Nevis Island Cuisine Travel Guide; What to expect and Dining Options

The soil on Nevis Island is magical. You can taste it in every bite of the local produce and the fresh caught fish. Simple, delicious cuisine made from fresh, locally grown ingredients is the basic philosophy behind every meal.

It is no accident that Nevis is known as the Queen of the Caribbean, Nevis is foodie paradise. The majority of the food consumed on Nevis is grown or harvested on the island itself. There are no fast food or chain restaurants. The island is dotted with Mom & Pop homestyle restaurants and cozy bistros. Seasoned with tropical flair and full of flavor, each meal feels like eating with family, warm and inviting, plus a few characters. From modest roadside shacks to the five-star luxury options at the Four Seasons, there is an earnest joyfulness during each meal or snack.

Fruit Stands

Drive along any road and it will only be a few minutes until you reach a nearby fruit stand. A small scale behind the counter is as high-tech as it gets. The simple, bright colored tin roof shacks are better stocked than my local chain grocery store!

Nevis Island Fruit Stand
Fruit Stand on Nevis Island

Near the Ferry terminal in downtown Charlestown, the island’s largest farmer’s market offers a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, eggs, plus shirts and other attire.

Nevis Farmers Market in Charlestown
Nevis Farmers Market in Charlestown

Dining in Paradise

Nevis restaurants feature spectacular tropical views of Nevis Peak or oceanfront dining options, while a few offer the best of both. I need way more time to try out all of the dining options on Nevis, but I made good progress eating my way around the island. Here are the restaurants, beach bars, and cafes that I was able to sample during my visit.

Bella Vista at Mount Nevis Hotel

Bella Vista at Mount Nevis Hotel Breakfast view
Bella Vista at Mount Nevis Hotel Breakfast view

The dining area is the back patio of the hotel lobby overlooking the pool with spectacular views of St Kitts across the water. The staff is friendly and attentive. While service does tend to be on island time, the Caribbean cuisine featured is worth the wait. Offering a good wine selection and fantastic cocktails, the bruschetta appetizer was the perfect example of Caribbean flair to a traditionally Italian appetizer. The entire meal showcased the local herbs and produce in the sauces and preparation of familar dishes.

Bella Vista at Mount Nevis Hotel Dinner
Bella Vista at Mount Nevis Hotel Dinner

Chrishi Beach Restaurant

One of the prettiest spots for beach and brunch, Chrishi Beach Club offers a French flair to the European influenced menu of mostly sandwiches and salads. The service is prompt and friendly which can lead to a full afternoon of drinks and fun if you are not careful. The relaxed atmosphere and white sand beach plus delicious food will make you fall in love with Chrishi Beach Club.

Chrishi Beach Club Brunch
Chrishi Beach Club Brunch

Café des Arts

Cafe des Arts is a short walk from the Ferry Terminal in Charlestown. A cozy spot for a delicious cup of coffee and as well fresh, simple lunch options. The cafe offers a short menu of ingredients to create your own salad or sandwich for extremely quick service in a charming atmosphere. Cafe des Arts is as close to fast-casual dining that I experienced on the Island.

Cafe des Arts Sandwiches
Cafe des Arts Sandwiches

Nisbet Plantation Beach Club

The Thursday night seafood barbecue dinner served at Nisbet Plantation Beach Club is a weekly extravaganza! Starting with a hearty bowl of soup at the table, guests are the released to the buffet style serve yourself salad bar and an array of sides to choose from. A variety of prime meats including steak, shrimp, fresh caught fish, and chicken are grilled to your to your liking right before your eyes at the grill station. Be sure to save room for the dessert table filled with fruit, pies, tarts, cakes, and other sweet goodies.

Nisbet Plantation Beach Club Thursday Night Seafood Extravaganza
Nisbet Plantation Beach Club Thursday Night Seafood Extravaganza

Immediately following dinner, the party starts near the back bar patio with live music. Guests can sit on the beach chairs on listen to the ocean or get up close with the band and dance the night away.

Four Seasons Cabana Beach Bar

Expect nothing less than elegant poolside dining at the Four Seasons. The Cabana beach bar is an upscale open-air cafe between the pools and beach.

Four Seasons Nevis Cabana Beach Bistro
Four Seasons Nevis Cabana Beach Bistro

The appetizer selection is filled with decadent fried goodies while the lunch entrees feature salads and sandwiches. While my salad (lower left) was fresh and tasty, sampling a bite of the other dishes made me regret not getting the tuna poke or fish tacos. The fried conch fritters (upper left) were my favorite with the guava hot sauce. And all healthy thoughts went out the window when a mouth-watering burger was delivered to a nearby table, I am definitely going to order the burger on my next visit!

Lunch at the Four Seasons Nevis Cabana Beach Bistro
Lunch at the Four Seasons Nevis Cabana Beach Bistro

Yachtsman Grill

Yachtsman Grill is another great beach spot with access to the white sand beach directly in front of the restaurant. Take away the glorious beach and stunning views, and this is still THE spot to go for the food. Yachtsman Grill is simply the best. The service, location, cocktail selection, and the ambiance are second to none.

Yachtsman Grill view of the Beach
Yachtsman Grill Beach

Dinner at Yachtsman Grill was the best meal that I ate on Nevis (and that is a very high bar of quality). The menu offers so much variety in salads, pizza, pasta, fresh caught fish and lobster, and even more meat dishes. There were a dozen different items on the menu that I wanted!

Not knowing what was to come, I was extremely pleased with the Island Caesar salad (top left) featuring candied walnuts, the highest quality imported shaved Parmesan and the sweet acidic punctuation from the grilled pineapple. Every foodie to visit Nevis should include the Yachtsman Grill, and specifically this salad, on the itinerary.

Unable to decide on an entree, I choose a fish dinner special, which was not on the regular printed menu. The sauce was light and creamy, complimenting the natural delicious flavor of the perfectly cooked fish, the accompanying vegetables explode with flavor. In every bite, you can taste that all of the breads, sauces, dips, and desserts are fresh made daily on premises.

Yachtsman Grill Dinner
Yachtsman Grill Dinner

Yachtsman is the place to go wild ordering from the dessert menu. The ice cream is rich and creamy from the abundance of egg yolks, so much so that the chef makes meringues and marshmallows in an attempt to use all of the extra egg whites left over from the ice cream. And I am not complaining (much). The soft gooey marshmallows melt on the tongue. I ate them one after another until I was buzzing from the sugar high. It definitely was not from the exquisite chocolate mousse.

Long after I was stuffed full, the plates of food delivered to surrounding tables continued to amaze and delight.

Bars and Beverages

While on an afternoon pub crawl around the island, we were met by friendly locals and enthusiastically free pouring bartenders. Meeting new friends at each stop, proprietors and customers alike welcomed us in for a drink (or three). The hospitality everywhere on the island is wholeheartedly genuine.

Patterson Pub Crawl at Esmie's Bar
Patterson Pub Crawl at Esmie’s Bar

Fair warning, the local moonshine is strong! Each pub makes their own “Hammond” with varying degree of fire water to jet fuel flavor.

Passion Bar Rum Punch

One of my favorite activities around the Caribbean is tasting the locally produced rums. Clifton Estate Rum has a bold taste,  spiced without being too sweet with a strong orange flavor that compliments any mixer or equally as good served straight up. If Clifton Estate Rum is ever looking for a spokesmodel, I am available and can be paid in barrels of rum!

JenThereDoneThat holding a bottle of Clifton Estate Rum
Me and my bottle of Clifton Estate Rum

Locally Made Jams, Sauces, and Sugar Cakes

With the abundance of produce growing everywhere on the island, it is common to find locally made jams, sauces, and sweet treats. Available year round, and easily found during festivals, do not miss out on these local treasures.

Selection of items from Vals Delights including sugar cakes, jams, jellies, and hot sauce
Selection of items from Vals Delights

I was raised on jalapeno peppers, so I am always ready to sample the hot sauce. Val’s Delights hot sauce is HOT and tasty. If you like extra kick, seriously do not miss out on the pepper sauce! The hot peppers are grown on-site and batches will have a slight variation in heat.

Vals Delights Pepper Sauce travel size
Vals Delights Pepper Sauce travel size

Still new to the island life, I had never heard of nor tried Sugar Cakes. Big mistake, I am quite addicted to these little goodies.

Vals Delights Making Sugar Cakes
Vals Delights Making Sugar Cakes

Ermine from Val’s Delights shared her recipe and showed us how to prepare Sugar Cakes, a traditional Caribbean island treat.

  1. Combine 1/2 cup water, 2 cups brown sugar, 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger in a saucepan. Stir over medium-high heat until boiling
  2. Add 2 cups grated fresh coconut, continue to boil for a couple minutes, then reduce heat until liquid is gone
  3. Optional 2-4 drops of bitters while boiling
  4. Drop mounts of the sugar cakes onto a slightly damp board to cool
JenThereDoneThat holding fresh made Coconut Sugar Cakes served in coconut shell
Fresh made Coconut Sugar Cakes served in a coconut shell

 

Nevis Island Cuisine; What to expect and Dining OptionsDisclaimer: Special thanks to the Nevis Tourism Authority for inviting me to visit as part of an all expenses paid familiarization tour of the island. As always, all opinions are my own.

13 thoughts on “Nevis Island Cuisine Travel Guide; What to expect and Dining Options”

  1. Interesting…16 yrs going there..still dont see ‘local” local as we call it..I guess it’s a good thing. But appreciate you trying the popular places..But you missed sooooo.many..

    1. I am definitely going back. What are your favorite spots? I would love your recommendations to check out.
      Nevis is such a fantastic island, I know there is so much more to explore.

  2. I love that it’s all mom & pop restaurants on the island. Makes it waaay more unique. I’m not so much a foodie but can appreciate local spirits. I would definitely give the moonshine a taste.

  3. It is great that there’s a nearby fruit stand available and a lot of dining options. Would definitely check them out when we visit. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Nevis Island looks like a foodie’s paradise. It’s great to know they offer healthier food options made from fresh and locally grown ingredients. Your post provides a great insight into the life on the island. The food looks super delicious, especially the desserts. It must be an amazing experience to try the local rum and locally made sauces, jams and sugar cake.

  5. I remember those little fruit huts from Barbados. I love that fresh produce and your pictures of the other options look amazing. I’m feeling hungry now

  6. You clearly ate very well on Nevis Island! The sound of everything you ate, and the photos, definitely made me hungry reading this! Yachtsman Grill looks like an excellent choice, and somewhere I’d try if I ever visited.

  7. Sounds like Nevis is definitely the Caribbean Island for me, since I’m definitely one of those travellers who travels for great food. Love how self-sufficient the island is in production of its own food. Loved looking at and reading about what you ate at the different restaurants during your trip and would have loved to try and buy some of the locally made jams, sauces and cakes.

  8. The fact that Nevi Island serves you everything that it produces itself is a great reason to put it on the wish list. No fast food and no grocery chain stores – what a relief it would be. Those fruit stalls are so tempting. As a vegetarian they are my saviors everywhere.

  9. Super post about the great island life. Done beautifully identified places to visit on the island. Live the visuals and oh yes that rum. Thanks for sharing a great post. Well presented and beautiful photos.

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