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The Best Eats in Haiti for a Foodie Traveler!

The Dominican Republic and Haiti are the only two countries that may be found on the island of Hispaniola. Not only is it famous for being the first black republic, but also for the stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and delicious food it has to offer.

Consuming food is regarded as one of the most significant activities in Haiti. You will have the opportunity to sample a wide range of mouthwatering specialties, whether they are regional specialties or dishes that are famous in other areas of the world.

Haitian Street Food in Portland, Haiti

The Dominican Republic and Haiti are the only two countries that may be found on the island of Hispaniola. Not only is it famous for being the first black republic, but also for the stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and delicious food it has to offer.

The cuisine of Haiti is a fusion of many different cultures cuisines, including French, Spanish, African, Arabic, Taino, and even American foods. This results in a distinct fusion of flavors.

Haitian cuisine provides a wonderfully varied and unique dining experience by fusing the rich, spicy, and explosive tastes of Caribbean cooking with Haitian ingredients and techniques.

The Best Eats in Haiti for a Foodie Traveler!

Table of Contents

Soup Joumou (Pumpkin and Beef Soup)

Soup Joumou (Pumpkin and Beef Soup), Haiti

This hearty beef and pumpkin soup is an essential meal in Haitian cuisine, and it is customarily prepared on January 1st, the day when Haiti celebrates its independence from France.

Beef and pumpkin are the two primary components of the hearty soup known as Joumou. Carrots, onions, macaroni, squash, and potatoes are some of the other vegetables that are typically added to the broth. Fresh ginger, garlic, and sage are combined with a substantial amount of lemon or lime juice to provide the flavoring for this dish.

You can try this at any local Haitian restaurant such as Gouter Haiti.

Fresco (Haitian Flavoured Shaved Ice)

Fresco (Haitian Flavoured Shaved Ice), Haiti

Shaved ice from Haiti has always been and continues to be a very well-liked and well-liked treat, particularly among children on their walk home from school on hot summer afternoons.

You could pretty much ensure that at the conclusion of the school day, there would be someone selling Fresco out of a little truck that was comparable to an ice cream cart standing outside practically every school. There would be a line of children waiting nearby, arranged in a row like skittles, excitedly anticipating their time!

Ice and a thick, sugary syrup are the only two components of the traditional Haitian dessert known as shaved ice. Grenadine is the syrup that is used the most frequently, but it can be prepared and served with syrups of any color or flavor.

Tonmtonm Ak Sos Kalalou (Mashed Breadfruit with Gumbo Sauce)

Tonmtonm Ak Sos Kalalou (Mashed Breadfruit with Gumbo Sauce)

This is a dish that has been passed down through the generations in Jeremie, which is a province in the south of Haiti. Breadfruit is the primary component, and it gets its name from the fact that when it is cooked, it has a flavor that is quite similar to that of freshly baked bread.

On occasion, it is often prepared in conjunction with sweet potatoes or okra.The base of the Gumbo sauce is okra, and then a range of different kinds of meat and seafood are added to it. This gives the sauce a robust flavor that is full of flavor and brings together the flavors of both land and sea.

The dish known as tonmtonm is made out of parts of cooked and mashed breadfruit that have been shaped into balls and arranged in bowls, all in preparation for being dipped into a serving of thick and creamy gumbo sauce.

Mayi Moulen ak Zepina (Corn and Spinach)

Haitian cuisine often consists of corn served with spinach. The coarse corn is boiled and then blended into a smooth and chewy cornmeal while fresh spinach, onions, and tomatoes are sautéed in small pieces and added to the dish.

As it is commonly believed that Mayi is a great source of protein and iron, this meal is typically served for breakfast alongside slices of fresh green avocado in order to provide a surge of energy at the beginning of the day.

There is nothing more effective than a spinach corn dish to keep you energized throughout the day if you want to spend the day traveling or seeing friends and family.

Diri Djondjon (Black Mushrooms and Rice)

Diri djondjon is simply regular rice that has been cooked with a type of black fungus known as “djon djon.” Haiti is known for its production of djon djon mushrooms.

They lend the traditional Haitian dish known as djon djon rice their flavor and are responsible for giving the rice its dark color. Creole grocery stores typically stock djon djon mushrooms in their aisles.

The traditional method of cooking rice is utilized for the preparation of djon djon rice, but there are several key differences in the way the rice is seasoned and prepared. Although lima beans are typically used to make this dish, frozen peas are an excellent substitute. It will be of the same high quality.

Marinad (Haitian Chicken Fritters)

The shredded cooked chicken, garlic, onions, pepper, and herbs used to make Haitian chicken fritters are fried to a golden perfection to create an appetizer known as chicken fritters.

Fritters made with marinade are usually served on festive occasions in Haiti, but you can also get them from street vendors all across the country.

The fritters are exceedingly affordable, with the price of five marinated fritters coming in at just 5 Haitian Gourdes (less than $0.50 in American currency), making it a food that visitors to Haiti absolutely have to sample while they are there.

Diri ak Lalo (Stew of Crab and Jute Leaves)

The dish known as Diri ak Lalo is a dark green lalo and crab stew (Jute Leaves). This meal is a specialty of Artibonite, which is located in Haiti, and it is considered to be their national food. This delicious dish is traditionally served with the country’s white rice.

Pen Patat (Sweet Potato Pudding)

Pen Patat (Sweet Potato Pudding), Haiti

Pen patat, also known as sweet potato pudding, is a Haitian dessert that is usually offered at communions, wedding celebrations, and parties because of its high nutritional value.

It is also a sweet delicacy that is popular to bake at home as a dish for the whole household to enjoy, either on Sundays or on special occasions, and it is typically baked in the form of a cake. The consistency of a pen patat is comparable to that of a fruit cake, but there is one significant distinction between the two.

The basis of a pen patat is made not with flour but with sweet potato. This results in a pudding that is dark brown in color and has a flavor that is decadent and sweet. Cooking pen patat with Caribbean sweet potatoes, which are distinguished by their white rather than orange flesh, is a typical practice in Haiti

The base is formed by adding sugar, bananas, raisins, and butter. For flavor, grated ginger, lime zest, spices, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt are added. The addition of coconut or sweetened condensed milk is an option for some.

Although typically served as a dessert after lunch and dinner in Haiti, this meal is versatile enough to be had in the morning as well.

Griyo (Baked Pork Shoulder)

Griyo (Baked Pork Shoulder), Haiti

Griyo, also known as roasted pork shoulder, is often regarded as the most representative dish of Haitian cuisine. You can choose to have the pork accompanied by fried plantain, pikliz (a pickled vegetable relish), rice, or a combination of all three.

Everywhere you go in Haiti, from the most upscale restaurants to the most modest street vendors selling fritters and cheap dishes, you may find griyo on the menu.

In order to make griyo, first, a pig shoulder joint is washed in a mixture of citrus juices to get it ready for cooking. Because it can be difficult to obtain clean water in some areas, people often use sour citrus fruits like oranges and limes to wash their food instead of water.

After that, the pork shoulder is marinated in epis, which is a Haitian blend of different herbs, vegetables, and spices. In the end, the joint is slow-roasted until it is soft and juicy, which can take several hours.

Griyo is a dish of total grandeur because of the mix of the hog meat that has been slow-cooked, the freshness of the veggies, and the overtones of citrus and spice. Each mouthful offers so much variety in both its textural profile and its flavor profile.

Lalo (Jute Leaves)

Lalo (Jute Leaves), Haiti

The province of Artibonite is the place of origin for the delicious and savory stew known as lalo, which is prepared with jute leaves and spinach. White rice is typically served alongside it, and the cooking of crab or meat with it is sometimes done, however doing so is not required.

Lalo is an exquisitely fragrant and flavorful meal that is very moreish — there is no way you would be satisfied after consuming just one bowl of it!

When served with meat, such as with griyo, the crab or beef is washed with lime juice and seasoned with a mixture of epis, which is a common seasoning base used throughout the country and consists of bell peppers, crushed garlic, and various herbs.

If the dish is also served with vegetables, the vegetables are washed with lime juice. After being washed and seasoned, the crab or meat is then cooked in the pan with the jute leaves and spinach, which results in the release of an extraordinary variety of flavors.


Haiti is one of the central places to find food that is equally unique and flavorful, the dishes mentioned are some of the very best and you simply cannot leave Haiti without trying them out.

The good news is that you can find these dishes at any local café, restaurant, or eatery!

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