A taste of Barbados


If you're a foodie, there's no better Caribbean island on which to let your taste buds run wild than Barbados. I just visited and dined on everything from super-authentic pad thai (at Zen at The Crane) to melt-in-your-mouth duck breast (at ultraromantic The Cliff) to tender flying fish (on most menus—especially as a sandwich or a pate).

Barbados, which gained its independence in 1966 but remains staunchly British (cricket and polo are national obsessions and most hotels serves a fabulous traditional afternoon tea), is the only Caribbean island to have a Zagat guide. It lists more than 100 restaurants, which is pretty amazing for an island only 21 miles long and 14 miles wide. If you're planning a honeymoon on Barbados—and there are summer bargains to be found on this generally pricy isle—here are my recommendations:

The Cliff The most memorable (and probably most expensive) meal you'll have while on the island, but well worth it for both the ambience (its multi-level, torch-lit outdoor dining terraces spill down a cliff with lapping waves below) and the eclectic gourmet menu that fuses Mediterranean and Caribbean cuisine with East Asian influences.

Scarlet For something non-traditional, you can't beat the yummy small plates (flying fish lollypops, sushi) at this sophisticated yet funky eatery/bar with its red walls and bold Jackie O and Marilyn portraits that make you feel like you're in New York or London.

Fisher Pond Great House You're in for a treat if you book Sunday lunch at this 350-year-old antiques-filled home, where owners John and Rain Chandler will charm you with their tales of Barbadian society, their flower arrangements and their amazing buffet (think pumpkin soup, flying fish pate and the island's best rum punch). It's an amazing locale for weddings, as well.

Zen This restaurant overlooking famed Crane Beach is the spot on Barbados to get your Asian fix: fabulous sushi and truly authentic Thai dishes that are amazing—and affordable.

The Mews Located on one to two adjacent bar- and restaurant-lined streets in sleepy Holetown that buzz to life on weekends, this intimate restaurant serves zesty Mediterranean-cuisine (lots of seafood) in a series of small rooms and courtyards.

Mullins For a breezy lunch, stop at this open-air beachfront eatery offering everything from fresh fish-topped salads to burgers, pizza and pasta.

Two spots I visited yet didn't get a chance to dine at (but have heard great things about) are: Daphne's, for authentic Italian served steps from the sand and Cafe Luna, a romantic rooftop eatery serving Caribean-Asian-Mediterranean fare atop Little Arches, an adorable inn. —Donna Heiderstadt, Travel Editor, Modern Bride



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