Cheap (Seafood) Eats in Barbados – Yum!

Like other Caribbean islands, Barbados restaurant fare is pricier than you’ll find in the States because virtually every ingredient must be imported. Luckily, the most important ingredient is readily available and abundant: the fish, which in Barbados is just-caught, is-it-still-moving fresh. Local fishermen haul in snapper, mahi mahi (which locals call dolphin), barracuda, and other wonderful choices, as well as flying fish. (So proud of this local favorite it is that Barbados calls itself “the land of flying fish.”) And you needn’t spend your kids’ college fund to afford a fabulous fish meal.

Before I tell you where, allow me to tempt you with Bajan style preparation: fresh fish coated with with local spices (a combination of spring onions, thyme, garlic, black pepper, marjoram, and salt), then lightly fried. Delish! Another Bajan favorite is fish steamed in a light onion and tomato sauce on coo-coo, which is something like polenta. The local yellow pepper sauce enhances nearly all foods in Barbados and is available upon request at any restaurant (warning: this stuff’s addictive).

If you know where to look, you can you find seafood to die for that will leave some of your holiday budget available for something really special, like a catamaran cruise. By the way, the following eateries are located along the south coast of Barbados, where prices overall are lower than other areas of the island.

* Silverpoint: Off the beaten path, this is a chic open-air eatery and bar located in the boutique Silverpoint Villa Hotel. Eat overlooking wild and daring wind-surfers off of Silver Sands Beach. 

* Southern Palms: Very casual outdoor dining and bar at Dover Beach and part of the casual Southern Palms Resort in St. Lawrence Gap.

* Carib: Sun yourself on Sandy Beach, then work up an appetite snorkeling. Carib is so casual you can wear your swimsuit (with a cover-up) to this friendly open-air restaurant/bar.

* Oistins: A can’t-miss treat is Friday nights in the small village of Oistins where you buy fish just caught and cooked on the street. Music, people, and an upbeat atmosphere make for an unforgettable meal.

* Surfer’s Cafe & Obskewer’s Bar: Also in Oistins, this casual eatery offers espresso and smoothies and wi-fi in addition to simple local fare such as fish cutters (sandwiches).

* Lobster Alive: Probably the least-cheap of any places in this list, but the portions are huge. Located on beautiful Carlisle Bay, this place is basically a shack with a lobster tank and a bar that offers an orgy of serious lobster  eating.

* St. Lawrence Gap: Go to the famous area along the south coast of Barbados called St Lawrence Gap and follow your nose; this cheap dinner is being cooked out in the street. It’s loads of fun to go to one of the outdoor grills along the famous “Gap” and watch your dinner being cooked in front of you. Don’t forget to load up on local favorite side dishes like macaroni pie and plantains. Grab a beer at the Gap Convenience store, find a spot on the beach, and have yourself the cheapest feast of all with a view as fantastic as the poshest restaurants on the island.  

Rebecca R. Ammons

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