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The 5 Best Things I Ate In Barbados


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Ivett Krull



Welcome to the vibrant world of Barbadian cuisine, where flavors are as bold and diverse as its people and culture. Barbados, known as the “Gem of the Caribbean,” is not only famous for its pristine beaches and azure waters but also for its unique and tantalizing food. Exploring the local cuisine is an essential part of any visit to this beautiful island.


Barbadian cuisine, also known as Bajan cuisine, is a delightful blend of African, British, Indian, and West Indian influences. The dishes are characterized by a harmonious balance of flavors and the use of fresh, locally sourced ingredients. From savory and spicy delicacies to sweet treats, the culinary landscape of Barbados is sure to leave you craving for more.


In this article, we will take you on a gastronomic journey through Barbados as we explore the five best things to eat on the island. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and discover the hidden gems of Bajan cuisine.


Flying Fish and Cou Cou

No trip to Barbados is complete without trying the national dish: flying fish and cou cou. This iconic dish is a true representation of Bajan culture and heritage.


Flying fish, a staple in Barbadian cuisine, is a delicacy. These small, silver fish are known for their remarkable ability to glide above the ocean surface, giving them their unique name. The fish is typically marinated in a mixture of lime juice, garlic, and herbs, then lightly seasoned and pan-fried to perfection. The result is a tender and flavorful fish that will melt in your mouth.


Cou cou, on the other hand, is a staple side dish made from cornmeal and okra. The cornmeal is simmered with water and seasoned with butter, thyme, and onion until it reaches a smooth and creamy consistency. The addition of okra adds a subtle sliminess and a distinctive flavor to the dish. Cou cou is often served alongside flying fish, creating a perfect harmony of flavors.


When served together, the combination of flying fish and cou cou creates a symphony of tastes and textures. The delicate, flaky fish perfectly complements the creamy and slightly tangy cou cou, resulting in a truly unforgettable culinary experience. Be sure to pair this dish with a side of pickled breadfruit or a refreshing salad for a complete Bajan meal.


Whether you enjoy it at a local restaurant or at a beachside shack, tasting flying fish and cou cou is an absolute must when visiting Barbados. It’s a dish that reflects the soul of the island and showcases the unique flavors of this Caribbean paradise.


Fish Cakes

When it comes to popular street food in Barbados, fish cakes take center stage. These delectable bites are a favorite among locals and visitors alike.


Barbadian fish cakes are made by combining salted codfish with flour, onions, herbs, and spices. The mixture is then formed into small patties and deep-fried to golden perfection. The result is a crispy exterior and a moist, flavorful interior. Fish cakes are typically served hot and can be enjoyed as a snack on the go or as a side dish with a main meal.


The combination of salted codfish and the spices used in the marinade creates a unique burst of flavors that is distinct to Bajan cuisine. The addition of fresh herbs such as thyme and parsley adds a fragrant and savory note to the fish cakes, elevating them to another level.


You can find fish cakes being sold by street vendors in bustling markets or even at beachside stalls. They are often served with a side of hot pepper sauce or a tangy Bajan sauce for an extra kick of flavor. The crispy, golden exterior paired with the moist and flavorful fish filling makes fish cakes a true crowd-pleaser.


Don’t miss out on the opportunity to try fish cakes during your visit to Barbados. These tasty snacks are a representation of the island’s vibrant street food culture and are sure to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.


Bajan Macaroni Pie

When it comes to comfort food in Barbados, Bajan Macaroni Pie reigns supreme. This cheesy and savory dish is a beloved staple on the island and a must-try for any food enthusiast.


Bajan Macaroni Pie is akin to a Caribbean version of macaroni and cheese, but with a unique twist. It is made with macaroni pasta, grated cheese, eggs, butter, and a flavorful combination of herbs and spices. The mixture is then baked to perfection, resulting in a golden and bubbling pie that is gooey and indulgent.


What sets Bajan Macaroni Pie apart is the addition of local ingredients and flavors. Barbados is known for its rich and diverse culinary heritage, and this dish showcases the fusion of African, British, and Caribbean influences. The use of local spices such as thyme, parsley, and nutmeg adds depth to the dish, while the inclusion of local cheeses ensures a rich and creamy texture.


Bajan Macaroni Pie is often served as a side dish with traditional Bajan meals, such as fried flying fish or grilled chicken. It is also a popular choice during festive occasions and family gatherings. The creamy and cheesy goodness of the pie provides a comforting and satisfying experience that will keep you coming back for more.


Whether enjoyed on its own or as a side dish, Bajan Macaroni Pie is a true comfort food that embodies the warmth and flavors of Barbados. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor this irresistible dish and experience the true taste of the island.



When it comes to satisfying your hunger on the go in Barbados, nothing beats the local favorite known as “cutters.” These delightful sandwiches are a delicious and convenient option for a quick and flavorful meal.


Cutters are made with fresh, crusty bread that is filled with a variety of fillings, such as ham, cheese, fish, or chicken. The sandwich is then topped with local ingredients like lettuce, tomato, and a tangy Bajan pepper sauce. The combination of flavors and textures creates a mouthwatering experience that is unique to the island.


What makes cutters truly special is the attention to detail in the ingredients. The bread is typically baked fresh daily, ensuring a perfect balance between softness and crunchiness. The fillings are often locally sourced and prepared with care, resulting in a burst of flavors with every bite.


While cutters are commonly associated with lunch or a quick snack, they have become a beloved food that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. Whether you’re heading to the beach, exploring the island, or simply craving a delicious sandwich, cutters are an excellent choice.


One of the most popular types of cutters is the “fish cutter,” which features fried fish fillets nestled between the bread slices. The combination of the crispy fish and the tangy pepper sauce is a harmonious marriage of flavors that will leave you craving for more.


Next time you find yourself in Barbados, make sure to grab a cutter and experience the savory delight of this local specialty. It’s the perfect option for a quick and tasty meal on the go.


Rum Punch

No trip to Barbados would be complete without indulging in the quintessential Caribbean cocktail, the famous Barbadian Rum Punch. This delightful concoction is a tantalizing blend of flavors that embodies the spirit of the island.


Rum Punch is a classic Caribbean drink that is made with a combination of rum, fruit juices, sugar, and a hint of spices. The exact recipe may vary, but the key to a delicious Rum Punch is the perfect balance of sweet, sour, and fruity flavors.


Barbados is known as the birthplace of rum, and it’s no surprise that the Rum Punch here is exceptional. The local rum, made from molasses or sugarcane juice, adds a distinct quality to the drink. The addition of fresh tropical fruit juices like pineapple, lime, and orange gives the Rum Punch a refreshing and tangy twist.


One of the most satisfying aspects of enjoying a Rum Punch in Barbados is the variety available. From beachside bars to upscale restaurants, you’ll find a wide range of Rum Punch options to suit your taste preferences. Whether you prefer a stronger and spicier punch or a lighter and fruitier version, there’s a Rum Punch for everyone.


Be sure to savor this tropical delight while soaking in the breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea or lounging on one of Barbados’ stunning beaches. The combination of sun, sand, and a refreshing Rum Punch is the epitome of relaxation and enjoyment.


Remember, though, that Rum Punch packs quite a punch. So, indulge in moderation and savor the flavors responsibly. Cheers to a true taste of Barbados!



Barbados is a food lover’s paradise, offering a delightful array of flavors and culinary experiences. From traditional dishes like flying fish and cou cou to street food favorites like fish cakes and cutters, the island’s cuisine is a tantalizing fusion of cultures and tastes.


Exploring the food scene in Barbados is not only a gastronomic adventure but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of the island. Each bite tells a story and unveils the influence of different culinary traditions that have shaped Bajan cuisine over the years.


Whether you’re enjoying a sumptuous meal at a local restaurant, indulging in street food delights, or sipping on a refreshing rum punch, you’ll find that the flavors of Barbados are vibrant, diverse, and undeniably delicious.


So, the next time you find yourself in Barbados, be sure to embrace the culinary journey and explore the five best things to eat on the island. Let your taste buds guide you as you savor the mouthwatering experiences that await you.


From the iconic flying fish and cou cou to the savory fish cakes, the comforting Bajan macaroni pie, the flavorful cutters, and the refreshing rum punch, Barbados offers a feast for all the senses. Allow yourself to indulge, savor, and discover the incredible flavors that this beautiful island has to offer.


Remember, though, that this article is only scratching the surface of the incredible culinary journey that awaits you in Barbados. So, pack your appetite and embark on your own exploration of the delicious and diverse food scene in this Caribbean gem. You won’t be disappointed!