Where to eat
Traditional Guyanese cuisine is very interested, due in no small part to its diverse population and heritage. It is dominated by curries, stews, rice, flour and vegetables done in a number of ways, cooked and flavoured with coconut milk, Chinese and East Indian spices.
National favourites include Roti and Curry; Dhal Puri (similar to a Roti but filled with seasoned lentils); Fried Rice; Cook up Rice (rice, boiled in coconut milk with meat and/or vegetables); Metemgee (ground vegetables boiled down in coconut milk, with dumplings); Chowmein (noodles mixed with meat and vegetables and flavoured with Chinese spices); Black pudding (a highly seasoned sausage filled with rice mixed with cow’s blood, which is a lot tastier than it sounds); Souse (pickled pork, fish or chicken feet – again tastier than you might think) and the Amerindian meal of Pepperpot (stewed meat (or fish), flavoured with Cassareep, a thick, dark sauce made from cassava.
Guyanese love their food and since there is no shortage of places offering fast food, slow food and everything in between, at fairly reasonable prices, you have no real reason to be stirring a pot during your vacation … unless you particularly want to. Expect to pay anything between G$500 and G$5000 for meals depending on where you go.
- Before heading off on trips around the country, make sure you stock up on your favourite pastries, salara (sweet, coconut filled bread) fudge, cassava pone and other delicacies from Maggie’s Snackette. This busy eatery does lunch time meals, local drinks, Black pudding and Souse and excellent novelty cakes (New Market St).
- Grahams Bakery is still making great bread, tennis rolls, buns, salara and pastry at affordable prices (Cummings St).
BREAKFAST AND BRUNCHES
- Start your day with a fabulous buffet breakfast at Browne’s Café (Pegasus Hotel, Seawall Road). www.pegasushotelguyana.com
- Head to OMG (Sheriff St) or Herdmanston Lodge (Queenstown) for excellent Sunday brunches. www.herdmanstonlodge.com
- For a westernised café experience, good coffee and free Wi-Fi facilities, visit the Oasis Café, which is very popular with both locals and expats (Carmichael St). www.oasiscafegy.com
- Satisfy your fast food fix at Mario’s Pizzeria; Church’s Chicken and Quiznos (all on Camp and Middle Sts); OMG (Sheriff St), Pizza Hut, KFC and Popeye’s (all in Vlissingen Road). KFC also has branches in Stabroek, on Mandela Avenue and at Peter’s Hall.
- Fried fish fans should check out White Castle Fish Shop (Hadfield St).
- After a night on the tiles, stop at Jerries All Night Long 24-hour Bar and Restaurant and either continue the party or have a tasty snack at any hour (Waterloo St). www.jerriesguyana.com
- New Thriving Chinese Restaurant, with a café-styled ground floor buffet offering pastries, ice cream and buffet meals from G$720, a la carte dining on the first floor and an open-air bar overlooking Main Street (Main St). www.newthrivingrestaurant.com
- Enjoy buffet lunches, fine dining in the El Dorado Restaurant or dinner, weekly BBQs and Friday night entertainment at the Poolside Bar & Grill (Seawall Road, Kingston). www.pegasushotelguyana.com
- The Bottle Restaurant is one of best restaurants in town but it will cost you. The interior is decorated with Dutch bottles and Portuguese ceramic tiles, paying homage to Guyana’s bygone colonial history and a pretty and relaxing setting for eating good food. Enjoy an aperitif or late night drink at the Mango Tree Bar, which takes its name from the huge mango tree growing in the centre of the partially open-aired patio (Cara Lodge, Quamina St). www.carahotels.com
- German’s Restaurant is an extremely popular lunch time restaurant renown for it generous servings, creole menu and legendary cow-heel soup, which despite visiting German’s a few times, I have still not managed to taste even a spoonful of this much lauded dish! Located in a sketchy part of town, it is best to take a taxi but totally worth it (New Market and Mundy Sts).
- Sit in the open-air sidewalk area or indulge in some fine dining at the Side Walk Café & Jazz Club and the Bourbon Restaurant. Enjoy reasonably-priced lunch time specials and Happy Hour drinks, as well as once-a-month Jazz nights (Middle St). www.ariantzesidewalk.com
- Other restaurants worth mentioning include Coalpot (Carmichael St); Hacks Halaal (Commerce St); Brazil Churrascaria and Pizzeria (Alexander St); Maggie’s Snackette (New Market St); Shanta’s Puri Shop (Camp and New Market Sts) and Roti Hut (North Road).
- For real value for your hard-earned buck, don’t forget Qik Serv (Stabroek, Main and Camp Sts) and the Stabroek Market cookshops.
For a map of Guyana and more information on Guyana, things to do, bars and nightlife, where to stay and handy tips, click on the thumbnail pictures on the right.