Welcome to Georgetown, Guyana! Nestled along the Caribbean Sea on the northern coast of South America, this underrated capital city boasts a unique blend of Caribbean, African, and South American influences. Its unique blend of cultures makes it an exciting melting pot of diverse cultures and traditions.
Whether you’re immersing yourself in the hustle and bustle of Bourda Market, enjoying a flight over Kaieteur Falls, or getting your first taste of pepperpot and egg balls, this city has something for everyone. Get lost in its maze-like historic district and experience the pulsating rhythms of the captivating local music.
In 2022, I teamed up with Visit Guyana to explore the wonders of this vibrant, electric country. With its friendly locals and cosmopolitan culture, Georgetown was everything I hoped it would be and so much more. Join me and let’s explore the top things to do in Georgetown, Guyana!
During my first visit to Bourda Market in Georgetown, Guyana, the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables blew me away. This drive through market dates back to 1876 and welcomes pedestrians and drivers, so you’ll find a mix of cars and foot traffic. You’ll find vendors selling a variety of produce, including bananas, okra, turmeric, peppers, cassava, starfruit, watermelon, papaya, and pineapple!
Elsewhere in the market are vendors cleaning and selling fish, including massive catfish and gray snapper. Butchers offer different cuts of beef, and in there’s even a household section. If you’re hungry, try some fried fish with spicy pepper sauce and a hint of lime. Wash it down with a local specialty, coconut water mixed with cask-aged rum!
If you’re a foodie visiting Georgetown, Guyana, there’s no doubt about it: The Backyard Café must be on your itinerary. This world-renowned eatery is a reservation-only restaurant that serves authentic Guyanese cuisine. Located just ten minutes from Bourda Market, the café is known for its delicious food and beautiful grounds. They grow their own herbs and have both indoor and outdoor seating.
One of the highlights of the experience was watching the bartenders make rum and punch using passionfruit, lime, vodka, rum, gin, and ice. You can also watch as the cooks prepare Guyanese street food, including egg balls, made by coating a boiled egg with cassava dough and a turmeric-rich batter. Then it’s deep-fried until golden brown and served with a delicious mango sauce containing garlic, vinegar, salt, and wiri wiri pepper.
The highlight at the Backyard Café is pepperpot, a traditional meat stew containing beef, cassareep (a byproduct of cassava), garlic, ginger, thyme, and cinnamon. It’s tender and intensely flavorful, and often comes with coconut bread, which you use to sop up the thick broth.
I also recommend the metemgee, a fish stew made with lime, coconut milk, okra, green plantain, coconut dumplings (duff), and sweet potatoes. If you have room for dessert, try some salara, a sweet bread filled with sorrel fruit and sweetened coconut. They also offer mithai, which are thick coconut donut holes. It’s one of the best meals you’ll have in Georgetown, Guyana!
For those seeking a fun late-night food adventure in Georgetown, Guyana, I recommend the local fast food spots on Sherriff Street. While the options may look similar to typical Western fare, these foods are made with fresh, quality ingredients! Crazy Burgers and Wild Burgers both offer massive, juicy burgers loaded with various meats, sauces, and other toppings.
The beef burger at Wild Burgers even adds hot dogs in addition to the pineapple, onion, mustard, ketchup, and egg! It’s messy but the flavor is so worth it! I also recommend King & Queens Bar-B-Que, where you can try a special Hawaiian fish burger.
Adding deep-fried onions, fried eggs, spicy pepper sauce, house sauce, barbecue sauce, turkey bacon, caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, mustard, pineapple, and an egg made it an indescribable mountain of flavor!
It might surprise you to learn that Chinese food is popular in Guyana. After the abolition of slavery, indentured workers from China flocked to Guyana to work on its plantations, bringing their food and culture with them. Since then, Guyanese-Chinese food has flourished in the country. This fusion cusine combines Guyanese ingredients and cooking techniques with traditional Chinese dishes. One of the best places to experience it in Georgetown, Guyana is New Thriving Restaurant.
I suggest their paradise rice, which consists of rice, diced chicken, and vegetables served in a pineapple. It’s the perfect combination of savory and sweet! Their pan-fried Singapore noodles, sweet and sour chicken, sweet chili eggplant, steamed dumplings, stir-fried vegetables, and Peking duck wraps are also phenomenal!
Don’t miss the pinecone fish, which reminded me of a similar sweet-and-sour fried fish I tried in Suzhou, China. The steamed garlic prawns are delicate and flavorful, and the Peking duck is rich and fatty, with a wonderful, crispy skin. It’s one of the best restaurants in Georgetown, Guyana!
If you want Guyanese Creole food, there’s no better spot than Sunny & Sweetie Roti Shop in Georgetown, Guyana. It’s renowned for its delicious Creole cuisine and offers dishes like saltfish and bake, chicken curry with coconut choka, dal, provisions, and okra.
Their bake & saltfish is essentially a fried fish sandwich with onions and tomatoes inside a fluffy roll, or bake. It is the perfect on-the-go breakfast option. The baigan choka, a smoky roasted eggplant dish, is a delicious Indian-inspired dish, while the fish choka is fantastic with a splash of lime juice, green onions, and wiri wiri pepper.
My favorite was the pachownie, a dish made from curried sheep innards. It’s tender and earthy, and goes great with roti! If you want a less extreme option, go for the chicken curry with dal, rice, and coconut choka. It’s heaven on a plate!
The best bakery in Georgetown, Guyana is Maggie’s Snackette, located just 15 minutes from Sunny & Sweetie Roti Shop. There, Simon, one of the bakers, taught me how to properly fold their signature pineapple pastries called pine tarts. They produce a staggering 1000-1200 pastries per day!
Their signature pine tarts have flaky and buttery crusts, with a sweet and acidic pineapple filling. Their other popular item the cheese roll, made with the same dough but filled with gooey, melted cheese. Don’t miss their chicken patty, a miniature pie is filled with shredded chicken, corn, and other vegetables. They’re all great, but the pine tart is a favorite for a reason!
Travelers on the hunt for a buffet-style eatery in Georgetown, Guyana should check out German’s Restaurant, a spot known for its delectable soups. They offer three options: chicken soup, cow heel soup, and beef soup. For those seeking variety, you can even mix the cow heel and beef soups together.
The cow heel soup is thick and satisfying, boasting potatoes, cassava, duff, and of course, tender cow heels. The gelatinous texture of the cow heels added an extra dimension to the dish. I also recommend the metemgee, which combines fried fish, duff, plantains, and steamed onions with a smooth and rich coconut milk broth. You can’t go wrong with either dish!
While in Georgetown, Guyana, you’d be remiss if you didn’t check out the street food in the Seawall area after dark. The Pink Stop is a great spot to grab a Guinness Foreign Extra Stout and fried fish with plantains, along with hot sauce, ketchup, and a creamy tartar sauce. It’s almost like a Guyanese take on English fish and chips!
Another great spot in the area is Exclusive Egg Ball, Inc., famous for its egg balls. These egg balls are made fresh with eggs and cassava, then fried to a perfect golden crispness. Get them with the shop’s delicious mango sauce, which adds a sweet and tangy kick. They’re simple and fresh and the ultimate Guyanese street food in Georgetown, Guyana!
I’ve spent over fifteen years traveling the world, and one of the greatest joys of any traveler is enjoying a home-cooked meal made with love. During my time in Georgetown, Guyana, my home-cooked meal just happened to come courtesy of the country’s leader, President Irfan Ali, who graciously invited me to his home for an Eid celebration.
President Ali is known for his incredible cooking skills, which were on full display the entire time I was there. His beef curry contained some of the most tender beef I’ve ever had. I also adored his dal and heavenly duck curry, which contained a tantalizing mix of garlic, onions, and peppers.
As a massive fan of liver, I couldn’t get enough of his liver fry, which melted the moment it touched my tongue. He also prepared some excellent coconut buns, which are fluffy rolls containing raisins and grated coconut. But as great as the food was, the best part of the day was spending time with His Excellency and his lovely family, who made me feel right at home in Georgetown, Guyana!
If you’re looking for the ultimate seafood experience in Georgetown, Guyana, you must try the Kaieteur Falls Platter at Fireside Grill n Chill. It features a variety of seafood including red snapper, scallops, crab legs, lobster, prawns, calamari, baby octopus, and corn on the cob. Dine outdoors or at the bar with a refreshing Hurricane cocktail!
The seafood is cooked to perfection with Cajun seasoning and served on a large platter drizzled with garlic butter sauce. The mussels and shrimp are succulent, the calamari is irresistible, and the lobster is amazing with the garlic sauce. The snow crab is also a treat, especially the briny, flavorful meat in the knuckles. It’s the best seafood in Georgetown!
I love traveling, but the packed itineraries and near-impossible schedules can be grueling at times. My favorite way to unwind during a trip is to experience a local haircut, and Georgetown, Guyana is no exception. On my final day in the country, I visited Awesome Image Barber Shop for a haircut and shave from a local barber named Travis.
Travis did an excellent job using a steamer on me and shaving my head and trimming my beard, sideburns, and neck. Between the hot towel he used on my face and the head massage at the end, it was the most relaxing experience of my time in Guyana. If you’re in Georgetown, Guyana and find yourself in need of some pampering, look up Travis at Awesome Image Barber Shop!
If you don’t visit Kaieteur Falls while in Georgetown, Guyana, you’ve missed out on the number one tourist attraction in the country. The falls, located deep within the rain forest, are the world’s largest single-drop waterfall by volume. They’re also only accessibly by plane, and weather conditions often make flights to the falls impossible.
But it’s more than worth the trouble. After you land, you’ll visit the Kaieteur National Park Center, where staff members will give you a rundown of the park rules. They include staying on established paths, being accompanied by a guide, and not getting too close to the falls.
You’ll also return to the park center after your hike. At that point, you’ll have the opportunity to buy souvenirs, including locally-made animal figurines made with balata, a latex made from bulletwood tree sap!
During your hike to Rainbow Viewpoint, you’ll likely see local flora and fauna, including carnivorous plants called sundew, local species of bamboo, frogs, and insects. The Rainbow Viewpoint offers your first glimpse of the falls, but the money shot is further along at Nature Valley View, which puts you almost directly next to the falls as they cascade below!
Caribbean countries have a long-standing debate regarding the names of curries: Is it “duck curry” or “curry duck?” Here, it’s “duck curry,” and you can find some of the country’s best at Bistro Café & Bar in Georgetown, Guyana. This modern restaurant offers a fusion menu with dishes like snapper, chicken wings, and onion rings, along with an extensive wine selection.
Their jerk chicken wings are spicy and a bit sweet and go well with a Montes Alpha 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon. I also enjoyed the amazing dal puri. But there’s no doubt about it—the star of the show is their award-winning duck curry.
Juicy, fatty, and tender, the duck comes smothered in a rich brown gravy. I savored every bite and even went as far as licking my plate clean to make sure I didn’t leave a drop behind! Get this dish the next time you’re in Georgetown, Guyana!
There’s something about Caribbean nations that has entranced me over the past year or so, and Guyana is no different. From the moment I arrived in Georgetown, I was captivated by its rich culture and hearty, vibrant food. The locals were kind and welcoming, even the president himself!
Attractions and food may draw you to a destination initially, but it’s the people that make you fall in love with it. They’re the ones who make you feel at home and make you wish you could stay longer. That’s how I felt as I left Georgetown, Guyana. I hope you will book a trip to this amazing city to experience it for yourself someday!