The highlight of any visit to Rodrigues is sampling the unique local cuisine at one of the island's many tables d'hôtes. Rodriguans cook a variety of recipes that are quite different from those of their Mauritian neighbours – less emphasis is placed on spiciness and most meals are cooked with minimal amounts of oil. And while octopus dishes have colonised the mainland, the passion for (and most of the actual) poulpe or ourite comes from Rodrigues.

Meal prices at the island's best and most well-known tables d'hôtes range from Rs 400 to Rs 700. You should always call at least a day ahead to make a reservation.

The Gourmand's Checklist

A list of Rodrigues' must-eats, according to Françoise Baptiste, author, hostess and chef extraordinaire.

  • Ourite – octopus salad with lemon juice, olive oil, pepper, onions and salt. The dried variety has a rather pungent taste and admittedly isn't for everyone.
  • Vindaye d'ourite – boiled tender octopus flavoured with grated curcuma (such as ginger or turmeric), garlic, vinegar, lemon juice and a sprinkle of local spices.
  • Saucisses créole – a variety of meats that are dried and cured locally.
  • La torte Rodriguaise – a small cake of papaya, pineapple or coconut mixed with a cream made from a local root called corn-floeur.

Eating Outside of Port Mathurin

If you have your own wheels, there are plenty of good places to eat, though they're widely scattered around the island. St François and Pointe Coton on the island's east coast have a small but excellent selection of places.