#51 of 22 Asheville Restaurants

Calypso St. Lucian Restaurant & Rum Bar

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Calypso: Caribbean Vibes at Asheville's Only St. Lucian Restaurant & Rum Bar
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Embrace tropical vibes at Calypso - Asheville's top spot for St. Lucian cuisine. This cheerful restaurant will quickly become your go-to destination for Caribbean dishes and rum-based beverages.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

Whether you adore Caribbean cuisine or are completely unfamiliar with it, you’ll find plenty to love about Calypso. Sip rum-based drinks or sample St. Lucian dishes. Either way, you’ll broaden your culinary horizons.

The decor at Calypso is bright and cheery, but it doesn’t particularly feel like a priority. Often, however, that’s the sign of a great dining establishment. This is arguably true of Calypso, where the clear emphasis is on serving quality food and drinks.

Most visitors enter Calypso with minimal understanding of what, exactly, St. Lucian cuisine entails. They’re pleased to find a variety of enticing flavors, including lime, curry, and island spices. Seafood dominates, although St. Lucia (and likewise, Calypso) boasts several excellent beef, pork, and chicken recipes. Traditions from the East Indies, West Africa, France, and even Great Britain intermingle to create a flavor profile little like anything else you’ve tasted.

Cognizant of dietary restrictions, Calypso’s staff members make every effort to accommodate all types of visitors. The menu clearly marks vegetarian and gluten-free options. The restaurant tends to be friendlier to gluten-free eaters than it is to vegetarians, who mostly stick with salads or vegetable sauteed roti.

No trip to Calypso is complete without sampling the extensive rum menu. After all, the Asheville establishment is labeled a “St. Lucian Caribbean cuisine and rum bar.” The restaurant stocks some of the Caribbean’s finest rums, which are then mixed into some of Asheville’s most delightful cocktails.

Not in the mood for rum? No problem; a variety of additional options are available on Calypso’s extensive drink menu. Try a Red Stripe beer from Jamaica or a Banks Caribbean Lager from Barbados. The restaurant also offers several red and white wines.

You don’t need alcohol to enjoy yourself at Calypso. If you desire a delicious non-alcoholic beverage, order the house-made cola or ginger ale. Need a boost? A little caffeine can go a long way with the restaurant’s fresh pressed St. Lucian coffee. Other hot beverages include fresh ginger and mint teas.

A few of our favorite menu items include:

Calypso Patties
Begin your St. Lucian dining experience with the ultimate appetizer. Enjoy beef, chicken, and mango within a flaky pastry. While these patties will whet your appetite, they’re not quite large enough to serve as a full meal.

Petite Piton Stew
In St. Lucia, the name ‘Petite Piton’ refers to both a mountain and a beloved dish. The culinary version essentially consists of a stir fry with citrus elements. At Calypso, however, Petite Piton is the basis of a meal featuring braised beef and pork within a dumpling and pumpkin stew. Like several meals at Calypso, the stew is served with rice.

Corvina
On the hunt for a gluten-free meal that tastes just as good (if not better) than forbidden gluten-based dishes? Try the corvina — a seafood lover’s dream. It includes meaty white pan-seared fish, mango curry, and seasoned rice.

Our favorite beverages include:

Ti Paunch
For an authentic St. Lucian experience, try the island’s signature drink: Ti Paunch. This official St. Lucian beverage includes rhum agricole (otherwise known as cane juice rum), turbinado brown sugar, and lime.

Coco St. Lucia
Change it up with a unique cocktail featuring coconut sake. The Coco St. Lucia also includes golden rum, pineapple juice, lime juice, and house-made grenadine.

Espresso ‘Tini
If you’re obsessed with coffee-style drinks, you’re in luck. In addition to traditional fresh pressed coffee, Calypso provides a delightful cocktail featuring all of your favorite liqueurs…but served in a martini glass. You’ll never tire of the Espresso ‘Tini’s combination of Kahlua, Bailey’s, and espresso vodka.

Insider Tips
-Not many local restaurants take regulars on international cuisine tours, but there’s always room for something new in the Asheville culinary scene. Tours center around St. Lucia’s best restaurants, but also include trips to local markets and other landmarks. Additionally, vacationers will learn local food preparation techniques at one of St. Lucia’s top cooking schools.