Photo Credit: Angie Torres

Food in Barbados is an eclectic mix of Caribbean, Spanish, British, Portuguese, and West African fare, however, most heavily influenced by the British. Prior to the British Empire, sugar cane was not grown on the island. As they established plantations, sugar cane, molasses, corn, rice, and potatoes were introduced into the cuisine of Barbados, and these ingredients remain mainstays of many dishes today. There is also fantastic seafood available on Barbados, and food is generally very affordable. The local cuisine is called Bajan, with fish the primary ingredient. Pepperpot, stewed pork in a spicy sauce, is a local must-try.

Bars and Pubbing in Barbados

With rum distilled right on the island, most popular cocktails are rum-based. For a taste of local nightlife, seek out the small shops where locals hang and gossip. There is also good beer on the island, with Banks Beer being the oldest locally brewed. The clean and pure water on the island makes it beer crisp in flavor and refreshing from the heat. A recent local addition is the 10 Saints beer.

Partying on Barbados usually goes on into the early morning hours. There is actually no need to go in search of bars in the city because there are many excellent beach parties which can last until 3 a.m.. These venues are popular among young tourists and serve affordable food and drink from market stalls. A local favorite in Bridgetown is the Boatyard Bar & South Deck Grill (Bay Street, Bridgetown), where young Barbadians hang out. There is great food and swimming in the ocean is possible just a few steps away. For dancing and drinking, head to Harbour Lights (Lower Bay Street, Bridgetown), a popular spot for its outdoor patio and good food. Make sure you try the BBQ buffet.

Although Bridgetown offers the most options for a night out in Barbados, there are plenty of bars on the south coast, as well. The Ship Inn (St. Lawrence Gap, Christ Church) pub is probably one of the most popular. There is a local live band playing most nights, while other nights see a DJ spin dance tracks and great food. Sports lovers will enjoy a night out at Bubba’s Sports Bar (Rockley Main Road, Christ Church). Over a dozen TVs show a range of sporting events, and the burgers are excellent, too.

Dining and Cuisine in Barbados

Barbados’ multi-cultural history means that there are restaurants to suit any craving. Visitors should try the famous fish fry, with the most popular of these feasts found at the Oistins Fish Market. Friday night is the traditional evening for a fish fry, with things kicking off at 6:00 p.m. at the outdoor party. Gourmands can also try the Oistins Bay Garden (Oistins Town, Christ Church) for Bajan specialties.

Because the weather is so nice, dining al fresco is a popular option. On the south coast, head to the Café Luna (Enterprise Beach Road, Christ Church), located on the rooftop of the Little Arches Hotel. The restaurant serves a varied menu of local and international cuisine, as well as sushi. Another popular eatery is Champer’s Wine Bar & Restaurant (Skeetes Hill, Christ Church).

Of course, Bridgetown offers the widest selection of restaurants in Barbados in a range of prices. The Waterfront Café (The Careenage, Bridgetown) is popular among locals and visitors alike as you can arrive by boat. The restaurant serves international cuisines, but is also a good place to try the local favorite, pepperpot. Lobster Alive (Bay Street, Bridgetown) is another popular seafood restaurant in the capital where you can eat right on the beach.

Dover Beach is another area visitors will find great beach-front dining options. Many of the good restaurants are located within leading resorts so check out the hotel scene as you peruse for options. A popular choice is the Dover Grill (at the Almond Caruarina Beach Resort), an excellent seafood restaurant. For a fabulous dinner show, head to the Bajan Roots & Rhythms Dinner Show (St. Lawrence Main Road) where visitors can experience West Indian dancing and singing.

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