“We need to forward to the islands
And get you gold, no spray tans”
– Blem, Drake
Are you in a cold, snowy wonderland but crave warmth?
Can’t get last minute tickets to Coachella?
Your inner wanderlust itching to head somewhere tropical?
Want to explore the Caribbean?
Planning a trip to
Well… you should be.
Barbados was my home for a year.
For one year I lived my island-girl dreams on one of the Caribbean’s safest islands.
It’s also one of the Caribbean’s smallest islands, but boy… does it pack a punch.
And like the island’s famous rum and punch: it hit me hard.
They say the best way to experience a new place is to immerse yourself in it.
Live like a local.
That’s exactly what I did.
Unfortunately, if you’re visiting the island for a few days; you may not quite be able to get all that experience.
Luckily, I’m gonna the knowledge I’ve acquired (so far) to help you get around.
Before landing, take a minute and figure out what you want out of your vacation.
Coming for the food?
To party (spring break)?
To sight see?
To do activities?
Or my personal fave: Are you coming for a little bit of everything?
Because who can really just pick one?
Once you figure that out, it gets easier and less anxiety provoking.
We’d take it once step at a time.
Starting with the tip of the food-&-fete-ice-berg
Being Trinidadian, I’m used to big food with big flavour.
Initially I was skeptical about Barbados being able to deliver.
There are many restaurants with raving reviews and even more wonderful views.
However, that’s not the ‘secrets’ I’m here to let you in on.
The island is famous for its Flying Fish, but that doesn’t mean they can’t put their own local twist on some internationally renowned dishes.
Speaking of Flying Fish, Ostin’s Fish Fry is a stone’s throw away from the air-port.
That is, you can get this food party started from the moment you’ve landed.
My favourite spot? Pat’s Place.
Get the Mahi Mahi with any 2 sides of your choice.
I also recommend trying the Bajan Macaroni Pie, your taste buds will thank you.
To date: I’ve had one of the best burgers of my life at Lucky Horse Shoe Restaurant.
They’ve got locations in: Bagatelle, Worthing, Warrens, and Bridgetown.
No matter if you’re in a hotel, or an Air B&B, they’re nearby, AND they’re open 24/7.
You can check out the menu here and see what piques your interest.
But I’m just letting you know now, that the Volcano Burger is utter perfection.
Now let me tell you right now – finding eating places in Barbados that are open late can be a bit of a hassle.
Things tend to close early especially if it’s a slow night.
Don’t be mad and frustrated (as I was initially).
There’s tons of other places.
If you do want a good ol’Bajan Burger though, head to St. Lawrence Gap, the hub of the island’s nightlife.
There’s a street vendor who’s there most nights from 7pm until the hour where you think you can whine like Rihanna, and she makes the most divine burger you can get before and after a night of drinking for only $9 BDS (less than $5 USD).
Speaking of St. Lawrence Gap – it’s not just a hub for nightlife, there’s may food places to choose from.
NIGHT LIFE: NOT JUST FOR THE YOUNG
To start your night off (as I did a few times) you can start at the beginning of the Gap.
Specifically at Sol Cafè, where there’s happy hour on drinks EVERY night of the week.
AND if you’re into Mexican food before your night out – that’s right up their menu.
Honestly, this has to be my favourite foodie place on the island!
Because of the decor, the service and obviously the amazing, generous portions of food.
I’ll be straight up with you; you may have to make a reservation if you wanna dine BUT they only take reservations for 5+ people, so be warned.
On the Gap is actually one of the perfect places if you ever wanna do a #BajanBarCrawl.
You just start at one end (it’s a one way street) and work your way up!
And while you’re working your way up, I suggest you make a stop at Old Jam Inn.
The entry fee is $10BDS ($5USD), before 10:00pm.
The drinks are cheap.
The music is good.
And the people are friendly.
What more could you possibly need?
If you’re looking for a chill night out with friends.
Filled with vibrations and rhythms of Caribbean Soca and Reggae:
The Gap is a must do on your list.
If that’s not your thing, or you’re wondering what else is there there’s Mojo’s.
Mojo’s is perfect for a drinks with friends while chomping on finger foods kind-a night.
Whether you sit inside at the bar, sipping your drink and staring at the walls of musical legends – both Caribbean and international.
Or you’re outside under the twinkling lights with the backdrop of a starry sky.
Or you’re getting your butt whipped at pool (I’m quite terrible at it) Mojo’s is the place.
It’s a place where you’d tell stories over drinks that you’d probably never repeat, because the it just felt right in the moment.
It’s the music and the magic in the Caribbean breeze.
However, if you want a wild(er), night.
Harbour Lights, or as we call it – Lights – is the place for you.
I had once thought that being a post-grad student, I’m supposed to be mature.
With my drinking days behind me.
That all changed when I went Harbour Lights.
There, I remembered what it was like to have free drinks until 12 (and make the most of it).
I remembered what it was like to dance until 4am.
I remembered what it was like to be best friends with complete strangers.
Except at Lights: these strangers are from all over the world.
You can be in line in the bathroom hearing the tales of a surfer from Hawaii who came to Barbados just for the waves at the Soup Bowl or Bathsheba.
One minute you’re dancing to Soca, the next you’re singing your heart out to Mr. Brightside.
If making those memories doesn’t sell you on going, does the fact that this Lights is on the beach itself help?
You can leave the dance floor, take a walk down to the second deck and feel the sand beneath your toes.
I mean that is if you decide to kick your shoes off and dance till the morning.
I think that’s something that I find most appealing about the night life in Barbados.
You’re dancing the night away on a sandy beach.
Other amazing places for a good night’s time on the beach include:
The dress code is always your Summer’s best.
Heels? Optional and only if you can navigate walking in sand in them.
If you do want something slightly more formal?
It’s not quite the essence of the Caribbean, but damn.
The atmosphere is pretty bomb.
Red Door (yes the door is actually red) as many places in Barbados combines the best of both worlds:
A place to lounge, have a drink with good conversation.
And a place to dance.
Essentially it’s got a space for everyone.
And to pregame?
West-Ward Bar located conveniently across the street from Barbados at Limegrove’s shopping centre.
Now I’m not a huge fan of fancy drinks, but if you do go there try the Tropical Cooler.
Heaven in a glass I tell you.
Yes, Limegrove is a shopping centre.
But It’s also a little hidden spot for some treats for your tastebuds….
(Part II Coming soon)