Barbados Restaurants

First-class restaurants and hotel dining rooms serve quite sophisticated cuisine—often prepared by chefs with international experience and rivaling the dishes served in the world's best restaurants. Most menus include seafood: dolphin (mahimahi), kingfish, snapper, and flying fish prepared every way imaginable. Flying fish is so popular that it has become an official national symbol. Shellfish also abounds, as do steak, pork, and local black-belly lamb.

Specialty dishes include buljol (a cold salad of pickled codfish, tomatoes, onions, sweet peppers, and celery) and conkies (cornmeal, coconut, pumpkin, raisins, sweet potatoes, and spices, mixed together, wrapped in a banana leaf, and steamed). Cou-cou, often served with steamed flying fish, is a mixture of cornmeal and okra and usually topped with a spicy creole sauce made from tomatoes, onions, and sweet peppers. Bajan-style pepper pot is a hearty stew of oxtail, beef, and other meats in a rich, spicy gravy, simmered overnight.

For lunch, restaurants often offer a traditional Bajan buffet of fried fish, baked chicken, salads, macaroni pie (macaroni and cheese), and a selection of steamed or stewed provisions (local roots and vegetables). Be cautious with the West Indian condiments—like the sun, they're hotter than you think. Typical Bajan drinks—in addition to Banks Beer and Mount Gay, Cockspur, or Malibu rum—are falernum (a liqueur concocted of rum, sugar, lime juice, and almond essence); mauby (a nonalcoholic drink made by boiling bitter bark and spices, straining the mixture, and sweetening it); and Ponche Kuba, a creamy spiced rum liqueur (Caribbean eggnog) that’s especially popular around the holidays. You're sure to enjoy the fresh fruit or rum punch, as well.

What to Wear: The dress code for dinner in Barbados is conservative, casually elegant, and, occasionally, formal—a jacket and tie for gentlemen and a cocktail dress for ladies in the fanciest restaurants and hotel dining rooms, particularly during the winter holiday season. Jeans, shorts, and T-shirts (either sleeveless or with slogans) are always frowned upon at dinner. Beach attire is appropriate only at the beach.

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  • 1. Brown Sugar Restaurant

    $$$ | Caribbean

    Set back from the road in a traditional Bajan home, the lattice-trimmed dining patios here are filled with ferns, flowers, and water features...Read More

  • 2. Champers

    $$$$

    Chiryl Newman's snazzy seaside restaurant is in an old Bajan home just off the main road in Rockley. The cliff-top setting overlooking the eastern end...Read More

  • 3. L'Azure

    $$$$ | Caribbean

    Perched on an oceanfront cliff overlooking Crane Beach, L'Azure is an informal breakfast and luncheon spot by day that becomes elegant after...Read More

  • 4. La Cabane

    $$$$ | Mediterranean

    The chef and his brigade whip up a Mediterranean inspired, organic, farm to table menu at this relaxed, beachfront spot that's popular with...Read More

  • 5. Lone Star

    $$$$

    At the tiny but chic Lone Star Hotel, a short drive north of Holetown, the finest local ingredients are turned into gastronomic delights. Lunchtime brings...Read More

  • 6. Salt Cafe

    $$$ | International

    If you're in the mood for modern comfort food, this is the place for you. Chef Simon and his team offer a wide selection of Asian-, Southern...Read More

  • 7. Sea Shed

    $$$$ | International

    This trendy, bustling restaurant is a favorite west-coast dining spot of local professionals, families, and visitors. Mediterranean and Caribbean...Read More

  • 8. The Tides

    $$$$

    Perhaps the most intriguing feature of this stunning setting—besides the sound of waves crashing onto the shore just feet away—is the row of huge tree...Read More

  • 9. The Village Bar at Lemon Arbour

    $ | Caribbean

    Commonly known as Lemon Arbour, this is the place to be on a Saturday afternoon, as Bajans from all walks of life descend on this family-run...Read More

  • 10. Worthing Square Food Garden

    $ | International

    This food-truck park is a great spot to sample a wide variety of dishes for lunch or dinner. Venezuelan arepas, Italian pizzas, Jamaican jerk...Read More

  • 11. Daphnes

    $$$$ | Italian

    The chef and his brigade whip up contemporary Italian cuisine at The House's beachfront restaurant, a chic outpost of the London eatery of the...Read More

  • 12. Olives Bar and Bistro

    $$$

    This intimate restaurant, in a historic Bajan residence in the center of Holetown, is a favorite west-coast dining spot of local professionals and visitors alike....Read More

  • 13. The Cliff Bistro

    $$$$

    The seaside views here are dramatic, the atmosphere is informal and fun. Lunch options include sandwiches, burgers, fish-and-chips, soups, and salads. For dinner, choose from...Read More

  • 14. Waterfront Café

    $$$

    This busy bistro on the walkway facing the south side of the Careenage is the perfect place to enjoy a drink, snack, or meal—and to...Read More

  • 15. Waterside Restaurant

    $$$$

    You won't get much closer to dining on the water without being on a boat. Tables here are set on a broad porch suspended over...Read More

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