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Popular Traditional Food in Haiti You Must Try – Eat This, Not That

Haitian cuisine delivers a very diversified and eclectic gastronomic experience by fusing rich, spicy, and explosive flavors with simple Caribbean cookery. These meals, which draw on a wide variety of inspirations, should be on the must-try menu for any vacation to this distinctive Caribbean island, including French, African, and Middle Eastern.
Griot haïtien

Where is Haiti? Haiti takes up the western third of the island of Hispaniola, which is situated between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. On the eastern side of the island, Haiti is bordered by the Dominican Republic. Jamaica and Cuba. These places are Haiti’s closest neighbors, respectively to the west and northwest. It is renowned for its stunning beaches, culture, and food in addition to being the first black republic.

Haitian food is a fusion of French, Spanish, African, Arabic, Taino, and even American foods with a special flavor.

Haitian cuisine delivers a very diversified and eclectic gastronomic experience by fusing rich, spicy, and explosive flavors with simple Caribbean cookery. These meals, which draw on a wide variety of inspirations, should be on the must-try menu for any vacation to this distinctive Caribbean island, including French, African, and Middle Eastern.

Similar to other Caribbean islands, Haiti has distinctive culinary customs and techniques that produce rich, flavorful traditional cuisine. Looking for a delectable treat from distant land on your upcoming journey?

The Best Haitian Food Guide

Table of Contents

The following are some of the popular foods in Haiti which are served by some of the best restaurants.

Soup Joumou (Beef and Pumpkin Soup)

The reason soup joumou is ranked first on our list is not just because it represents independence for Haitians but also because it has been recognised as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2021. To commemorate Haiti’s valiant fight for independence from France, this soup is typically served on New Year’s Day and is cooked with meat, potatoes, and veggies.

The white masters used to enjoy this soup exclusively, and the slaves who made it were barred from eating it. However, since January 1, 1804, when Haiti’s independence was proclaimed by Haitian revolutionary leader Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the joumou has evolved into a symbol of freedom that is placed on every Haitian’s table on that day. Everyone anticipates enjoying a bowl of soup joumou that day at home with family and friends since it is a culinary event not to be missed.

Beef and Pumpkin Soup


A traditional alcoholic beverage in Haiti served on special occasions is the Haitian kremas. Coconut milk, unsweetened condensed milk, sweetened condensed milk, spices, and rum are the main ingredients of Haitian kremas.

They combine to provide a creamy, sweet, and smooth texture. A tiny glass is sufficient to guarantee a flavor explosion in the mouth. Kremas is the beverage that is required to have over the Christmas season. It is tasty but a little dangerous because it can be easy to forget that it contains alcohol.


Small slices of a pig are marinated and grilled (griots) to make fritays, which are then served with fried plantains and hot sauce. The Haitian food is a go-to quick supper for Haitians and is sold all across the nation by cooks using cooking equipment set up under a temporary hut by the side of the road. Initially, you might be hesitant to taste them, especially because this is raw meat. But ultimately, once you’ve tried them, you’ll be glad you did!



Some claim that the name pikliz is derived from the English word pickle. This makes sense because pickles are simply a collection of fresh veggies macerated in vinegar, much like pikliz in Haiti. Pikliz is unquestionably the condiment of choice for Haitians. You’ll discover that no matter how much pikliz you use, there is almost never enough if you give it a try.

This condiment is the ideal side dish because of the crisp combination of carrots and cabbage. It is the ideal pairing for all varieties of fritters, including griot, fried chicken, weighted bananas, etc.

Pate Kòde (Haitian Patties)

This could become your new favorite Haitian cuisine if you’re looking for new comfort food. You can choose from a wide range of toppings for pate kode, such as hot dogs and eggs, smoked herring and eggs, chicken and cabbage, etc.

When it comes to filling these patties, the options are infinite; you can put anything in them.


Haitian’s Russian Salad

No matter what kind of Haitian celebration you’re excited to attend, potato and beet salad almost always make an appearance on the menu.

The Russian salad has been redone in this well-known Haitian cuisine. It is a vibrant salad consisting of a variety of potatoes, and mayonnaise paired with the scarlet hue of the beet gives it an eye-catching appearance, and its flavor will leave you breathless. Every Haitian home has it, especially on Sundays and during the holidays. Rice djon djon or macaroni gratin is frequently served with the salad.


In all of Haiti, akasan is a specialty. This Haitian cuisine is typically served warm or hot with bread at breakfast and is both a tremendous treat for the stomach and a source of cash for those who sell it.

But it is also a source of vitamins, so that’s not all. This beverage is made from maize (cornmeal or corn kernels that have been processed with a mill), milk, and flavorings like cinnamon. Because of these components, akasan is an extremely rich beverage.



In actuality, tchaka is one of Haiti’s specialties as well. Tchaka is a cuisine that takes a day to prepare. It consists of red peas, dried cracked corn, and smoked and salted hog flesh, particularly pig’s trotters. The flavors must be let to mature during several hours of simmering.

Even though it takes some time, this dish can be easily made. After being cooked separately, the corn and peas are combined with the prepared pork. When the tchaka reaches the correct consistency, the mixture is seasoned to taste and simmered.


This is a manioc-based round bread. It is typically consumed for breakfast, as a snack, or as dinner with butter, mamba, jam, avocado, or anything else that strikes your fancy. Coconut can also be used as a filling.

Dous Makòs

The vanilla fudge known as Dous Makos is a specialty of Petit-Goave, Haiti. The treat often has three distinct stripes: a red layer dyed with food coloring, a chocolate layer, and a light vanilla layer.

Fernand Marcos, who many people view as the Haitian equivalent of the Hershey family, invented the candy in 1939. What are you waiting for?

Bonbon Siwo

The dessert to serve if you wish to incorporate Haitian flavors into your meal is bonbon siwo or Haitian gingerbread. This Haitian food, Bonbon siwo, is a fiery, spicy, and simple to prepare tropical gingerbread from Haiti.

Because of the coconut milk and cane syrup, this Haitian gingerbread cake is dark and dense. Fresh ginger, cloves, and cinnamon give it a strong flavor. For your loved ones, prepare this Haitian cuisine with a cup of milk or hot chocolate.

Haitian Pork Griot

Even an uninformed vegetarian could fall in love with the marinated pork meal known as Haitian griot because it is so flavorful. Despite the humor, the Haitian griot is unquestionably one of the best national meat dishes. It is one of the most popular foods in Haiti and is frequently served at family gatherings.

Before being pan-fried till crispy, boneless pork is marinated in a broth flavored with citrus, garlic, onions, shallots, and a blend of spices. You can serve rice, fried plantains called banane peze, and pikliz as a side dish to the griot.

Haitian Pork Griot​

Diri Djon Djon

Ordinary rice is termed “djon djon” when it is cooked with black mushrooms. Haiti produces djon djon mushrooms. They are used to flavor and color djon djon rice, a traditional meal from Haiti. Creole grocery stores carry djon djon mushrooms.

While the cooking method for djon djon rice is the same as for ordinary rice, there are differences in the preparation and flavor. It is typically made using lima beans, but you can also use frozen peas. It will perform equally well. Cook it on a Sunday or for a special event, and your visitors will be charmed by the rice with black mushrooms!

Bouillon tèt kabrit

Reviews for the dish bouillon tèt kabrit are extremely conflicting. The name, which in English means “bouillon with a goat head,” really refers to the goat head as one of the main ingredients.

In the broth, a real goat skull is included. The meal also contains the intestines and guts of the goat. For this Haitian delicacy, the succulent goat flesh is cooked in a classic Creole sauce. It is eaten with rice or seasonal vegetables for a classic and filling supper.


I’m sure you’ll agree that the food in Haiti reflects the honesty, kindness, and love of the people in abundance.

With roots in native Caribbean cuisine and a wide range of intertwining influences, Haitian cuisine today serves to celebrate special occasions, cheer up youngsters, and nourish a people of tenacious, devoted, and passionate islanders.

It goes without saying that no vacation to Haiti would be complete without tasting some, if not all, of these local dishes. Keep this list close at hand so that you can order real meals from Haitian restaurants and street vendors and experience Haiti through its cuisine.

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