Hello and welcome to the first of my three part travel guide for Barbados!!
This has been one of my most excited and highly anticipated posts to date. As an experienced traveler (52 countries and counting), I tend to seek out off-the-beaten path recommendations wherever I travel to, especially from the locals of the area. On occasion I see travel guides on Barbados, and photos on social media, but they tend to be the same places on repeat. As a native of this paradise, I often get asked for advice on where to stay, what to do, and where to eat so I take great pride in sharing some of my favourite and sometimes not well known spots.
I knew that once my website was launched that it would be a matter of time before I shared my local perspective’s travel guide on Barbados, with some emphasis on a holistic and wellness approach. A couple weeks ago I went home to visit my family and thought it would be the ideal opportunity to collect the content I needed to put this piece together.
The first part of this guide is focused on where to eat. While some of these places aren’t necessarily part of my everyday diet, a large part of traveling includes experiencing the cuisine.
Below are some of my favourite restaurants and food spots that I recommend.
Fresh Fruit & Veggie Stands
Tropical destinations are synonymous with fruits like mangoes, pineapples, bananas, papayas and so forth. Fruit stands are common in Barbados, usually off the side of the road.
I highly recommend supporting local farmers and stopping off to buy some of nature’s skittles. Some of the local fruit include bananas, golden apples, carambola (star fruit or five fingers), mangoes, grapefruit and guava.
This also includes coconut stands. Every time I arrive on the island, I make a beeline to one of these stands so I can get my dose of fresh coconut water and some coconut jelly.
2. Cheapside Market
The largest and busiest market from is in Bridgetown on Cheapside Road. This public market, open Thursdays to Saturdays, is where many farmers and vendors sell their produce and craft. Many locals make it a ritual to shop here on a Saturday morning. If you love visiting local markets, then this place is worth checking out.
3. Just Grillin
This is my favourite restaurant on the island. There are several locations and many offer casual outdoor seating. As the name suggests, they grill everything- from the ocean catch of the day to chicken, steak, veggies and more. The prices are reasonable ($1.50 BDS is approx $1.00 CDN, $0.75 USD) so a steak with a side of veggies and salad is approx $28 CAD. As I don’t eat meat often, and the price is cheaper than Toronto, my go to tends to be the steak with a double side of grilled veggies (corn, squash, carrots).
For more information: http://www.justgrillinbarbados.com
4. Oistin’s Fish Market
Barbados is known as the “land of the flying fish”. In fact the fish is one of the national symbols of the island often depicted on the Barbados Passport, coins, structures, and logos including the Barbados Tourism Authority.
Home made flying fish, purchased from Oistins Fish Market
Thus a visit would not be complete without trying flying fish and many other local fish, especially on a Friday night fish fry. One can enjoy grilled fish with some drinks (approx $ 35 BDS) while listening to some calypso and soca. But be warned, it gets very busy so be sure to head there by 5:45pm.
Fisherman showing his morning conquest
The seating area of Oistins Fish Fry
Typical fisherman boat on the island
Tappas is located on the beach boardwalk by Hastings on the South of the island. It is one of my favourite spots especially because it is so close to the beach. You can hear the waves crashing and feel the salt water air as you enjoy a meal.
View from one of my favourite seating area at Tapas
You can choose to share a variety of dishes (hence tapas) or go for a larger meal of pasta, fish or meat. The dishes range from $20-$60BDS while the tapas are approx $20. I recommend the cerviche and quinoa salad or the fish cakes.
Quinoa and Cerviche Dish
Thai Fish Cakes
For more information: http://www.tapasbarbados.com
6. Cuz’s Fish Stand
Any local on the island knows about Cuz for their fish cutters (sandwiches). This food truck is stationed outside Pebbles Beach. For $9 BDS you can either get fresh fish alone or with cheese in a salt bread (buns made with yeast and salt typical to Barbados). I am not a huge fan of sandwiches and don’t really eat bread but I love these fish cutters and usually grab a couple after a good paddle boarding/tanning session at Pebbles.
There isn’t any seating but really who wants to sit by the shack when the beach is 20 steps away. Cuz is only opened during the week (weekends off) although there may be some fluctuations depending the time of year.
7. Brown Sugar
Brown Sugar is known as the home of Bajan cuisine. Located around the corner from Pebbles Beach, by the Garrison, this restaurant is in a former Bajan heritage home. They offer a la carte or buffet style, allowing you the opportunity to try various local and creole dishes. The prices range from $19 to $95, but the biggest bang for you buck is the buffet for $69 BDS.
Fried and steamed flying fish
Cou- Cou and lentil pea rice
Okra, Squash and Chinese cabbage
This is my go to restaurant if I want to show others our island’s cuisine or if I want a more formal spot (and by formal I mean not in flip flops and a bikini). Some of my recommendations include pepperpot (it’s an Amerindian dish made of meat and spices), coucou and flying fish (our national dish), coconut beer shrimp, spice fish fillet, bajan rum burger, baked cinnamon plantain and much more.
Amerindian dish of Pepperpot
For more information: http://brownsugarbarbados.net
8. Raw Juice Barbados
Smoothie bowls are becoming more popular in places like Hawaii, Bali, Mexico and even North America. Barbados is no exception. Located inside Quayside Centre Plaza, across the street from the boardwalk and Accra beach, one can grab a smoothie drink or bowl. This is the perfect healthy snack, especially while trying to beat the heat and humidity.
Berries and peanut butter smoothies
Picnic of the beach with our smoothie bowls
Other Notable Recommendations:
- Cin Cin
- The Cliff
- The Fishpot
Stay tuned for Part 2 of my Barbados travel guide, which will cover what to do.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to add them below.