One of the first things you’ll need to figure out when planning your trip to Barbados is where to find some great places to eat! After all, you probably won’t want to do much cooking while on vacation. First, we’ll answer your general questions about Bajan cuisine. Then, we’ll give you the rundown on the best the local dining scene has to offer.
What kind of food do people eat in Barbados?
In general, people in Barbados choose a main dish of meat or fish. This will be served with a side dish or two, such as rice and peas, plantain, and salad. In addition, the meal may be topped with a sauce or two.
The country’s national dish is cou-cou with fried flying fish. “Cou-cou” is a mixture of cornmeal and okra. Because these two main ingredients are so inexpensive, the dish became commonplace among African slaves during the island’s colonial history. Cou-cou is known as “fungi” in the Leeward Islands and Dominica. In addition, many other Caribbean islands, like Antigua and Barbuda have incorporated it into their cuisine, albeit under other names.
Other common meals are barbecued or stewed pork or lamb chops, fried or grilled seafood, curry beef or mutton, and pickled pork with sweet potatoes, also known as “pudding and souse”.
Technically, Bajan food is a mixture of African, Portuguese, Indian, Irish, Creole and British influences.
What restaurants can you find in Barbados?
Restaurants in Barbados run the gamut from cheap and casual beach bars to expensive and luxurious fine dining establishments. By far, the majority of restaurants in Barbados serve “Caribbean” style food. However, you can also find asian, indian, and italian joints. And if you’re low on time and money, there are some pizza joints and fast food places as well.
Best Places to Eat in Barbados
There are plenty of places to eat in Barbados, but not all of them serve Bajan food. During your trip, make sure you visit at least a few that do! Here are the best restaurants to sample local island food and get the true taste of Barbados:
1. Brown Sugar
Self-styled as “the home of bajan cuisine”, Brown Sugar is famous for their sumptuous all-you-can-eat planter’s buffet lunch. But don’t let the word “buffet” fool you– this restaurant is far from being your average bearer of endless (and cold) food spreads. The setting (an antique Barbadian home) and decor (ferns and water gardens abound) elevate this diner into a casual yet elegant dining experience. It’s a great place for both lunch and dinner. While there, be sure to sample the cou-cou, pepperpot stew, macaroni pie, and bread pudding.
Brown Sugar is located on Bay Street in Bridgetown, Barbados.
Located in Skeetes Hill in Christchurch Parish, Champers is thought to be one of the best restaurants on the island’s south coast. With stunning oceanfront views and fresh seafood daily, this popular restaurant is the perfect place for a relaxing lunch or a romantic dinner. The posh diner has won several awards, including a 2019 Traveler’s Choice Award from Trip Advisor.
Cuisine options are primarily Caribbean, American, and European. You can also choose from vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free offerings. Although Champers is pricier than many, make sure you try this famous restaurant out at least once!
3. The Tides
The Tides restaurant in Holetown gives Champers a run for its money. Some consider this luxurious establishment the best eatery on the island. Serving both lunch and dinner, The Tides is known for gorgeous oceanfront views, impeccable service, and gourmet dishes.
As far as setting and decor go, you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere more romantic to take your significant other. Incorporated into what was once a classic seaside Barbadian home built after World War II, this place features an art gallery containing colourful Caribbean artwork sourced from talented Barbadian and other regional artists.
The restaurant serves primarily Caribbean, American, and European cuisine. You can also choose from vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free offerings.
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4. Salt Cafe
Salt Cafe in Hastings offers fine Caribbean cuisine and fresh seafood. Located near the South Coast Boardwalk, it features outstanding service in an intimate setting. The creative and tasty menu offers favorites like fried chicken and ceviche, along with more adventurous options like pig ears and truffle fries. In addition, the menu includes vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free offerings.
Stop by for lunch, dinner, or brunch for a warm, cozy Bajan meal in a relaxing, casual setting. Those who have been there tend to rave about the desserts– so make sure you leave some room for yours!
5. Carizma on the Hill
Aptly named for its hilltop location, Carizma offers truly great, fresh food in a relaxing, semi-casual atmosphere. You’ll love the freshly-grilled entrees and friendly service. Located on Sugar Hill in Mount Standfast, the restaurant provides breathtaking sunset views and a quiet place to chat and enjoy your evening.
Menu options include chicken kababs, grilled “catch of the day”, five-spiced pork ribs, and homemade angus beef burgers. There are vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan options, as well as a kids menu. The restaurant has a small, but well-equipped bar with many alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverage options.
Ready to find out more about Barbados and prepare for the vacation of a lifetime? Here’s everything you need to know:
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