The international dining scene in Seychelles has undergone a massive transformation in the last few years, and complaints of paying top dollar for subpar food should be a thing of the past. That said, prices are on the high side, but bear in mind that everything but seafood and some produce is imported. A cheaper option favored by many Seychellois is to get takeout for about Rs50, available in areas
large enough to have shops or gas stations. Most hotels have their own restaurant (to which nonguests are usually welcome), often serving buffet meals of both international and Creole cuisine; a few of the finest à la carte restaurants are in hotels. Mixing Indian, Southeast Asian, and French influences and using the copious fresh seafood, fruits, and spices of Seychelles, Creole food is a real treat for those who enjoy spices. Octopus is used abundantly and is extremely good in all forms (salads and coconut curries); red snapper is a favorite grilled fish; and the adventurous could try a fruit–bat curry. A number of good restaurants—mostly Italian, French, and seafood or Creole—have emerged in the tourist areas around Mahé and Praslin, and serve as a welcome alternative to the hotel buffets. Most breakfast buffets start at 7 (until 10:30), but early departures can usually be accommodated. Lunch is typically served between noon and 3, and dinner from 7 to 10. The private islands and some upscale resorts will sometimes offer a more flexible dining schedule.