Food in Barbados

Fine dining is serious business on the island of Barbados

Photo credit: © Barbara Helgason |

Food in Barbados

Adventurous travelers know that no two vacations will ever be exactly alike. Some people will prefer a tranquil stay by the ocean while others are eager to immerse themselves in local culture. Fortunately, the dining options in Barbados can accommodate both the footloose and the formal vacationer.


Laid-back diners will enjoy nighttime vendors who line both sides of streets and serve local favorites such as grilled pigtail, fried kingfish, pepper-pot, and conch fritters. These informal booths allow visitors to eat while they stroll the streets and beaches. Vendors are also a good way for the hesitant eater to pick and choose among the unusual dishes without making too heavy a dining commitment.

It's also important to remember that Barbados is an island where appearances count. Restaurants are more relaxed at lunchtime, but can be far more formal after the sun sets on these Caribbean eateries. Dinner reservations are also recommended, particularly when eating at some of the finer restaurants.

Culinary Styles


...national dish of CouCou and Flying Fish.


African, Chinese, Indian, European, and Caribbean influences combine to create cuisine that is quintessentially Bajan.  The people of Barbados lean towards spicy dishes and utilize flavorful sauces as often as possible.  Though numerous spices are used depending upon the meal, over time Barbados' chefs have perfected the art of seasoning their foods just so with the creation of Bajan seasoning.  Bajan seasoning is comprised of garlic, onions, spring onions, salt, pepper, thyme, marjoram, garlic, basil, parsley, and paprika. Click here to read more about the culinary styles of Barbados.

If you try only one dish during your trip to Barbados make it something consisting of flying fish.  Locals and tourists alike rave about the fish that is one half of the national dish of CouCou and Flying Fish.  Another option is a cutter, which is a sandwich of flying fish on salted bread.



Rum is the foundation of alcoholic beverages in Barbados.  Rum bars are popular and where locals go to kick back after a long day and to discuss local news.  Mount Gay Rum is a popular choice, so stop into a rum bar, order a glass of Mount Gay, and start a conversation with a local.  Banks Beer offers a less strong alcoholic choice, while fruit juices and pure tap water are great options for those underage and who prefer to stay alcohol free.

Many of the hotels in Barbados have on-site bars, if not full on restaurants.  Click here to read about the Best Hotels for Dining Options.  You can also go through our extensive list of hotels on the island by searching our A to Z: Hotels in Detail page.  Not only will be you be able to find out all the details on hotels you are considering staying at, you will also find a list of restaurants that reside on property and in the surrounding area. 

From fast food to formal, Barbados has meals in every price range to accommodate even the pickiest of eaters.


Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.

About Food