Fine dining in Barbados – Our 5 top restaurant recommendations
Whether you are a Barbados ‘regular’ or someone who has just read some of the many words written about the island, you will already know that there are some top restaurants in Barbados.
Trying to narrow down the options to our top five was difficult and involved a good deal of diligent research – it’s a hard life on occasions! So our choices are based on our own experience and our own tastes and it has to be said that some of our opinions have changed over the years as those experiences have varied. Had we written this a couple of years ago we probably wouldn’t have included The Lone Star and may well have included Cin Cin but The Lone Star is very much improved and we have been rather disappointed at Cin Cin recently.
So, our current top five Barbados restaurants for fine dining are currently:
1. The Cliff, Derricks, St James, Barbados
The Cliff has been the stand-out restaurant in Barbados for many years and it continues to impress. The setting is dramatic and the food is perfect with deserts a triumph (not always true of even the best restaurants in Barbados). The three-course menu is priced at BDS$310 (a little over £100) so by the time you’ve added pre-dinner cocktails, a good bottle of wine, service charge etc., receiving the bill certainly isn't the best part of the evening. But that’s not to say it isn’t worth every penny. A meal at The Cliff is a true experience and won’t disappoint.
2. The Tides, Holetown, St James, Barbados
One of the most consistent restaurants on the island, The Tides never disappoints. From the moment you leave your car with the valet on arrival to the chat you might have with chef/owner Guy Beasley as you leave, the friendliness of the Tides team is wonderful. The menu reflects a passion for seafood but is wide enough to cater for all tastes and all dishes reflect the vibrant colours of Barbados. The restaurant itself is open and airy with the waterfront tables dotted amongst old trees which from part of the building’s structure. We recommend arriving early and enjoying a cocktail in the bar, which also doubles as a gallery for some of the best art on the island.
3. The Lone Star, Mount Standfast, St James, Barbados
The Lone Star sits in an idyllic position on one of the best beaches in Barbados – Alleynes Bay. The former Lone Star Garage continues to be a magnet for famous names and there is a very high chance you will recognise at least one of your fellow diners if you visit. The menu has a slight Italian influence but also features classic English dishes (with a fine dining twist): chicken tikka curry, shepherd’s pie and beer-battered cod and chips. There is also a children’s menu and a lighter lunch menu, which even features sandwiches and pizzas. It is the Lone Star’s setting which really sets it apart. If you arrive by car you will descend the stairs with the most magnificent view of the beach and ocean ahead but you can also arrive at the restaurant from the beach and wash the sand from between your toes with the footbath provided. Perfect.
4. Daphne’s, Paynes Bay, St James, Barbados
Daphne’s is another old favourite with which we have had a slightly ‘on/off’ relationship. The food has always been excellent but the service has been patchy at times. On our last couple of visits, however, we have been really pleased with our experience and it is now firmly back on our list of top restaurants in Barbados. Daphne’s has a very explicit Italian influence with pasta and risotto options (choose the size whether for starter or main course) and a wide range of optional side dishes in the Italian tradition. The waterside location is perfect and the general ambience relatively relaxed. If you can’t make it to Barbados, try Daphne’s sister restaurant in Chelsea – the setting is a little different but the food is excellent!
5. The Cliff Beach Club, Derricks, St James, Barbados
Not to be confused with The Cliff mentioned above, The Cliff Beach Club is a relatively new establishment, which adjoins its famous sister and which shares its efficient valet parking service. The setting is still stunning and the décor modern and stylish but the vibe is more casual and relaxed which we particularly like. It is worth arriving a little early and spending some time at the friendly bar, which overlooks the restaurant before your meal. The menu includes lighter options, particularly welcome at lunch, but flavours and presentation are top notch. Prices are more on a par with The Tides or Lone Star and we think The Cliff Beach Club is now well worth including on a list of restaurants to visit during your stay on the island.