There’s no question the Caribbean enjoys some of the most delicious food on earth. So it’s no surprise that so many food festivals called the region home. And there is something for every palate, from fine dining dishes made by celebrity chefs from around the world, to hyper-local festival food fairs perfect for the whole family. If you love a great festival, Caribbean food diehards, we’ve rounded up the best Caribbean food festivals for your next culinary adventure.
For Fine Dining Fans: St. Croix Food & Wine Experience, St. Croix
One glorious week in April foodies from around the work heard to this luxe festival, which features some of the finest chefs from across the region and around the world. But unlikely other fancy wine and food fests, this event is deeply tied to the community. Local restaurateurs Kelly Odom and Katherine Pugliese first founded the St. Croix festival to celebrate local talent, which is still the heart of the event. And among all this fining dining, the festival also serves as a non-profit, which raised over $1.5 million for community programs since launching the event. The festival makes a triumphant return in 2019, after the island suffered from two hurricanes.
For Conch Heads: Conch Festival, Turks and Caicos
Yes we could have picked the fabulous Caribbean Food & Wine Festival, which attracts celebrity chefs around the world, but we love how the Conch Festival celebrates this truly unique ingredient. Founded in 2004, the festival sought to bring more attention to the idyllic Blue Hills area, and chose the island’s symbol as the star of the show. Expect conch in every shape and form. This includes conch salad, fritters and stew of course, but also more inventive applications like conch empanadas and conch wontons.
For Cocktail Hour: Saborea! Puerto Rico
Saborea! Puerto Rico serves their annual festival with a dash of fun, filled with cuisine form around the world and plenty tasty libations to match. Among the four-day festivities, the Bubbles & Bites event remains a house favorite, where dishes celebrating local flavors are paired with sparking drinks. Or start your day right with their popular Brunch event, where chefs from restaurants around the world show off their skills. But perhaps nothing can beat their new Saborea Grand Tasting Sunset event, where patrons can enjoy delicious bites under the setting sun.
For The Freshest Catch: San Pedro Lobsterfest, Belize
For lucky patrons in San Pedro, Belize, luxurious lobster is just another local ingredient to add to the pot. Now all of us can enjoy their crustacean gifts at their annual festival, a massive, 10-day block party celebrating the reopening of the lobster season. Patrons can follow the great lobster crawl through the festival’s variety of events, sampling the shellfish in every different form imaginable. Whatever you do, be sure not to miss the lobster catching competition!
For Roots Foodies: Blue Food Festival, Tobago
This may be the only festival in the Caribbean celebrating the region’s iconic ingredient dasheen – the sometimes blue-tinged ground provision use in many classic dishes. Nicknamed “blue food” in Tobago, the Blue Food Festival shows off its multiple applications, as chefs are challenged to transform the ingredient into many appetizers, entrees and even desserts. The whole event enjoys a friendly fair atmosphere, with entertainment, live demonstrations, and a kid’s zone. Plus, one can’t miss the unique curry duck competition.
For Rum Acolytes: St. Lucia Food and Rum Festival
Rum reigns supreme as the liquor of choice in the Caribbean, and the St. Lucian Food and Rum Festival puts the brew front and center. The event hosts the region’s first Caribbean Rum Awards, plus unique mixologist specials, a rum-centric menu, and a show-stopping dinner by a celebrity chef, like this year’s Marcus Samuelsson. Restaurants across the island participate in the celebrations, so the festival makes the perfect excuse for an epic rum crawl, with delicious dishes to boot.