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Eating, drinking and enjoying the nightlife in Tobago
Tobago has benefitted from the convergence of cultures from many different nations, which has led to a cuisine that is rich, diverse and highly unique. There is a strong Indian influence found in the spicy sauces and unleavened breads you see ubiquitously here. If you’re not staying at an all-inclusive resort (and even if you are) it really pays to go and explore a local town in search of the different foods on offer - you’re sure to find plenty of restaurants and stalls serving up local specialities. Just remember that the chefs are generally cooking for locals who have grown accustomed to high levels of spice and heat. If you prefer your food mild, make sure you let the waiter or chef know.
Some of the most popular local dishes include Phoulourie, which are fritters made from ground chick peas and flour, and Pelau, a filling rice-based dish. Perhaps less appetising-sounding local specialities are Cow Heel Soup and ‘Bake and Shark’ – but both are much more delicious than they sound.
There are several excellent restaurants in the south of the Island – the Seahorse Inn is a particular favourite with an excellent menu including fabulous freshly and locally caught seafood. The Kariwak Village restaurant offers a small but perfectly formed menu based on fresh ingredients from local producers and their own on-site organic garden, and La Turartuga Italian Restaurant in Crown Point comes well-recommended. While the northeast side of the island is not particularly touristy, there is a popular restaurant found near Speyside. Jemma’s Seaview Kitchen is built in the style of a Treehouse offering great views of the ocean. The food is excellent and cheap, and the portion sizes are very generous.
Tobago is famous for its rum – it is readily available virtually everywhere across the island. The locals are very proud of the quality of their local rums, and it’s true, they are excellent. The most commonly sold bears are Carib and Stag, which are both locally brewed. One of the joys is that drinking in public is legal.
The nightlife on offer in Tobago is limited – there just isn’t the drinking and partying culture here. There are plenty of pubs and bars in the main town centres but these often do not stay open particularly late. The resorts offer their own evening entertainments and the bars are usually open a little later than those in the towns. If you do like to party, don’t worry, the ‘Sunday School’ at Buccoo is an excellent option. With reggae rhythms, steel bands and Soca music you’ll be spoiled for choice – it’s a great way to mingle with other tourists and locals.