Taking a fill of the local cuisine is always an enjoyable part of a holiday that usually enhances the experience. Holidaying in the Andamans offers a great chance to check out the delectable array of fresh seafood not only at the high-end restaurants but the off-beat eateries and food shacks that line the shores. Seafood is indeed the local specialty, with fish, prawns and crabs readily available at affordable prices throughout the island. Some delicacies such as the lobster are likely to cost more, especially at the luxury hotels and upscale restaurants that offer a multi-cuisine fare. While the non-vegetarians are treated to the best of seafood, vegetarians too have a limited yet decent choice of dishes to relish as they revel in this scenic setting. If you are very particular about food preferences, make sure to sign up for a suitable tour package that addresses your requirements. Andaman tour packages are usually designed to cater to travel and food preferences of tourists.
Local Cuisine – What to Expect?
You may not find any dish/food that is really native to the island as it was originally inhabited by Tribals, basically hunters who relied on wild animals, fish and birds for their meals. The major part of the population comprises migrants who came from different parts of India, especially from the Southern states of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, and surprisingly from West Bengal as well. Hence there is a noticeable influence/presence of both South and North Indian Cuisines, in addition to Thai, Malaysian and Chinese fares. Local cuisine of Andaman is mostly based on the seafood and coconuts that abound in this region. While luxury hotels and plush restaurants do cater to international tourists with specific food preferences, a generous dose of spices and coconut are an integral part of the traditional dishes on the island. Andaman is also blessed with an abundance of fruits especially pineapple, bananas, mango and guava. Fresh fruits, juices, and tender coconut water loaded with nature’s goodness add to the appeal!
Do not let the lack of regional specialties affect your appetite for quite a few delectable dishes can leave you craving for more. There’s no dearth of comfort food. You can tuck into your favorite dhaal-roti, sambar-vada, idli, dosas, pizza, pasta and other breads plus of course an assortment of seafood, prepared in different culinary styles. As for the adventurous, dishes made from Squid and Oysters may prove tempting alternatives. That said, here are just a handful of signature items from the local cuisine that you must try when holidaying in the Andaman.
Andaman is a haven for seafood lovers where one can enjoy the fresh catch right on the beaches. It is a great destination to sample these dishes. Grilled, steamed, fried, or cooked over the Tandoor, mildly or highly spiced, the non-vegetarian fare is simply sumptuous.
- Seafood Pizza
- Tandoori Fish
- Chicken Biryani
- Chilly Chicken/Crab/Lobster
- Coconut Prawn Curry /tiger prawns
Vegetarians will need to adjust with a limited yet delicious array of recipes, pretty much the same as available in South or North India. You definitely will not miss your regular vegetarian platter as rice and rotis are available in select restaurants across the island. The usual Idli, Dosas, Vada, Sambar and vegetable subzis are also included in the menu.
Snack lovers can load up on their favorite chats, samosas and other deep fried eats when on the road. Interestingly chat items/recipes are traceable right back to Kolkata!
It’s literally a mini-India out here when it comes to food. Foreign tourists however can indulge in Chinese, Thai or Continental cuisine at the upscale restaurants and snack on baked goodies at the smaller eateries.
Best Restaurants of Andaman
While it is only fair to say that all eateries/food joints strive their best to satisfy customers, some establishments have become quite popular for the quality of food and service they offer. Let’s take you through few such restaurants that are a hit with tourists.
- Annapurna (Port Blair) – This affordable vegetarian restaurant with a simple ambience is a great place to indulge in Dosas and Rich Vegetable Gravies, apart from Chinese cuisine.
- Lighthouse Restaurant (Port Blair) – Seafood served in an open-air setting is the specialty of this place, where you can also enjoy vegetarian and Asian cuisine as well.
- Full Moon Café (Havelock Island) – Just close to the shores, this pretty setting offering Asian, American and Indian cuisine proves quite inviting, especially for seafood enthusiasts.
- Something Different (Havelock Island) – Offering free pick-up from nearby locations, this restaurant treats guests with a delicious array of seafood, pizzas, desserts and juices. Lobster, prawn and chicken recipes are signature items.
- Shakahaar(Havelock Island) – This restaurant is a haven for vegetarians looking for a tasty meal that is not too spicy.
- Barefoot (Havelock Island) – Wining and dining at this restaurant is bound to be a delightful experience. Mocktails, chicken and seafood pizza are just a few delicacies that you can indulge in at the Barefoot.
- Anju Coco (Havelock Island) – This one is popular for its personalized services, variety of dishes and reasonable pricing, apart from the tasty seafood.
- Icy Spicy (Port Blair) – You will find this relatively small vegetarian hub serving an assortment of sweets, snacks, short-eats as well as regular Indian and Chinese food quite appealing in terms of the food, ambience and pricing!
There are host of other restaurants that you may spot on your journey through the Andaman. Red Snapper, Fat Martin, Kattabomman, Ameya and several others cater to the diverse food preferences of visitors. Most of the popular eateries offer a safe and hygienic fare, but you will need to be careful when opting to eat at off-beat shacks and food joints.
Andaman Tourism is offering Andaman Tour Packages do ensure that their customers enjoy the best of facilities – food, travel, accommodation and sightseeing in a safe and comfortable manner. All you need to do is simply opt for a suitable package to make the most of your holiday!