Guadeloupe Dining / Restaurants / Nightlife
Dining in the French West Indies is always a memorable event. An exciting variety of restaurants take advantage of gorgeous settings to complement their culinary delights. Cooking in France is an art form and Guadeloupe continues this delicious tradition.
Visitors discover a wide range of local specialties with an emphasis on seafood and spicy Créole dishes. Le déjeuner, or lunch, is often the main meal of the day and usually served from noon to 2 p.m. It's generally a good idea to call ahead for reservations for dinner.
The pace of service in many Caribbean restaurants may surprise first-time visitors. It is wise to remember that standards are different in the islands. If you demand fast food and brisk service, perhaps the Caribbean is not for you. However, if you can downshift and relax into a tropical mode, your patience will be richly rewarded. Experienced travelers always arrive at Guadeloupe restaurants before they are really hungry and allow extra time for their meals to be prepared and served.
A 15% fee is often included in restaurant bills (service compris) and additional tips are optional. Budget-conscious travelers with kitchenette facilities have learned to avoid the costs of dining out by preparing many of their own meals.
Guadeloupe's cuisine mirrors its many cultures. The local Créole specialties combine the finesse of French cuisine and the spice of African cookery with the exoticism of East Indian and Southeast Asian recipes. Fresh seafood appears on most menus. Other specialties are: shellfish, smoked fish, stuffed land crabs, stewed conch, and curry dishes.
Considered one of the true culinary capitals of the Caribbean, nearly 200 Guadeloupe restaurants are recommended by the Tourist Office. Some are in hotels, some in settings by the sea and some are on the front porches of the cooks' homes. Local rum drinks often precede a meal, and imported French wines usually accompany it.
Guadeloupe's most colorful culinary event is La Fête des Cuisinières (Festival of the Cooks), held annually in early August.
Special Bonus: A Guide to Créole Cooking Terms
Guadeloupe has nightspots galore, discos and nightclubs in the larger hotels, and a variety of piano and jazz bars at the Bas du Fort Marina. Some hotels offer dinner dancing and performances by folkloric troupes. Dance music in Guadeloupe continues to feature Le Zouk, a local style with Créole lyrics that was exported to Europe with great success. Some of the most popular dance clubs for locals are in or near the resort town of Gosier. Legal drinking age is 18.
There are two casinos on Guadeloupe, one in Gosier and the other in St. François. Hours are 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. nightly, with an extension to 4 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and nights before holidays. Legal age is 18. Proof of identity (passport or driver's license with photo) is required for entrance to the game room. Guadeloupe casinos offer blackjack and American roulette. Slot machines are located outside the game room entrances. Dress is casual; jacket and tie are not required.
Featured Restaurants / Casinos / Nightspots
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