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One of the Caribbean’s hottest and perhaps undiscovered culinary destinations, the dual island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, offers visitors the unique opportunity to sample the twin islands’ traditional cuisine in trendy gourmet style. Trinidad and Tobago’s culinary culture is a powerful fusion of Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Chinese, African, Creole and Indian dishes.

Traditional Trinbagonian fare includes doubles, savory curried chick peas between two barra, or flat fried bread; roti, an Indian flat bread filled with finely ground split peas, then wrapped with curried meat, shrimp and/or vegetable; bake and shark, Trinidad’s signature dish made with shark fillets seasoned with a tangy lime marinade, deep fried to perfection, then stuffed in between fried bread and spiced with choice of a seemingly endless number of toppings; and curried crab and dumplings, Tobago’s signature East Indian-infused dish, a Store Bay beachgoers favorite.

While most of these dishes can be found from street vendors or beachside food shacks, one of the most exciting movements in local cuisine is the emergence of haute cuisine, where these traditional dishes are done gourmet-style. In Trinidad and Tobago’s bourgeoning gourmet restaurant scene, patrons will find a variety of fine dining restaurants blending both international and local cuisine.

Chaude Creole, in particular, has given street food a haute makeover by serving French, Chinese and Thai influenced dishes in a gourmet tasting style. Many of these dining destinations can be found on Ariapita Avenue, also known as “The Avenue”,  Woodbrook, St. Ann’s, St. Clair and around the Queen’s Park Savannah. Other fine dining favorites include: Flair, Veni Mange, and Aspara in Trinidad and Seahorse Inn and Café Coco in Tobago. Those looking for a chic pre-dinner destination can enjoy stylish cocktails and tapas at the modern Hyatt Regency Trinidad’s Waterfront Restaurant and terrace, overlooking the stunning Gulf of Paria, the perfect locale to watch the sun dip into the sea.

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