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Indulging In Local Cuisine Without Breaking The Bank In Reunion

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Indulging in Local Cuisine without Breaking the Bank in Reunion

Reunion Island, located in the Indian Ocean, is a paradise for food lovers. With its diverse cultural influences, the island offers a wide range of culinary delights. However, dining out can sometimes be expensive. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to indulge in the local cuisine without breaking the bank. In this article, we will explore various budget-friendly options for enjoying the flavors of Reunion.

Local Markets: A Gastronomic Adventure

One of the best ways to experience the local cuisine of Reunion is by visiting the vibrant local markets. These markets offer a wide variety of fresh produce, spices, and traditional dishes. Here are some must-visit markets:

  • Saint-Paul Market: Located on the west coast of Reunion, the Saint-Paul Market is the largest market on the island. Here, you can find an array of local fruits, vegetables, spices, and freshly caught seafood.
  • Saint-Denis Market: Situated in the capital city, the Saint-Denis Market is a bustling hub of activity. It offers a wide range of local delicacies, including samosas, bouchons, and fresh tropical fruits.
  • Saint-Pierre Market: This market is located in the southern part of the island and is known for its vibrant atmosphere. Here, you can sample traditional Creole dishes, such as cari and rougail.


Food Trucks: Tasty Treats on Wheels

Food trucks have become increasingly popular in Reunion, offering a wide range of affordable and delicious dishes. These mobile eateries can be found in various locations around the island. Here are some food trucks worth checking out:

  • Le Food Truck Gourmand: Located in Saint-Denis, this food truck offers a fusion of flavors, combining Reunionese and international cuisines. From burgers to tacos, you can find a variety of mouthwatering options here.
  • Le Camion Gourmand: Situated in Saint-Pierre, this food truck specializes in gourmet sandwiches and wraps. With its creative menu and affordable prices, it’s a great choice for a quick and satisfying meal.
  • Le Food Truck des Iles: This food truck can be found in Saint-Gilles-les-Bains and offers a range of dishes inspired by the flavors of the Indian Ocean. From curry to seafood, you’ll find a taste of Reunion’s rich culinary heritage here.

Local Eateries: Hidden Gems

Reunion is home to numerous local eateries that offer authentic and affordable meals. These hidden gems are often frequented by locals and provide a true taste of the island’s cuisine. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Le P’tit Snack: Located in Saint-Leu, this small eatery is known for its delicious Creole snacks, such as samosas and bouchons. The prices are reasonable, and the flavors are exceptional.
  • La Case à Doudou: Situated in Saint-Gilles-les-Bains, this cozy restaurant offers a variety of Creole dishes at affordable prices. Don’t miss the opportunity to try their famous cari poulet (chicken curry).
  • Le Tadj Mahal: If you’re in the mood for Indian cuisine, head to Le Tadj Mahal in Saint-Denis. This restaurant serves flavorful Indian dishes at reasonable prices, making it a favorite among locals.

Street Food: A Tasty Affair

When it comes to street food, Reunion has plenty to offer. From savory snacks to sweet treats, the island’s street vendors serve up a variety of affordable and delicious options. Here are some street food items you must try:

  • Samosas: These deep-fried pastries filled with various savory fillings, such as meat, vegetables, or cheese, are a popular street food snack in Reunion.
  • Bouchons: Similar to samosas, bouchons are small, deep-fried dumplings filled with a mixture of meat and spices. They are often served with a tangy sauce.
  • Gateau Piment: These spicy lentil fritters are a favorite among locals. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, making them a perfect snack.


Food Festivals: A Culinary Extravaganza

Reunion hosts various food festivals throughout the year, showcasing the island’s diverse culinary traditions. These festivals are a great opportunity to sample a wide range of dishes at affordable prices. Here are a few popular food festivals in Reunion:

  • Festival Culinaire Bernard Loiseau: This annual festival celebrates the island’s gastronomy and brings together renowned chefs from Reunion and around the world. Visitors can enjoy gourmet meals at affordable prices.
  • Fête du Vacoa: Held in Cilaos, this festival celebrates the local vacoa palm tree and its culinary uses. Visitors can indulge in traditional dishes made from vacoa, such as jams and liqueurs.
  • Fête du Curcuma: Located in Saint-André, this festival pays homage to turmeric, a key ingredient in Reunionese cuisine. Visitors can enjoy turmeric-infused dishes and explore the cultural significance of this spice.

Takeaway Meals: Convenience and Flavor

If you’re looking for a quick and affordable meal, consider opting for takeaway. Many local eateries offer takeaway options, allowing you to enjoy the flavors of Reunion on the go. Whether it’s a cari poulet or a delicious sandwich, takeaway meals are a convenient and budget-friendly choice.

Local Delicacies: A Taste of Tradition

To truly immerse yourself in the local cuisine of Reunion, don’t miss the opportunity to try some of the island’s traditional delicacies. From the classic cari to the refreshing rhum arrangé, here are a few must-try dishes and drinks:

  • Cari: This traditional Creole dish consists of meat (commonly chicken, fish, or pork) cooked in a rich and flavorful sauce, served with rice and beans.
  • Rougail: Rougail is a spicy tomato-based sauce that accompanies many Reunionese dishes. It adds a burst of flavor and heat to any meal.
  • Rhum Arrangé: This homemade rum infusion is a popular drink in Reunion. It is made by macerating fruits, spices, and herbs in rum, resulting in a flavorful and aromatic beverage.



Indulging in the local cuisine of Reunion doesn’t have to be expensive. By exploring local markets, trying street food, visiting food trucks, and discovering hidden eateries, you can savor the island’s flavors without breaking the bank. Don’t forget to attend food festivals and sample traditional delicacies for a truly immersive culinary experience. Reunion offers a gastronomic adventure that caters to every budget.



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