Having recently journeyed to its pristine shores, I would now consider myself rather an expert on the culinary offerings of beautiful Barbados! From traditional Caribbean fare to extravagant, five-course affairs that Branson himself would be proud of, I tried it all – and have the half a stone to prove it. Here are my five favourite places to stuff your face in paradise. Bon appetit!
1.) The Cliff
With all the money you’ll have saved by using dealchecker to find your flights and hotel(!) you may want to treat yourself to a meal at The Cliff. A popular haunt for the glittery, A-list types who frequent the island, it’s as stunning a setting as you could hope to brandish your fork in. My starter was an amazing little fois gras concoction – fancy! – and my main was beef, which was perhaps worthy of actual physical applause, so tender and flavoursome was every mouthful! Set dramatically on a cliff, The Cliff is masterful at creating an atmosphere; the decor is dark and exotic, the cocktails strong, cold and delicious and everyone seems to be unfeasibly good looking. Rather nicely though, it manages to remain quite unpretentious – thumbs up from this greedy guts! Glamour doesn’t come cheap, though; try $200 a head. Ouch. www.thecliffbarbados.com
2.) The Fish Pot
Just minutes north of the port of St. Charles, this restaurant lies in a little fishing community called Shermans. The restaurant is in a family-run oceanfront hotel and is such a special litle place that we went twice. It’s been refurbished recently and is wonderfully relaxed, serving up gourmet seafood with a twist. I had some truly life-altering prawns that I’m sure will have ruined any future crustacean-based enjoyment I could hope to have. Prices, whilst never cheap in Barbados, are fairly reasonable here for the standard you’ll get. The view over the ocean is also a big selling point. Also worth mentioning is sister restaurant Atlantis; we weren’t quite as enamoured with it’s fare, but the view over the Atlantic (it’s on the North side of the island) is ridiculous and the service lovely.
3.) Just Grillin/Oistins Fish Fry
We wouldn’t be dealchecker if we didn’t give you at least some options on where to eat for less. Oistins Fish Fry is a weekly event every Friday in the area of Oistins, and is a big, rowdy, reggae-infused affair with stalls selling mouth-watering street food for under $12 a pop. I had a jerk flavoured mahi mahi dish that was absolutely incredible, and came with its typical Caribbean buddies of rice and peas and coleslaw. You eat outside on big, noisy tables, there’s dancing, music and an electric atmosphere – great fun!
We also accidentally came across Just Grillin’, which is easily strolled past because of its plain, fast-foody looking exterior – but we actually ate one of our favourite meals of the holiday there! You’ll find it in Holetown, and what you’ll get is hearty, proper Caribbean home food. Some locals told us that their signature dish is actually their chicken caesar salad – and it certainly looked delicious. Prices are around the $14 mark.
4.) The Lonestar
We were actually staying in one of the four rooms at the Lonestar, so we may be biased – but the restaurant here is generally regarded as one of the best on the island. Located directly on the beach, you can gaze out onto the ocean whilst you enjoy your (extremely delicious) meal! You’d be hard pressed to find a restaurant on the Barbados coastline that doesn’t offer up an almost comically idyllic setting in which to sip your rum punch – but the Lonestar is pretty special. Oh, and Michael Winner loves the brunch here. Say no more. www.thelonestar.com
Another moody candlelit den of inequity, Daphne’s serves up modern gourmet treats with a smile. You might be familiar with the Daphne’s of Kensington in London – yes, it’s one and the same. I had succulent, opulently flavoured Baracuda, and may have licked the plate – one can’t be sure, as the wine list is extensive, which obviously means that it would be rude not to try at least a few. As always in Barbados, the service was excellent. Prices aren’t cheap (running theme?) but for such a beautiful setting and fine dining, it felt worth it. www.daphnesbarbados.com
Disagree with me? Got any other top tips on Barbados foodie hot spots? We’d love to hear from you!