Great Markets in the Caribbean

By Betsy Andrews

Published on May 26, 2010

Coronation Market, Kingston, Jamaica
Higglers (sellers) hawk their wares in rapid-fire patois at this frenetic market—one of the Caribbean's largest for produce—located in the heart of Kingston. You can snack on beef patties or jerk chicken (see ** Jerk Chicken**) while browsing local produce: leafy callaloo for pepper pot soup, spiced with Scotch bonnet chiles; cho cho (also known as chayote), a fruit that's often added to stews; bright red sorrel flowers, used in a tangy drink; sacks of dried pigeon peas and hominy; and starchy breadfruit, which Jamaicans eat roasted, fried, boiled, or stewed in a porridge. For a small fee, men with wooden handcarts will transport your purchases to your taxi. (New William Grant Park.)

Potter's Cay, Nassau, Bahamas
This assemblage of stalls beneath the Paradise Island bridge is where local chefs buy their fish, lobster, black crabs, and conch, all of it sold fresh off the boat. You can also find pumpkins, papaya, cassava, and other varieties of fresh produce here. But the best reason to visit is to feast on seafood dishes prepared at the waterfront stands: conch fritters, salad, and chowder; lime-and-chile-spiked "scorched" conch; grilled fish; steamed lobster; plus sides like fried plantains and johnnycakes. (Beneath the Paradise Island Bridge.)

Chaguanas Market, Chaguanas, Trinidad
Every morning at five o'clock, scores of vendors set up at rows of long tables in the covered pavilion at the center of this famed market town to sell everything from pickled mango to live poultry. There's a section for mackerel, red snapper, and other fish; one for spices like cumin, cloves, coriander, and peppercorns; an area for fruits and vegetables; and one for every imaginable cut of pork. It's all best taken in while noshing on Indo-Caribbean snacks like doubles (curry-filled flatbread), saheena (taro leaves dredged in split-pea flour and deep-fried), or a bake-and-shark (a deep-fried shark filet tucked into fry bread with chutney, slaw, and cilantro). (Main Road, near the local police station.)

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