7 of the Best Dishes in Trinidad and Tobago

Tamiya Jones

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Trinidad and Tobago, a West Indian twin-island nation, with a diverse cuisine influenced by Indian, African, Syrian, Lebanese, Italian, Chinese, Arabian, and Creole influences. Colonizers, workers, and slaves all left their imprint on the islands' cuisine over time, resulting in delectable and unusually diverse cuisine, even for the Caribbean.

The must-eat popular dishes of this fusion cuisine are widely available and easy to reach on Trinidad, the bigger of the two isles, where the majority of the 1.3 million-strong population lives. Tobago, however, is a must-visit for several cuisines (as well as stunning beaches). To whet your appetite for a trip to Trinidad and Tobago, here are eight of our favorite dishes on both islands.


The most popular street food on the island, without a doubt, is doubles. This meal consists of 2 baras (fried dough pieces) that are filled with channa (like a chickpea sauce) and topped with condiments like pepper sauce, cilantro sauce, tamarind sauce, coconut chutney, shredded cucumber, or kuchela. You can have it how you like and is best enjoyed with a red solo (a small soft drink infamous in the Caribbean) to wash it all down. Doubles is a portion of known street food so most vendors can be found lining the pavements in the country's hotspot areas.

Provision and Saltfish

Provision and saltfish is a popular meal combination that can be easily prepared. This meal can be made up of any of any of the following "ground provisions": yam, sweet potato, eddoes, dasheen, cassava, breadfruit,and green fig (banana). They are one of the main staples in Trinidad and Tobago as they can be used as a "replacement" for rice in many home meals across the island. The saltfish is prepared where it is boiled for 10 minutes at a time to get rid of some of the saltiness. It is then mashed into small pieces with a fork and sauteed with tomatoes, onions, cilantro and hot pepper(optional).  

This meal is more of a homemade meal but can be found at several caribbean cuisine spots across the nation.

Bake n' Shark

This is the best meal for a day at the beach is definitely Bake n' Shark. It is a fried bake filled with fried pieces of shark that you receive without any toppings. This is so that you can move along and dress it yourself with lettuce, tomatoes, cabbage, chadon beni sauce, tamarin sauce and many other sauces. It is infamous to Maracas beach which is a popular landmark in Trinidad.

Buss Up Shut Roti

Roti resembles a tortilla or another flatbread in appearance and flavor, according to most individuals who have tried it. While that sort of roti is available in Trinidad and Tobago, the paratha roti (not to be confused with Indian paratha) has a distinct flavor and look.

Paratha is a flaky, silky-soft roti that's slapped together using huge paddles to make something resembling a pile of rags. It's also known as "buss up shut" because it looks like ragged, or busted-up, clothing. However, it is the greatest in terms of flavor! It is typically given at Indian weddings and festivals, accompanied by curry or stew meat, or vegetables.

There are several roti shops across the twin islands such as Hosein's Roti Shop and Hot Shoppe that are infamous for their delicious curries.

Crab n' Dumpling

When you hear the phrase "crab 'n' dumpling" the island of Tobago immediately comes to mind. The dish's name is a good description of it: Cooked in a light coconut milk curry sauce with curried crab are sticky chunks of thick, coarsely chopped dumplings (typically blue crab, but depends on availability). It's a messy meal—you'll get your hands filthy wiping up the sauce with dumplings and breaking up crab—but it's well worth it. Another important dish with an Indian flavor is this one.

There are several areas around the island that sell this meal, from the beaches to the nightlife hotspots. This meal is too good not to try.


Souse is a light Caribbean meal served cold, originally made with pickled pig flesh in a transparent broth flavored with different herbs. There are regional variants; in some places, souse is more like a soup, while in others, it is more like ceviche. Souse is made from flesh from various parts of the pig, such as the feet, head, ears, and tail. Cow and chicken parts, on the other hand, can be utilized.

To tenderize the fatty meat, it is cooked in water before being marinated in lime, peppers, onions, cucumbers, garlic, and other seasonings so that it becomes pickled. The dish can be found by many local street vendors in areas such as the Queen's Park and Eddie Hart Savannahs.

Cow Heel Soup

Cow heel soup is incredibly healthy and satisfying, with robust, spicy tastes. It has a gel-like texture, which is prevalent in gelatinous soups. The classic cow heel soup is made with a variety of seasonings, dumplings, potatoes, ground provisions (optional) and most importantly the cow heel. The cow heel actually conatins gelatin which converts into collagen which has several beneifits to the body.

This dish can be found at most caribbean cuisine outlets around the twin islands such as Cafe Caribbean in Trincity Mall or Silver Mill Grab n' Go Cuisine in San Juan