By Olivia Cuccaro
On the island of Barbados, the best of Caribbean cuisine awaits. From locally-caught fish to sweet plantains, dishes are prepared with fresh ingredients in a variety of tropical settings. Fine dining can be found in outdoor cafés, luxury hotel restaurants and waterside retreats. Here’s our pick of the best restaurants in Barbados to enjoy on island time.
On the South Coast of Barbados, Champers offers an elegant dining atmosphere overlooking the water. The restaurant features a waterside gazebo and open terrace as well as an air-conditioned dining room for a romantic experience. Art enthusiasts will enjoy the gallery of paintings and pieces displayed throughout the restaurant. Signature dishes include camembert baked in puff pastry with spiced apples and shrimp and mango salad. Seafood is a standout, with pan-seared queen scallops, grilled salmon, seared ahi tuna and parmesan crusted barracuda also on the menu.
In St James, Chef Paul Owens delivers cliffside fine dining ideal for arrival by yacht. From candlelit tables, take in expansive views of the sea while savoring gourmet cuisine. Main courses include chargrilled swordfish, mahi mahi and cajun salmon. Or, select dishes from the separate vegetarian menu such as grilled portobello mushroom salad and potato gnocchi. Choose from the curated wine list, then indulge in desserts like Valrhona chocolate pudding, Valrhona chocolate mousse and caramelized lemon tart.
The Fish Pot
Housed within an 18th-century fort, The Fish Pot’s green plantain shutters and bamboo accents give it true Caribbean charm. Part of the Little Good Harbour hotel, the aptly named Fish Pot is known for its fresh seafood. Experience dazzling views of the Caribbean Sea from the open-air terrace or large picture windows in the dining rooms. Signature dishes here include lobster ravioli, pan-fried mahi mahi and oven-roasted sea bass. Salads and vegetarian dishes are also available, as is a dessert menu with island flavors like guava cheesecake and fruit salad.
For the best Italian on the island, be sure to reserve a table at Daphne’s. Chef Michele Blasi blends Milanese classics with island seafood, utilizing ingredients from local markets and fishermen. Signature dishes include linguine all’aragosta con pomodoro fresco, branzino a sale grosso con caponatina di melanzane and limoncello panna cotta. An extensive wine list is accompanied by an impressive cocktail menu to be sipped in the upscale yet relaxed environment with bay views.
Formerly a sumptuous seaside home, The Tides restaurant represents island luxury. On the west coast of Barbados, the restaurant boasts several dining areas finished in coral stone and mahogany: the open-air Tree House, the oceanfront Centre Lanai, the intimate Gazebo and the two-level Garden Gazebo. A blue motif gives The Tides a coastal feel and the Tides Art Gallery boasts a large collection from both regional and global artists. Fresh seafood is the focus, with dishes like seared yellowfin tuna, marinated king prawns, seafood stew and catch of the day. There is also a vegetarian menu, as well as a comprehensive wine list and exciting cocktail program.