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Castara

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Castara

We are planning 2 weeks holiday in Castara in February 2012.

I've noticed several comments about the upredictability of places to eat, and the fact that they may close quite early in the evening.

Can anyone please provide a little more information on how many restaurants there are, and at what time they stop serving? Also, any info on approximate costs of meals, wine and beer would be much appreciated.

We are not looking for anything grand, and would be happy eating local seafood most evenings.

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Castara
Castara
Tobago
UK
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179 posts
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1. Re: Castara

Think beach shacks and you might get the picture of some of these little outlets. The word restaurant is too grand for them. Even they could not tell you what time they close - in Tobago, as in many parts of the developing world, locals operate what is known as "event time".

In other words they will close when an event happens - eg "the chef got to go". Or another event might be "we sold d last fish" or even "everyone gone and tables are empty".

A charming experience awaits you but don't expect to be able to choose what YOU want to eat at these places - the choice is often what they have alone, that night.

Tobago does lunches better and cheaper, as their culture is to enjoy a big meal at lunchtime then snack only in the evening. Evening dining is for tourists only so if there are few tourists in Castara when you go, there will be fewer places open. Rent a car and travel if this is the case, Tobago is small so it is quick to get around. Enjoy

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Castara
Castara
Tobago
Dorset, United...
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1,450 posts
9 reviews
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2. Re: Castara

Thank you for your response.

Beach shacks would be fine, and I note your comments about "events happening".

What I want to know is whether Tobago is one of those places where most establishments usually close quite early in the evening. For example, we found that the last orders for supper in many places in The Seychelles were at 7.00pm. Also, are there many places to eat in Castara? Or should we assume that we will have to do our own cooking?

I would also be grateful for any information on the rough cost of food and drinks in Castara.

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3. Re: Castara

Luckily you are travelling in a peak winter month so there is more chance of the few eateries being open. You will have a choice between circa half a dozen little places to eat but some won't be open at the same time or on different nights.

Most places to rent are self-catering anyway in Castara so you can enjoy the best of both worlds, taking fish from the fishermen's unit on the beach and beach baked bread home to cook sometimes if desired.

There are no set closing times for these places - eg if there is a big crowd of tourists buying beer and eating and if they have supplies and the chef does not have an "event" to disappear to, they may stay open. Most chefs and waitresses will wind down around 8-9pm but it depends. Remember too that often the chef is also the owner is also the waiter-ress is also the barperson/cleaner, all in one.

But generally Brits head to Tobago intending to stay up late and party and often failing - your body clocks will be 4 or 5 hours ahead of local time and unlike some resorts in the american time zones you won't be able to adjust easily to local times, because village life is so noisy and starts so early at dawn (or never stops) that lie-ins are but a dream, if you excuse the pun. Most Brits staying in villages end up knackered by 9pm, head for bed, arise with the dawn chorus of chacalacas, dogs, cars, strimmers, stereos etc then have an early breakfast and trip out with an afternoon nap sometimes.

But you probably won't find opening/closing times anywhere near as observed or predictable as in the seychelles. Prepare for organised chaos and you will have a ball. Expect some kind of discipline and order - even when inside a restaurant that is open - and you will end up going nuts!

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Castara
Castara
Tobago
Surrey
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for Tobago
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34 reviews
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4. Re: Castara

The time you are going is 'high season'. ALWAYS check if they are going to be open that night, what they are serving and eat early. You cannot pop out to get a pizza at 10pm! For late night food you go to the tourist oriented south of the island.

The list of restaurants / cafes can change but these were the ones open recently. We will be back there in September and can update the list then.

Chenos: Great local breakfast, salt fish and aki, coconut bake or bacon and eggs etc. Limited menu in the evening and at lunchtime as it is all cooked that day.BBQ with pans on a Saturday night. Sells beer and wine. No spirits.

Marguerites. across from Cheno. Local food, home made wines

Maxes. Above his shop, best to check on the day, very local lunches. Near fishermen's coop and beach. Crab an'dumplin great here..

Kathy. Take away lunches, fried fish, chicken, very reasonable prices.On the beach. sit around and lime with locals in the evening. Only place, possibly on whole island, with solar lighting!!

Veras Almond tree. Roti and busup shut dishes, fish, meat, chicken, goat. No alcohol. On the beach.

Boathouse on Little Bay, Great variety of local and other dishes by Sharon , licensed, right on the beach, great pizzas at lunchtime, Chilli squid a Thai type dish is great!. Entertainment on Wed.night. CLOSED Saturday.

Shirma opposite the ATM machine, bakes great bread, local lunch boxes, BBQ Friday night.

Upstairs at Cascreole, local dishes, great place to sit and chill overlooking the beach. Licensed.

Adam at Sandcastles, meals to order, bit more expensive, bring your own drinks.

Friday, Saturday evening, local icecream, souse and paun, local cakes in front of Miss Merlines along from Cheno's. Great priced icecream, handchurned and way better than some sold off the back of pickups!

Beer in the village is 10TT, Bread 10TT, fruit and veg prices set by THA and published in the paper on Fridays. Fresh fish around 12-15TT a pound before cleaning. The best buy!

Easy to get someone to cook for you up wherever you are staying. Most of the cooks are men.

If there is an event on such as a beach party, fete, then there will also be a lot of food stands set up by local ladies.

Otherwise I can agree, for once, with Carribbeanbeau about the eating habits on island. Lunch is more important than evening meal. Lunch starts early as people start work early!

Always expect a lot of carbohydrates, local phrase is 'belly full, that being good! Check out Mytobago for other information relating to Tobago food and places to eat. Check out Kings Bay Cafe! Miss Eulas at Englishman's Bay at lunchtime.

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Englishman's Bay
Englishman's Bay
329 Reviews
Tobago
Dorset, United...
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5. Re: Castara

Thank you both for your responses.

Dorset, United...
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6. Re: Castara

GinandtonicSurrey

In your post of 15th July you said "We will be back there in September and can update the list then".

I'd be very grateful for any further, and more up to date, info on eating out in Castara.

Bongo

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Castara
Castara
Tobago
Surrey
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for Tobago
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7. Re: Castara

Everything still as I said before.

Important ALWAYS to check during the day what is available/ will they be open etc that day.

Hazel the wife of Bingy '" the fruit king ""said she was going to start cooking at their place on the corner of "Depot Road ( the road going down to Little Bay ). Things can change in 4 months!

Dexter Taylor was doing a lot of work on Cascreole for the upcoming season so he will be open again.

Rebecca at Clay Kitchen has been closed (?) but I am sure will start up again in the New Year if not before.

We ate at Kathys', Chenos, Max's and the Boathouse all was good.

The fish was excellent !

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8. Re: Castara

Thank you.

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9. Re: Castara

www.fishtobago.com

Edited: 15 October 2011, 00:16
Natchitoches...
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10. Re: Castara

I was there in off-peak season and found several (very very good) places to eat, without being disappointed once. Just ask when you find a place to eat and are happy with the food if they are open for the rest of the week. I preferred not knowing what was on the menu everyday in advance, (they can't always predict what gets caught anyway!) not like they will serve you a plate of tentacles or anything LOL!

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