Long time, no post! Finally feeling ready to dive back in to travel blogging ahead of my big trip to South America next week. Easing back in with my favourite places to eat in Barbados from our trip back in October! We fully intend to go back there some day, indeed Matt would go back this year if I wasn’t insisting we explore a bit more of the Caribbean (!) so hopefully I can add some more places to this in future! There were definitely a few more places I would have liked to eat had we stayed in Barbados longer.
Oistins Fish Fry
Oistins is 100% the place to be on a Friday night. That was one of the first things that went into my itinerary spreadsheet from people’s recommendations. Everyone said to go and most other blog posts you will read on places to eat in Barbados will tell you this isn’t one to miss. It was like nothing else we experienced.
Located in a small fishing town on the South Coast, every Friday they put on a show and it is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Genuinely think there was almost an even split of locals out for their regular Friday night and those of us who didn’t want to miss out on this sensational taste experience, as well as immersing ourselves in the culture of the island. Lots of hotels put shuttles on to take guests there, which just shows how popular it is – they don’t want you to miss out!
I will admit it is a bit of a sensory overload when you arrive, in contrast to the tranquil beaches you are suddenly confronted with an explosion of delicious smells wafting at you from every which way, people laughing and dancing and calling you to their stall as well as music blasting out from each little hut. These huts are a complete rainbow as far as the eye can see, all selling pretty similar things for you to sample. The headliners are of course the fresh lobster and other sea food, but there are plenty of other Bajan classics waiting to be discovered, such as their baked macaroni pie.
We wandered around and drank in the atmosphere, stopping to watch the street dance performance on the big stage before deciding we should go and find somewhere to enjoy some rum punch. We went to go check out the bar stall which was run by one of the staff from our hotel. The cocktails were punchy, and we had a good few of these with another couple who were staying at our hotel whom we ran into. Then it was off to find our dinner!
It is basically impossible to pick a stall to sample, most prices and menus are fairly similar, so we ended up picking one called ‘Short Ball’ because it was cricket themed and Matt loves cricket… He ordered lobster and the woman announced they were quite small and he would need two!
I went for the baked macaroni pie as we hadn’t seen it anywhere else and I do love macaroni cheese. It did not disappoint. It wasn’t that expensive in theory, however we were unfortunately in Barbados at the time that Liz Truss’ economics experiment crashed and burnt, and sterling had gone absolutely bananas. Therefore meaning we paid considerably more for things than we had anticipated. (Fortunately we had paid for flights, hotel, the Mount Gay rum experience and the Catamaran cruise we did in advance!). So I won’t speak too much to price other than comparatively, as anyone going now/in future should experience slightly better conversion rates!
It was such a fun evening going out and sharing an evening with locals. Matt even befriended one of the many little cats wandering around, waiting for you to drop a morsel of fish which they can benefit from! Definitely should be top of your list of places to eat in Barbados.
The Cliff restaurant in Barbados is pretty well known for stunning views and excellent food. It does however come with a bit of a price tag, and given the aforementioned state of sterling, we decided to instead visit it’s Bistro restaurant for lunch. Handily for us it was a ten minute walk from our hotel on the West Coast of the island.
We were some of the only people there, and got a prime seat on the balcony overlooking the water. The view was truly spectacular with the sparkling crystal water, blue skies and occasional boat or jet ski bobbing along. We began with some brightly coloured tropical cocktails and then switched over to white wine with the food. The cocktail menu was pretty varied and had something for everyone, plus they had put a lot of effort into the names which I always appreciate. Matt had a pink flamingo and I had a tropical jungle bird. Delicious.
The food on the lunch menu was pretty light. I still ended up having two starters rather than a starter and a main and was glad I did – both my greek salad and fish cake were pretty sizeable. We did notice this was a theme throughout most places we ate. We suspected it is due to a large portion of the visitors to the island being Americans used to big portions but maybe they are just very generous! Matt had the catch of the day which came with risotto.
The staff were lovely and it was a great way to kick off our trip, although fellow pasty people be warned – you may be under a shade but as the sun moves you might find your legs in the sun. I got pretty burnt in weird slithers on my legs and feet. Smooth.
To note if you are visiting, they often have live music events in the evenings – I am still getting emails about them occasionally. They also do happy hours on Friday and Saturday from 4.30-6pm. We almost went back for some evening cocktails but ended up all over the island for dinners and didn’t manage to squeeze it in, but next time for sure. I am also 100% putting The Cliff on my list of places to eat next time.
This was my favourite place we ate in Barbados. It wasn’t too flashy but had a really inviting atmosphere. There was a live band playing some jazz and it was pretty quiet with well spaced out tables. We were visiting on a Monday during the tail end of the rainy season, so they may put more tables out in busier times, but we sat right on the beach front surrounded by little flame lanterns on stakes. Felt very tropical island. The beach tables were also plastic, which added to the very relaxed island vibe, definitely not one of the fanciest places to eat. It is located on the edge of the capital Bridgetown on the seafront in an unassuming blue building with a rather large sign so you hopefully won’t miss it.
The main attraction is of course the huge pool of lobsters, enabling you to meet your dinner first. Definitely not the place to go if you are a vegetarian or a vegan… I will say in terms of ethics, the lobsters were not all shoved together in some tank. They had what I can only describe as a children’s swimming pool, which the servers went into and brought out some beasts for us to look at.
Matt had a small lobster, which came with several sauces, salad and chips. I opted for the much easier lobster pancake which was absolutely delicious and much less messy! Definitely my favourite meal we had when we were out there and should absolutely be on you list of places to eat in Barbados.
Sea shed is a very cool quite relaxed little restaurant way up on the West Coast. It is decked out in wood with macramé decor, you do feel like you are eating in an oversized bougie shed. Which I am personally here for. Our table was towards the back of the restaurant rather than down towards the beach, which was a little disappointing but it was incredibly busy and the bigger tables for large parties were those down nearer the sea which is fair enough.
We tried the cocktail special which I cannot remember the name of but it was something with rum and passion fruit which was pretty tasty. Matt went for the catch of the day which as ever was enjoyed. I wasn’t that hungry having had some canapés at the hotel so thought a nice lobster roll with some potato wedges would be a sensible smaller option. Boy was I mistaken.
I was presented with a huge slice of focaccia piled high with lobster and salad, plus a rather gigantic portion of spiced wedges. All of the above was very tasty but I confess I only just about managed half of it. So my take away from here is make sure you are hungry when you arrive! I would quite like to visit again though perhaps for a lunch in future. The menu was pretty varied so would suit most catering needs and tastes – the pizzas looked enormous and there was plenty of sea food and burgers etc.
Another place that came with lots of recommendations when we asked various friends their favourite places to eat in Barbados was The Lonestar. Located on the West Coast, the Lonestar is also a boutique hotel. The restaurant is split over several levels of decking, cascading down on to the beach. This time we got a table by the edge of the railing looking down onto the dark expanse of beach, broken up by the dancing light of fiery lanterns. If you are looking for a posh meal out then Lonestar should top your list of places to eat in Barbados.
It felt quite upmarket and prices did reflect this. We had saved this for our final evening’s dinner so we went fairly all out, with cocktails to start, wine with food and had starters and mains.
Matt went for beef carpaccio and I for a burrata, both of which were nice portion sizes and really fresh and tasty. The whole menu had a very fresh feel, with lots of options across meat, seafood and a few vegetarian choices too, particularly in the starter section. The staff were very attentive and we ate at a leisurely pace. The restaurant was busy but not too overcrowded. There were quite a few children around who seemed to be hotel guests and they do have a child’s menu if you need to cater for little ones. It was a lovely setting, with well presented food and was perfect for that last evening in Barbados.
So that is it for now, my guide on places to eat in Barbados.
I won’t write up the food we had at our own hotel as that wasn’t really anything special. The attached Italian restaurant we went to one night but it took ages to get seated and they didn’t have the menu item I initially asked for, so wouldn’t rush back there.
I do hope to update this post in the future as I am sure we will be back in Barbados one day soon, not least to take some better photos (I was still in my break from travel blogging mindset)! This year we are planning to visit St Lucia so look forward to sharing my experiences from there with you all later this year.