A guide to food and drink in Barbados

Barbados holidays are a fantastic opportunity to discover fresh Caribbean flavours. In fact, no other CaribbeanIsland offers such a wide range of restaurants and cuisine options to choose from. There are formal upmarket dining venues as well as relaxed, down-to-earth establishments. One thing’s for sure, wherever you go the food will be packed with flavour.

Exploring Barbados' delicacies

Meals times are a big deal in Barbados, with families gathering around to celebrate their food together. Barbadian cuisine is known as Bajan, and is influenced by African, Indian and British flavours and ideas.

The national dish of Barbados is the flying fish, cooked with chopped onions, cherry tomatoes and Bajan spices. Breadfruit plucked from local trees is mashed to make the popular side-dish Cou-Cou. There are many rum distilleries on the island too, and the drink is frequently used to enhance the flavour of delicious local dishes. One speciality is Calypso rum cake, which is created with rum from the famous Mount Gay distillery.

Fine dining at Champers Wine Bar and Restaurant, Christ Church

This is considered one of the best restaurants on the south coast. Elegantly-dressed tables adorn this upmarket venue, making it ideal for a special occasion when on holiday in Barbados.

While the seafront terrace offers a romantic setting, the art gallery upstairs feeds further into your senses, and some of the work also adorns the walls of the restaurant. The delicious cuisine is Bajan, combined with other flavours from around the world.

Old-world charm of Brown Sugar, Bridgetown

This restaurant, set in an old Barbadian home with wicker furniture and traditional Barbados scenes painted on the wall, is bursting with tropical charm. Sit among the beautifully scented flower- and fern-filled patios with water gardens for some tasty Bajan and Creole food.

At lunchtime this elegant restaurant offers an all-you-can-eat buffet, which includes pumpkin coconut soup, beef stew, sweet potato pie and bread pudding with a tasty rum sauce. The a la carte menu has many great options including a rum burger on salt bread.

Any time of day at the rustic Surfer's Cafe, Oistins – Christ Church

If you’re looking for something a bit more casual and rustic-chic, this is a great place to visit for a coffee or rum cocktail any time of the day or evening.

Perch yourself on the decking area that overlooks the fine white sand of the beach below and pick from a selection of varied dishes such as the grilled catch of the day. The burgers, steak and chips and homemade chocolate brownies are also great choices. Enjoy live music here on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Family-run Rude Boyz Jerk Kitchen, St Lawrence Gap

It would be rude not to visit this family run restaurant. It serves traditional Bajan and Caribbean food including, of course, jerk chicken plus meat and seafood.

The dishes are simply delicious and the portions are big, so you won’t leave feeling hungry. Rude Boyz’ modern, colourful interior is indicative of the warm and friendly service you will receive at this restaurant. Though dining al fresco on the outside deck may appeal even more on a warm Barbados evening.

Home comforts and cookbook creations at The Cove, St Joseph

This is the restaurant of award-winning cookbook writer Laurel Ann Morely. Located in her east-coast home, it’s a cosy restaurant with a blue and white decor that gives it a nautical feel.

Sit indoors or on the lovely outdoor terrace, where you’ll be transfixed by the views of the Atlantic Ocean crashing up against the rocky shoreline in the distance. The food is also memorable and certainly lives up to expectations, with highlights including battered shrimp with pepper jelly, crab backs and a rum and raisin bread pudding.