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Food & Dining in Barbados

The choice of dining options in Barbados is practically endless. From fine dining to fast foods, the slew of restaurants is one of the most varied in the Caribbean. Here you can find seafood restaurants, steak houses, world-wide ethnic specialities, contemporary continental cuisine, lively bistros, and eateries specializing in Caribbean foods.

A melting pot of flavours, there are Italian and French restaurants, and some specifically Bajan places that serve planter's lunches, as well as snapper, mahi-mahi, and Arawak pepperpot soup. But they also have their fair share of Japanese and Mediterranean options and unique breakfast venues, places for tea, and other beach bars for fun and snacks. And, keeping up with the times, there is a selection of vegetarian restaurants.

Dining out in Barbados is an event and in high season, it is a good idea to make reservations in advance, or at least inquire to see if they are necessary. Many of the restaurants are quaint, intimate places and seating can be limited. Taxi service is available island-wide during dinner hours, so those who are worried about finding their way home can easily arrange for this type of transport. Some restaurants list prices in US currency, others in Barbados dollars. To convert to US, divide the Bajan dollars roughly in half. Also, it is often the custom to present the bill to diners only when they ask for it.

Many of the restaurants here have been touted by the likes of Gourmet Magazine and Bon Appetite, and chefs have received star after star in their ratings. In other words, dieting in Barbados is usually not an option.

Beginning in Speightstown on the West Coast is Mango's-by the Sea, a delightful restaurant right on the water serving grilled lobsters and steaks with delicious home-made desserts. The historic Cobblers Cove Hotel has a exciting restaurant featuring award-winning chefs and features special buffets and live music on some nights. In St. James, The Lone Star provides seafront dining and also features a caviar and cigar lounge.

There are numerous other fine restaurants in the St. James area, among them the Coral Reef Club, the Sandpiper, the Club House Restaurant at Royal Westmoreland, and the Ile de France. In nearby Holetown, there's Sakura Restaurant, serving Japanese cuisine, and Olive's Bar & Bistro, which is located in an old Bajan building. There's also the Townhouse Restaurant and Bar, Angry Annie's for drinks and/or dinner, and Ragamuffins, located in an old wooden chattel house. Another notable spot in the area is La Terra, which has a seaside restaurant and nightclub.

In Bridgetown, there are several excellent places, including The Waterfront Café, which serves flying fish and other local dishes in addition to providing jazz music, and the South Deck at Carlisle Bay, where the yachting set hang out.

Along the South Coast, and particularly in lively St. Lawrence Gap, there are dozens of places to eat. Josef's is owned by the man of the same name who has left his Austrian heritage to create a menu that highlights popular Caribbean delicacies. David's Place in St. Lawrence Gap focuses on plenty of fresh fish. Eat amid the twinkling lights strung along the waterfront at Pisces or at Bellini's Trattoria, where you can see the moonlight glisten on the sea. There's also The Garden Restaurant at the Southern Palms Beach Club, which has many West Indian dishes.

The St. James Parish has a bounty of restaurants, including the sister restaurants Fathoms and Carambola, located across the bay from each other. Carambola is the more elegant of the two, combining Caribbean, Asian and French cuisines. Fathoms specialises in local seafood. Alternatively, dine at The Cliff, which is appropriately perched above the oceanfront. The Restaurant at Sandy Lane is located at the well-known Sandy Lane Golf Course, with its renowned Sunday buffet. There's evening entertainment as well as good food at Treasure Beach in Paynes Bay.

Located in a grand plantation home is the Bagatelle Great House in St. Thomas, where the Caribbean Art Gallery is housed, and the food is well recommended. Il Tempio Italian Restaurant & Beach Bar has been touted by Pavarotti himself, and is excellent for a romantic dinner.





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