When you think of great foodie destinations around the world, Barbados may not be on your radar. It certainly wasn’t on ours before our recent trip to the island. We landed in Barbados to embark on a cruise with Starclippers (read about our Royal Clipper adventure); however, after we returned to Bridgetown (final port), we extended our stay so we could explore Barbados in more depth. It was a great decision btw (read our article on Exploring Barbados and A Very Unique Caribbean Experience that includes tidbits on some of the nearby islands).
We were pleasantly surprised by how many great restaurants we encountered, particularly in the southern part of the island. Let’s take a look.
Because Tapas Barbados is on the beach and a short walk from our hotel, we ended up dining here three times during our stay. There are two levels, both of which overlook the sea which is a stone’s throw away. Cocktails are the order of the day here, especially for lunch.
In fact, all of their dishes were so beautiful that it took a moment to marvel in awe before diving in.
Below, the Tuna Carpaccio with Capers-Olives Salad and Citronette.
There were plenty of fresh healthy salads to choose from and given its Italian influence (one of the owners is Italian – we met him on our second visit), there was a lovely selection of pasta dishes as well. A few worth mentioning include Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken or Shrimp, Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce & Goat Cheese, Black Belly Lamb Baked Rigatoni and their Mushroom Truffle Risotto with Taleggio Cheese & Oyster Mushrooms. Fish was plentiful as well (after all, we were right on the ocean’s edge), so we couldn’t resist their Caciucco Mare, otherwise known as the Fish Pot, which included the catch of the day, mussels, clams and shrimp in a tomato, olive-capers sauce.
Cocktail Kitchen in St. Lawrence Gap
Cocktail Kitchen is located in the heart of St. Lawrence Gap, a trendy popular nighttime spot where locals hang for cocktails, live music and dining, especially on weekends. This casual place will appeal to millennials with its high-energy vibe and loud music.
The food is particularly good btw, which you wouldn’t necessarily expect by its casual decor and location (a busy bustling corner in St. Lawrence Gap). Behind the delicious dishes is the Top Chef in the Caribbean: Chef of the Year Damian Leach.
Below is a shot of the restaurant by day. Note that you can dine inside downstairs or up on the top balcony (covered), which has glittering lights on the ceiling. This is where we opted to dine and each of the tables had romantically lit candles.
Let’s move to their food. Local favorites include the Roast Breadfruit & Lobster or the Catch of the Moment but there’s plenty more on the menu. Small bites include Shrimp Ceviche with Citrus Juice, Cilantro, Red Onion and Breadfruit Crisps, Pulled Pork & Bakes with Coleslaw and Onion Rings, Smoked Black Belly Lamb Risotto with Created Roasted Pumpkin and Goat Cheese, and Tuna Carpaccio with Black Garlic Oil, Crispy Onions and Avocado Puree. We opted for something a little different: the Braised Oxtail pulled off the bone, Potato Goat Cheese Croquettes with Spiced Pineapple Chutney (below).
For his entree, Anthony ordered the Coconut & Ginger Crusted Catch which came with ginger sweet potato puree and coconut curry broth. Yum, right?
We typically order wine with our meal even if we sample cocktails to start; however, given that Cocktail Kitchen is renowned for their cocktails, we had one before dinner and another during our meal . . . they were that good.
For my main course, I had the boneless presidential Pork Chop, which they serve with Brown Butter Potato Puree, Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Sauteed Onions. Simply put, it was divine.
A few other interesting dishes include their Sausage & Bacon Penne which they serve with Roasted Pumpkin and Parmesan/Sage Crumble and their vegetarian bites, such as the Beet Root Poke Bowl, a 3-Bean Taco and the Roast Breadfruit (a dish they’re known for). It is finished with Cilantro Chimichurri and Fried Capers.
We sampled food and drinks at two of the restaurants at the O2 Beach Club & Spa. Their options include Elements, which offers a great Mimosa breakfast, as well as themed menus from around the globe for lunch and dinner; Oro, which is their fine-dining experience with a vintage modern style and exquisite views from the 9th floor, Bluefin (where we had lunch), which offers a casual open-air beachside grill and pizza oven, and Brisa, which has a cozy, nautically themed rooftop tapas lounge with small bites and great cocktails, fine rums and liqueurs, all with an amazing 270 degree view.
Lastly, Oasis in the poolside lounge has specialty coffees, spiked mochas (YUM) and sweets. They also offer a unique personalized experience at their Chef’s Table with rum or wine paring for couples or groups of up to 12 for an incredible gastronomic event.
We had lunch at the Blue Fin and sat outside on the open-air patio, which has a great Caribbean holiday vibe. They have a number of really fresh options on the menu, including the Quinoa & Avocado Salad (we started with this one), the Lebanese Fattoush Salad with Citrus Dressing, Fish Tacos, the Brussel Orzo Salad with Grilled Asparagus and the Grilled Veggie & Goat Cheese Salad with Zucchinis and Mushrooms.
I had to order the Seafood Skewer which came with Grilled Scallops, Salmon & Shrimp and a Garlic Herb Butter. It was the perfect dish for mid-day, together with a glass of Chardonnay to accompany it.
They also offer a variety of casual locally inspired bites as well, such as Bajan Fish Cakes with a Hot Sauce Dip, Jerk Pork Skewers, a Barbeque Burger with Cheese and Bacon or their Signature O2 Steak Sandwich with Mushrooms. Divine, right? There’s also plenty of Gourmet Pizza options, which is great if you have kids in tow.
For dessert, they offered a Rum & Raisin Pound Cake (below), a Chocolate Brownie, Homemade Churros (perfect, right?), Fruit Salad or Bread Pudding in a Rum Butter Sauce.
Cerulean is most sophisticated fine dining restaurant at the Sea Breeze Beach House and its internationally focused menu is scrumptious. The décor features rich blues with gold accents inspired by the deep blue and gold of the evening sea and sky.
Before we sat down, one of the chefs called me over to their open-air kitchen and asked me if I wanted to try one of these bacon delights. How could I refuse? Okay, so I had two. They were so delicious; what a great way to get me ready for the meal ahead.
Appetizers included enticing dishes such as a Breadfruit Crab Cake with Pickled Beets & Roasted Red Peppers, a Salt Bake Celeriac with Carrot & Coconut Puree, a Honey-Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Caramelized Nuts, Cumin & Thyme Fried Cream Cheese, or the Chicken & Mushroom Profiterole with Saffron Cream Sauce.
We opted for the Seared Scallops with Citrus Salsa, Yam Puree, and Tobiko and Micro Greens as well as the Passion Fruit Ceviche, served with Local Fish, Avocado and Mint Mousse.
For mains, there were plenty of great choices as well, whether you’re a steak or seafood lover or a vegetarian (they had a great Roasted Veggie Quinoa for example, served with a Squash Puree and Black Beans, as well as a Pumpkin Risotto and a Roasted Veggie Trio with Ginger Jus).
A few call-outs include the 4-Hour Sous Vide Pork with Sweet Potato Mash, Carrot & Red Peppercorn Sauce, a Rosemary Crusted Lamb Rack with Spinach, Carrot Puree, Rustic Breadfruit & Mint Jus, and their Charred Grilled Steak with Mushrooms and Pumpkin Ginger Puree
Notice all the ginger and pumpkin right? Both are laced throughout the menu in both meat and vegetarian dishes.
For my entree, I ordered the Pan-Seared Salmon which they serve with Asparagus, Red Bliss Potatoes, Saffron Cream Sauce & Honey Mandarin. Yum! It was beautifully presented as well.
Anthony opted for the Sous Vide Pork and once again, an elegant display all around.
Like most great restaurants in Barbados, they offered a great assortment of both wine and cocktails, especially Rum-Infused Cocktails. For example, their Seaside Eclipse was wonderful, which they make with Eclipse Rum, Silver Rum, Lime Juice, Cranberry Juice and Simple Syrup.
Dessert options were equally delish. We shared two desserts: the Chocolate Petite Gateau with Mango & Lemon Fluid Gel, Orange Cheese, Caramel & Cream and the Coconut Cheesecake, which was accompanied by Stewed Pineapple and Guava Puree. Both had us at hello. We ended our evening in heaven with these well-selected scrumptious sweets and two cappuccinos.
Other dining options there include Mahogany Lounge for chic décor. The lounge celebrates the majestic mahogany trees that were once on the site by incorporating them into the design of the furniture. On the menu, you’ll find Bajan and Caribbean cuisine with a modern international flair. There’s open-air seating and a trendy beachside bar which we loved. The Aqua Terra restaurant is a bit more casual and is open for lunch and dinner. They are known for their fresh seafood and steaks. There is also a casual lounge seating under the shade of umbrellas along the sunset deck here.
The Flying Fish is located just off the beach and adjacent to the family pool where you can order many family-friendly choices hot off the grill or pizzas, pastas and salads. It’s great for cocktails as well. De Rum Shop Café is a wonderful choice for Bajan pastries, such as filled rolls and sweet treats along with local juices, smoothies and healthy shakes. You can also try the Bajan Rum Punch or customized rum-infused gourmet coffees. Tipsy on the Beach is a chic open-air beach bar and lounge where you can order cocktails and snacks. Private dining options are available in the tiffany gazebo or under the stars on the deck.
As soon as we set foot in Barbados and started asking around about great restaurants, Champers came up again and again. And so, we were thrilled when we learned that our Barbados Tourism Board hosts had arranged our final night’s dinner at this foodie gem along the coast.
The ambiance is elegant inside and out. Note below how it extends into an open-air deck overlooking the ocean, which is where we sat on that fine night.
While we were waiting for our table, a waiter greeted us with cocktails. Of course, they had rum. A few non-rum examples include the Sea-Clusion made with Ophir Gin, Cucumber, Lime, Salt & Pepper, the Ginger Smash made with Absolut Orient Apple Vodka, Ginger Syrup, Mint & Pineapple, and their Lotus Petal, made with Raspberry Vodka, Cassis, Fresh Lemon, Strawberry and Cranberry. With rum, how about their Spicy Affair, which is served with White Rum, Guava, Fresh Lime, Scotch Bonnet and Pineapple. Tempting right?
The food certainly lived up to its hype as did the ambiance. Here are a few amazing starters on the menu to get your juices flowing: Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Tart, Camembert Fritti, Lobster Tacos, Spring Rolls, Chicken Liver Pate and Coconut Shrimp with Cabbage & Apple Slaw. There’s also the Roasted Duck Leg with Cous Cous and Plum Gel Micro Salad.
We went with lighter options, and ordered one of their featured dishes: Seared Scallops with Bacon Mash, Creamy Leeks and Tropical Fruit Salsa. It was heavenly to say the least. Perfect pairing was a nice Sauvignon Blanc which I ordered by the glass as we had cocktails to start.
Main courses included an Oven Seabass with Parmesan Gnocchi, Seared Ahi Tuna with a Quinoa Salad and Zucchini Fritti and the Surf and Turf, which was a half of a lobster and four ounces of a Fillet Mignon with Garlic Mash. Anthony went for the Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Garlic & Potato Puree, Grilled Veggies and a Thyme & Port Reduction.
Other great entree options included an Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb with Minted Pea Puree, potatoes and veggies, an Oven Roasted Barracuda with Parmesan & Herbs, creamed potatoes and seasonal vegetables, and Sauteed Prawns in a Thai Curry and coconut sauce. Vegetarians would love their Medley of Chickpea & Lentils in a Madras Curry or their Wok-Seared Vegetables with Asian Noodles, Tofu and Toasted Sesame Seeds. Two thumbs up! We would definitely return.
Although we didn’t dine at The Crane Resort, we did spend some time there. It’s a massive property and there are several restaurants on-site: The Zen, L’Azure, D’Onofrio’s, The Carriage House, The Grove, The Village Cafe and a bar. Below is one of them with porch seating and great nature views.
A more casual option at The Crane, also on an outside veranda is below.
The O2 Beach Club & Spa’s ninth-floor Oro Restaurant has breathtaking views of the South Coast of Barbados. It is elegantly designed and you could say, opulent in every way. Luxury dining at its best.
For appetizers, they have a wonderful crab bake, a Forest Mushroom Soup with Whipped Cream & Chives and a Crispy Goat Salad (yum) to mention a few. Like most Barbados coastal restaurants, seafood is a specialty. Here, they offer Jumbo Scallops with Bacon, Onion and Apple, or a Caribbean Lobster Tail and always have a Fish of the Day dish.
Vegetarians can go for their Truffle Mushroom Risotto, a Ricotta and Spinach Filled Pasta with pesto and tomato on top, Cauliflower Cutlet with homemade yoghurt, or the Grilled Portobello Caps (amazing) with Bousin Cheese Crostini. Meat lovers will love their 48-hour braised Lamb Shank or the Herb Roasted Lamb Rack with a Cabernet Sauce, the Classic Roast Duck with Blackcurrant Sauce and Red Cabbage, or their Filet Mignon with Roasted Carrots and Butternut Squash. I love Pork Belly and they had it on the menu with Parsnip Puree (interesting choice), and Apple Slaw.
Bottom line, the ambiance and service are hard to beat. There’s a reason that this gem of a restaurant is so popular – be sure to make a reservation if you go. For more information, visit their website.
Worthing Square Food Garden
Worthing Square Food Garden is also located on the south coast, which is where we spent most of our time. This outdoor food hall is filled with 20 or so street food canteens and pop-up food trucks, each offering unique cuisine and dishes. The fun offerings here come from Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and Venezuela. There’s even a Mount Gay bar and an ice cream parlor.
We went there during the day; below are a few snapshots on a sunny afternoon.
Barbados has no shortage of cocktails as we have mentioned throughout this article. Every restaurant offers them but you can also find great cocktails right on the beach. Below, we ordered two scrumptious Pina Coladas at a casual eatery on Rockley Beach, a short two minute walk from Tapas Barbados.
Restaurants @ a Glance
Below is a short video highlighting the food in Barbados. Enjoy!
Other Resources: Related Articles
- A Very Unique Caribbean Experience
- Exploring the Heart of Barbados
- Great Stays in Barbados
- Sailing the Caribbean on The Royal Clipper
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.
She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.
Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.
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