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Trinidad’s Ariapita Avenue: Liming & Dining

Coco Lounge, one of many bars and nightclubs on Ariapita Avenue in Woodbrook. Photographer: Aisha Provoteaux

Coco Lounge, one of many bars and nightclubs on Ariapita Avenue in Woodbrook. Photographer: Aisha Provoteaux

It’s Friday night. Or maybe it’s Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday or any other night of the week. And you’re bored! Now, we Trinidadians take boredom very seriously. We have a reputation to maintain as the social mecca of the Caribbean – “liming country”, if you will – and we cannot have our reputation tarnished by any local or visitor claiming to be bored on our watch.

Find your way to Ariapita Avenue in Woodbrook – aka “De Avenue” – on the outskirts of Port of Spain. This strip boasts every conceivable type of nightlife and eating establishment to satisfy any discerning socialite. Here, you’ll find locals and foreigners alike, barhopping up and down this trendy thoroughfare. As an added bonus at any time of day or night, leading wireless provider Bmobile has introduced their Bzone, free 4G wireless internet available almost anywhere on the Avenue. Upload a picture your main course or a video of an unforgettable moment with friends to your favourite social network at lightning speeds.

International dining

So, what are you in the mood for? Dinner? De Avenue offers an array of choices. Angelo’s Restaurant (Italian) is one of our very finest, known for its impeccable quality and friendly atmosphere. For local creole fusion, Veni Mangé is an internationally acclaimed restaurant, which also has a delightful little soup stand outside in addition to a cosy, warm interior dining area. Visit Me Asia, Stir Fry King, China Dynasty for Chinese; and Melange or Flair for international fusion dishes. Sushi, which has exploded in popularity over the last few years, is on offer at LeVels Ultrabar, Saketini Lounge and More Vino. Note that not all the eating establishments are open at night, or on Mondays, so it’s best to call and/or make reservations in advance.

Creole food

Several local and regional creole restaurants are also popular, especially for lunch. Choose from Veni Mangé, El Pecos (delicious, local ‘pay by the pound’ fare), Frankie’s, Sweet Lime, Mangoes, the Cow Heel Soup Centre, Relish, Japs Fried Chicken, Irie Bites, Yaad Food (Jamaican), Senor Jalapeno’s (Mexican), Marble Slab (Desserts), Curry Corner (Indian fare) and not forgetting the healthy stuff, Subway and Grillers. If you’re in the mood for fast food, Wendy’s or Domino’s also have branches on Ariapita Avenue.

Street food

De Avenue is well known too for late-night street food and fast food. Roadside vendors sell a range of local staples such as doubles (an Indian snack with fried bakes and curried chickpeas) and gyros (Arabic wraps with various meats), Willy Dogs and Willy Waffles (gourmet hotdogs and waffles).

Gaming

So you’ve been fed; time to be watered. If you like the slots and gaming tables, you can check out Xanadu Members Club, Ma Pau, Diamond Members Club, Players on the Avenue, Sportsman Members Club and Winners Club.

Cocktails

If you’re looking for some fun company and a few beers or cocktails, pay attention now. The happening bar spots on the Avenue are Stumblin’, Coco Lounge, Crobar, Sandbar, Shakers, La Habana, Sky Bar, Frankie’s, LeVels, More Vino and Darin’s.

Some things to note

Trinidadians are warm and welcoming people. You can turn up at any one of these places and strike up a conversation. But, as with any foreign place you visit, exercise a realistic amount of caution and responsibility.

Move in groups wherever possible, don’t carry large amounts of cash and valuables, and make sure that you know how you’re getting back home. Don’t wander off on your own. If you’re asking for directions or recommendations, ask waiters, bartenders, club owners, even your hotel front desk or your cab driver.

Make sure, if you’re driving, that you park you car in a no-wrecking zone, as there are strict parking rules for the area. If you go by taxi, make firm plans as to where and what time your pick-up will be, and remember your hotel name, address and telephone number as well as your driver’s, in case of any mislaid plans.

So now you know how to lime like a Trini on De Avenue. Leave with warm and wonderful memories…and come back!

By 

A team of of writers discovering Trinidad & Tobago for 25 years and counting!

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