The best local restaurants in Barbados serve up authentic, traditional dishes created from tried and tested recipes. Sometimes you need to eat where the locals do to get to the heart of a nation’s cuisine and enjoy a flavoursome meal.

    While it’s a treat to enjoy fine dining on a Caribbean island such as Barbados, sometimes paring back and keeping it simple and unfussy is just as rewarding. From sociable fish fries to well-established beach shacks and bakeries, there’s plenty of choices if you’re seeking a local restaurant in Barbados serving the best local Bajan dishes. Here are our top picks.

    1

    Oistins Fish Fry

    A highlight of the Barbados culinary week

    The legendary Oistins Fish Fry in Barbados sees hundreds of locals and visitors flock to the waterfront to feast. Though you can dine here any night of the week, Friday is party night and not to be missed. Among the top spots at the seafood market are Fred’s Bar & Restaurant, Chillin & Grillin, and Uncle George’s Fish Net Broil.

    A host of small restaurants and shacks provide all sorts of seafood cooked to order: mahi-mahi, marlin, lobster, swordfish, tuna, and of course, the obligatory flying fish. Though the setting is rustic, the service is top-notch and the music – an eclectic mix of calypso, reggae, ska and pop – provides an up-tempo soundtrack to accompany the scene.

    Location: Oistins Fish Fry, Oistins, Barbados

    Open: Daily from 6 pm until late (busiest on Fridays)

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    photo by David Berkowitz (CC BY 2.0) modified

    2

    R.A. Mapp

    Popular Bridgetown takeout specializing in chicken

    R.A. Mapp is a popular takeout inside a convenient location in downtown Bridgetown that specializes in rotisserie chicken. Despite the focus of its menu, it also features accompaniments such as macaroni, coleslaw and Caesar salad. Perhaps its tasty barbecue sauce recipe is what sets it apart – the same special condiment has been used for 20 years.

    Service is swift and friendly, elevating this spot beyond a regular chicken and chips joint. You’ll need to be prepared to queue, but there’s a reason people wait in line.

    Location: Highway 2, Bridgetown, Barbados

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +1 246-426-5953

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    3

    Cheapside Public Market

    Grand market hall with food stalls on the upper level

    Cheapside Public Market hosts the largest collection of food stalls in Bridgetown. It’s been around for decades and is the place to buy everything from ripe mangoes to sweet peppers. While the locals shop for their fruit and vegetables, meat and spices (fish is sold from a separate building just down the road), if you’re hungry, the real action is upstairs.

    At this upper level, you’ll find a variety of food stalls cooking up some of the best street food in the capital. Everyone’s well catered for, with vegan choices like plantain cutters alongside fish cakes and spicy roti flatbread.

    Location: Cheapside Rd, Bridgetown, Barbados

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 5 pm

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    4

    Cuzz’s Fish Stand

    Longstanding no-frills fish shack on Pebbles Beach

    Cuzz’s Fish Stand, also referred to as Cuz’s Fish Shack and Cuzz’ Café, is a Pebbles Beach institution. This family-run Bajan business has been serving up delicious fish cutters for decades. Cuzz Sr. gotten the ball rolling. Until he died in 1998, he did a roaring trade in marlin fillet, lightly fried in soybean oil and served in a salt bread bun. His son then took up the reins and this humble fish stand continues to go from strength to strength.

    At Cuzz’s Fish Stand, locals nip down in their lunch break to queue with visitors who’ve been drawn by its island-wide reputation. It’s worth checking out when you’re in Barbados.

    Location: Pebbles Beach, Bridgetown, Barbados

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11 am to 6.30 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +1 246-254-8928

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    5

    Fisherman’s Pub

    Casual pub grub by the sea

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    Fisherman’s Pub in Speightstown is a great go-to for enjoying pub grub by the pier, overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The spot began life as a rum bar. It branched out into food and now serves authentic Bajan staples such as sweet potatos with lamb, peas and rice, macaroni pie, pepper pot and of course, the national dish: cou cou and flying fish.

    Dine inside where it’s cool or on the terrace overlooking the beach as the sun sinks into the ocean. Sometimes there’s a steel band supplying a heavenly soundtrack of calypso music. Other times, you’ll find a live DJ giving the place a different kind of beat.

    Location: 4 Church St Gardens Rd, Speightstown, Barbados

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 246-422-2703

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    6

    Mustor’s Restaurant

    An unpretentious dining spot close to the Careenage

    Mustor’s is a restaurant close to Bridgetown’s Careenage and easily spotted thanks to a bright red paint job. It’s known for its hospitality and simple, authentically Bajan food. Beef stew is its signature dish, accompanied by a choice of rice, macaroni pie, cornmeal cou cou or mashed potato.

    Wash everything down with a mauby, a drink made from the bark of the mauby tree flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and orange peel. The many pins on the map on the wall prove this place has hosted visitors from all over the world.

    Location: Mc. Gregor St, Bridgetown, Barbados

    Open: Monday–Friday from 7 am to 3 pm, Saturday from 8 am to 2 pm

    Phone: +1 246-426-5175

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    7

    Cooke’s Finest Inc.

    A Bridgetown bakery serving a wide range of cakes and desserts

    Cooke’s Finest is a notable local Bridgetown business that’s owned and run by a banker turned baker. Frustrated by the lack of variety of cakes and desserts on the island, Cooke decided to do something about it. Testing out his recipes on friends and colleagues, he received positive feedback.

    Quitting the day job, he started out selling fruit salads at the local farmer’s market but quickly branched out into cakes, cheesecakes, pies and pastries. Demand grew quickly, allowing Cooke to open first a shop and now this cafe, which also offers a great brunch at weekends. Their 9-inch special pies and dark chocolate gourmet strawberries are heavenly.

    Location: Warrens Terrace, St. Michael BB00000, Barbados

    Open: Daily from 7.30 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 246-537-2447

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    8

    DeSweetPotBarGrill

    Casual dining in Speightstown, a stone’s throw from the sea

    DeSweetPotBarGrill is a family-friendly restaurant on the edge of Speightstown. Located on the main highway opposite the bus terminal, it’s easy to find and is ideal for lunch or dinner while you’re waiting for a ride. Just a few minutes’ stroll down Major Walk, you’ll reach the coast and the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean.

    Menu staples like fish and chips or ribs and rice are reasonably priced and there’s usually something to indulge a sweet tooth, such as apple crumble or a big slab of creamy cheesecake.

    Location: #4 Church St Gardens Speightstown, BB26013, Barbados

    Open: Tuesday and Wednesday from 1 pm to 10 pm, Thursday and Friday from 1 pm to 10.30 pm, Saturday from noon to 11 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 9.30 pm

    Phone: +1 246-251-4927

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    9

    Chicken George and Yankey Joe’s Beach Bar

    Relaxed beach bar serving basic Bajan dishes

    Chicken George and Yankey Joe’s is a beach bar serving food on Accra Beach in Rockley, on Barbados’ beautiful south coast. Today, the original owner’s son has taken up the reins from Chicken George, but the food and the atmosphere are as good as ever.

    Order broiled or fried shrimp, fish or chicken – whatever you choose is cooked fresh to order. Wash it down with a rum punch and join the locals as you embrace the idea of “liming“, the Caribbean term for hanging out with friends.

    Location: Rockley Beach, Bridgetown, Barbados

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm, Sunday from 10.30 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +1 246-828-5974

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    10

    Lefties

    Breakfast bar on the beach close to the racecourse

    Lefties is a small eatery close to the water at the southern end of Pebbles Beach. Forget hotel breakfasts – this is the place to come for your first meal of the day, whether you’re looking for a bacon sandwich, an omelet or something a little more substantial.  

    The cool temperatures of the early morning are an ideal time for the jockeys to exercise their racehorses at nearby Garrison Savannah. As a consequence, it’s not entirely unexpected to see them refuel at Lefties when they bring their horses down for a swim.

    Location: Aquatic Gap, Bridgetown, Barbados

    Open: Daily from 4 am to 8 am

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    Julia Hammond | Contributing Writer

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