If you’re a fan of creole cooking (or just like exciting flavors), then Haitian food is almost definitely for you.
While Haitian cooking has its own particular style, it draws from French, African, Taino, and Spanish influences. The results are simultaneously simple but bold; humble, but with bright, spicy flavors that borrow from the best of several influential cuisines.
Rice is a staple of the Haitian diet, and it is usually accompanied by beans or bean puree (sauce pois), or meats such as chicken, goat, or beef. Peppers and herbs figure prominently in Haitian cooking, and you’ll see them in marinades, stews, and sauces.
If you’re visiting Haiti and want to taste restaurant quality Haitian cuisine, then these are the restaurants you need to visit:
If you want solid creole cooking – in the form of goat in Creole sauce, bouillon de boeuf, or seafood – La Kay is a popular choice. As a bonus, La Kay also boasts amazing seaside views.
L’Oasis is another respected restaurant that serves up authentic Haitian dishes. Most meals come with salad, rice, and fried green plantains, and the Lambi Creole is a classic the restaurant specializes in.
Le Coin des Artistes
Like many local restaurants, Le Coin des Artistes has an extensive seafood menu; they’re also known for providing the freshest and widest selection of fish. Crab cakes are complimentary.
Fio Di Latte
Located in a suburb of Port-au-Prince, this restaurant actually serves Italian dishes, so it’s a great option for vegetarians (or anyone who wants a break from creole cooking). Fio Di Latte is renowned for its desserts: homemade gelato comes on its own, as part of a banana split (with chantilly cream), with coffee, or with pears and chocolate sauce.
Port-au-Prince’s Hotel Oloffson attracts visitors not just for the food, but for its architecture – the so-called gingerbread architecture that Haiti is often known for. Hotel Oloffson features in the novelist Graham Greene’s book The Comedians, and it also makes an appearance in Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Dead-Eye Dick.
Myabel Cocktail Bar & Restaurant
If you’re looking for some delicious cocktails to go along with your meal, then Myabel should be on your list. Located in the Croix Des Bouquets neighborhood, Myabel serves locally-sourced meals, modern cuisine, and an extensive cocktail menu.
This is just a brief list of popular restaurants you should visit while you’re in Haiti. There’s so much to say about Haitian cuisine – its exciting, bold, bright flavors are easy to talk about.
What we’re even more passionate about, though, is the people of Haiti. Especially children who are living in restavek, a form of child slavery that affects one in every 15 Haitian children.