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Best Caribbean Street Food

Top Cheap Eats from the Roadside Shacks and Street Carts of the Caribbean

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Street food is a big part of authentic Caribbean culture, and you're more likely to find local islanders queued up at a roti cart or jerk shack than at a fancy tourist restaurant. Caribbean street food is cheap, delicious, and can even be healthy, and offers a real taste of the islands in exchange for a few dollars and a little sense of adventure!

Jamaican Jerk

© Wikimedia Commons

Spicy jerk food was invented on the west coast of Jamaica, and you can get good jerked chicken, pork, fish, and even vegetables from roadside stands and beach huts all around the island. Jerk recipes vary, but always start with a mix of chili peppers, allspice, and thyme.

Patties

© Ritcharnd Moskow via Wikimedia Commons

Jamaican street vendors sell patties -- soft, semisweet half-moons of dough wrapped around pureed beef, chicken, or other heavily spiced ingredients -- but you can also pick them up cheap at several competing takeout shops.

Bake and Shark

© Trinidad Development Co.

Maracas Beach on Trinidad is the best place to get this famous seafood sandwich -- a hunk of shark meat deep fried and served on a bun with a variety of toppings, from simple to unusual.

Doubles

Chick peas wrapped in thin dough are a cheap fast-food staple in Trinidad, and especially popular for breakfast during Carnival for filling your belly to moderate the effects of the day’s planned drinking.

Roti

© Trinidad Development Co.
This popular street food shows off the East Asian influence on Caribbean culture -- it consists of curried chicken, goat, or other ingredients in a tasty wrap.

Coconut water

Future Expat via Flikr Creative Commons

Just like it sounds, this is the sweet juice from a freshly cracked coconut. Available at street stands throughout the Caribbean, where a vendor will use a machete to lop off the top of a chilled coconut, insert a straw, and -- voila -- a refreshing, natural treat!

 

Curried Goat

Leon Brocard via Wikimedia Commons

This Indian-Jamaican specialty is a mix of curry, scotch-bonnet peppers, and chopped goat meat, and you can find this aromatic stew not only in Jamaica but throughout the Caribbean. Mind the bones!

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