Dining Guide for Barbados: Cheap Eats

Dining Guide for Barbados: Cheap Eats

June 17, 2018 Indulge 0

Updated: January 8, 2019.

There’s a lot to love about Barbados: stunning white sand beaches with calm azure colored waters, consistent warm sunny days, and it’s relatively cleaner and safer than other Caribbean destinations. Since Barbados doesn’t have many all-inclusive resorts, you need to fend for yourself when it comes to food. Barbados calls itself “the culinary capital of the Caribbean” due to its diversity of food choices but in our opinion and experience, if there is one drawback to Barbados, it’s the food scene; it’s very expensive, somewhat generic, and a little pretentious. In this post, we’ve made a list of our favorite budget friendly and splurge worthy places to eat when we visit Barbados.

How to Use This Guide:

To make it easier, we have divided up the items in the list by region/parish and everything is in alphabetical order.

  • Refer to the Google Map: We created a Google Map and pasted some of the information from the blog post into the pin on the map. See above for the map.
  • Save pins to your Google Map: If you click on the link with the name of the restaurant, it will take you to a Google Map, where you can save the location to your own Google Map for future references.
  • Pricing: We have also included the post recent prices we found online in both Barbadian Dollars (Bds) and United States Dollars (USD) because the Barbadian dollar is pegged to the USD; whatever is charged in Bds just half and it will give you the price in USD.
  • The list itself: Everyone has different tastes and cravings when they travel and so this list is subjective. We also included a few places that are overrated in our opinion. We welcome feedback based on your experience so please leave comments!
  • Beaches and Other Attractions: Our map also includes recommendations for beaches and other activities on the island.
Reggae bus in Babados

Reggae bus in Barbados

All Over the Island:

Chefette

One of the only chain restaurants on the island, Chefette is a locally owned and operates fast-food restaurants across the island. Maybe it’s our love of their cheap and filling rotis and their rum raisin ice cream, but we end up eating here a few times per week. We’ve tried most things on the menu, including their broasted chicken but the roti has become our favorite; at the coast of $5USD, you get an all chicken roti that tastes somewhat healthy. You can eat there or get take-out and if you get take-out, it’s easy to stop by a grocery store to pick-up the items to make a salad to go with it. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you’ll appreciate the all potato and lentil rotis as well (I’m almost 100% sure they’re vegan!).

Chefette roti with homemade salads

Chefette roti with homemade salads

  • Eat here for: snacks, dessert, lunch, and dinner *vegetarian and vegan options
  • Offers: take-out or dine-in
  • Good for: everyone, including families as they often have large outdoor playgrounds
  • Payment methods: credit cards and cash
  • Website: http://www.chefette.com/

Grocery Stores/Produce Stands/Fish Markets

There are many grocery stores in Barbados where you can buy local and imported products if you’re staying in a condo style accommodation. We have a full kitchen where we stay and usually leverage that to enjoy meals at our hotel as opposed to always going out. For us, we don’t like driving at night so we tend to go out for lunch and get take-out for dinner or make our own dinner. Since you can drink the tap water in Barbados, you don’t have to worry about how to rinse lettuce and other greens. Since it is so warm in Barbados, they have a year-round growing season and their locally grown cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce is great. We’ve also bought chicken which we’ve used to make things like fajitas and to top salads. If you’re up to it, you can even visit a local fish market to purchase fish to cook and we’ve also made our own fish tacos. Spices and condiments do get expensive in Barbados which is why we take some items with us and leave what we don’t use behind for other guests or in our storage bin that stays at the hotel. We’ve never been overly excited by the restaurants and food scene in Barbados so we don’t mind eating more basic meals while we’re here but we will share our 2 favorite places to splurge at the end of this post.

Grocery store purchases

Grocery store purchases

  • Eat here for: pick-up things to cook at your hotel/condo
  • Offers: mostly products to make meals but most have delis and bakeries to buy pre-made items
  • Good for: everyone
  • Payment methods: credit cards and cash

St. Michael:

Cuz’s Fish Shack

Located on Brown’s Beach near Barbados Blue Watersports, Cuz’s Fish Shack is a small food stand that has been serving the famous Baja “fish cutter” for about 40 years to locals and tourists and some would argue it’s the place to go for the best fish cutter on the island. A fish cutter is a sandwich of fried fish (usually flying fish) in a salt bread bun with lettuce, tomato, with or without New Zealand white cheddar cheese and we recommend adding a bit of Bajan hot sauce for spice and extra flavor. Due to Sargassum seaweed affecting fishing conditions, there is not a lot of fish and so Cuz’s fish shack was closed around New Year’s 2019.

Fish cutters from Cuzz's Fish Shack

Fish cutters from Cuzz’s Fish Shack

Jason ordering at Cuzz's

Jason ordering at Cuzz’s

Fish cutters from Cuz’s are best enjoyed for an early lunch at the beach paired with a couple of cold Banks beers. On our last visit in February 2018, we ordered 8 cutters and 4 beers for 4 people and it cost us about$100Bds ($50USD), you can feed 4 people 1 beer each and 2 cutter’s each.

The tricky thing is to know when Cuz’s will be open because it varies and doesn’t always coincide with information online. While a lot of places say he opens at 09:00, it’s actually closer to 11:00. On some days, cruise ships bring busses full of people so the waits can be long but we’ve never waited longer than 10 minutes when we were there at opening.

  • Eat here for: brunch, lunch, snack
  • Offers: take-out only
  • Good for: everyone
  • Payment methods: cash

Leftie’s

Located at Needham’s Point just a few minutes’ walk from Cuz’s, Lefties is the place to go for a breakfast cutter if you’re staying in the area or visiting the beach in the morning. Leftie, also known as Andrew serves up a few different types of breakfast cutters: Fish and cheese, Fish, egg and cheese, Bacon and egg, Egg and cheese, etc. Prices range from $5Bds$ ($2.50USD) to $15Bds ($7.50USD) depending on what you’re getting. Leftie is also not always offering fish on his sandwiches as there isn’t a lot of fish right now due to the Sargassum seaweed.

Lefties food stall

Lefties food stall

  • Eat here for: casual breakfast, snack
  • Offers: take-out only
  • Good for: everyone
  • Payment methods: cash

Sahara Arabic Grill and Falafel

Located in the Garrison area in St. Michael parish and close to Brownes Beach, Sahara offers Middle Eastern food for those wishing to dine in or takeout. Owned and operated by a Syrian family who has settled in Barbados, Sahara has become our favourite restaurant in Barbados due to how delicious, healthy, and affordable the food is. The menu features a variety of grilled meats and falafel served kebab style in wraps or in platters with sides like salads and hummus. We just found out they now serve breakfast and will be updating this post after our visit in February 2019 with more information.

Menu and food counter at Sahara Arabic Grill and Falafel

Menu and food counter at Sahara Arabic Grill and Falafel

Our go-to is the lamb plate with tabbouleh salad, pita, hummus, spicy and garlic sauce for $25Bds which is about $12.50USD. It might seem a little expensive for take-out or the basic no-frills dining room but it is definitely a good bargain based on the quantity to quality ratio because everything is made fresh to order.

Lamb platter with tabbouleh and hummus from Sahara

Lamb platter with tabbouleh and hummus from Sahara

If you are ordering take-out, we recommend us the online ordering system or if you are dining in, you can use their online table reservation system. If we don’t bring the food back to our hotel, we take it to the beach and eat a picnic table with a view of the ocean.

  • Eat here for: lunch, dinner and now breakfast.
  • Offers: take-out or dine-in and reservations are accepted
  • Good for: everyone and family friendly
  • Payment methods: cash
  • Website: https://www.saharaorders.com/

Oistins:

Irie Foods

Located in the St Lawrence Gap, Irie Foods serves up Jamaican food in a friendly and clean setting. You can either dine-in or get take-out and order meals by the plate or by weight. Our usual mixed feast consists of jerk pork, jerk chicken, escoveitched fish, and rotis that we cut up to share and eat alongside a few salads for dinner at our hotel. Rotis are $15Bds ($7.50USD) and plate meals $25Bds-$30Bds ($12.50USD-$15USD).

Take-out from Irie Foods and homemade salads

Take-out from Irie Foods and homemade salads

  • Eat here for: lunch and dinner
  • Offers: take-out or dine-in
  • Good for: everyone and family friendly
  • Payment methods: cash or credit card

Kermitt’s Bar

Located in Christ Church is Kermitt’s bar, a typical “rum shop” in Barbados that serves food and drinks. Specializing in plate lunches, Kermitt’s is known for its rotisserie chicken. A popular plate is grilled chicken with salad and macaroni pie or fries and we recommend you check their Instagram daily to see what the menu is. You can eat at Kermitt’s and get takeout. Since there is no air conditioning and little shade at the picnic tables, you can stay for a beer or two and take the food to go.

Surfer’s Cafe

Located on Welches Beach in the Oistins area, Surfer’s Café is a full-service all-day dining restaurant with lovely views of the ocean in a laid-back casual atmosphere. While they’re more Tex-Mex than Mexican, the fish tacos at Surfer’s Cafe use local fish to create delicious and healthy tacos that taste very fresh because they’re made to order; two soft flour tortillas filled with fried or grilled flying fish, cabbage tossed in cilantro, diced tomatoes, guacamole topped with Greek yogurt. The tacos cost $26Bds ($13USD) and other lunch/dinner menu items range from $22Bds-$55Bds.  Our usual meal for 4 people which includes 4 orders of tacos and 2 Banks beers per person costs $200Bds ($100Bds) with tax and tip. Most things here are made to order and service can be a little spotty so plan for a leisurely brunch, lunch or dinner.

View from our table at Surfer's Cafe

View from our table at Surfer’s Cafe

If there is one thing that can be annoying here, it’s that one person sitting at the premium table on the balcony drinking a coffee and spending hours on their laptop. If you would like a specific table, we recommend calling and making a reservation in advance as it can get busy. Surfer’s Café is suitable for all ages, including children.

  • Eat here for: breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Offers: dine-in
  • Good for: everyone and family friendly
  • Payment methods: cash and credit card
  • Website: http://surferscafebarbados.com/

Oistins Fish Fry

Located in Oistins between Welches Beach and Rockley Beach, Oistins Fish Fry showcases the daily catch and Bajan culinary delicacies in a lively setting, especially on Friday nights. In the past, Oistins Fish Market was just that, a fish market where Bajans came to buy fish and then someone had the idea of opening a food stall to sell fried fish and it has since grown to become a Caribbean party where Bajans and tourists eat, drink and act merry on weekend nights. At the Oistins Fish Fry, the food and drinks are sold and served by individual food stalls but you can pretty much sit anywhere to eat and drink. Plan to arrive around 18:30-19:00 and a plate of grilled/bbq’d seafood (lobster, marlin, dolphin, king fish, flying fish, etc.) with sides (macaroni pie, peas and rice, fries, potato salad, etc.) ranges from $20Bds-$50Bds ($10USD-$25USD).

Source: Barbados Barbados

  • Eat here for: dinner
  • Offers: dine-in
  • Good for: everyone and family friendly
  • Payment methods: cash

Brighton:

Brighton Market

Located in Brighton, Brighton Market is a Saturday morning activity to enjoy a farmer’s market experience with fresh produce, prepared foods, art, souvenirs, and other delights. If you’re in luck, Cutter’s will be there and you can buy a bottle of their famous rum punch, which is the best in Barbados.  It is only open from 06:00-10:00 on Saturday mornings so you really need to get there early to enjoy it.

Bajan pineapple from the market

Bajan pineapple from the market

We’ve been coming here for years and it’s a family tradition to visit and have some fish cutters, buy banana bread, have a Pilebucks coffee, and get some bananas and fruit juices. Sadly, we usually arrive in Barbados on Saturday and leave Saturday so we can’t stock up on produce for the week we’re there.

Paynes Bay:

The Roti Den

Located near Paynes Bay on the West Coast, The Roti Den serves up homemade rotis for those who want to eat in or for takeout. We usually visit when we’re going to the west coast to hang out on the beach. The Roti Den has vegetarian rotis and meat rotis that range from $13Bds-$22Bds ($6.50Bds-$11Bds).

  • Eat here for: lunch and dinner
  • Offers: take-out or dine-in
  • Good for: everyone and family friendly
  • Payment methods: cash

Worth the Splurge:

So now that we’ve shared all our favorite places to eat that are very budget friendly, we’ll share two places that are a lot more expensive but worth considering for a special meal/event.

Apsara Samudra

Located in the St Lawrence Gap, Apsara Samudra offers ocean side dining with a Thai and Indian menu.  It is a really popular place so you will need to make a reservation. The restaurant offers a very romantic candlelight setting under a large tree as you hear the waves rolling in.  While we have seen children here, it is definitely more suited to adults.

Table at Apsara Sumadra

Table at Apsara Sumadra

We were not aware of this but Apsara Samudra offers takeout but it is really hard to pass up the experience of dining there due to how attentive and great the service is. We usually order one starter, one curry, and naan for our meal and stick to the Indian offerings.  Our favorite appetizer, the grilled baby octopus is $26Bds($13USD), a lamb curry is $65Bds($32.50USD) and naan $15Bds*$12.50USD). Are you can see, a dinner for two with a couple of beers, tax and tip will cost about $200Bds($100USD) very quickly.

  • Eat here for: dinner
  • Offers: take-out or dine-in
  • Good for: everyone but more adult-oriented
  • Payment methods: cash or credit cards
  • Website: http://www.apsara-samudra.com/

Orange Street Grocer

If you’re touring the island and in the north-west corner, Orange Street Grocer might be worth the detour to Speighstown to enjoy lunch by the sea. Orange Street Grocer has a farm-to-table meal and they try really hard to use local produce and ingredients for their bistro-style menu of salads, pizzas, sandwiches, and deserts. Pizzas cost between $25Bds-$50Bds ($12.50USD-$25USD), salads are about $40Bds-$60Bds ($20USD-$30USD). We’ve been coming here for years so make sure to tell George that you find out about them from our blog.

The Overhyped List:

  • Cutter’s: Any travel guide for Barbados will list Cutter’s as a must visit. It is a charming place and the rum punch is good but we have always found their Cutter’s to be overpriced and bland even if we are big fans of their hot sauce.
  • BBQ Barn: Their rotisserie chickens are almost double what they charge at the supermarket and not worth the price.
  • Tapas: Tapas has a lovely setting by the sea and we’ve had lunch here before. We did enjoy the meal but found the portions very small and expensive. We would consider eating here again but would stick to a light lunch of a few starters and skip the mains.
  • Seafood Buffet Night at the Hilton Barbados: People rave about this buffet and it is quite expensive for the quality of the food; you’re better off to pay for a nice main somewhere than this.
  • Zen Restaurant: Zen Restaurant offers up Japanese and Thai food at The Crane Resort in St. Philip. It is known as the best sushi on the island but you will also pay for it and we have found the quality to vary year-to-year. We are very spoiled by high quality sushi in Vancouver at reasonable prices so spending $15USD + tax, service, and tip is not something that we feel the need to do for a maki order of California roll, even if we do every year.
  • Animal Flower Cave Restaurant: The Animal Flower Cave Restaurant setting is spectacular as you get to watch the Atlantic surf wash up on limestone cliffs. We decided to try it last year because they had sea cat (octopus) on the menu and other seafood dishes. We enjoyed the meal and the food but the execution on some of the dishes was lacking and the prices were high. We do recommend trying it at least once though.

Caveat: We hope you found this list helpful and as we continue to visit Barbados, we will keep updating it with new places and better photos as we do realize some of the photos aren’t as polished as we would like.

Related Posts:

Are you interested in any of the places we listed in this guide? Did we miss any of your favorites? Do you prefer to splurge or be thrifty when you’re traveling?

 

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