Finding a nice dinner of fresh fish is possible on any Caribbean island. Excellent restaurants are scattered here and there, and if goat stew is your idea of a delicacy, you should find happiness on many islands. But let's face it, gourmands don't usually run to the Caribbean all hopped up about the array of dining choices.

If food is a primary factor in deciding which island to choose, think first of those with French influence.

St. Barts

attracts young chefs trained in fine French restaurants.

Guadeloupe

, whose tourism bureau lists 200 restaurants, is also a place to find good French and West Indian Creole, as is

St. Martin

and, to a lesser degree,

Martinique

.

Despite its British heritage,

Barbados

ranks high among the Caribbean islands for dining. Restaurants specialize in European and Caribbean fare, with some Asian touches. The Zagat Survey chose

Barbados

as the subject of its first and so far only restaurant guide to the Caribbean.

Puerto Rico

is known for good food with a Spanish flair, although

San Juan's

200 restaurants offer cuisine from around the world. More than 40 restaurants get the government's

mesones gastronomicos

stamp for preserving uniquely Puerto Rican culinary traditions.

Although the number of restaurants in

Antigua

has dropped as many of the resorts have gone all-inclusive, it remains one of the better islands for dining. Some of the all-inclusives welcome diners who aren't staying in the resorts.

You'll also find more fine-dining options in some of the wealthier islands, including

Anguilla

,

Aruba

,

Grand Cayman

,

St. Kitts

and

Nevis

, the

Grenadines

, and

St. Thomas

.