Lesser-Known Caribbean Cuisines To Explore

Posted on: 16 March 2022

Some Caribbean cuisines are quite common and are featured often in Caribbean restaurants. Puerto Rican and Jamaican cuisines fall into this category. But these are far from the only islands in the Caribbean. Each other island has its own, unique cuisine as well. Here are some of the lesser-known Caribbean cuisines that are well worth trying if you see them at a Caribbean restaurant.

St. Lucia

St. Lucia is a small island on the eastern side of the Caribbean island system. Like most Caribbean islands, its cuisine features a lot of seafood and starchy vegetables. The national dish of St. Lucia is called Green Figs and Saltfish. Made with cod and green figs, this is a sauteed dish that also contains starchy bananas and spices.

Another popular St. Lucian dish is bouyon, which is a hearty soup made with sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and carrots along with beef or lamb. You'll also often see lambi, a stew made with conch meat, and boudin, a black pudding made with rice and pig's blood.


Aruba is an island in the South Caribbean. It's a popular tourist destination, but outside of the resorts, the locals eat a lot of unique, traditional dishes. Although the island is hot, stews are quite popular here. One you'll see on a lot of menus is calco stoba, which is a conch stew. Often, stews are served with a side of pastechis, which are deep-fried pastries. Some pastechis are stuffed with ham, cheese, or even tuna.

Another common dish in Aruba is pisca hasa. This is a fish dish consisting of a lightly fried fish filet topped with a sauce made from tomatoes, onions, and peppers. People often say it reminds them of Creole cuisine.


Hispaniola is a large island in the West Indies region of the Caribbean. It's occupied by both Haiti and the Dominican Republic. As such, its cuisine has been heavily influenced by Haitian and Dominican cuisines, but it still has some unique elements. The cuisine of Hispaniola is not overly spicy, but it does use a lot of rice, tomatoes, root veggies, and beans.

One common dish on Hispaniola is called sanchoco. It's a stew made with chicken and root veggies. You'll also see paella, which differs from the Spanish variety in that it is seasoned with annatto instead of saffron.

These Caribbean cuisines may not be as well known as Puerto Rican and Jamaican cuisines, but they are still well worth trying. 

Contact a Caribbean restaurant near you to learn more about Caribbean food