Trinidad is a Caribbean island located only ten miles off the coast of Venezuela. Part of the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, it’s known for its vibrant culture, colorful festivals, and stunning beaches. But did you know that Trinidad is also a food lover’s paradise? The Trinidad food scene is a melting pot of diverse flavors and influences, including West African, Indian, Chinese, Amerindian, and European. If you’re a foodie looking to explore the best food experiences in Trinidad, you’re in for a treat.
From the world-renowned roti to the spicy and flavorful doubles, Trinidadian cuisine is sure to tantalize your taste buds. I got to explore it all with my friend, local chef Jason Peru, over ten incredible days.
Whether you’re a fan of seafood, meat, or vegetarian dishes, there’s something for everyone on the island. Check out my food guide of the capital, Port of Spain, here. These are the best Trinidad food experiences outside of Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Figuring out the best Trinidad food is a hard question to answer. Between all of the island’s culinary influences, there are easily hundreds of Trini foods that could be quality. My personal pick is doubles, the local take on Indian chole bhature.
The dish consists of a fried flatbread, topped with chana (chickpea curry), vegetables, and various sauces and chutneys. Some people even add meat! They’re savory and messy and one of my all-time favorite dishes. A full Trinidad doubles guide is coming to the site soon!
Some of the best Trinidad food on the island can be found in Santa Cruz, roughly 20 minutes north of Port of Spain. It’s Jason’s hometown, so he took me to his favorite local spot, The Roti Café, a small takeaway shop with over 15 rotis on the menu. It’s famous for their lobster roti and turkey roti!
The lobster roti was like a huge, thick burrito filled with lobster curry and dal inside being light, buttery, and flavorful. The turkey roti was fresh and tasty, with the tender meat, gravy, and potatoes complementing each other nicely. It’s like an island twist on Thanksgiving dinner, wrapped up in a roti! Cool off with an Angostura Chill, a refreshing lemon lime soda with bitters that’s perfect on a hot day.
Being from Miami, I’ve had my fair share of amazing fish sandwiches. But nothing compares to the incredible Trinidad food I had at Patsy’s Bake and Shark on Maracas Beach. This humble, seaside shop serves fried shrimp with fries, a puri-like flatbread, and hammerhead shark filets on a crispy but chewy bun called a bake.
You have your choice of toppings and condiments for the sandwich, which you’ll find along a buffet-like like in the restaurant. They include slaw, pineapple, tomatoes, garlic sauce, pepper sauce, chadon beni, tamarind chutney, and cucumbers. I went a little crazy and added a bit of almost everything! The fish was meaty, tender, crispy, and flavorful. I don’t usually eat shark, but I can’t lie: it was the best fish sandwich I’ve ever had!
If you head down to the city of Chaguanas in central Trinidad, you’ll find Hassanali’s D’Green Shed, an extremely popular Trinidad food truck. They offer tons of local favorites, including aloo pies, baiganee (deep-fried eggplant), saheena (fried vegetable rolls coated in chickpea batter), as well as kachori. It’s some of the tastiest Trinidad food on the island!
The combination of leaves and chickpea batter on the saheena blew my mind, especially with some tamarind chutney. I’m a huge eggplant fan, so I loved the crispy, battered baiganee with some pickled mango. The kachori was a dense, crumbly, savory cake, somewhat similar to a falafel. We also had a Trini staple called doubles (fried flatbreads called bara topped with a chickpea curry called chana, and various chutneys) and a sparkling drink Apple J.
If you’re looking for the best Trinidad food on the island, you must head down to Couva, a town in the central part of Trinidad. At Quan Kep’s Pork Shed, visitors can try various pork dishes, including blood sausage, Geera pork, pork wontons, and fried pork belly. The blood sausage is exceptional with its dense, crispy texture and combination of culantro, chilies, garlic, and bread.
Other dishes like the Geera pork are flavorful and tender with a mix of salt, pepper, and cumin. The fried pork belly has a great contrast of textures from crispy cracklings to meat to gelatinous fat. I also recommend their Venezuelan-style pork empanada and Trini bun with added pork. It’s a fatty, juicy, and decadent treat that any pork lover shouldn’t miss!
You can’t talk about phenomenal Trinidad food without mentioning Aunty Doll. This woman, based in Siparia in southern Trinidad, is a master of Trini cooking and is known as the queen of chulha. She cooks using a chulha, an earthen clay stove fueled by wood, which flavors the food. She cooks a wide range of dishes, including pholourie, saheena, dal puri, ham, curry duck, baigan choka, chulha curry chicken, coconut bake, and more.
Once she’s finished cooking, you eat everything on a banana leaf, similar to many meals in southern India. We had 13 different dishes in total. I couldn’t get enough of the pholourie, curry duck, saheena, and curried mango. The roasted coconut chutney had a smoky kick to it, which complemented everything I tried it with. The curried chataigne, curried stewed chicken (similar to jerk chicken), and spicy curry duck were all major highlights! It’s a Trinidad food experience you must experience!
When visiting islands in the Caribbean, it’s important to remember that exotic bush meats are a staple in Trinidad food. If you’re brave enough to try them, head up to Caura in the northern part of Trinidad. There, we watched locals prepare fish broth, curry goat, duck, and chicken pilau, along with more wild meats like curry iguana and curry armadillo.
They steamed both bush meats over stones by the river and added garlic, pepper, ginger, chadon beni, onions, and tomatoes to the iguana. Meanwhile, they cooked the armadillo with coconut milk, toasted cumin seeds, green habanero peppers, pimiento, onion, garlic, jeera, saffron, and curry powder. The gamy iguana was excellent, but the fattiness and creamy coconut flavor in the armadillo took it to another level. If you love great meat, you must try these dishes!
When asking about the best Trinidad food on the island, The Cross in San Fernando is sure to come up. This location in southern Trinidad is a street filled with over two dozen street food vendors selling a variety of foods, including chicken, burgers, seafood, and more. Check out Naldo’s Peri Peri Grill for their savory peri peri chicken and smoky Cajun fries.
The Big Man Ting burger and Big Man Ting hot dog at Irie Dawgz are massive. Both come topped with chili, nacho chips, several sauces, and cheese. At ‘D’ Cabin, you can try juicy and smoky chicken with tamarind sauce and garlic sauces added to their fries. My personal favorite was the buttery lobster at SeaFood Boil TT. It’s succulent, sweet, and a fantastic late-night treat. Don’t miss the decadent Oreo cheesecake milkshake at Cheesecake House if you have room for dessert!
The world of Trinidad food is vast and varied, and it’s easy to see just how special the cuisine is by visiting the island. Each of these incredible locations offers a unique peek into the island’s food culture.
From doubles and fried pies to curry armadillo to pork and fresh seafood, there’s no shortage of explosive flavors to explore. Book a trip to the Caribbean to experience the wonders of Trinidad food for yourself!