Only the freshest food is served as the specialty dish or daily special in restaurants in Dominica. Local plates are delicious and reasonably priced, but if you crave a taste of home, you will find American and Continental cuisine on most menus, especially in touristy areas. Island flavors include tee-tee-ree, small, freshly-spawned fish; manicou, small opossum; lambi, conch; and seasoned crab meat known as crab backs.
Most bars have a wide selection of beers, rum and local spirits, which are generally cheap. French and Californian wines are available, but quite pricey. If you want to drink like a local, be sure to try coconut rum punch, sea moss (known for its light, minty taste) and the island fruit juices (pineapple, melon, mango, or a blend of all three). Most restaurants close by midnight during week and open much later on weekends for after hours festivities.
Bars and Pubbing in Dominica
Travelers do not usually go to Dominica to party, as nightlife here is generally quiet. However, if you want to enjoy some music and relax over a few drinks, there is a good selection of bars and pubs, particularly in cities like Roseau or the big hotels have their own bars and entertainment. Fort Young Hotel’s Balas Bar (Victoria Street, Roseau) is a relaxing place with a happy hour on Friday nights. Nearby is Boardwalk Bar (Roseau), which is known for its live jazz and Dominican folk music. Sutton Palace Hotel is particularly known for Cellars Bar (Roseau), which was originally a storehouse of spices, rum and wine. Top musicians perform here every Wednesday for Soca Night.
O’Byrne’s Irish Pub (Castle Street, Roseau) is one of the most popular tourist and expat hangouts in Roseau. It serves bar food along with traditional English and Irish specialties like shepherd’s pie and fish and chips, while a DJ spins pop music on weekend nights. Outside Roseau, you can find The Warehouse (near Canefield Airport), which is housed in a two centuries-old stone building near Canefield Airport. Originally a rum storehouse, it has been converted into Dominica’s top disco center. Ska and reggae are the musical genres you can dance to on Saturday nights.
Head outside the capital and you may come across The Cove (Canefield), an after-hours destination with live bands and DJs. Also popular in the southwest area is Krazy Coconuts (Castle Comfort), where you can enjoy late-night drinks and live band performances. Evergreen Hotel (Castle Comfort) is also in Castle Comfort and home to a bar known for its Jazz Friday Nights and daily happy hour from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. If you are on the east coast or in the northern areas, be sure to try Red Rock Haven (Pointe Baptiste), Shrews Bar (Marigot), or Big Papa’s Restaurant & Sports Bar (Portsmouth).
Dining and Cuisine in Dominica
If you're an adventurous eater, the best of Dominica’s flavors are served in street stalls. Many restaurants close at night, except for the ones in the big hotels. Small eateries do not open at all on Sundays, but the most options can be found in Roseau. In Fort Young Hotel, there is the Waterfront Restaurant (Roseau) with an elevated veranda where you can sit al fresco to enjoy local, regional and international cuisine prepared by one of the culinary masters of Dominica. If you want dinner with a view, try Balisier (Garraway Hotel, Roseau), which overlooks the waterfront and Fort Young.
A handful of good restaurants can be found in Roseau’s King George V Street, the notable ones being Pearl’s Cuisine, Natural Livity (for vegan dishes), and Cornerhouse Cafe (for delicious Creole lunches). If you’re in Castle Comfort, be sure to try Krazy Kokonuts (Castle Comfort).
The finest Creole food can be found at Papillote Rainforest Restaurant (Roseau Valley) where organic ingredients are freshly harvested and served in a breathtaking garden setting. Steamed fish in a banana leaf is one of their specialties. If you are craving seafood, platters and lobster crepes can be found at Sea Lounge (Loubiere). Sugar Apple Restaurant (Exotica Cottages, Gommier) is another notable fine dining option that uses only organic ingredients.