It wasn’t that long ago that if you were vacationing in Turks and Caicos and wanted a real quality meal, you had to get invited to a local home. But these days, this enchanting island chain boasts one of the most happening food scenes in the Caribbean. For one thing, the island hosts the world-class Caribbean Food & Wine Festival every year. Many resorts have also brought in renowned chefs, and a local training program mentors would-be cooks; plus, with how close it is to Jamaica and the Bahamas, it’s not hard to see why Turks and Caicos has easily become a food haven. Plus, the striking absence of global/ Western fast food on the islands means that even the least-adventurous eaters are forces to eat what the locals are eating. Lucky for them, it’s for their own good – we’re talking fresh lobster, conch fritters, top-notch international fusion, and unbelievably refreshing daiquiris, for starters.
What better place, then—if flavor is your passion—to take a vacation from winter? Temperatures are hot, at times verging on 80 degrees even in the “cooler months”—December through March. Pack this handy list of foodie fantasy hot-spots in your carry-on so that when you hit the capital, Providenciales (AKA Provo), you know where to go without delay. Bon appetit!
Gotta love the name. Crackpot Kitchen started out as a TV show, making the man behind the madness, Chef Nik, into a local, award-winning celebrity. Today, this is one of the island’s all-time favorite restaurants. Traditional though the food may be, the chef will gift you with his unique spin on every dish. Must-tries include: The Tamarind BBQ Baby Back Ribs with lemon-garlic roasted corn; Drunken Bird Chicken with plantain chips; and Bikini Bottom Salad with two soft shell crabs, shrimp in a blanket, smoked salmon, and mango fruit salsa salad—a mouthful you will not regret.
The locals love it, and you know that’s always a good sign. Opened in 2012, this hub of deliciousness offers a local flavour roster pulled straight from family recipes. This is where you want to be to stimulate your palate with traditional dishes like conch (a scrumptious and highly popular sea snail, in case you were wondering) in the form of fritters, salad, or straight-up raw strips; the restaurant’s famous pea soup; tangy chicken souse soup; and grilled lobster—to name a few. Mouthwatering.
Thursday Night Fish Fry at Bight Park
Started in late 2014, the Thursday night Island Fish Fry at Bight Children’s Park is a must for any self-respecting foodie. This fun-for-all, just-off-the-water event is a great way to socialize with other travelers, enjoy live local music, pick from top local vendors selling jerk chicken, fresh-caught seafood, BBQ ribs, and have some beer or rum punch to wash it down! Also, be sure to check out the craft stalls for fun souvenirs.
The Landing was opened in 2014 by a Swiss couple who cashed in their former lives for their fantasy beach bar endeavor. Chowing down on lobster, ribs, pulled pork buns, fish burgers, or Mahi Mahi at this relaxed spot is a real treat, and simply a beautiful place to spend time too. It’s casual, meaning they have tables right on the sand, so eating barefoot never felt so good. Also, the bar is a sailboat—the only boat on Grace Bay Road, so you can’t miss it.
If you’re a hopeless romantic, and especially if you’re on a romantic getaway for two, Coco Bistro was meant for you. Centrally located in Grace Bay among the most impressively large palm grove in Provo, this gorgeous restaurant tastes just as good as it looks. Canadian-born chef and owner Stuart Gray has a rep for being a real stickler and only using the freshest, highest quality ingredients, including herbs from his own garden. The lobster, blackened Mahi, steak, seafood pasta, yellow fin tuna sashimi, and coconut pie are the widely-praised house specialties. They even sell a cookbook for you to take home. Note: Coco the cat is the permanent restaurant mascot, so if you’re allergic, take your food out and enjoy a romantic picnic by the water.
Hungry? The first step is booking a fabulous place to stay. Explore our selection of stunning Providenciales villas, and if you plan to move around, check out our full list of luxury vacation rentals in Turks and Caicos..