A Tobago food & dining guide for 2018
Surrender to your senses and allow your taste buds to be delighted by the smorgasbord of flavours and textures available. Fresh seafood is one of the healthiest things about Bago. You can buy fresh fish, shrimp, crab and lobster (during open season) every day from fishermen on beaches like Castara and Parlatuvier, on the way to Pigeon Point, Mt Irvine Bay, and at roadside stalls all over the island. Most restaurants use fresh ingredients to make specialties such as curry crab and dumpling, crab and callaloo, coo coo, coconut bake and buljol, bake and shark/fish, oil down and breadfruit pie.
Tobagonians love ground provisions like cassava, yam, dasheen, eddoes and tannia. The annual Blue Food Festival (October, Bloody Bay) is the ideal place to sample the concoctions that local chefs have made — including dasheen ice cream! Yes, and it’s delicious.
If you need a sugar fix, all kinds of goodies are always within reach (including at the airport, Store Bay, in shops and groceries) — benne balls and sticks, toolum, pawpaw balls, tamarind balls, sugar cake, cassava pone. And fudge — beware the fudge! It comes in divine flavours like coconut, soursop and rum and raisin.
Places to eat
Between Miss Esmie, Miss Jean, Miss Trim, Miss Sylvia, Miss Alma and Miss Joycie, you are going to have a hard time choosing who to buy breakfast and lunch from. Delighting locals and lovers of creole food since the ‘80s, they all sell some combination of the following every day: crab and dumpling, curry goat or stew chicken with callaloo (a soup made from dasheen bush, coconut milk and ochroes) and provision; coo coo (like foo foo, made from cornmeal); roti (Indian flour wrap); bake and shark (which we discourage – ask for flying fish or kingfish instead, to preserve what’s left of our sharks). The best dessert to finish with? Homemade ice-cream — in flavours like rum and raisin, barbadine, soursop, coconut, or Guiness.
In and around Crown Point
Café Coco (surf and turf); Good Eats Tobago (tasty, healthy, fairly priced food and drink); Kafta’s (Mediterranean); Kariwak (Caribbean fusion); La Cantina Pizzeria; Skewers (a halal Middle Eastern grill with a Trini flavour); The Pasta Gallery (Italian)
Crafter’s Steakhouse & Grill (offering up mouth-watering cuts and decadent cocktails); and Mesoreen Café Bistro (delicious food, plus free pick-up and drop-off to/from your accommodation!)
Mesoreen Café Bistro offers free pick-up and drop-off from your accomodation
Store Bay Local Road
Kariwak (Caribbean fusion) is well-known for its fresh ingredients straight from its garden, with buffet dinner and live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights; and CJ Simmer Down Poolside Restaurant & Bar (Crown Point Hotel) is ideal for laid-back dining (heads up, families with kids) poolside with fabulous views of Store Bay
Revs Steakhouse & Bar (Shirvan Road); La Tartaruga (Italian)
The Seahorse Inn (intimate al fresco dining under the stars on Grafton Beach where leatherbacks nest); Pavilion (international); Fish Pot (Pleasant Prospect)
Kali’na (Caribbean fusion) and Salaka Grill at the Magdalena; Caffè Mia (Italian)
Shore Things Café (Caribbean/International)
Salsa Kitchen; Ciao Café & Ciao Pizza (Italian) has authentic gelato (20 flavours) plus Italian wines to go with the antipasti
Aqua (Blue Water Inn), upscale seafood restaurant with ocean views; Jemma’s Seaview Kitchen.