13 Best Barbados Restaurants According to Locals

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I spent the last four days exploring the island of Barbados working on a project to discover the best Barbados restaurants and a local view on what made the island so special.

This was my first time to the Caribbean, if you don’t count Cuba or Mexico.

But I know it won’t be my last.

While the island itself is beautiful, what struck me the most was the sincerity of the people.
 

 I’ve traveled to a lot of places that depend on tourism for their economy and people are friendly everywhere. But sincerity is something you can’t manufacture.

Barbadians, or Bajans as they call themselves, have a small town culture.

When you walk by someone on the street it’s expected that you say good morning. When you enter a small bar, you greet everyone.

Coming from a small town myself, I really missed this when I moved to big city Toronto.

Yet Barbados has that small town friendliness with the food culture you want of an urban city.

It’s widely considered to be the culinary capital of the Caribbean and its also the birthplace of rum.

I arrived in Barbados with 46 things to eat in Barbados. It was a pretty daunting task so in between interviewing local ambassadors about their home. 

My kind hosts at Barbados Tourism took the extra effort to stop by traditional Bajan food joints so I could cross as many items off my list as possible.

 

Barbados Restaurants Locals Love

Lesley Chapman-Andrews, Miss Universe Barbados 2017 sharing her favourite mango ice cream recipe.
Lesley Chapman-Andrews, Miss Universe Barbados 2017 sharing her favourite mango ice cream recipe.

My trip included meeting a diverse cross section of Bajans with lots to say about Barbados.

From Chelsea Roett competitive surfer, to DJ Puffy who plays all over the world, to Lesley Chapman-Andrews Ms. Universe Barbados.

Then the experts came in with Mixologist Shane McClean and Chef Damian Leach but my driver also chipped in with his own thought that I had so many great suggestions.

Then I took a downtown Bridgetown food tour with Lickrish Food Tours that blew me away with so many great local Barbados restaurants.

Yet no matter who I spoke to all their accolades there was such a sense of humbleness and sincerity.

Someone told me that Barbados has the highest rate of return year after year in the Caribbean and I can absolutely see why.

I didn’t eat all 46 items on my list. I missed so many great Barbados restaurants but that just gives me a reason to go back.

But it did give me a great sense of where to eat in Barbados. I had so many people giving me advice on where to get traditional Bajan food.

I didn’t have a single bad meal but here’s what I learned.

 
The best Barbados restaurants include Pat's Place at the iconic Oistin's Friday Night Fish Fry.

Oistins Friday Fish Fry – Pat’s Place

I listed Oistins first because it is the most obvious answer for where to eat in Barbados.

The Friday Night Fish Fry is an iconic event in Barbados and everyone goes.

Held on one side of a small street in Oistins, there are tables upon tables of people eating fresh fish hot off the grill.

It can be chaotic but in a delicious way. At the centre of it all is a stage with local music and lots of people dancing.

I spoke to Rosita Precod-Bartlett, owner of Pat’s Place (named after her mother who owned it originally) and she shared that you can actually make reservations at Pat’s, just call ahead.

If you’re not in Barbados on a Friday don’t worry Pat’s Place is open all week.

Pat’s Place
Oistin’s Main Road, Oistins
Open seven days a week 6pm-2am

 
The best Barbados restaurants include Cocktail Kitchen on the South Coast home to the 2018 Chef of the Year.

Cocktail Kitchen

Home to the 2018 Chef of the Year Damien Leach and the Junior Chef of the Year.

However, it’s located on the South Coast where the food is stellar but the expectation is a lower price tag. 

On this side of the island you’ll get incredible food without the fine dining atmosphere. It’s perfect for a night out on a girls trip.

 The menu is very approachable but also has lots of interesting local food like Barbadian lamb – did you know Barbados has its own lamb?

Neither did I. It’s not easy to get but Cocktail Kitchen has it.

Chef Leach recommends the pina colada catch, featured above: pan seared catch crusted with coconut, pineapple and cilantro, accompanied with ginger & scotch bonnet sweet potato puree, vanilla braised plantain cream, coriander emulsion, pickled pineapple and beets.

Cocktail Kitchen
St. Lawrence Gap, Bridgetown BB15018
+1 246-622-3017
Open 7 days a week 5pm-12:30pm
 
 

 
The best Barbados restaurants include Granny's across from the Oistins Friday night fish fry and is loved by locals for its authentic Bajan food.

Granny’s Restaurant

This was my favourite spot on the island because I think most people miss it yet all the locals rave about it.

While everyone is jammed in for the Friday night fish fry, Granny’s Restaurant is tucked away across the street with a steady stream of locals.

It’s been a mainstay of Creole and traditional Bajan food for over 30 years first serving fishermen from the market down the street and local students.

I met DJ Puffy after I visited and he was so excited about talking about Granny’s I really wish I had gone with him.

Today the restaurant hasn’t changed much and many of the dishes are still based on Granny Walcott’s recipes.

If you’re adventurous you must try the famous deep fried chicken necks, gizzards and livers served with amazing Bajan hot sauce.

I loved the chicken necks, liked the chicken gizzards but I’ve never been a fan of liver.

Personally I think this is one of the must-visit Barbados restaurants to get a sense of the local Bajan cuisine.

Granny’s Restaurant
Oistins Main Road, Oistins
+1 246-428-3838
Open Monday-Saturday 10:30am-10pm, closed Sundays

 
The best Barbados restaurants include Brown Sugar, which is well loved by locals for its buffet.

Brown Sugar Restaurant

Just steps from the beach is a beautiful heritage Barbadian home serving an incredible all-you-can-eat planter’s buffet lunch.

If you’re looking to sample local Creole and Bajan food this is a great opportunity as there is everything from kid friendly macaroni pie to traditional Bajan pudding and souse.

It was one of the Barbados restaurants buffets with the most traditional Bajan food so if you’re looking to try everything Brown Sugar is a great place to start.

Brown Sugar
Bay St, Bridgetown, Barbados
+1 246-426-7684
Open Sunday-Thursday 12pm-9:30pm, Friday 12-2:30pm, Saturday 6-9:30pm

 
The best Barbados restaurants include Tapestry, which has a fresh take on traditional Bajan food.

Tapestry Restaurant

Tapestry is located on the Platinum Coast of Barbados, also known as where celebrities such as Rhianna and Simon Cowell own homes.

While it’s at the adult only Treasure Beach Hotels, it isn’t like a typical hotel restaurant.

Sure there is the impressive wine cellar, handcrafted signature cocktails and themed dinners but what struck me most was Chef Javon Cummins.

Although he’s won many awards as a chef and for his dessert (insider’s note: most chefs refuse to “do” dessert and often offload it to a pastry chef) he’s actually quite soft spoken and thoughtful.

Although there are tables with an oceanfront view, the best seats look into Tapestry’s open kitchen.

While there’s no Gordon Ramsay-like yelling and screaming it’s still the best view.

Above is Chef Cummings fine dining interpretation of pudding and souse and it reminded me so much of eating at Chef Massimo Botturo’s Osteria Francescana. Botturo was initially rejected by locals for his modern take on traditional Italian food.

Cummings took the most traditional Bajan dish and while most locals would never recognize his dish, my dining partner, a self-proclaimed pudding and souse aficionado proclaimed it had all the notes and flavour of the traditional Bajan dish.

While I travel for traditional food I really appreciate chefs who try to interpret the classics. It’s worth coming here at the end of a trip after trying the classic Bajan dish.

Tapestry Restaurant
Treasure Beach Hotel Paynes Bay, Saint James 00000
+1 (246) 419-4200
Open for dinner every day 7pm-9:30pm

 
The best Barbados restaurants include Atlantis Hotel which has a killer Sunday brunch with live music.

Atlantis Hotel

I first visited the East Coast of Barbados to see surfer Chelsea Roett in Bathsheba and I immediately fell in love with this side of the island.

It reminds me a lot of Maui, especially on the road to Hana.

The views are spectacular and Atlantis overlooks the water. While it’s a fine dining restaurant it’s most well known for its West Indian Buffet Lunch on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Normally a buffet doesn’t tempt me as I’m not one for all-you-can-eat but this is more of a fine dining meets buffet experience with Bajan and Caribbean cuisine.

But don’t expect tired food under hot lights. Say yes to the server who offers to bring fish cakes (some of the best on the island) then head to the buffet which features hot stations to order and lots of healthy salads

Atlantis Hotel Dining
Tent Bay, St. Joseph

Breakfast: 8am-10am, Lunch: 12pm-3:30pm, West Indian Buffet Lunch: Wednesdays and Sundays, Dinner: 5pm-8pm Monday thru Saturday
+1 246-433-9445

 
The best Barbados restaurants include Cuz's fish shack just off the beach where you can get a fish cutter and banks beer.

Cuz’s Fish Shack

Next to Oistins this is often the most recommended restaurant in Barbados, although it’s not so much of a restaurant but a fish shack off the beach, which is known for its fish cutters.

A Bajan cutter is like a ѕаndwiсh made with salt bread and filled with anything savoury.

After spending time on Pebbles beach I visited the shack, located in the parking lot, at 2pm for a fish cutter with cheese and local Banks beer and no one was around.

However, I’ve heard that lines can be as long as 45 minutes.

The fish cutter was great, I’ve heard it’s even better with egg. However, I would not wait in lines for 45 minutes, there are too many other amazing Barbados restaurants to try.

So my advice is to go early or late. Besides the staff are great and you’ll get a chance to chat instead of feeling like another tourist in line.

Cuz’s Fish Shack
Pebbles Beach, Bridgetown
+1 246-254-8928
Open 7 days a week 7am-3pm

 
The best Barbados restaurants according to locals include Hunter's Bar, which is much loved for its ham cutter sandwiches.

Hunter’s Restaurant and Bar

Located in the historic downtown centre of Bridgetown, it’s well worth wandering around as this is where locals work and shop.

Hunter’s has been around for years, with two locations, one across the street from the other.

While there’s plenty to eat and drink it’s known for its ham cutters. Cheap and delicious, it’s a great snack.

Hunter’s Restaurant and Bar
4 Tudor St Bridgetown
+1 246-429-7851

I also loved S&J Deli’s ham cutter, which was a favourite of my driver. The hot sauce was killer even though I used far too much.

S&J’s Deli
Corner Greenidge & Hindsbury Road, Bridgetown
+1 246-240-9932
Open for breakfast and lunch 6:30am-4:30pm

 
Looking for the best restaurants in Barbados, Tim's is one that is often overlooked but is much loved by locals for its pig tails.

Tim’s

Don’t be afraid of pig tails! These tails may look bigger than the curly ones you’ve seen or eaten and that’s because it’s actually the vertabrae that is boiled then barbecued until it gets “shackley” and then tossed in delicious sauce.

If you like ribs you’ll love pig tails at Tim’s.

Tim’s is located downtown Bridgetown but it’s upstairs and so easy to miss. Look up for the sign then follow the stairs up past the barber spot and to the right.

One of the best Barbados restaurants for cheap and delicious eats. It is filled with locals from nearby businesses looking for traditional bajan food.

For the best view and lots of air, get your meal inside then sit out on the balcony overlooking the main street.

Tim’s Restaurant
33 Broad Street, Bridgetown, Barbados
+1 246-228-0645
Open Monday-Saturday 10am-4pm

 
The best Barbados restaurants according to locals include Ryanne's which is packed at lunch for its traditional Bajan buffet.

Ryanne’s

One of the best Barbados restaurants according to locals include Ryanne’s which is packed at lunch for its traditional Bajan buffet just a few doors down from Tim’s.

It’s a great cheap eats option and is well known for its daily soup.

Like Tim’s it has a great balcony but it gets packed quickly by local Bajans on their lunch break so get there before the lunch rush.

RyAnne’s Restaurant and Bar
Broad St, Bridgetown, Barbados
+1 246-537-1177

 
Mustors Bar is one of the best Barbados restaurants according to locals, a favourite is the flying fish and cou cou.

Mustor’s Bar and Restaurant

Opened in 1941, like many, this is one of the Barbados restaurants that looks like it hasn’t changed much other than a few coats of paint and colourful signs and free wifi in the upstairs dining room.

It’s a no nonsense, food first kind of spot and Lickrish Tours took me here for the iconic cou cou and flying fish along with my first taste of the mauby drink, which despite my face below I really do recommend trying.

Mustor’s Bar and Restaurant
McGregor Street, Bridgetown
+1 246-426-5175
Open Monday-Friday 7am-3pm, Saturday 7am-2pm, Closed Sundays

 
The best restaurants Barbados includes Chefette, a local favourite fast food joint for broasted chicken.

Chefette

Normally I wouldn’t recommend fast food as one of the best Barbados restaurants, actually that’s a lie.

I love trying local fast food, whether it’s Pio Pio in Panama or Bembos in Peru, fast food is definitely local flavour.

And nearly everyone asked me if I had tried Chefette’s chicken sandwich, which is broasted (a trademarked technique I first had while discovering food in Perth County).

While it’s similar to fried chicken its a bit healthier as it’s only deep fried for a minute and then pressure cooked.

Chefette opened in 1972 by a Trinidadian immigrant and now there are 14 Chefette locations on the island.

Chefette
Locations throughout the island including the airport, with varying hours.

 
Wondering where to stay in Barbados, Sugar Bay is central to all the sights on the island.

Where to Stay in Barbados

I stayed at the all-inclusive Sugar Bay Resort, although I didn’t have much time to eat there other than breakfast.

I did like that they had both international and traditional Bajan food options for breakfast – who can turn down beans?

It’s why I I prefer, a smaller resort with only a few stories and it was central to all the best beaches and restaurants.

Read Reviews on TripAdvisor or Book with Expedia

Sugar Bay Resort
Garrison Historic Area, Hastings, Bridgetown BB15156

Map: Where to Eat in Barbados

Tell me what Barbados restaurants did I miss? What are your favourite spots for traditional bajan food?

Pin It: Best Restaurants in Barbados

Disclosure: This Barbados restaurants post was brought to you as a result of the Barbados blog trip, created and managed by iambassador in partnership with Expedia and Visit Barbados – check out the special site they created here. As always I try to find the best to share, which is why I researched 46 things to eat in Barbados, but sadly only ate 23 of them over 4 days!

Join the Conversation

  1. Love this post and it makes me really hungry to go to Barbados! That pudding and souse looks and sounds fantastic and I really want to try the barbecued pigs tail and get myself some fish cakes at the Atlantis (my absolute favourite Bajan dish). Just one thing – you’re just going to have to get used to the mauby – it’s one of the most refreshing drinks in the world!

  2. Bernice Hill says:

    Looks like you had an amazing time! Press trips can be such a whirlwind but you covered it all and I learned so much. Love the cute video of you trying the Mauby! Now I need me some fish cakes and macaroni pie!

  3. I have yet to visit the Caribbean, but now I want to go to Barbados! Thank you for sharing this valuable resource!

  4. This is definitely going on my bucket list and I will be putting this list in my back pocket until I go. And I especially love visiting a place of warmth and sincerity ?

  5. My parents used go to Barbados for vacation when they lived in Trinidad, but I’ve never been myself. It’s on my bucket list. I’m saving this post to refer to when I plan my trip!

  6. We had one of the best meals we have ever had at Champers Restaurant in Barbados. The service was as amazing as the swordfish! When I called ahead to make reservations, they asked if it was a special celebration. When we arrived, there were personalized menus at our table, wishing my husband a happy birthday. A nice touch. Highly recommend.

  7. Denise from Urb'n'Spice says:

    I had so much fun reading your post about places to eat while travelling through Barbados. While I have never been there, I feel as though I have had a great experience vicariously. I am pinning for the future because I want to go to Granny’s, and Tim’s for those delicious looking pig tails! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful detailed post, Ayngelina!

  8. Loreto and Nicoletta says:

    Your pictures are fantastic and your writing captivating. Wish we could hop on the first flight to Barbados and start trying all your recommendations!

  9. Shakers bar and grill (turn off highway 7 at Bubbas, head up a block or two, take a left onto a sidestreet, you’ll find it on the right)
    Leroys food van (stops around the Divi around 2pm)
    Cave Shepherd buffet (downtown )
    Tiki Bar (Rockley Beach )
    Crystal Waters (Worthing Beach)

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Thank you SO much Pam, now I have a very good reason to go back. Anything in particular I should get at each spot?

    2. I agree . Chambers is great!

  10. Thanks for the info, great source resources diff will check out some spots while in Barbados BIM in Nov .

  11. Jacqueline says:

    Great article! Next time I am home in Barbados I will try a few places you mentioned that I didn’t know. Love the mauby video, I love mauby.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I think mauby is really something that needs to be tried many times. My driver told me he makes his own and swears he stays healthy because he drinks it every day.

  12. Nancy’s just up Holder’s Hill near Paynes Bay is some of the best food I’ve ever had.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Thanks for the tip! What do you usually get there?

  13. Erik | Whale Shark and Canyoneering Package says:

    Amazing post Ayngelina! Totally loving the photos and how detailed your article is! Now my relatives won’t be suffering from the frustration of looking for a place to eat in Barbados – they will be going there next month and I am not coming with them, so sad! Anyways, great post!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I’m so glad this was helpful!

  14. Amazing Article with beautiful pics. Awesome tips really helpful travellers who wants to visit Barbados. Keep sharing.

  15. Kahlila says:

    As a local this was such a great article. You captured many of the local staples and seemed to really have an appreciation for the food. So glad you had a good trip.

    On your next trip (wink, wink) might I second the recommendation to try Champers, as well as suggest Fish Pot (worth the drive, the view, and the food – order anything really) and Pavão (try the Twisted Fish).

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I would definitely love to come back – and I need to know more about this twisted fish!

  16. Great article! We went in like 2013 and are going back this year. We did Ryanne’a and Brown Sugar, and the Oistin’s Fish Fry. We found amazing food and people in every corner of Barbados. Cant wait yo return- the people are just the loveliest we’ve encountered almost anywhere!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      They are so nice aren’t they, it feels like a small town.

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