Often considered one of the Caribbean's culinary capitals, Barbados is home to an eclectic array of upscale eateries and beachside cafés. From a Friday night fish fry in Christ Church to a sunset dinner overlooking Paynes Bay Beach, there's no shortage of dining options to satisfy the hungry traveler. Read on for the best restaurants in Barbados—and get ready for a spectacular culinary experience during your next visit. Of course, remember to consult the local cocktail list whenever possible, as Barbados is famous for its rum.
If you're a rum lover (and who isn't when visiting the Caribbean?) then this is one spot you simply have to visit. Located in the Colony Club hotel, the Rum Vault offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience that you won't find elsewhere in the West Indies. Featuring more than 150 types of rum, the space is open only for special events, private dining, and rum pairings with Bajan delicacies. Just make sure to book your reservations in advance.
Overlooking the seaside in Batts Rock, this Barbadian hotspot is perfect for working on your suntan while enjoying Caribbean cuisine. Try your luck hanging ten in the morning (the gentle waves are ideal for beginning surfers) before sidling up to La Cabane's outdoor tables and ordering a boozy lunch. The overall experience is sure to satisfy scenesters and seafood lovers alike.
Did you really visit the Caribbean if you didn't attend a local fish fry? Visitors to Barbados have no excuse not to partake in the local festivities, as the weekly celebrations at Oistins Fish Market are among the best in the entire Caribbean. Head to Oistins' on a Friday night and make a beeline to Pat's Place, one of the most beloved institutions in the whole market. There may be a bit of a wait, but the queues move faster than one would assume, and trust us: It's worth it.
Overlooking Paynes Bay, The House, part of the Elegant Hotels' collection of luxury hotels in Barbados, promises breathtaking Caribbean views. Head to their in-house Italian restaurant, Daphne's, just before sunset to capitalize on this divine spectacle (and equally exquisite cocktail list for a pre-dinner refreshment). Though located seaside, the restaurant's attire is decidedly not beach casual. Visitors should abstain from flip flops or sleeveless shirts for this special night on the town.
The Tides is set within a Holetown house, built after World War II. Equal parts tropical and romantic, this sophisticated restaurant is the perfect option for a date night or celebratory dinner to conclude the trip (or toast its very beginning).
Before exploring the iconic Animal Flower Cave in St. Lucy, head to the establishment's local restaurant for some dining al fresco and stunning views. Local home-grown legend Rihanna filmed a promotional video for the Barbados Tourism Campaign within the cave, so you know it's sure to be spectacular. We recommend making a day out of your trip to the North Point of Barbados, which is located in a lesser-traveled part of the island.
Located within the family-owned Little Good Harbour hotel, The Fish Pot Restaurant is another must-visit destination in St. Lucy. If you time your afternoon correctly, you can plan on spending some time at Animal Flower Cave after lunch, and arrive at the Fish Pot just in time for a seafood dinner.
This bar and restaurant in New Castle is exceptionally relaxed, with no significant dress code required. Guests dine at picnic tables overlooking Martin's Bay for lunch or dinner with a view. The culinary offerings include a range of unique Bajan treats, with vegetarian options as well.
There's plenty to explore once you've finished your delectable meal. The rock formations along the northern end of Martin's Bay are an iconic characteristic of the island's east coast. Venture to the southern end of the bay, and climb onto the cliffs overlooking the sea. From there, you can access a hike to Bath beach via an old train line. Head to New Castle earlier in the day so you'll have enough hours of sunlight for your many activities.
Angel's Cafeteria at Oistins Fish Market
Angel's Cafeteria is another sure-to-please outdoor dining option at the famous Fish Fry in Christ Church. Head to the venue early on a Friday evening to grab a drink and a meal before dancing starts later on in the evening. (If you will need a bit of liquid courage to join in, then that's all the reason to arrive even earlier.)
St. Nicholas Abbey in St. Peter is a historic establishment that every cultural traveler should add to their itinerary. Sign up for a tour of the property for an immersive look into Bajan history and culture, and learn about the world-class rum varietals that are still produced all over the island.
Afterwards, carve out time for lunch at The Terrace Café. Just note that during the high season (November through May), it is reserved solely for customers who've paid general admission to the abbey. The culinary experience (not to mention the local rum) will be worth the advanced planning.