Traditional food in Cape Verde

Cape Verde

Cape Verdean cuisine

Answering the question of what to taste in Cape Verde is not entirely easy. Although the local cuisine is a mix of Creole and Portuguese, most restaurants serve European dishes. Cape Verde is a fishing nation, so fish and seafood are often on the menu. Every day you can taste the most famous fish here - tuna.

The national dish in Cape Verde is cachupa. This is similar to our stew, but in this case the dish is made up of beans, vegetables and meat, often thickened with pumpkin and potatoes. Another national delicacy is grilled goat's cheese, which can be found relatively cheaply in restaurants.

A typical drink for Cape Verde is called grogue. It is an alcoholic drink that is made from sugar cane. Grogue contains a high percentage of alcohol (up to 54%) and tastes like very strong rum. The local beer is called Strela, costs about 1,35 eur and tastes like a stronger Czech lager. The taste is not bad at all.

Tap water is generally drinkable, but more sensitive Europeans are advised to drink bottled water.

How to eat like a local

Fish, fish and more fish. The locals eat mostly fresh fish, which they buy together with fruit from the markets, or directly from fishermen who come to the small harbours and weigh and sell their catches on the piers. Cape Verdeans do not buy in stock, they always have everything fresh.

On the streets you can see women carrying boxes of fresh goodies. Usually they are fried bags filled with fish mixture or mashed potatoes mixed with fish. It's very good and a piece costs about 10 escudos, which translates to about 10 cents. The most common main dish is tuna with a mixture of vegetables, rice and cachupa, which can also be made with just beans in a cheaper version.

Usual prices in restaurants

Prices in restaurants are generally higher than in the Czech Republic. The average main meal is around 15 eur. A portion of tuna then comes out to about 12 eur.

The cheapest meal is grilled goat's cheese at 4 eur. As for drinks, local Strela beer is often served in third-ounce bottles at 1,35 eur, large beers cost between 2.5 - 4 eur. Beware of the strength of the beer, although it tastes like a crisp pale lager, it contains 5.4% alcohol.

This article may contain affiliate links from which our editorial team may earn commissions if you click on the link. See our Advertising Policy page.