Martinique is generally known to have good cuisine being a mix of French, Caribbean, Indian and even Amerindian culinary traditions. While on the island you cannot leave without having tasted some of the local dishes like poulet colombo (chicken in a curry-coconut sauce), fricassée de lambi (conch fricassee) or the accras (cod fritters). Fresh fish and crayfish from local fishermen is served all over the island, often with the strangely-named sauce chien (dog sauce, yup!). Don’t be put off by the name, the sauce is very tasty and guaranteed dogless! It’s mostly made out of oil, chives, garlic, chili, lime and parsley. In general Martinique’s cuisine is an exotic mix, and uses loads of chili and curry as well as local vegetables like yams, plantains, cassava and chayottes. You will encounter some new terms on restaurant menus that are worth be clarified, such as titiris, z’habitants, chatrous and blaff…The first is a dish of small fish cooked à l’étouffée (smothered), covered and simmered slowly in their own juices. Chatrou is octopus and z’habitants crayfish (inhabitants being the direct translation, as they live in the rivers). Blaff is a spicy court-bouillon used to poach small fish. Many menus are nowadays translated in English, but some smaller restaurants may still only have the French version so a small dictionary can come handy!
But Revenons à nos moutons – let’s get back to the topic at hand. Where to eat and drink in Fort-de-France? Here are my fave places to go to. Most of them are in down-town but I’ve also added some that are in the outskirts of the city but well worth a drive.
- Le Steel Pan, La Véranda shopping center, Vietnam Héroique roundabout in Didier (out of downtown). Le Steel Pan features Caribbean cuisine from the different islands in a colorful and quirky deco. Jamaican jerk chicken, Haitian pork griot, rum-sauteed shrimp, you name it!
- The Yellow, 51 Rue Victor Hugo, downtown Fort-de-France. As the name states, everything here is in yellow tones. A small, cosy restaurant with AC serving French cuisine with a creole twist. Sophisticated dishes using quality ingredients, they also have an excellent selection of wines.
- 4 Senses in the Lumina tower patio next to the port is a new food store/bar/restaurant serving salads and mostly French cuisine such as Pork filet mignon, lamb, duck breast or beef tartar. Also spanish tapas and great drinks!
- Le Babaorum, 42 Route de Châteauboeuf (outskirts Fort-de-France). A colorful restaurant set in an old creole villa with live music every Thursday evening. A word of warning, talking on your mobile is prohibited in the restaurant area (bar side OK) and a call will cost you a champagne bottle served to your table! Mixed French-Creole cuisine and nice drinks and a large selection of rums.
- Le Taj , 124 Rue Victor Hugo, downtown. Nice Indian restaurant open midday & in the evening.
Fast and tasty :
- Taco Loco , kiosk nro 12 at the Savane Park, downtown. Just opened, this small kiosk run by two “mixed girls” serving “mixed food” is open midday and in the evening.You’ll love their soft tacos with different fillings like teriyaki beef, falafels, smoked salmon and chicken in a mango-pineapple-curry sauce!
- WIB West Indian Burrito, Cour Perrinon shopping center, downtown. The first Caribbean Tex-Mex chain founded in 2015 by two martinican guys. Here you can design your burrito from A to Z by choosing the meat (or veggie steak), the sauce and the fillings. Out-door terrace. The standard size is plenty enough unless you are mega hungry!
- Spice n’Sugar, 25 Rue Moreau de Jonnes, downtown. Perfect for a quick lunch (closed in the evenings), this is a Caribbean food bar that has a changing daily menu that they post on their FB page (see link). Caribbean dishes and nice air-conditioned restaurant!
- Green is Better, 5 Rue Antoine Siger, downtown. This is your go-to saladbar in Fort-de-France! Choose your salad base as well as the ingredients, add a tart and a dessert if you feel so and enjoy it all in the air-conditioned and comfy restaurant. Free wifi.
Cafés/ Coffee shops:
- La P’tite Madeleine, 7 Rue Blénac, downtown. This is Fort-de-France’s closest substitute for a frenchy Starbucks! You can have brunch or lunch with pies, croque-monsieurs etc. or enjoy cold and hot coffees, bubble tea, smoothies and different pastries like of course, madeleines, or cookies. Free wifi and AC.
- Lina’s Café, 15 Rue Victor Hugo, downtown. Another good spot for a coffee break and/or lunch. You can find salads, design your own sandwich with different fillings and there are loads of desserts to choose from too. Ac and free wifi.
- Design Pastry , Cour Perrinon shopping center, Fort-de-France. If you love French pastry, don’t miss this out! A tea salon/pastry shop with also salads for lunch founded by martinican pastry chef David Chambeau. You will not resist their macarons, tartelettes, éclairs au chocolat, croissants…and so on, there’s a wide selection of delicious pastries to choose from!
So here we are, hope you’ll enjoy some good food in Fort-de-France and let me know your thoughts if you did try out some of my favorite spots in town! Bon appétit!