Guadeloupe restaurants offer possibly the best gourmet dining in the Caribbean. With a blend of French raffinement and the hearty, spicy tropical flavors of the Caribbean, Guadeloupe food is a highlight of any trip to the French Indies.
As might be expected of a country with the status of a French overseas department, the French influence has had a strong impact on Guadeloupe's cuisine. Like in France, the déjeuner, or lunch, is the biggest meal, while the evening meal is a leisurely affair, often not beginning until after 8 pm and continuing for several hours. Caribbean food in Guadeloupe often combines classical French cuisine with Creole cooking—one popular dish, for example, is boudin Créole, or blood sausage, typical of French cuisine, but cooked with Caribbean spices. Guadeloupe food also features fresh seafood such as lobster, cod, red snapper, conch, and other fruits of the sea. Mild green curries, fish stews, and fried fish are other local specialties.
You can sample Caribbean food in Guadeloupe in a variety of restaurants, from the gourmet upscale restaurants, to little shacks on the beach. You can also find charming French patisseries and cafés serving French pastries and bistro fare with a Creole twist. The larger cities such as Basse Terre and Pointe a Pitre have excellent restaurants, but so do the small resort towns around the island.
One of the most beautiful Guadeloupe restaurants in the popular resort town of Deshaies is La Caféière Beauséjour. Situated on a gorgeous former coffee plantation, La Caféière Beauséjour is surrounded by forests and mountains. You can rent one of two rustic rooms here, decorated in a plantation style, if you're looking for a holiday rental, but the restaurant is the best part of the establishment. Freshly gathered local produce from the garden is cooked into a variety of fresh and intriguing Creole dishes. Bouillabaisse, foie gras, and local fruits and vegetables are all served, with a unique daily menu. There is even a coffee museum on the grounds if you want to learn more about the history of the coffee plantation.
For a refined gourmet meal, head to Iguane Cafe in St. Francois. The pricey, but exquisite Guadeloupe food is a mixture of French, Indian, Asian and African influences. Each dish is an original creation by the talented chef. This may be the most unique place to sample Caribbean food in Guadeloupe, though perhaps not the place to go if you're looking for traditional, classic dishes. The iguana theme is charming, with little iguanas among the decorations everywhere.
Guadeloupe restaurants can seem expensive, but with the tax and service charge included, prices are not too unreasonable. If you're looking for a budget option, look for the French chain Délifrance, a café/bistro serving well-priced French food in a nice atmosphere. Sandwiches, soups, coffee and pastries are their specialties. You can also find inexpensive street food along the beaches where you can buy a crêpe, baguette, or local pastry from a food cart.
When dining in Guadeloupe, don't forget to try the excellent local rum, often offered before the evening meal. Sit out on a veranda, gaze at the ocean while sipping your rum, and wish that your vacation in Guadeloupe would last forever.