There is this lingering question many ask about Barbados;
Why is the island the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean?
To answer simply, Barbados has over 400 diverse restaurants and eateries.
On the island, you can indulge in street food, international cuisine and of course the best Bajan food.
The island is also home to the Barbados Food and Rum Festival; one of the most sought-after festivals in the world. This year the festival takes place from October 19th – 22nd and can be described as the ultimate foodie dream weekend.
For a foodie, attending the Festival is probably the best time to visit the island but if bad luck strikes and you can’t attend, there are still a myriad of restaurants and eateries on the island to tantalize your tastebuds.
To take it a step further, based on the letters that spell out Culinary Capital of the Caribbean, we will give you a list of diverse restaurants and eateries you can try on your next trip to Barbados.
You cannot travel to Barbados without trying something from Chefette. This is the island’s local fast-food chain, known for its tasty broasted chicken. It’s also one of Rihanna’s favourite food spots on the island.
Located at Sugar Bay Hotel, Umi offers savoury Asian-Fusion specialities. You can treat yourself to traditional and contemporary sushi as well as Asian-themed cocktails.
L - La Cabane
When you think of dining in paradise, La Cabane gets it right. This seaside feet-in-the-sand dining experience makes every meal unforgettable with its Mediterranean style cuisine.
I - Il Tempio
They say when you enter as a guest you leave as a friend. This authentic Italian restaurant is situated on the west coast of the island and has been dubbed “the best Italian food in Barbados” by late Italian opera singer Luciano Pavarotti.
N - Nishi Restaurant
Enjoy a diverse menu of English, Caribbean and Asian dishes at one of the island’s most popular sushi restaurants. Be sure to try the Volcano Maki Roll and thank us later.
A - Asian Spice Indian Restaurant
If you love the taste of authentic Indian flavours and aromas, then this is the restaurant for you. The Asian Spice Restaurant offers a wide variety of authentic Mughlai cuisine, which is one of the most popular cuisines in North India.
R - Round House Restaurant
With the world-famous “Soup Bowl” as your backdrop, spend your day on the scenic East Coast basking in Continental Caribbean cuisine. Round House offers unique history, great food, friendly people and a nice mellow vibe.
Y - Yelluh Meat
Let Yelluh Meat ignite your tastebuds with their flavourful breadfruit bowls. Filled with fresh ingredients, an assortment of meats and plenty love, these breadfruit bowls are a must try.
C – Champers
For Barbadians and even visitors, Champers is like home. It’s the go-to restaurant to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, graduations or any treasured milestone. This waterside dining offers delectable Bajan cuisine, picturesque views and a friendly atmosphere.
With a tagline of ‘Fabulous Foods’, Ackee Tree’s specialty is roti. They offer a variety of flavours and fillings including chicken, potato, pumpkin and lamb just to name a few.
P- Primo Bar & Bistro
Primo is a bistro with style. It is a TripAdvisor Travelers’ choice and offers a diverse selection of international cuisine. You can try the Moroccan Curry, Greek Salmon or even the Lebanese Catch of the Day.
I- Irie Foods
Taste a bit of Jamaica at Irie Foods. Enjoy Jamaican delights like jerk chicken, rice & peas, oxtail, patties, ackee and saltfish and so much more.
Situated on the south coast boardwalk, just a few feet away from the water’s edge is Tapas. The food is one thing but many rave about the drinks, especially the Botanist Botanical Punch.
A-Aeon Bar & Grill
Open daily, Aeon Bar is known for its affordable dining and exceptional entertainment. There is always some type of special being offered but many love to flock to the bar and grill whenever it’s Disney Karaoke night.
L - La Baguette French Bakery
La Baguette makes your day a little sweeter with their fresh French bread and pastries. Every morning the bakery’s boulanger (baker) prepares various baked goods from scratch including baguettes, croissants, pain au chocolat and more.
O - Oistins
No one in the world can grill a fish like a Bajan and Oistins Bay Garden is where you can taste why. Friday night is the best time to experience the world-renowned Oistins Fish Fry where you can have various fish with grilled potatoes, macaroni pie, rice & peas and various salads.
F - FriiGuys
What started out as a gourmet food truck, is now one of the island’s number one choices for anything fries. Located in Worthing Square, Barbados’ food truck hub, and the West Coast, you can revel in their home-cut fries with calamari, BBQ wings, shrimp, chicken and steak.
T - The Cliff
Originally opened in 1995, the Cliff quickly became world-renowned as Barbados’ pemier dining destination. Its food, service and ambience were unparalleled. Reopened in 2022, the restaurant’s glass sea-facing kitchen allows guests to catch a glimpse of the culinary team as they create dishes that excite the eyes and wow the taste buds.
H - Harlequin Restaurant
Described as casual starlight dining, Harlequin Restaurant prides itself on being vegetarian-friendly offering a menu for any type of food lover. If you get the chance to pop in, you must order the pina colada cheesecake.
E - Eco Lifestyle + Lodge
Barbados is a sustainable destination so of course one can find farm-to-fork experiences on the island. Eco Lifestyle is a great option as it offers a tropically-inspired plant-based menu. Dining here can always be quite spontaneous as the menu changes with the season.
C -Cuzz’s Fish Stand
Perfectly seasoned grilled fish, sandwiched between soft fresh bread, topped with lettuce, tomato and your choice of condiments; a perfect fish sandwich. That’s what you get at Barbados’ favourite Fish stand.
A - ArtSplash Cafe
ArtSplash provides the best, healthiest and locally sourced food possible with their selection of fresh breakfasts, lunches, snack, juices and smoothies. They also serve Lavazza Coffee that can be enjoyed alongside Free Wifi and their art gallery.
R - Rum Vault
The Rum Vault is the first of its kind on the island of Barbados and is perfect for a date night. In this intimate dining experience, the Vault Chef and Rum Ambassadors take you on a culinary journey featuring exquisite rum-pairing dining experiences as well as rum-tasting flights.
I - Italia Coffee
This list would not be complete without mentioning a Frescante Espresso from Italia Coffee. This cup of magic is a favourite at the island’s leading coffee house. You can also sip coffee from all over the world as there’s always a daily brew.
B - Baia
Baia takes inspiration from the diverse culture and deep gastronomical heritage of Latin America. Situated on the famed West Coast, Baia brings to the Caribbean mouthwatering Peruvian-fusion food, exceptional cocktails and live entertainment in a laid-back, rustic luxurious setting.
B- Bikini Beach Barbados
This is the island’s newest seaside restaurant and beach club located on the West Coast. The menu is a fusion of Caribbean, American and International favourites. This is a great atmosphere to unwind and relax while being served a delish teriyaki pineapple bowl.
E - East Moon
Locals have said this is arguably one of the best Chinese restaurants on the island where you can enjoy all your favourite Chinese dishes. The food is authentic, the service is great and it is well priced.
A - Atlantis Historic Inn
Sundays in Barbados are best spent with a plate filled with rice, macaroni pie, meats and every kind of salad possible. That’s why you should definitely try Atlantis' famous Sunday buffet lunch. It’s a guaranteed delight with delicious Bajan food, refreshing cocktails and a beautiful view.
N - Naniki Barbados
Nestled on the lush slopes of the scenic Scotland District, with a breathtaking view of the Atlantic is Naniki. Known for its “country dining” the menu features a variety of Caribbean delicacies, including; catch of the day, curried or grilled chicken or roast pork served with local favourites like yam, breadfruit, sweet potato and their special coconut bakes.
So, now that you have a very detailed guide and the lingering question has been answered, it’s time for you to eat your way through the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean…literally.
By: Rhe-Ann Prescod