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Trinidad + Tobago Restaurants

Blue Crab
5 Robinson Street
Scarborough , Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Tel: 868 639 2737
www.tobagobluecrab.com/bluecrab.html

Scarborough's best home cooks, Alison and Ken Sardinha, open their hillside villa and large terrace to visitors for lunch, afternoon tea (on Tuesdays), and dinner. It's the best place to try local dishes: vegetarian callaloo soup (pureed greens, okra, and coconut milk), chicken grilled over coconut husks, cou-cou (a polenta-like dish), cookup (rice pilaf with everything), kingfish, curry chicken, and fried flying fish. Get chatting with the gregarious Miss Alison and you'll get Tobago tips and hints on the recipes.

Open Tuesdays through Fridays 11 am to 3 pm; Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays dinner by reservation only.

Breakfast Shed
Wrightson Road, adjacent to Hyatt Port of Spain
Port of Spain , Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago
Tel: No phone

Breakfast Shed's waterfront setting and fantastic harbor views make it a perfect spot for plotting the morning's excursions. Essentially a glorified food hall sheltered under a single pavilion, the Shed is comprised of open-air stalls featuring quintessential Trinidadian dishes, from rich cowheel stew to shark-and-bake sandwiches. Daily specials are scrawled in (barely legible) chalk; when in doubt, queue up where lines are longest. Frequented mostly by locals on lunch break, it also makes a good fueling stop en route to the Tobago ferry terminal.—Aaron Barker

Open daily 6:30 am to 4 pm.

Hakka
4 Taylor Avenue
Port of Spain , Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago
Tel: 868 221 0080

The melting pot of Trinidad makes an ideal home for Hakka's cuisine, a unique fusion of Chinese recipes and fragrant Indian spices. If there's a thread that unites these dishes, it's their deliciously fiery kick (highlights include Hong Kong shrimp and whole chile fish). Deep crimson walls in the dining room evoke the atmospheric feel of an opium den, which draws in heavy crowds during the evenings. Enjoy a cocktail in the back lounge if there's a wait; the official drink list veers towards the cloyingly sweet, so an "off the menu" Stag lager is the way to go. Reservations recommended.—Aaron Barker

Open Mondays through Saturdays 11 am to 11 pm.

Jemma's Seaview Kitchen
Main Road
Speyside , Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Tel: 868 660 4066

An only-in-the-Caribbean experience: The main dining room of this funky East End eatery is a tree house resting in the boughs of an Indian almond tree, with views of offshore Goat and Little Tobago islands. Owner Jemma Sealey concentrates on fresh-caught kingfish and lobster, as well as chicken cooked in curry or creole sauces. Set lunches and dinners come with a huge variety of hearty side dishes, from pigeon peas and cole slaw to breadfruit pie, a stick-to-your ribs mix of breadfruit, cheese, eggs, bell peppers, onions, and scallions. Go even more local by quaffing an LLB, a refreshing Trini beverage of soda water flavored with lemon, lime, and Angostura Bitters.—Chris Cox.

Open Sundays through Thursdays 8 am to 8:30 pm, Fridays 8 am to 4 pm.

Kariwak Restaurant
Kariwak Village
Store Bay Local Road
Crown Point , Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Tel: 868 639 8442
www.kariwak.com/restaurant.html

Local and healthy foods are given a gourmet twist in this casual indoor-outdoor setting at Kariwak Village resort (known for its holistic approach to vacationing). Choose a table in the dining room amid local art or in a thatched cabana outdoors. Almost all the herbs and produce are grown in Kariwak's organic garden, and everything from the yogurt and ice cream to the hearty breads is homemade. Be sure to try the hot cocoa for breakfast. Lunch is a basic affair of healthy salads and sandwiches, while the dinner menu changes nightly and features entrées such as chicken with basil and coconut, a choice of sides like breadfruit pie and green banana salad, plus homemade dessert.—Updated by Aaron Barker

Mélange
40 Ariapita Avenue
Port of Spain , Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago
Tel: 868 628 8687

Mélange earns its name by swirling classic French into Trinidad's cultural stew. Port of Spain's execs stop by the cozy, maison-like restaurant for weekday lunch and seafood crêpes. Typical examples on the ever-changing dinner menu are pepper-crusted pork tenderloin with cassava and wild rice cakes or stuffed chicken breast with a coconut crust and port wine sauce.—Updated by Aaron Barker

Open Mondays through Fridays 11:30 am to 2:30 pm; Tuesdays through Saturdays 6:30 to 10:30 pm.

Seahouse Inn Restaurant & Bar
Grafton Beach Road
Black Rock , Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Tel: 868 639 0686
www.seahorseinntobago.com/menue.html

This two-story open-air restaurant, named after the adjacent Seahorse Inn on Grafton Beach, serves some of Tobago's finest cuisine. Expect international dishes with a local twist, like rack of spring lamb with port and guava sauce or butterflied shrimp in Creole garlic butter with cayenne pepper. Live steelpan music accompanies your meal, as do the swishing breakers. Be sure to upgrade your attire (skip the flip-flops and shorts), especially at dinner. Reservations recommended.

Store Bay Stalls
Store Bay , Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago

Store Bay Beach is the hub of the tourism scene on Tobago, a lively cove buzzing with surf skis and party boats. For a crash course in local cuisine, try the collection of food stalls along the water. Almost every vendor offers a delicious snack, but if you want the local specialty, line up early at Miss Jean's for blue land crabs (they sell out fast). Cooked whole-shell and served with curry sauce and doughy dumplings, the crabs require a bit of skill, plenty of napkins, and some noisy sucking to get at the meat; best leave your manners back at the hotel. Shark-and-bake sandwiches—essentially, fish burgers garnished with tomatoes and a tangy sauce—also are popular (and far easier to carry back to your towel).—Updated by Aaron Barker

Veni Mange
67 Ariapita Avenue
Port of Spain , Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago
Tel: 868 624 4597
www.venimange.com

This long-standing lunch destination, entirely owned and run by women, continues to reap the crowds thanks to chef Allyson Hennessy (locally famous for her TV talk show as well as her sound French-Creole cooking) and her sister-partner, Rosemary Hezekiah. Cheery primary-colored chairs on pine floors, potted palms, brightly hand-painted tables, and local artwork are the backdrop for lunches and dinners comprising whatever is fresh and good at the market each morning—crab, kingfish, snapper, callaloo, pork, always something with chicken, and fresh tropical juices.

Open Monday through Friday 11:30 am to 3 pm; Wednesday and Friday from 7 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.