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Being in the Atlantic Ocean as much as it is within the Caribbean, Barbados is a seafood lover’s dream. Excellent fishing waters ensure fresh fish of tremendous variety is always available everywhere from street vendors to top end restaurants. Sporty types can book one of the sport fishing charters and catch their own dinner. Culture Trip heads to the island’s capital Bridgetown to explore the best seafood experiences.
Situated on the edge of Bridgetown, the Bridgetown fisheries complex contains a market that sells freshly caught fish every day. The complex includes washing and icing facilities, meaning that the stores can sell catch almost directly from the boat. The market is seasonal, so availability depends on the time of year, but tuna, flying fish and swordfish are usually available. This is where many of the restaurants and hotels buy their fish, so it is possible to view the ‘catch of the day’ even if not preparing it yourself.
If buying fresh fish is too tame an experience, then Barbados has plenty of options for fishermen of all standards. The warm waters off the coast provide plenty of marlin, tuna, swordfish and barracuda. There are boats available to charter, or join an organised trip. High Seas Fishing situated on the careenage in Bridgetown are highly recommended and happy to offer tailor-made packages for all standards (winter months offer the best fishing). Want something less taxing? Then spin fishing is available from a number of beaches – locals can often be seen at sunrise casting a line.
Prefer to just enjoy the finished product? There are plenty of casual seafood dining options in Bridgetown – everybody eats fish here. It is estimated that the fishing industry provides employment to at least 6000 people in Barbados. With that many locals dependent upon the business, standards are always high. Boatyard is a beach bar that holds a Friday fish fry for approximately 15USD caters mainly for the cruise ship crowd and can get quite busy. Cuz’s fish shack offer affordable street food from a van near the Radisson hotel. There’s often a queue, but the food is worth waiting for.
There are some great seafood restaurants in Bridgetown, from fine dining to more casual affairs. Champers, a short taxi ride along the coast from Bridgetown and open seven days a week, has a good varied menu – the parmesan-crusted barracuda is particularly good. More casual in style, but with outstanding seafood, is the Waterfront cafe on the careenge in Bridgetown. The fish of the day here is invariably good and changes with the seasons. Craving some lobster? Then head along Brownes Beach to Lobster Alive! for some of the best on the island, and the entertainment is pretty good too. The restaurant also has a great beachfront location.
Fishing is a way of life in Barbados and the seafood is second to none. Seafood lovers will love their time in Bridgetown.