Where to Really Eat in Barbados!

Although Barbados is known for its fabulous four-and  five-star restaurants, I have found that some of the best food on island can actually be found in more casual, downright simple establishments such as fish fry stalls, pudding ‘n souse eateries and beach bars.

A fish fry is basically dinner at your local fish market. The fishermen come in from a day’s worth of fishing to cook up their catch du jour at their fish market.  Fish served can include tuna, swordfish, marlin, mahi mahi and flying fish. If you are lucky, lobster may also be on the grill at an affordable price. You can get your fish grilled or fried depending on which vendor you choose. It’s all cooked on the spot as you order.

Oistin’s Fish Fry is by far the largest and has become quite commercialized with readily-built stalls, music and even a dance floor.  If you get there early, the sunsets (especially during the winter months) are spectacular, romantic, but the scene may be a tad smelly! If you get there after 8 p.m. you may be out of luck – ‘certainly for the sunsets but especially for the food, as this village is simply Barbados’s largest and most popular restaurant on a Friday night.

A MACO favorite is the Fish Fry at Six Men’s Bay on the West Coast. I pack my own cooler of Champers and wine, take a full table setting (including cloth napkins and candelabras) and invite friends for a shabby-chic meal on a wooden table on the beach.

Whilst beach bars are a rarity on island, there are two which serve delicious fish dishes. JuJu’s and Ramshakle are both nestled amongst the hottest restaurants on the West Coast and are beach huts, with VIP clientele.

For meat lovers, pudding ‘n souse is devoured on weekends (mainly on  Saturdays). Unlike English pudding, which is traditionally made from blood, Barbadians make a steamed pudding of spiced sweet potatoes and darkened with browning to give that signature dark look of a traditional blood pudding. This is then served with souse, a pickle made of pig trotters (pig’s feet), pig’s face, pig’s ears, pork shoulder (pork butt), chicken feet or cow’s face. Along with the meat, there is a slightly vinegary sauce spiced with hot peppers, cucumbers and an array of herbs. Breadfruit, when in season, is sometimes added to the pickle, which is soft and delectable.

Pudding ‘n’ souse is very personal, and everyone has his or her favorite places to enjoy the dish. Some of the best pudding ‘n souse eateries can be found at the Golden Sands Hotel in Maxwell, Lemon Arbour in St John and, in St Phillip, at Neville’the Souse Man, who is a policeman during the week.

What are your favourites?

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