The real beauty of Seychellois cuisine is its freshness and simplicity. Meat lovers, come prepared: it is heavily influenced by the surrounding ocean, with fish appearing as the main ingredient in many dishes. Cultural influences are also distinctive, with a blend of European (mostly French and Italian) and African gastronomic influences.
It's rarely necessary to book a table, except at restaurants in resorts or hotels where you're not one of the guests.
- Restaurants Restaurants are the mainstay of Seychellois dining, with lots of options, from burger joints to ritzy hotel restaurants. Many have open-air dining areas.
- Fast Food Outlets A very affordable option, with simple yet fresh and tasty Creole staples. Takeaway is available.
- Grocery Stores An option for self-caterers. Available in most towns and villages.
Vegetarians & Vegans
Restaurant menus in the Seychelles are dominated by fish, seafood and meat dishes, though there are actually a few salad and pasta options that are meat-free. If you're self-catering, you'll have much more choice, with a good selection of fruits and vegetables.
Staples & Specialities
Fish, fish, FISH! And rice. This is the most common combination (pwason ek diri in Creole patois) in the Seychelles, and we won't complain – fish is guaranteed to be served ultrafresh and literally melts in your mouth. You'll devour bourgeois, capitaine, shark, job, parrotfish, caranx, grouper and tuna, among others. To bring variety, they are cooked in innumerable guises: grilled, steamed, minced, smoked, stewed, salted, baked, wrapped in a banana leaf; the list goes on and on.
Seafood lovers will have found their spiritual home in the Seychelles, with lobster, crab, shellfish (especially trouloulou and teck teck, two local varieties of shells) and octopus widely available.
The Seychelles is dripping with tropical fruit, including mango, banana, breadfruit, papaya, coconut, grapefruit, pineapple and carambola. Mixed with spices, they make wonderful accompaniments, such as the flavourful chatini (chutney). Vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg are used to flavour stews and other preparations.
Gastronomes might consider trying civet de chauve souris (bat curry), which is considered a delicacy. La Grande Maison is a good place to try this rather disconcerting idea. You'll also find meat, mostly beef and chicken, but it's imported.
Where to Eat
There's a full gamut of restaurant types, from funky shacks and fast-food outlets to ritzy restaurants. Larger hotels have a choice of restaurants, with one always serving buffets (usually Creole or seafood). There is not a vast selection of street snacks to choose from in the Seychelles, but street vendors sell fresh fruit and fish – a good option if you're self-catering. Grocery stores are also widely available. The market in Victoria is another good place to stock up on fresh food.
Many visitors to the Seychelles opt for packages that include breakfast and dinner at their hotel. If you'd prefer to sample local specialities, enjoy the Seychelles' many fine eateries, feast on views and share a beach picnic with the locals, you'll find that bed-and-breakfast deals will allow you more flexibility.