Creole cooking is the result of a fusion of influences: African, European, Indian, and Caribbean. It's colorful, spicy, and made up primarily of local seafood and vegetables (including squashlike christophenes), root vegetables, and plantains, always with a healthy dose of pepper sauce. Favorite appetizers include accras (salted codfish fritters), boudin (highly seasoned blood sausage),
and crabes farcis (stuffed land crabs). Langouste (lobster), lambi (conch), chatrou (octopus), and ouassous (crayfish) are considered delicacies. Souchy (Tahitian-style ceviche), raw fish that is "cooked" when marinated in lime juice or similar marinades, is best at seafront restaurants. Moules et frites (mussels in broth served with fries) can be found at cafés, both in the Marina in St-François and Bas du Fort Marina. Many of the best restaurants are in Jarry, a commercial area near Pointe-à-Pitre. All restaurants and bars are smoke-free, as decreed by French law.
Diverse culinary options range from pizza and crepes to Indian cuisine. For a quick and inexpensive meal, visit a boulangerie, where you can buy luscious French pastries and simple baguette sandwiches. Look for the recommendable chain Baguet. Good news: while menu prices may seem high, prices include tax and service, but a small extra tip in cash is expected, just as in France. In most restaurants in Guadeloupe (as throughout the Caribbean), lobster is the most expensive item on the menu.
What to Wear: Dining is casual at lunch, but beach attire is not appropriate except at the most laid-back beachside eateries. Dinner is slightly more formal. Long pants, collared shirts, and skirts or dresses are appreciated, although not required. Guadeloupean ladies like to "dress," particularly on weekends, so don't arrive in flip-flops—they'll be in heels.