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Saipan residents tend to greet one another with the expression: ‘Have you eaten yet’ – a quirky reflection of their consummate food obsession. It is an around-the-clock activity which cuts across all barriers. It is said that the Saipan foodie would comb the island in search of that heavenly bowl of noodles or go on long durian expeditions. The Annual Chilli Festival on Tinian which draws thousands of visitors each year is a testament to this passion. With such a rich multicultural heritage, it is no wonder that the variety of cuisines, restaurants, cafes and eateries is mind boggling to say the least.
Years ago, the variety would have been confined to the main racial cuisines – Chamorro, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and a smattering of traditional American fare in a nod towards the USA Commonweath status. Nowadays, with a growing cosmopolitan influence through tourists and new immigrants, the range has expanded to include Italian, Spanish, Vietnamese, Thai and more.
Perhaps the best introduction to Saipan’s dining scene are the local food festivals, coffee shops, and food centres – open air and indoor. In the old days, itinerant hawkers would ply the streets selling cooked-on-the-spot dishes. With urbanization, these hawkers are now assembled together in regulated food centres. Visitors can wander around these stalls and watch delicious local dishes being prepared. Heavily regulated for sanitation and hygiene, the food centres offer a quick, colourful insight into the eating culture of the country which is influenced by the various ethnic backgrounds. Dishes are reasonably priced and choices are plentiful, which makes it ideal for individuals or groups to sample different items.
Saipan is an enchanting tropical island, far from the maddening crowds that will leave you with unforgettable vacation memories. Besides offering spectaular white sand beaches, world famous diving and friendly island hospitality, you will also find a wide range of international cuisines – from Chamorro, Japanese, Thai, Korean, to delicious Mexican food. Whether you’re in the mood for a Japanese dinner, a hearty Italian meal, or a casual American food experience, you’ll find it all on this little island lost in the pacific …..America’s true unknown tropical paradise.
I have designed this website to provide both local residents and vacationing tourists an informative overview of cuisine on this enchanting island. If you are a CNMI resident owning a restaurant on Saipan or any of the other CNMI islands, you are welcome to advertise your business here on my Island Cuisine Website. There are no advertising fees charged for this service, but I do welcome a small, one time donation be made to my Website Donation Account….if you are interested in this service, please see our Restaurant Lisings Page, fill in the information form, and we will immediately post your business on the international web for millions of viewers to see. Join our international family and post your personal comments on our Island Cuisine Blog below….Thank You, Fred Tankersley–HAFA ADAI!!