The best six restaurants in Barbados – The very finest in Bajan cuisine
Barbados is undoubtedly one of the top destinations for resorts in the Caribbean, but for those of you who haven’t visited before, the added incentive of taking a vacation on the island has to be its impressive list of excellent restaurants.
So here goes: our top picks of the restaurants on the west coast of Barbados, or at least those within close proximity of our reviewed hotels. And make sure that you book reservations to dine well in advance, especially during peak travel times, and check the dress code as this is strictly enforced. Credit cards are always required for reservations, with fairly high cancellation and penalty charges being adhered to.
The Cliff Restaurant
Without doubt the most famous of all Barbados restaurants, The Cliff Restaurant will set you back a few BBDs, but there is nowhere better to spend a special occasion or a romantic dinner than this exquisite hot spot overlooking the sea. The tables are perched on tiers, with the most requested being the patio, or ‘railside’ as they call it. For those in the know, the reservation numbers from one to ten offer guaranteed railside tables, with 11 to 20 generally being railside also, depending on the size of your party. The service is excellent and at peak times it may turn out that a guest at a neighbouring table is an A-list celebrity or another well-known person. Get there early and have a pre-dinner drink at the bar on the upper level – great for people-watching. The food is fabulous, the presentation is superb, and you will leave planning your next meal here amongst the stars.
Cin Cin By The Sea
A more recent addition to the Barbados dining scene, Cin Cin was opened in 2011 and has given more established favourites a run for their money. Owned by husband-and-wife team Larry and Michelle Rogers, its food is beautifully presented and the menu inventive. The setting is well thought out, with a beautifully designed main bar area where patrons can enjoy pre-dinner cocktails followed by a meal either inside, with sea views through large picture windows, or al fresco on the large, open-air terrace. Best tables to request are ‘railside’, outdoors, but again these are limited and should be booked well in advance. For those looking for something a bit less formal, nibbles in the bar are always an alternative.
A personal favourite for days when you seek a more laid-back approach, the Lone Star never gets it wrong. The menu offers comfort-food classics alongside Italian fare with a Caribbean twist. Situated directly on the beachfront, the venue has the feel of a breezy, chic beach bar. It is buzzy in atmosphere and is a favourite with many of the celebrity visitors to the island. Open from breakfast through dinner, with lunch and cocktails in between, reservations are usually required. Railside tables are the best, and this is also a particular favourite for New Year’s Eve should you be on the island at the time. Sunday lunch is also popular.
Sister of the London restaurant of the same name, Daphne’s is set directly behind Paynes Bay beach on Barbados’s west coast. It is beach chic in style but less trendy than other restaurants in the area. The style of cuisine is southern Italian with excellent antipasti platters of cured meats, plus delectable home-made pasta and desserts. Reservations are essential, especially during the peak winter months, and remember to request a beachside table. Arrive early and take advantage of the ‘happy hour’ for cocktails from 5pm until 7pm – try the signature Watermelon Martini.
The Tides Restaurant
A long-standing and firm favourite of regulars to Barbados, The Tides is more traditional in style than some of the others listed here but with its unique setting (trees growing through the roof) and the lush tropical greenery all around, it is a beautiful location at night. Make sure you request waterfront tables to get the nicest views and position. Situated on the waterfront by Holetown, Tides claims to use the freshest local ingredients. Seafood is the chef’s speciality but the menu is varied and all dishes have an Asian influence. Don’t miss the Oreo Cookie and Mars Bar Cheesecake: the calories involved are off the charts but you are on holiday…
The Atlantis Hotel
For something completely different, we suggest that anyone staying in Barbados should take a trip over to the dramatic and wild east coast; it’s a striking contrast to the calm west coast. Wednesday and Sunday lunchtimes are a great time to visit to dip into Atlantis’s famous West Indian Buffet Lunch, where the menu offers authentic Bajan and Caribbean cuisine. Opened as long ago as 1884, the hotel has undergone many facelifts over the years but still retains its original charm. Perched on a rugged hillside, it overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and is surrounded by some of the best scenery on the island.
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