It may be small, but Barbados boasts a varied and exciting dining scene. The posh west coast, known as the Platinum Coast, is home to fine-dining gems like Cin Cin By The Sea and The Tides Restaurant. The laid-back east coast is more about traditional Bajan dishes, which you’ll find at one of the area’s many rum shacks. And the St. Lawrence Gap is the place to go for variety, with culinary offerings ranging from Indian to Brazilian.
No matter where you go on the island, here are three specialties to try.
Named for their ability to leap impressive distances out of the sea, flying fish are found in abundance in the warm waters surrounding Barbados. When paired with cou-cou (made from okra and cornmeal), flying fish is the national dish. This fish is often marinated in a mix of lime, salt and water, giving it an incredible fresh flavour. Try it lightly fried, grilled or steamed.
Dating back to 1703, Barbados’ Mount Gay Rum is considered the world’s oldest brand of rum—best enjoyed in the rum punch cocktails served throughout the island. Recipes vary, but the punch is basically two parts simple syrup, one part lime, three parts rum and a splash of bitters, topped with water and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Be warned: the locals aren’t joking when they tell you the punch is strong, but they’ll also tell you it feels less strong as the days go on.
This one is way too good to miss. It’s similar to mac and cheese, but with a Caribbean twist that can include onion, hot mustard, sweet or hot pepper and seasoning. Every island chef puts his or her own spin on this popular dish, and you’ll find a version of it at just about any rum shack or local restaurant. Bonus: it pairs beautifully with flying fish.
Oistins Fish Fry
On Fridays and Saturdays, locals and visitors head to Oistins Bay Garden for the weekly fish fry. Let loose and feast on fresh-from-the-sea dishes, sample the rum and listen to great live music.
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