For its Barbados restaurant rankings, Zagat compiled input from 1,520 diners to judge. The following are tops in Barbados, according to Zagat. Are they really the very, very best? Here’s what a serious foodie … with a restaurant tab to prove it … who’s eaten at these places many times has to say.
Champers: Visitors and locals alike love Champers Wine Bar & Restaurant, which is why it was named Zagat‘s “Most Popular” culinary experience in Barbados. It is, too. You know how the most popular kid in school is remembered forever? Well, I have friends who hadn’t been to Barbados in six years get off their plane from England and say, “Let’s go to Champers tonight.” Consistently terrific seafood and service at the water’s edge on the south coast of the island. Christ Church, Rockley
The Tides: Fabulous seafood in a pretty blue décor that beautifully complements the seaside location. Great service, “consistently excellent,” says Zagat‘s of this west coast, chef-owned restaurant. I’ve never been let down here; The Tides is always fabulous. It’s also quite formal (for goodness’ sake, no flip flops). Be sure to check out the wonderful art gallery there, too. St. James, Holetown
The Cliff: Popular for its romantic torch-lit cliff-side location and “truly special” food, The Cliff won Zagat‘s top score for décor and noted that its service matches its inventive eclectic fare. Yes, The Cliff is outstanding. What Zagat doesn’t mention is that this is one of the very most expensive restaurants on the island; if you’re price-sensitive, go to Champers instead. St. James, Derricks
Zen: Go early and take a sunset walk on the award-winning pink-sand beach at the Crane Resort where Zen is located on the southeast of Barbados. That’s unfortunately all you’ll see of the ocean because it’s not visible from most tables inside the restaurant. This is what holds me back from dining more frequently at this otherwise excellent restaurant. Zen received Zagat‘s top score in Barbados for food thanks to “simply awesome” Japanese-Thai cuisine, including amazing sushi. St. Philip, Crane Beach Hotel
Pisces: On the sea and revered for its “wonderful menu using the best local fish” and offered at “what can be considered reasonable prices for Barbados.” I agree: Pisces is terrific for other reasons as well: It has an appealing casualness; it’s within walking distance of many holiday rentals on the south coast; and, because it’s in the heart of the lively St. Lawrence Gap, you can choose from a number of other wonderful restaurants in the immediate area as well. My only complaint is that I’ve experienced very slow service at Pisces. But then we’re in the Caribbean … Christ Church
Check out five more restaurants in Part 2 of my look at Zagat‘s Barbados restaurant ratings. With choices like these, any foodie visiting the island will go home happily sated … with a restaurant tab to prove it.