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Food and Drink, Barbados

Eating and drinking in Barbados is an experience in itself; you will certainly be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining out and sipping cocktails at quirky local bars. A trip wouldn’t quite be complete without a visit to one of the authentic rum bars here, so make sure you add this to your list of things to do, as well as trying jerk chicken, fried plantain and bread pudding.

Fine Dining

Barbados has many excellent restaurants and whichever resort you are staying in, you are sure to find one that suits you.

Champers Restaurant, located on Skeetes Hill, offers fine dining in an elegant but relaxed atmosphere. The menu here includes locally-caught fresh seafood dishes, such as shrimp curry, lobster truffle risotto and coconut shrimp, as well other Caribbean classics, all served with locally sourced vegetables.

The desserts are amazing, too, and a particular favourite is the decadent, white chocolate cheesecake served in a homemade brandy snap basket with vanilla ice-cream and strawberry sauce.

Meanwhile, the Camelot at Cobblers Cove, Speightstown is another fine dining restaurant. This exquisite eatery offers delicious, island-inspired modern cuisine with a distinct Bajan twist; also known for its creative gourmet food and impeccable restaurant service.

Camelot source many of their ingredients from local fishermen and farmers, to make sure only the freshest ingredients are used; bringing the true taste of the island to their diners. Popular with visitors and locals alike, this ocean-front restaurant is open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Fusion Rooftop

Built on the top floor of the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre in Holetown, the Fusion Rooftop is an airy, sleek and modern restaurant, with a contemporary lounge as well as a zen water table, glowing fire pits and a large full-service bar. Huge floor-to-ceiling windows give you a stunning view of the west coast of Barbados, while the state-of-the-art retractable roof lets the night sky create an unforgettable and romantic atmosphere, as you and your loved ones dine under the stars.

The comprehensive menu caters for all tastes, with dishes including sushi, beef gyoza, mushroom baklava and beef, panko chicken supreme, yellowfin tuna and red Thai shrimp curry.

The food is amazing, the service is excellent, the staff are very friendly and attentive and the atmosphere is classy yet relaxed. So, it’s not surprising that this trendy, stylish restaurant is popular with families, couples, groups of friends and as a private party venue.

Local Cuisine

Known for its variety, Bajan cuisine contains a mixture of African, Indian, British and Creole influences, famed for its spicy combinations of fresh lime juice, thyme, chilli peppers and parsley. The national dish of Barbados is cou-cou and flying fish, which is delicious and can be fried, steamed or pickled.

Other traditional dishes here include, Pudding and Souse (pickled pork with spiced sweet potatoes), fried plantain, pepper pot (a delicious meat stew), mahi-mahi fish, pickled green bananas, pumpkin fritters, macaroni pie, baked chicken, as well as shrimps, lobsters and crabs all served with hot side dishes and a salad.

If you have a sweet tooth, you will love the wonderful desserts which typically include fresh fruit. Enjoy banana, figs, mangos, ackee and golden apples, bread pudding with traditional Bajan rum sauce, guava cheese (which is similar to fudge and toffee) and the locals’ favourite – coconut bread, a pastry filled with raisins, cherries and fresh coconut. Last but not least, you must try a Bajan Rum Punch to wash all that delicious food down.

Rum Shops And Bars

The history of rum in Barbados started in 1703, and over the years it has become a fundamental part of the Bajan culture. So, if you’re an avid rum lover, ensure you visit one of the Barbados rum shops, packed with a huge variety of Caribbean rums in bottles of all sizes.

Join the locals who gather in these shops for a gossip or a game of dominoes; enjoy a drink and a chat or just simply sit back, relax and soak up the atmosphere. Some of the shops also serve snacks and bar food to enjoy, too.

Image source: Flickr. Copyright: Meg Stewart.

The London Bar, Hercules, Lexies and Braddies are amongst the many well-known rum shops on the island, serving up this delicious drink while live bands play or karaoke sessions begin.

After a day on the beach, few things could be more enjoyable than a night in a rum shop. You can mix with the locals and combine drinking rum with listening to lively reggae music, providing a truly unforgettable Caribbean experience overall.

Scarlet Restaurant

Scarlet Restaurant is housed in a distinctive, bright red building (hence the name Scarlet); located just off Highway 1 in Paynes Bay, St James. This amazing eatery has atmospheric low-lighting and is decorated with huge contemporary pictures of Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Onassis, as well as colourful abstracts; all adding to its relaxed and charming atmosphere.

Scarlet features a large bar, where you can enjoy simple meals and snacks or a fancy à la carte dinner. The comprehensive menu here includes lemongrass salmon skewers, flying-fish lollipops, pan-fried aubergine, seared beef Thai salad, chicken pesto linguine, as well as prawn and coconut curry.

The dessert selection is equally wonderful, consisting of toffee pudding, chocolate sponge and homemade doughnuts with caramel sauce, to name but a few. This retro restaurant and bar is also well-known for its unique and delicious cocktails; the Purple Rain and the Tiramisu Martini are especially popular and make a perfect pre or after-dinner drink.

Seafood Restaurants

Wonderful seafood restaurants are dotted around the beautiful island of Barbados. The Fish Pot Restaurant, located within the old fort on the water’s edge, in the picturesque Six Men’s Bay fishing village is a perfect example of one of these tasty restaurants.

The food served here definitely lives up to the spectacular setting. In fact, this eatery has a menu inspired by the sea; using the freshest produce available, infused with local herbs, spices and fruit to create a fresh and exciting array of dishes. Enjoy plates of lobster ravioli, pan-fried mahi mahi, oven-roasted sea bass, tuna poke and quinoa salad with blackened shrimp, to name just a few.

Lobster Alive in Bridgetown is another delicious seafood joint. Located on the beach; offering tables on the sand, diners are able to choose their lobster from the live tank before it is cooked and seasoned with butter, then served with fries and vegetables. What could be better than eating fresh lobster on the beach while listening to a great jazz band playing?

Street Food

Bajan street food is made from fresh, local ingredients, prepared and cooked with unique local spices. Served from street food stalls, vans, coal pots, barbecues and vendors carrying trays, you’ll find an array of tempting, tasty food to try.

Amongst the usual specialities, you will find the national dish – flying fish with cou-cou, large fish cakes served with Marie rose sauce, seasoned breadfruit chips, rice and peas, BBQ pig’s tails, fish cutters (a sandwich made with salt bread), macaroni pie and jerk chicken.

Venture to Ostin’s fish market, to try the grilled and fried fish, which is freshly caught from the sea that day. Or, if you have a sweet tooth, make sure you try the local coconut cake or the Bajan black cake, similar to a traditional British Christmas pudding but with cherries, raisins, prunes and Bajan rum instead of brandy. A truly rich and delightful delicacy to enjoy on your travels to Barbados.

The Cliff Beach Club

The Cliff Beach Club, located in the parish of St. James, has a spectacular elevated position nestled on the rocks alongside the more formal Cliff Restaurant. For those that want the same quality of food that is served at the Cliff but prefer to dine in a more casual and relaxed atmosphere, then the Cliff Beach Club is the perfect place to go.

Situated on the water’s edge and with fantastic views of the sea, the club offers a variety of mouth-watering dishes which combine flavours of the Caribbean with traditional French cuisine.

The stunning setting is what makes this Beach Club so special, alongside the tasty food. During the day you can enjoy a relaxing lunch or maybe a cocktail or two while admiring the stunning west coast’s panoramic views.

In the evening, your dining experience is enhanced by an excellent live band playing smooth jazz music, along with tunes from the 70s, 80s and 90s. It’s not hard to see why people come back to the Cliff Beach Club time and time again.

The Lone Star

The Lone Star restaurant is located at Mount Standfast on the iconic Platinum Coast, famous for its magnificent beach setting and its famous customers.

Breakfasts are served right on the beach boardwalk and you can choose from a full English breakfast, fruit muesli and yoghurt and fresh pastries. The lunchtime menu includes an array of mouth-watering salads, gourmet sandwiches and fresh pizzas from the wood-stone fire oven. Plus, a special children’s menu features and high chairs/baby changing facilities are available.

If you are visiting the Lone Star in the evening, why not enjoy a glass of chilled Champagne or a juicy cocktail before dinner? The extensive evening menu offers delectable dishes including, ribeye steaks, Batfrbados lamb, filet mignon, barracuda, scallops, prawn Thai green curry and shredded aromatic duck.

The range of cuisine here really is excellent, as is the service and the stunning setting. So, whether you are hoping to rub shoulders with the celebrity clientele or just enjoying a romantic dinner for two, the Lone Star restaurant is a perfect dining destination.

The Tiki Bar

The Tiki Bar is located at Accra Beach, Rockley and is renowned for its amazing array of 68 house cocktails. The Tiki has a restaurant, a beach bar and also offers a beach service if you don’t want to leave your sun lounger. Mostly used by tourists, this popular bar serves an assortment of cold drinks including sodas, beers, spirits (especially rum), and of course their speciality – cocktails.

The Tiki Bar does everything it can to make your day on the beach as perfect as possible and is also a great place to sit and watch the sun go down with a cold drink in your hand.

The dishes served are mostly typical bar meals, including fish cakes, club sandwiches, burgers and fries. The freshly caught fish of the day is a particular favourite; the perfect meal to enjoy before spending a day relaxing on the beach.

Travellers can also listen to live music throughout the day here, combined with a variety of songs played by the local resident DJs.