Best Guyana Food – Top 20 Guyanese Dishes You Have To Try!

Guyana is a melting pot of cultures, and this is reflected in its food. It is the only English-speaking nation in South America. It’s nicknamed “land of many waters” because it became a place where people converged and mixed.

As a result, Guyana has a unique culture incorporating traditions from British, Dutch, Asian, and Portuguese, and local residents. Naturally, this diversity is also reflected in the country’s cuisine.

Guyana food market

If you’re looking for a new culinary adventure, look no further than Guyana. Here are 10 of the best dishes the country has to offer.

Check out more popular foods from Trinidad and Tobago, Best Food of Barbados, and Best Mexican Street Food.

1. Pepperpot

Pepperpot is a national dish of Guyana

Pepperpot is a national Guyana dish, often prepared with beef, pork, or lamb. The meat is simmered for a lengthy period in a pot containing cassava, spinach, and potatoes. After that, the stew is seasoned with ginger, black pepper, and other spices. White rice or boiled plantains are traditionally served alongside the meal.

Pepperpot is a rich stew made with cassareep, a sauce typical of Guyana. The popular cassareep sauce is a condiment made from bitter cassava juice. It’s a rich, sweet liquid extracted from the bitter cassava root after it has been cooked.

The resulting syrup is boiled with sugar until it becomes brown and thick like molasses. Then, cinnamon, orange peel, brown sugar, and spicy pepper cloves are added for flavor.

Depending on the region, Pepperpot stew can vary in ingredients. Some experts argue that adding onions and garlic removes its originality. Nevertheless, Pepperpot is a widely loved Guyanese dish that is worth trying.

2. Metemgee

Metemgee soup from Guyana on wooden background

Metemgee, or “dry food,” is a vegetable soup with a thick texture that’s made with coconut milk broth. It’s a dish brought to Guyana by African slaves; made with yams, cassava, sweet potatoes, corn, and okra. The vegetables are boiled and mashed to create a thick soup-like consistency.

Seasonings such as curry powder, turmeric, black pepper, and other spices are added to the coconut milk broth to flavor it. Guyanese people usually eat metemgee with fried fish, but some prefer to add boiled eggs or spices to the dish. Chicken or beef can also be added to the dish.

The great thing about this food is that it can be tailored to each individual’s taste. Metemgee is a typical Sunday supper.

3. Guyanese Dhal

Guyanese Dhal Guyanese cuisine

Dhal, a soup-like dish, is as fundamental to Guyanese foods as tomato sauce is to Italy. It contains split peas and is eaten with rice or roti.

For an accompaniment, there are few restrictions on what can be included, from fried fish or chicken curry to vegetables such as spinach or okra.

Boiling yellow split peas, pepper, garlic, and other spices are combined to make the dhal. A dhal ghutney (a wooden cooking utensil) is used instead of a spoon to make the dish soft. Then, the whole cumin seeds are heated in a small pan with enough oil and slices of garlic that should be nearly burned for an aromatic finish.

When the dhal is ready, it is added to this mixture. Dhal is a perfect sauce that pairs well with roti and rice. It is flavorful and adds a vibrant color to the dish.

4. Black Cake

Black Cake Guyanese cuisine

Black Cake is a Guyanese dessert that looks like a chocolate cake and is very popular during Christmas. Instead, it is a fruit cake made with dark rum, molasses, spices, and dried fruits.

Imagine waking up to something that delicious on Christmas morning. The cake gets its dark color from the burnt sugar and molasses. Guyanese Black Cake is iced or decorated with marzipan fruits.

Guyanese Black Cake batter contains rum-soaked fruits to rehydrate the fruit and infuse it with flavor. While still hot, the cakes are baked in layers and brushed with syrup made from more rum and molasses. Once cooled, they’re assembled and iced.

Black Cake is a traditional Guyanese dessert that can be enjoyed all year round. This delicious fruit cake with rum is popular during Christmas, weddings, and other celebrations.

5. Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry (1)

Chicken curry is a popular dish in Guyana that originated from Indian cuisine. It is made with curry powder, turmeric, cumin, chili pepper, and other spices.

A good spice blend to use is garam masala. Cook the chicken in coconut milk, giving the curry a rich and creamy texture.

Serve the chicken curry over steamed rice or with roti for a delicious meal. You can also add vegetables such as potatoes, peas, or carrots to the curry.

6. Féroce D’Avocat

Féroce D'Avocat (Guacamole)

Féroce d’avocat is a traditional Guyanese side dish many people enjoy throughout the French West Indies. This delicious meal consists of cassava flour, avocado, chili peppers, garlic, salted codfish, lime juice, and spinach leaves.

Boil the cod and mix with the other ingredients until everything is combined. Once that’s done, season it with salt and pepper, let it cool, and serve as a spread.

In the past, this Guyanese food was the favorite meal of plantation workers before starting their workday. But nowadays, people all across Guyana enjoy it as an appetizer.

The term ‘féroce d’avocat’ is a French expression that means ‘fierce avocado.’ The ferocity of this dish comes from the powerful Caribbean spices, which rank high on the Scoville scale. Avocado is also a fatty product that pairs excellently with spicy hot pepper.

7. Sawine Cake (Vermicelli Cake)

Sawine cake Guyanese cuisine

Sawine cake is a traditional Guyanese dish that stands out because of its ingredients. This dessert of Muslim origin does not use flour; rice noodles are used as a substitute. This cake combines elements from both eastern and western regions, making it a well-rounded dessert.

This national dish of Guyana contains condensed milk or sweet cream, brown sugar, almonds, cherries, and raisins. The dish is a delicious blend poured into a bowl after cooking and refrigerated. After a few hours, the cake will be solidified and ready to serve.

This supper is substantial and fulfilling but also sweet and satisfying. This dish is served at the end of Ramadan as a Muslim custom.

8. Cassava Egg Ball

Haitian Cassava Egg Ball

Cassava egg balls are a fun traditional Guyanese food made with grated cassava, eggs, and spices that are deep-fried until golden brown and served as an appetizer or snack.

Make your own with my recipe for Guyanese Egg Balls.

The egg ball is a Guyanese delicacy, similar to Scotch eggs. They are boiled, wrapped, and finally fried. The egg balls have an exterior with a soft texture that practically melts in your mouth, revealing the cooked egg inside.

It is one of the Guyanese foods many people know how to make. This snack is perfect and easy to find anywhere you go!

9. Cook-up Rice

Cook-up Rice on a white plate

You will frequently find Cook-up Rice, a one-pot rice dish, on the menu in Guyana. This traditional recipe is prepared in a caldero de cocinar, similar to a Dutch oven, and features a mix of typical ingredients, such as coconut milk, spices, and vegetables.

This dish is usually cooked with traditional techniques and can be served with various meats and fish or as a vegetarian platter. The coconut milk gives the Cook-up Rice a creamy consistency, while the vegetables and spices add a flavorful kick.

This dish will make your mouth water and satisfy all your cravings. Enjoy a classic, delicious plate of Cook-up Rice today!

10. Garlic Pork

Garlik Pork

Garlic pork is a traditional Guyanese dish with pork, garlic, and spices. The pork is marinated in garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, and black pepper. It is then grilled or roasted until the pork is cooked through.

Guyanese Garlic Pork is a dish that originated in Portugal and arrived in Guyana during the conquest. The dish was adapted to the local taste by adding more garlic and spices. It’s served with white rice, beans, or boiled yams as an appetizer with dipping sauces like ketchup or chili sauce.

The brine is drained, and the meat is cooked in its fat until tender. Some Guyanese cooking experts use distilled white vinegar, a little sugar, and water in the brine for garlic pork.

This Guyanese food is popular in Guyana and often combined with Pepperpot, especially around Christmas. Both dishes have roots in Guyanese culinary culture and use natural preservatives.

11. Sweet Rice

Sweet Rice

Sweet Rice is a hearty rice pudding enhanced with warm spices, such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and toasted cardamom. Although sugar is the typical sweetener, condensed milk can do just as well. This type of rice pudding can be served piping hot or ice cold to suit your preference and often appears at special occasions such as weddings and birthdays.

The Mongolian invention of the sweet rice dish arrived in Guyana in 1838. This was possible thanks to an agreement between British colonizers and Portuguese and Indian workers. The latter group was tapering off due to labor shortages. As a result, East Indians began contributing this food item to Guyanese cuisine.

Rice is a vital part of many Asian cuisines, and sweet, hearty starches like these rice dishes are common in desserts. While sweet rice originated in Asia, it can now be found all over the world in different shapes and forms.

12. Bakes

Taste the classic ‘Bakes’ of Guyana, and you’ll be hooked! Bakes are a popular snack and meal in Guyana, made with a light, fluffy spiced dough. Depending on how they’re stuffed, filled, and decorated, Bakes can be savory or sweet.

You can find Bakes stuffed with various ingredients, from cheese and meats to vegetables and fruits. Fillings also include sauces such as coconut, garlic, and pepper. Then, to top it off, Bakes are often decorated with a sprinkle of sugar, cinnamon, or nutmeg.

No matter how they’re made, Bakes is one of Guyanese foods that is always a delicious treat that will make your mouth water!

13. Fish Curry

Guyana Fish Curry

Once you’ve had the savory Fish Curry of Guyana, you’ll never want to go back! This classic dish is made with fresh local ingredients, such as barbecue fish, deep-fried fish, seafood stew, curried shrimp, and fish fry.

The fish is cooked in a spicy blend of fresh herbs and spices. The result is a deliciously flavorful curry that will tantalize your taste buds. Enjoy it with a side of rice, plantains, or a cooling yogurt-based salad.

The combination of the savory, spicy, and juicy flavors of the Fish Curry is sure to become a favorite part of your culinary repertoire.

14. Roti


Savoring the Roti of Guyana is a must-try experience! A roti is a flaky flatbread usually made from wheat flour and is typically eaten with various accompaniments.

The most popular accompaniments of this delicious flaky flatbread are:

  • Achari: a type of pickle made from vegetables.
  • Pholourie: a type of fried snack made from split peas.
  • Jhal Muri: a type of puffed rice snack.
  • Paratha: a type of flatbread that’s usually made with a variety of different ingredients.
  • Choka: a type of Indian-style mashed potato.

These accompaniments pair wonderfully with the Roti, making it a truly delicious and unique experience.

15. Aloo and Channa

Guyana Aloo and Channa

Trying Aloo and Channa is a chickpea curry and an absolute must-have in Guyana! Aloo and Channa is a classic decadent stew served in many restaurants nationwide.

The main ingredients are channa masala (curried chickpeas), aloo bhaji (spiced potatoes), and Guyanese stew. Served with steamed rice, cassava patties, and tamarind chutney, the dish is a delight for the taste buds.

The potatoes are cooked with various spices, making them flavorful and lightly spiced. The chickpeas are simmered in a rich, aromatic sauce full of flavor. The stew is a medley of vegetables and tender chunks of meat, cooked with garlic and ginger.

The cassava patties are a delicious accompaniment to the meal, and the tamarind chutney adds a hint of sweet and sour. Aloo and Channa is a must-try in Guyana, and is sure to be a favorite!

16. Tamarind Balls

Tamarind Balls in a small white bowl.

Experience the delight of tamarind balls when you visit Guyana!

Popular in many parts of the Caribbean, tamarind balls are a delectable treat made from tamarind paste and sugar. Preparation techniques vary regionally, with some recipes using additional spices and ingredients to create unique flavors packed with nutrients.

If you’re looking for cooking tips, remember to use the right amount of sugar and adjust the texture of the tamarind paste until it’s soft and pliable.

With its various regional variations and health benefits, tamarind balls are a must-try for anyone visiting Guyana!

17. Pine Tart

Enjoy the sweet and tart flavor of Pine Tart, short for pineapple tart, when you visit Guyana! This traditional dessert is popular amongst locals and is prepared in various ways across the country. Some regions use substitutes like condensed milk and coconut instead of cream and butter, while others opt for a more traditional approach.

Not only is Pine Tart delicious, but it’s also visually appealing, presented with fresh fruits, like pineapple, for extra sweetness. If you’re feeling creative, you can even arrange the tart in a pattern and use different fruit colors to create a design.

No matter how you prepare it, Pine Tart is a must-try when visiting Guyana, and will leave you with a lasting impression of its unique flavor and presentation.

18. Butterflap

Taste the sweet and crunchy flavor of Butterflap on your next visit to Guyana! This delicious snack is a classic of Guyanese cuisine, made from a traditional dough of wheat flour, cornmeal, sugar, butter, and eggs.

It’s usually served with a special sweet sauce of condensed milk and bananas. The preparation of Butterflap consists of frying the dough in hot oil until it’s golden brown and crunchy. It’s served as an appetizer or dessert.

The unique flavor of this dish makes it a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Try the picarones de mantequilla, pastel de mantequilla, and other comida guyanesa to experience the full range of flavors of the Guyanese food culture.

19. Mauby

Guyana Mauby

Try Mauby, a fruity and slightly bitter beverage, for an intriguingly unique flavor experience! This traditional Caribbean drink is a popular choice in Guyana and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.

For a more robust flavor, try making mauby cocktails, where the fruity drink is blended with spirits or other liqueurs.

For a sweeter take, why not make some mauby smoothies, adding fruits and sweeteners to the drink for a delicious treat?

Alternatively, make a hot cup of mauby tea, adding herbs and spices to the drink for a hot and comforting beverage.

To finish, why not try some mauby desserts, such as ice cream or cakes? No matter how you try, mauby drinks will tantalize your taste buds!

20. Mango Sour

Guyana Mango Sour

Tantalize your taste buds with a unique blend of sweet and sour flavors in Mango Sour, a traditional Caribbean side dish or sauce from Guyana! This popular Guyanese dish is made with ripe, juicy mangoes cooked in spices and herbs.

Many mangoes are available in Guyana, and each has its own distinct flavor and nutritional value. Mango Sour is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a truly unique mango cooking experience. Not only is it full of flavor, but it also provides a great source of nutrition.

Plus, this sauce pairs perfectly with fish cakes and metemgee. So, if you’re looking for something new and exciting to add to your culinary repertoire, look no further than Mango Sour – a traditional Caribbean dish from Guyana!


Guyanese cuisine is a captivating reflection of its diverse heritage. It is where the variety of flavors blend and create a unique culinary experience with metemgee and its sweet potatoes blended in cassava root to the simple roti.

Guyanese cuisine is a unique blend of various cultures and traditions. From the Europeans to the Africans and Asians, each group has left its mark on the country’s food. Guyanese dishes are often hearty and filling but can be light and refreshing. There is something for everyone to enjoy in Guyanese cuisine! Also, check out Best Indian Street Food, or …

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  1. Paula Bowman says:

    I am so proud of how you elaborated on all of my favorite Guyanese dishes!

    1. You forget cook up rice.

    2. Where is the cook up… really

    3. Tangerine says:

      Guyana is a country of rivers, tributaries, streams, gutters, hence the tag name “land of Many water’ . It’s rich cultural history and diversity, comes, from the six races of people, who migrated from India, Africa, Europe, China, combined with its Indigenous peoples, bringing with them the potpourri of delicious cuisine. Guyana is a beautiful, blesses land, rich in gold, diamons,. Mining,agriculture, and oil and gas. 🇬🇾🇬🇾