil have been a favorite of mine since day one.” michaelsgenuine.com/grand-cayman

Cuba

Caribbean Restaurants: La Guarida
Photo courtesy of La Guarida.

La Guarida, Havana

“This restaurant serves grilled lobster with pineapple and some of the best traditional Cuban cooking I have found in the Caribbean.” laguarida.com

Guadeloupe

Iguane Café, Guadeloupe

“A favorite on the menu is foie gras with vintage rum and a compote of papaya and tamarind.” iguane-cafe.com

Jamaica

Caribbean Restaurants: Angela’s Shack
Photo courtesy of Travel Channel.

Angela’s Shack, Jamaica

“A fantastic Jamaican snack shack. Order the goat curry.”

Boston Jerk Centre, Jamaica

“This is a collection of jerk stands where you order your choice of meat. I always go for pork-and-chicken combos, and the staff cooks it over the open-fire pits. Fun for families.”

Cherry’s One Stop, Jamaica

“A snack shack located in the famous roadside food stall conclave known as “Faith’s Pen” with some of the best Jamaican lunch fare I have sampled. It’s super rustic, but the ackee with salt cod and homemade soups are superb.”

Caribbean Restaurants: Scotchies
Photo © National Geographic Image Collection / Alamy.

Scotchies, Jamaica

“Best place for real Jamaican jerk seasoned with chiles, thyme and garlic then roasted on pimento wood logs and over hardwood coals. One of my favorite places to grab lunch in the Caribbean.”

Puerto Rico

Caribbean Restaurants: La Bombanera
Photo © Julia Smillie.

La Bombanera, Puerto Rico

“100-year-old bakery with fantastic Puerto Rican breakfast of strong coffee, local orange juice and buttery pastries.”

Caribbean Restaurants: Lares Ice Cream Parlor
Photo © Josue Martell.

Lares Ice Cream Parlor, Puerto Rico

“So many choices with 1,000 homemade ice cream flavors. The roasted corn ice cream is my favorite.”

Caribbean Restaurants: Pikayo Restaurant
Photo © wilobenet.com.

Pikayo Restaurant, Puerto Rico

“Puerto Rican cuisine with a modern twist from Chef Wilo Benet, one of the finest restaurants in the Caribbean. Think miniature bite-size mofongo and grilled local shrimp with apio (a root vegetable) and chorizo emulsion. I love this place.”

St. Barts

Le Ti St. Barth Caribbean Tavern, St. Barthélemy

“Hip restaurant with good music, dancing, and great food like rare grilled tuna with Chinese noodles. Mick Jagger sightings are free.” letistbarth.com

St. Martin

Le Tastevin, St. Martin

“A popular spot in St. Martin for the fresh fish, like the roasted mahi mahi, and the open-air dining room.” letastevin-restaurant.com

St. Thomas

Banana Tree Grille, St. Thomas

“Classic Old World Caribbean charmer, shot through the prism of a modern steakhouse high above the harbor at Charlotte Amelie. Think strong drinks, grilled local fish and amazing views.” bananatreegrille.com

Trinidad and Tobago

Caribbean Restaurants: Marcia’s Diner Restaurant & Bar
Photo courtesy of myTobago.info.

Marcia’s Diner Restaurant & Bar, Tobago

“Serves up a delicious iguana curry and dumplings in a clean and neat little diner. Definitely worth it, but it’s no-frills, for sure.”

Sails Restaurant and Pub, Trinidad

“The place to go for grilled kingfish.”

Caribbean Restaurants: The Verandah
Photo courtesy of the Verandah.

The Verandah, Trinidad

“Beautiful view of the Port of Spain with a menu of Caribbean creole favorites that changes weekly.” facebook.com/pages/The-Verandah-Restaurant/154842487869702

Turks and Caicos

Coyaba Restaurant, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

“Beautiful, romantic restaurant. The coconut shrimp tempura and the chocolate fondant for dessert are favorites.” coyabarestaurant.com

Virgin Gorda

Caribbean Restaurants: Chez Bamboo
Photo © Marta Garraus Figaredo.

Chez Bamboo, Virgin Gorda

“Superb little café. Spectacular fish dishes like grilled snapper, conch fritters and conch chowder.” chezbamboo.com

Cow Wreck Beach Bar and Grill
Photo © Joe Stone, North Haven, Maine.

Cow Wreck Beach Bar and Grill, Virgin Gorda

“Amazing grilled lobster for a staggeringly small sum.” cowwreckbeach.com

Giorgio’s Wine Restaurant, Virgin Gorda

“Giorgio’s offers a beautifully cooked Italian meal on Mahoe Bay. This is Old World Italian for when you are sick and tired of goat curry and conch fritters. I love the veal piccata and tomato-mozzarella salad. These dishes may be clichés everywhere else, but here they are a welcome relief.” Town Bay Well, The Valley; 284-495-5684; giorgiobvi.net

Thelma’s Hideout, Virgin Gorda

“Order whole fish filets, fried or grilled. This place is more like a dinner party than a restaurant, so make reservations by 3 p.m. and arrive with an open mind.” The Valley; 284-495-5646

Caribbean Restaurants: The Rock Café
Photo courtesy of The Rock Cafe.

The Rock Café, Virgin Gorda

“Caribbean lobster pasta with shellfish sauce and housemade angel hair is one of the best dishes on the island. There’s a great ambience, eating al fresco amidst the boulders and candles.” bvidining.com

Willy T’s, Virgin Gorda

“Accessible only by boat, this old tramp ship restaurant is essentially sunk in a local cove. We like to head over for burgers and conch fritters. Families by day, rabble-rousing insanity by night.” williamthornton.com

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