Expect to feast on a fantastic mix of African, Brazilian and Portuguese style dishes. The National dish is Cachupa, a stew made with corn, beans, maize, vegetables such as sweet potatoes, cabbage and pumpkin, and a selection of meats, or fish, usually tuna. Also try the local pastries, or corn paddies with papaya, red currant or coconut jam. Diable Dentro, pasties stuffed with tuna, onion and potatoes are also delicious. The local drink is Grog, a potent brew, made from sugar cane. Or, try the local beers.
Cape Verde is also renowned for its sensational seafood including lobster, octopus, giant prawns, rock barnacle and tuna. Good seafood restaurants to try, in Sal, are Barracuda and Restaurant Americos, which also offers traditional Cape verdean dishes. Or, for some Creole cooking, try Cafe Criol.
If you're in Boa Vista, try Parque das Dunas, for some authentic, Cape Verdean cuisine. This restaurant is also fantastically located overlooking the sea. Or, dine with the locals at Sodade di nha Terra. Other good restaurants to try include the Alkimist, for seafood, in Santiago. Also, Alex's, at Pestana Tropico Hotel, in Praia. Also, for fish and meat dishes, try Hotel Porto Grande, in Sao Vicente.
If you are looking for a clubbing holiday in Cape Verde, you'll find the liveliest nightlife in Santa Maria. Located on Sal Island, with plenty of bars to choose from most hotels here also have bars where you can enjoy a drink and listen to some local music. There are also bars in Praia, Santiago, but these are more low key. Of the main islands, Boa Vista, is the quietest.
The best place to listen to music, see live bands and go dancing is in Sao Vicente. This is the cultural hot spot of all the Cape Verde island - where all the major musicians, poets and artists live and hang out - including the world renowned musician, Cesaria Evaron. You'll find plenty of great bars and clubs in Mindelo, where you can dance salsa, samba, zouk, funana or coladeira.
Cape Verdean music combines Brazilian and African tribal influences to create a powerful and unique sound. Two of the most important music events are the Baia de Gatas - a three day musical festival in Sao Vicente, that takes place in August. Also, in February, starting on Ash Wednesday, Mindelo has a big Carnival, similar to the Rio Carnival.