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. Champers

    $$$$ | Caribbean

    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...Read More

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. Lone Star

    $$$$ | European

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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. The Tides

    $$$$ | European

    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...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. Apsara Samudra

    $$$$ | Indian

    This romantic Indian and Thai restaurant has a large outdoor terrace overlooking the ocean. You can dine under the stars, or escape to one of...Read More

  • 9. Café Luna

    $$$$ | Eclectic

    With a sweeping view of pretty Miami (Enterprise) Beach, the alfresco dining deck on top of the Mediterranean-style Little Arches Hotel is...Read More

  • 10. 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

  • 11. Fisherman's Pub

    $ | Caribbean

    As local as local gets, this open-air, waterfront beach bar (a former rum shop) is built on stilts a stone's throw from the Speightstown fish...Read More

  • 12. 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

  • 13. 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

  • 14. The Fish Pot

    $$$$ | Caribbean

    Bright and cheery by day and relaxed and cozy by night, The Fish Pot offers a tasty dining experience in a setting that's classier than its...Read More

  • 15. 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

  • 16. Waterside Restaurant

    $$$$ | Contemporary

    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 the beachfront...Read More

  • 17. David's Place

    $$$$ | Caribbean

    Come here for sophisticated Bajan cuisine in a prime waterfront location on St. Lawrence Bay. Waves gently lap against the pilings of the open...Read More

  • 18. Pisces

    $$$$ | Seafood

    For seafood lovers, this is nirvana. Prepared in every way by chef-owner Larry Rogers—from charbroiled to gently sautéed—seafood specialties...Read More

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