The Hardest Hard is a quintessential St. Lucian food stop. Set under an almond tree off La Toc Road, this restaurant, with a zinc roof and a blue and yellow exterior that matches the Piton beer bottle, has a windowless interior that may put you off—until you notice the crowds of locals who flock here at lunchtime. Order from the changing menu of home-cooked dishes like fish Creole, goat peleau, grilled pork chops, pigtail bouillon, and pumpkin soup, all served with a healthy dose of side dishes, including rice and plantains. Fresh juices are available daily, as are desserts. The atmosphere is friendly and lively, and you'll likely be so full you'll need a nap afterward.
For a bona fide local experience, head to this joint on La Toc Road in Castries (any taxi driver will know it). Situated under two almond trees, with a metal roof shading rickety picnic tables and plastic chairs, this place offers up no frills. But the homemade local specialties such as chicken Creole, seafood soup, octopus and succulent lamb stew belie the shabby digs and are prepped and served by some of the friendliest people around.