In Grenada, a Postcard-Perfect Caribbean Town
The locals call it the “Portofino of the Caribbean.” Peering at St George’s, Grenada, you’ll find fishing boats bobbing in the harbor, pastel buildings on the edges of green hills and surely as compelling case for a postcard as its Italian counterpart.
The picture-perfect, nearly 400-year-old harbor is also home to a rich, vibrant Caribbean capital, home to charming Georgian architecture, scenic waterfront eateries, myriad local shops and some of the best chocolate anywhere on earth.
St George’s cultural epicenter is Young Street, a sliver-thin thoroughfare that is the foundation of the town’s artistic energy.
You can take in an art exhibition at the Grenada National Museum (home to a dazzling new-look mural) and venture up the street to tiny art galleries and even one of the Caribbean’s top batik outlets, the world-class Art Fabrik.
But the biggest draw here is certainly the House of Chocolate, a remarkably layered place that is equal parts chocolate factory, cultural center, cafe, crafts shop and candy parlor.
It’s here that you can journey into the deep history of chocolate-making and cacao production in Grenada, where the industry has blossomed again in the last two decades, with the rise of companies like the Grenada Chocolate Company, Diamond Estate, Belmont Estate and others.
The House of Chocolate is generous with its samples, letting you try every manner of dark-chocolate magic, that is before you inevitably leave with a bag filled with locally-made bars.
You can wash it all down just up the street at the lovely little City Inn, a corner courtyard just off the street with great drinks and a delicious locally-focused menu (go for the escovitch fish with some boiled provision or festival on the side).
The centuries-old streets of St George’s wind and bustle, as pedestrians vie for space with cars and vendors; it’s an invigorating, adventurous downtown with an energy all its own.
Just down toward the harbor, past the stunning red-brick government buildings on the water, is the town’s most scenic spot: Sails, the sparkling overwater restaurant and lounge that is easily the best vantage point for gazing at this jewel of a Caribbean harbor (it’s right next to the always-fun BB’s Crabback).
At Sails, it’s all about well-executed, contemporary Caribbean fusion food like fresh-caught tuna tataki or cajun line-caught fish or exquisite cream of callaloo soup.
And then you can look out at the pinks and the corals and the blues and the yellows and spend your afternoon sipping on oceanfront Camparis, much like they might do in Portfofino.
But I rather prefer the one in Grenada.