Basseterre: Exploring Local Cuisine, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Basseterre: Exploring Local Cuisine, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Basseterre: Exploring Local Cuisine, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Welcome to Basseterre, the vibrant capital city of Saint Kitts and Nevis! Beyond its breathtaking natural beauty and rich history, Basseterre is also a haven for food lovers. This guide will take you on a culinary journey through the city, from its local restaurants to traditional recipes.

Local Cuisine in Basseterre

Basseterre boasts a diverse culinary scene that reflects the island nation's cultural influences. The fusion of West Indian, African, British, and French flavors creates a unique and delicious array of dishes. Seafood plays a prominent role in Basseterre's cuisine, showcasing the abundance of fresh catch from the surrounding Caribbean Sea.

One iconic local specialty is "Conch Fritters," made with succulent conch meat mixed with herbs, spices, and batter, then deep-fried to perfection. The result is a crisp exterior and a tender, flavorful interior that will tantalize your taste buds. Pair it with a tangy dipping sauce, and you have a delightful appetizer.

Another must-try dish is "Goat Water," a hearty stew made with tender goat meat, dumplings, and a medley of vegetables, all simmered together in a flavorsome broth. This dish showcases the West Indian love for slow-cooked flavors and is often enjoyed with a side of coconut rice.

Basseterre is also known for its delectable "Saltfish and Johnny Cakes." Salted codfish is sautéed with onions, peppers, tomatoes, and spices, then served with golden-brown Johnny Cakes, which are essentially fried bread rolls. This dish is commonly enjoyed as a traditional breakfast or brunch option.

To fully immerse yourself in Basseterre's culinary delights, don't forget to sample the local fruits like mangoes, passion fruits, and guavas, which are often used in refreshing juices and desserts.

Restaurants in Basseterre

When it comes to dining out in Basseterre, you'll be spoilt for choice. Here are some restaurants that should be on your foodie itinerary:

  • The Terrace - Located in the heart of Basseterre, this restaurant offers exquisite Caribbean cuisine with a modern twist. Their menu features a variety of seafood dishes, juicy steaks, and refreshing cocktails.
  • Bombay Blues - If you're craving Indian cuisine, head to Bombay Blues. This cozy restaurant serves authentic Indian dishes bursting with aromatic spices and flavors.
  • Montpelier Plantation and Beach - For a luxurious dining experience, venture outside Basseterre and visit this elegant plantation-turned-resort. Their award-winning restaurant showcases farm-to-table cuisine with a focus on local ingredients.
  • Arthur's - Situated on the scenic Frigate Bay, Arthur's is a popular spot for seafood lovers. Indulge in their fresh catches of the day or savor their signature lobster dishes while enjoying stunning views of the Caribbean Sea.
  • Sprat Net - Located on the picturesque island of Nevis, just a short ferry ride away from Basseterre, Sprat Net offers a charming beachside dining experience. Feast on their grilled seafood platters and savor the relaxed island atmosphere.

These are just a few of the many dining options available in Basseterre. Exploring the city's culinary scene will undoubtedly leave you craving for more!

Traditional Recipes

If you want to bring a taste of Basseterre to your own kitchen, here are a couple of traditional recipes that you can try:

Conch Fritters


  • 1 pound conch meat, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Oil, for frying


  1. In a bowl, combine the conch meat, onion, bell pepper, garlic, and parsley. Mix well.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, egg, and milk. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the conch mixture to the batter and stir until well combined.
  4. Heat oil in a deep pan or fryer to 350°F (175°C).
  5. Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil and fry until golden brown and crispy, turning once.
  6. Remove the fritters from the oil and drain on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
  7. Serve hot with a dipping sauce of your choice.

Saltfish and Johnny Cakes


  • 1 pound salted codfish
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Hot pepper sauce, for serving


  1. Soak the salted codfish in water overnight to remove excess salt. Drain and rinse the fish.
  2. In a pot, bring water to a boil and add the codfish. Cook for about 10 minutes, then drain and flake the fish.
  3. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and cold water. Mix until a dough forms.
  4. Heat vegetable oil in a deep pan or fryer to 350°F (175°C).
  5. Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut into small rounds.
  6. Fry the Johnny Cakes in hot oil until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on a paper towel.
  7. In a separate pan, sauté the onion, bell pepper, tomato, and garlic in vegetable oil until softened.
  8. Add the flaked codfish to the pan and cook for a few minutes until heated through.
  9. Serve the saltfish alongside the Johnny Cakes and drizzle with hot pepper sauce, if desired.

Now you have two traditional Basseterre recipes to recreate in your own kitchen!