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Your Gastronomy Guide to St. Lucia

Nothing about the breathtaking island of St. Lucia is underwhelming, & the food is no exception. Cuisine there boasts an eclectic mix of cultural influences from Indian to French, meaning you'll have the opportunity to try a variety of new foods all on one luxury vacation. Foodies will delight in the pure Caribbean flavors at authentic eateries as well as the exotic creole dishes & fresh local seafood.

It's no secret that St. Lucia has become a foodie destination, either. The Telegraph reported that celebrity chefs have even chosen this island for luxury travel. Whatever your budget, tastes or preferences, you're sure to try some tantalizing new foods on your trip at these top spots:

Rainforest Hideaway Getting to this hidden romantic gem requires a ferry ride to Marigot Bay, but it's well worth the trip. You'll even get a warm welcome from the restaurant staff right when you step off the boat, & according to Travel & Leisure, will then be offered a complimentary glass of bubbly.

Upon arriving, savor a pre-dinner cocktail at the inside bar, which features an aquarium with fish from the lagoon. After that, head out to a table on a wooden deck that juts out right over the water – you'll feel as if you're dining right in the middle of the lit-up lagoon. Several nights a week, a jazz pianist plays a soulful soundtrack for your intimate dinner.

Start with the cardamom & star anise duck with spiced banana terrine, then move on to the grilled beef tenderloin with Mediterranean flavored potato cakes, papaya confit & coffee sauce. If you're craving seafood, the pan-fried mahi mahi with roasted spiced pumpkin, creole beurre blanc & callaloo reduction is a memorable choice.

Don't forget to save room for dessert – especially the mango parfait with almond tuile or the pineapple & coconut cheesecake. Much of the fruit in these dishes is grown right in the restaurant's on-site garden.

Boucan ​If you have a sweet tooth, this open-air restaurant will feel like the entrance to heavan. Located on the Rabot Estate, a cocoa plantation, Boucan provides a surprising touch with chocolate in every offering, from cocktails to main courses. A micro-green & citrus salad gets an unexpected sweetness with white chocolate dressing, while a rich fillet of pork is even more decadent with a cacao nib crust. Wash it all down with a cacao bellini or a chocolate daquiri.

If you're interested in learning more about the making of chocolate, opt for The Bean to Boucan Chocolate Tasting Plate. You'll get to savor the treat in nine different phases, including caramels, chocolates & even a cold shot of liquid chocolate.

Any of the desserts are a no-brainer here, but the Rabot Estate Molten Chocolate tastes especially sinful.

Coal Poat There's a reason this lavish restaurant, which is situated across the bay from Castries, has been popular since its opening 40 years ago. Coal Pot is a perfect marriage of exquisite cuisine & whimsical ambiance, which makes sense considering that it's co-managed by French chef Xavier Ribot & his artist wife, Michelle Elliot.

However, in order to see for yourself what all of the fuss is about, you'll need to make a reservation: The establishment only has ten waterfront tables, making for a highly intimate experience. The Telegraph recommended the kingfish in ginger sauce. If you're looking for an authentic experience, start with the callalloo soup or the fried saltfish accra, then move on to the calamari creole with local ground provisions.

It's hard not to notice the unusual, ornate dishes, all of which are original creations by Elliot. When you're finished with your meal, you can even take a plate home as a souvenir.

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