As the “Isle of Flowers,” Martinique's natural charms are front and center. With a landscape blanketed with wild orchids and a sweeping terrain of mountains, volcanoes, rainforests, and beaches, the Caribbean island is truly an embodiment of natural paradise. But, essentially an overseas department of France, sophisticated Martinique boasts enough culinary flair to qualify as a food lover's heaven, too. Here, fresh local ingredients combine with French influences for a distinctive flavor that's worth traveling for. These are the local spots to get a taste:Le Bre'das
At this festive restaurant, couched in the lush greenery of inland Martinique, internationally acclaimed local chef Jean-Claude Bre'das cooks up a mouthwatering array of creole food with a French twist. Start a feast here with the traditional Martinician welcome dish of accras, or saltfish fritters, chased with bracing Ti-punch. Follow with the signature foie gras topped with prunes and pawpaw, and finish with a dense slice of breadfruit cake.
This eatery is the ultimate elegant beach shack (yes, they exist), offering plenty of fun and food in the tiny village of Le Carbet on the island's north coast. The charming Guy Ferdinand -- otherwise known as Chef Hot Pants, thanks to his chef coat-and-impossibly brief shorts outfits -- creates gourmet, five-course lunches on the beach. Dig into fresh seafood, such as marlin ceviche, and classic Martinican dishes, like christophene gratin. Other favorites include baked squash and colombo, a spicy stew. Top it off with baked pineapple -- and a dip in the waters.
Tucked into the back of Fort-de-France's bustling Grand March'e Couvert, literally the "covered market," this small cafe entices locals and visitors alike with simple creole lunch classics. Grab a folding chair and sample the lambi (stewed conch), coconut chicken, or fresh red snapper. Carole's also known for whipping up the best accras on the island. And while her chalkboard menu changes everyday, Carole's welcoming smile never does. After lunch, don't forget to browse the market for delicious local chocolates.