Haiti is no easy place to shoot a gastronomy show. During Anthony Bourdain’s visit in 2011, an earthquake has killed more than three thousand people in a day, cholera is a growing problem, a hurricane is expected to hit the country, and hunger levels are rising. Far too often, Tony finds himself surrounded by people who don’t curiously look at him but at what he’s eating. And, even when he tries to help, he realizes there are no easy solutions.
Anthony Bourdain visited Haiti to film season 7 (episode 1) of No Reservations; it was his only trip to Haiti, though he did also visit the Dominican Republic on a future (season 9) trip.
While – more than a decade on – Haiti is still not a traditional tourist destination by any stretch, you might be curious about the places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Haiti, whether you’re planning a trip or just like to learn about everywhere he ate (in either case, this site will help a lot!).
Below you’ll find a guide to the places he went on-screen, and as many details about each as I’ve been able to find. Even if you can’t visit these exact places, you can seek out the same flavors and dishes during your visit. As they say in Haitian Creole, Bon apeti!
In this post, I promote travel to a destination that is the traditional lands of the Taíno people, among others. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.
Unnamed Food Street Stall (Maïs Gâté, Port-au-Prince)
Maïs Gâté is the best neighborhood for street food on the edge of Port-au-Prince. You can find all kinds of food and tons of people enjoying breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Tony tries lalo, which is local for Callaloo, a Caribbean green that Tony particularly enjoys. This dish is cooked with greens, okra, and peppers, and flavored with bits of crab and salt pork. It comes with a side dish of rice and beans. He also tries the pork and chicken stew dressed with pikliz, something like a spicy coleslaw.
Unfortunately, the street food stall isn’t named or shown on screen, so if you know Port-au-Prince or have visited and figured out the name, please let me know.
Small Business in a Tent City
Tony meets actor Sean Penn, who’s been helping settle tent cities for displaced residents. He takes Tony to try Haitian chicken pies at one of the local businesses. What’s the recipe? First, you start with the dough. You knead, portion, shape, and then fill it with creole spice shredded chicken, tomato, and, of course, pikliz. Finally, fold the dough over and seal it to throw it in hot oil.
Assiette Créole (Petion Ville, Port-au-Prince)
Petion Ville is a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince that escaped the worst of the earthquake. Tony pops by Assiette Créole and enjoys a simple Haitian créole lunch: griot, something similar to pork skin, rice and beans, green beans, spicy fish, and, yes, pikliz.
Grand Hotel Oloffson (Port-au-Prince)
Tony meets with Richard Morse and learns how the singer and musician came to manage the Hotel Olofsson, Haiti’s most legendary hotel. While they talk, the two enjoy some Haiti favorites: fried shrimp fritters and conch in créole sauce.
Have any questions about the places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Haiti and Port-au-Prince, or are you able to help put names to a few of them? Let me know in the comments below!