Best Caribbean Islands For Dining

Spice it up with a tantalizing fusion of African, Spanish, Indian and French influenced cuisine as you embark on a gourmet adventure into the complex world of Caribbean fine dining. From beachside food stalls to high-end, Michelin-starred restaurants, these islands offer a unique blend of traditional, international and home-grown flavors to satisfy even the most sophisticated palates.

Where: St. Maarten/St. Martin

This cosmopolitan Dutch/French island prides itself on being the culinary capital of the Caribbean, with flavors that pay homage to some of the world's finest gastronomy. With over 400 restaurants, your mouth can take a trip around the world without ever leaving this sun-filled escape. Grand-Case is the traditional home to fine St. Martin fare whereas Cupecoy, Simpson Bay, Dawn Beach and Oyster Pond are evolving into the new homes of the island's haute cuisine.

Where: St. Barts

Part of the French Antilles, you'd expect St. Barts' cuisine to have a French influence, but you may not be prepared for the gastronomic delights of French, créole and international cuisine that await you. Historic stone warehouses in the port town of Gustavia have been converted into stylish restaurants, elegant bistros and ritzy eateries that rival New York and Paris for food quality, variety and chef creativity.

Where: Anguilla

Once overshadowed by its glamorous neighbor, St. Barts, Anguilla has emerged as the new Caribbean cuisine "it" island. At hotel restaurants Altamer the former Maxim's Paris chef prepares masterful meals that are served on tabletops made of sea glass on a terrace overlooking the ocean. An 18th-century plantation is home to Koal Keel, a seaside dining room offering a menu that merges local and international influences, and Santorini, at the CuisinArt Resort -- a culinary-themed retreat -- offers superb cuisine and cooking lessons emphasizing local ingredients grown on the premises in organic and hydroponic gardens.

Where: Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe's cuisine is a delicious expression of its varied international cultures and influences. Local créole dishes combine the finest elements of French cuisine with the spices of Africa, the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia. Predominantly serving seafood and fruit themed dishes, plus the renowned Jambalaya, there are more than 200 restaurants located throughout the island in hotels, by the sea, and in chefs' homes.

Where: Barbados

Despite its distinctly British heritage, it is the flavorful combination of European, African and East Indian culinary influences that makes the food in Barbados an outstanding example of Caribbean cuisine. Vegetables and cereals feature heavily in Barbadian recipes and the visual attractiveness of the dish, including color, is of particular importance to its practitioners.