About a 45-minute drive north of Port of Spain is Maracas Beach. It’s the only beach that I that remotely resembled one of those picturesque Caribbean images you have embedded on your brain.
The current is strong so be careful swimming, but the real reason you want to go here is not to hit waves but to hit the food stalls and order bake-and-shark.
Richard’s is by far the most popular, probably because it’s the original and his younger brother told me they make it with either Mako or Black Tip Reef that’s been breaded, fried and then put inside a doughnut-like bun. But that’s not even the best part – it’s the mouthwatering condiments that include a garlic sauce, Tamarind or mango chutney, cilantro, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pineapples… you name it. The cost is 30TT which is just $4.72! And for landlubbers or vegetarians you can just get the bread or a potato pie which is even cheaper.
Another must eat is roti. There are plenty of shops but our driver took me to Patraj where I had a choice of fillings but I went with channa, potatoes and curried chicken (without bones). It cost just 32TT ($5USD) and was huge! I also got a tangerine Caribbean Cool drink which hit the spot. I’m a huge fan of hot sauce and Trinidad makes some of the most flavorful so be sure to have them add it in.
Another popular dish that my readers insisted I try was Trinidad Doubles. I went to a vendor at the POS Airport (it’s in the outdoor food court – not the indoor which has Subway, KFC, McDonald’s…) but can be found all over the island. Doubles is fried Indian-style, bara filled with curried chickpea and spicy pepper sauce that costs 4TT ($0.69). Most people eat it for breakfast but I had mine in the late afternoon.
Andrew Welch of Banwari Experience was our guide most of the time and he took us to his favorite street-food vendors. Our first stop was Lady Young Lookout to get some corn soup and corn of the cob from a woman who arrives everyday but Tuesday’s at 4 pm and stays until it’s gone. It’s mostly locals so prices are really cheap. A big cup of soup goes for 15TT ($2.36) during the week and 20TT ($3.14) on weekends.
Our next stop was Queen’s park strip which during the day you want to at least drive around since it’s Trinidad’s version of Central Park except with seven ornate Victorian-style houses. In the park from 5 pm until about midnight every day you will find all kinds of food stalls selling everything from Roti, Doubles, wings… and of course coconut water.