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. 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

  • 3. Castaways

    $$$ | Caribbean

    Enjoy the breathtaking views overlooking St. Lawrence Bay—you may see sea turtles bobbing around in the shallow surf during the day—paired with...Read More

  • 4. Ragamuffins Bar & Restaurant

    $$$ | Caribbean

    At this tiny, funky, lively, and informal spot, you can dine inside in an authentic chattel house or outside on the porch. Although the restaurant...Read More

  • 5. Round House

    $$$ | Caribbean

    Owners Robert and Gail Manley oversee the menu for guests staying in their historic (1832) manse-turned-inn, as well as tourists enjoying the...Read More

  • 6. The Atlantis

    $$$ | Caribbean

    For decades, an alfresco lunch on the Atlantis deck overlooking the ocean has been a favorite of both visitors and Bajans. A pleasant atmosphere...Read More

  • 7. Waterfront Café

    $$$ | Caribbean

    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 people-watch...Read More

  • 8. Bellini's

    $$$ | Italian

    Classic northern Italian cuisine is the specialty at Bellini's, located on the main floor of the Little Bay Hotel. Toast the evening with a...Read More

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