Street food in Suriname

By: Tania van Velthuizen

January 2020

Tasting street food is a good way to experience variations in cultures. So instead of your breakfast on a Sunday morning taste a fresh Sate straight from the BBQ and wash it away by drinking young coconut. Drive further and taste a Chinese Saw baw or go straight to chicken soup with Dawet! 

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Where to find street food in Suriname?

Suriname is home to different cultures who all brought their own food and religion. The best way to experience this multi-culture is by tasting street food! I made a list of places where you can enjoy street food & special drinks with a guide, preferably on a Sunday! psst a must to try is the shaved iced with fruit siroop!!! The perfect drink for this sunny weather!

The Javanese market “Sana Budaya”

At this market, Javanese vendors mainly sell vegetables, fruit, and traditional Javanese dishes. Typical dishes to be bought are lotes (salad made of young mango with pepper and salt), sate  (meet on a stick) fresh from the BBQ, and sweets some made of coconut. My favorite drink is coconut water, fresh from the young coconut together with Tahoe longton! hmm, yami yami! and this preferably at 9 in the morning!!

Practical info: Open on Sunday morning. Address:  Jozef Israël street.

Chinese markets in Capital city Paramaribo

Chinese vendors sell Chinese vegetables, fruit, and Chinese food, such as roasted duck, pork, and steamed snacks. My favorite snack is dim sum, such as saw baw or if you are interested in a roasted duck, just ask! Finish your food with freshly squeezed sugar cane….

Practical info: the biggest market is at Grote Combeweg (covered) and the smaller market is in front of Soeng Ngie and Co., Wilhelminastraat. These markets are only open on Sunday morning.

Kwatta market for the best street food!

My favorite market! Fresh vegetables, fish, fruit, and game from the forest (for example, rabbit-like animals). At this market, locals and tourists meet each other. There are food stands at the back-side. You should taste the dawet and bakabana! Dawet is a Javanese rose-green drink from coconut milk and bakabana (fried ripe plantain) rolled in flour. Or taste a freshly baked bara a snack from the Indian cuisine. You already know it by now….. I skip my regular breakfast.. to enjoy this street food! 

Practical info: This covered market is at Kwattaweg, open on Wednesday and Sunday mornings.

The Central market in Paramaribo 

This market is the biggest, oldest, and best-known in Paramaribo! Here everything can really be bought. From fresh fish and fresh vegetables till fresh herbs and pieces of cloth. The building has 2 stories and if it rains you can shop here very well.

There are also stalls selling food. For your lunch, you have a big choice! Roti from the Indian kitchen, Noodles from the Javanese kitchen and rice with stewed chicken form the creole cuisine, of course, all these dishes have the long string bean (kouseband) as a vegetable! Yes, I know this not street food! but what the heck! I can eat this at 9 in the morning!

You can also find a special drink called Ginger beer. Stored in large barrels with freshly made ginger beer, an alcohol-free drink made from fermented ginger with sugar. If I am in the market I always drink freshly made ginger beer!

Practical info: the Market is covered. Address; Waterkant (Waterfront), open the whole week except Sunday.

Note: Our guests from Great Britain booked a private trip where they combined a street food excursion with a quad and ziplining adventure! A perfect combination!

If you are interested in a guided private ‘Surinamese street food tour’ during your holiday in Suriname, let us know!

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Tania van Velthuizen is the owner of Pejego Tours. She was born and raised in Suriname. She studied Surinamese law and loves to travel. Before going to Europe, she worked at the Ministry of Regional Development, so she visited every bit of the Amazon rainforest. At the time, she fell in love with everything it had to offer, including the Amerindians and the Maroons, the fauna and flora. She also wrote a book on the land rights of Indigenous people and the descendants of the Maroons.

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