You learn real quick where the local places are. My favorite was The Reef restaurant on Middle St. When I didn't feel like cooking...I could always get a huge plate of stewed chicken or a whole fried fish with rice and beans or white rice and stew beans (my favorite) for about $7bz....comes with coleslaw too.
Some of the back street vendors have cheap food too....try Shelly's.
You can always get fried chicken (2 pieces, white or dark)...and fries from the Emerald Takeout at the end of Front St....or Mr. Lee's...any cab driver will take you there.
**Speaking of cab drivers.....I met the nicest young guy...used him almost exclusively for several months right before I left.....name is Jose (Ho-say)....very dependable and such a joy to ride with. Many times I could call him and he would do errands for me or go and get things and bring them to the house....I leaned on him a lot the last few months I was there...sure do miss him!! When you get there....give him a call....016-3168...tell him Tammy gave you his # and tell him I miss him
Now..back to food...LOL
You can always find cheap food in the park at night...anytime from about 6pm on.
Great burgers and hotdogs and a variety of other local eats.
Lunch...I liked Celi's restaurant...not the street side deli...but the beachfront restaurant...closed on Wednesdays to prepare for the wednesday night Beach BBQ...which is awesome!
Wednesdays....I liked the humongous burritos at Mickey's
As far as grocery stores...I always shopped at San Pedrano grocery at the north end of Front St.....little white store on the right...has most everything you need and good prices...open early at 6am.
I never shopped at the big stores unless I just couldn't find what I wanted anywhere else. You will pay 3 prices for it.
You will have to adjust the way you eat and the types of food you prepare. If you cook like an American..it will cost you.
You learn and you get used to cooking differently....you also learn to shop in smaller quantity...for a day or two at a time. Don't even think about buying several loaves of bread at a time...they will mold.
Bread will only keep for a couple days there unless you refrigerate it...it is baked right there on the island by L.A. Popular Bakery and has no preservatives in it.
There are many vendors in town that sell fresh veggies and fruits year round....and a few local people that will come to your door selling the same or baked goods....kinda nice to have that home delivery....LOL
The best advice I can give you is to take a good set of cookware....(the good stuff there will make you have a heart attack when you see the price)...and go to Walmart and get a set of storage plastic....about $10 us for about 20 pieces...nicely packed in a small box. You will need plastic to store everything in....and the good stuff is expensive there. Also...any of your favorite utensils....kitchen gadgets...take them!
You will play hell finding them there...and they are high too.
If I had tons of money....I'd open my own housewares store on the island...kitchen, bed, bath...etc. Don't forget dishrags and cloths either.
I'm sure there are 100 other things I could think of...but it's pretty early and I haven't had my quota of java yet...LOL
Email me if you like...
Have a great day!