If travel is about experiencing local flavours for you, the Thursday Fish Fry is an event you must not miss while in Providenciales.
A chance to soak up ‘all things TCI’, the weekly Fish Fry is Provo’s version of a street food festival, complete with food trucks and pop-up stalls. But this weekly event is not only about food: it’s an evening filled with local music, dancing, crafts and cocktails too.
Almost every Caribbean has a fish fry of some kind. Originally these were occasions when fishermen would cook up their remaining catch at the end of the day and sell it as a tasty snack.
Over time fish fries have evolved into lively events with a variety of vendors – not necessarily fishermen - serving up both seafood and other local dishes to a hungry crowd of residents and visitors. Provo’s Thursday evening Fish Fry is a fun, informal event, where you can eat, drink and be merry island-style.
What’s on the Menu
Less haute cuisine, more hearty traditional fare, Fish Fry vendors grill and fry up generous portions of seafood and meat dishes. Over a dozen local restaurants serve signature items from their menus, with fish being one of the main attractions.
On any given day one can expect a choice of snapper, grouper, wahoo and mahi mahi, as well crab and spiny lobster, and fresh conch prepared any number of ways - cracked, stewed or frittered, in a salad or as a chowder.
For those that don’t eat seafood, other options include aromatic jerk-marinated pork and chicken, sweet, sticky barbecued ribs, and burgers and hot dogs for the little ones, all accompanied by typical Caribbean sides of peas n rice, fried plantains and corn on the cob.
On a warm, tropical evening, there’s nothing quite like an ice cold Turk’s Head – the local beer – or a fruity cocktail made with Bambara rum, the spirit of the islands, to wash it all down.
Offering a complete taste of the islands, the Fish Fry is also the place to hear live music, watch energetic dances, and pick up some local crafts.
Each week a different local band brings their own sound to the party: you can hear some authentic island beats, such as junkanoo, rake 'n' scrape and ripsaw. Youth dance groups add to the ambiance with vibrant performances, and towards the end of the evening DJs entertain the crowds.
Interspersed between the food and beverage vendors are stalls selling arts and crafts and island mementoes. Along with the obligatory T-shirts and fridge magnets, look out for more unusual conch shell carvings, driftwood pieces and handmade jewellery.
Fish Fry Essentials
WHERE: Stubbs Diamond Plaza in the Bight, not far from central Grace Bay.
WHEN: Every Thursday from 5.30 pm to 9.30 pm.
Insider tip: Take cash as not all vendors accept credit cards.
Due to its widespread popularity with both residents and visitors, parking is limited so we advise arriving early, or have a taxi drop you off.
For more tips on where to dine while in Turks and Caicos, read our post on the Best Restaurants in TCI.
*Photographs courtesy of Paradise Photography