What To Eat In Barbados | What Food Is Barbados Known For

What To Eat In Barbados | What Food Is Barbados Known For

Welcome to our blog post, where we embark on a delectable culinary journey through the vibrant island of Barbados. Known for its rich cultural heritage and stunning beaches, Barbados is also a treasure trove of mouthwatering dishes that will tantalize your taste buds.

In this guide, we’ll explore the flavors, aromas, and traditions that make Barbadian cuisine truly unique. From the iconic flying fish to the indulgent Bajan Black Cake, get ready to discover the must-try dishes that showcase the island’s culinary prowess.

Whether you’re a food enthusiast planning a trip or simply curious about the local delicacies, join us as we delve into “10 Famous Foods to Eat in Barbados.” Let’s indulge in the flavors that make Barbados a true food lover’s paradise.

10 Famous Foods to Eat in Barbados

Barbados is known for its vibrant culinary scene that combines Caribbean flavors with international influences. Here are ten famous foods to try when visiting Barbados:

1.Flying Fish:

The national dish of Barbados, flying fish is usually seasoned with herbs and spices, then either fried or steamed. It is often served with cou-cou, a cornmeal and okra-based side dish.

flying fish

Flying fish is a popular dish in Barbados and is considered a national culinary specialty of the island. The dish typically consists of fresh flying fish, which are small fish with large pectoral fins that allow them to “fly” above the water’s surface.

The preparation of flying fish in Barbados often involves marinating the fish in a mixture of herbs, spices, and lime juice to enhance its flavor. The fish is then typically coated in seasoned flour and pan-fried until golden and crispy. It is commonly served with a variety of accompaniments such as rice and peas, macaroni pie, plantains, and coleslaw.

Flying fish can be enjoyed in various forms in Barbados. One popular version is known as “flying fish and cou-cou,” where the fish is served with cou-cou, a dish made from cornmeal and okra. Another common way to enjoy flying fish is in a sandwich called a “fish cutter,” which typically includes a fried flying fish fillet served between two slices of bread with various condiments like lettuce, tomato, and hot sauce.

In addition to being a staple in Barbadian cuisine, flying fish holds cultural significance in the country. It is featured in local folklore, arts, and crafts, and is even depicted on the Barbadian currency.

When visiting Barbados, trying flying fish is highly recommended as it offers a delicious taste of the island’s culinary heritage. Many restaurants and local eateries throughout Barbados serve this dish, allowing visitors to savor the flavors of the Caribbean.


Cou-cou is a traditional dish in Barbados and is often referred to as the national dish of the country. It is a unique and flavorful combination of cornmeal and okra, creating a smooth and slightly sticky texture.


The main ingredient in cou-cou is cornmeal, which is cooked with finely chopped okra, onions, and sometimes thyme or other herbs and spices. The mixture is simmered in water or broth until it thickens and reaches a consistency similar to polenta or grits.

Cou-cou is typically served alongside a variety of savory accompaniments, with flying fish being the most popular pairing. The combination of cou-cou and flying fish is a well-known and beloved dish in Barbados, often referred to as “flying fish and cou-cou.” The flying fish is usually prepared by marinating and frying it until crispy, creating a flavorful contrast to the soft and creamy cou-cou.

Other common accompaniments to cou-cou include stewed or grilled meats such as chicken, beef, or pork. It is also often served with gravy or a flavorful sauce made from tomato, onions, and herbs.

Preparing cou-cou requires patience and skill, as achieving the right consistency and texture can be a delicate process. It is a dish that reflects the African and Caribbean influences in Barbadian cuisine and has become deeply ingrained in the cultural identity of the island.

When visiting Barbados, trying cou-cou is a must to experience the authentic flavors of the country. Many local restaurants and eateries feature this traditional dish, allowing visitors to savor the rich and comforting taste of Barbadian cuisine.

3.Macaroni Pie:

This is a Bajan twist on the classic macaroni and cheese. It features macaroni pasta baked with a creamy cheese sauce until golden and bubbly.

Macaroni Pie

4.Pudding and Souse:

Pudding refers to a spicy sausage made from pork, while souse is pickled pork served with a tangy sauce. This dish is often enjoyed as a Saturday lunch.

Pudding and Souse

Pudding and Souse is a traditional dish in Barbados, which is a Caribbean island country known for its vibrant culinary culture. It is a popular Saturday lunch option and is often enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.

Pudding refers to a type of steamed or boiled sweet potato or cassava (yam) pudding. The pudding is made by grating the sweet potato or cassava, which is then mixed with ingredients such as flour, sugar, spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, and sometimes grated coconut. The mixture is then wrapped in banana leaves or foil and steamed or boiled until cooked. The result is a dense and flavorful pudding with a slightly sweet taste.

Souse, on the other hand, is a savory dish made with pickled pork, usually from the pig’s head, trotters (feet), and ears. The meat is cleaned, boiled, and then marinated in a mixture of lime or lemon juice, water, onions, garlic, hot peppers, and spices like thyme and black pepper. The marinade gives the pork a tangy and spicy flavor. Souse is typically served cold or at room temperature.

When Pudding and Souse is served together, it usually consists of a slice of the sweet potato or cassava pudding alongside a portion of the pickled pork souse. The combination of the sweet and savory flavors creates a unique and satisfying taste experience.

In Barbados, Pudding and Souse is often enjoyed at small roadside eateries, known as “rum shops,” or at community events and gatherings. It is considered a comforting and hearty dish that is deeply rooted in Barbadian culinary traditions.

It’s worth noting that while Pudding and Souse is a popular dish in Barbados, there may be variations in preparation and presentation, as culinary traditions can vary from region to region and from household to household.

5.Bajan Black Cake:

A rich and decadent dessert, Bajan black cake is similar to a fruitcake. It is made with rum-soaked fruits, nuts, and spices, and is a popular choice for special occasions like Christmas.Bajan Black Cake

Bajan Black Cake, also known as Barbadian Black Cake or simply Black Cake, is a traditional dessert that holds great significance in the culinary culture of Barbados. It is a rich and flavorful cake that is typically enjoyed during festive occasions, particularly Christmas and weddings.

The cake itself is a variation of the British fruitcake, but with a distinctive Bajan twist. It is made with a blend of dried fruits, such as raisins, currants, prunes, and cherries, which are soaked in rum and wine for several weeks or even months. The fruits absorb the flavors of the alcohol, resulting in a moist and intensely flavored cake.

Other key ingredients in Bajan Black Cake include butter, sugar, eggs, molasses, and a variety of spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. Some recipes also call for browning, a syrup made from burnt sugar that gives the cake its dark color and caramelized flavor.

Preparing Bajan Black Cake is a labor-intensive process that often involves multiple steps. After soaking the fruits, they are finely chopped and added to the cake batter, which is then baked slowly at a low temperature. The cake is often wrapped in cheesecloth soaked in additional rum and wine to enhance its moisture and flavor. It is common for Bajan families to have their own secret recipes and techniques for making the perfect Black Cake, which are passed down through generations.

Bajan Black Cake is typically enjoyed on special occasions and is often served with a glass of fortified wine, such as sherry or rum. The cake has a dense and moist texture, with a rich, fruity flavor complemented by the warm spices. It is often covered with a layer of royal icing or fondant for decoration, especially at weddings.

In Barbados, Bajan Black Cake is deeply rooted in the cultural heritage and is considered a symbol of celebration and togetherness. It is not only enjoyed by locals but is also a popular treat for visitors to the island who want to experience the traditional flavors of Barbadian cuisine.


Conkies is another traditional dish in Barbados, typically associated with the celebration of Independence Day and the Christmas season. It is a sweet and savory treat made from a mixture of grated pumpkin or sweet potato, cornmeal, grated coconut, raisins, spices, and other ingredients. The mixture is then wrapped in banana leaves and steamed until cooked.Conkies

The preparation of Conkies involves combining the grated pumpkin or sweet potato with grated coconut, cornmeal, flour, sugar, raisins, spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, and sometimes additional flavorings like vanilla extract or almond essence. The mixture is typically sweetened with brown sugar or molasses, giving it a rich and slightly caramelized flavor.

Once the mixture is well combined, it is portioned onto pieces of banana leaves and wrapped into small bundles or parcels. The banana leaf parcels are then tied securely with twine or string to keep the contents intact during steaming. The Conkies are traditionally steamed over boiling water or in a large pot until they become firm and cooked through.

Conkies have a unique texture, with a slightly crumbly exterior and a soft, moist interior. The banana leaves impart a subtle flavor to the dish while also helping to retain moisture during the steaming process. The combination of the sweet and savory ingredients, along with the aromatic spices, creates a delightful blend of flavors.

In Barbados, Conkies are often enjoyed during Independence Day celebrations on November 30th and throughout the Christmas season. They are commonly found at local food stalls, bakeries, and even homemade by families to share with friends and neighbors.

It’s important to note that Conkies are primarily associated with Barbados and may have different variations in other Caribbean countries or regions. The specific ingredients and techniques used in Conkies can also vary slightly from one cook to another, adding a personal touch to this cherished traditional dish.

7.Fish Cutters:

Fish cutters are a popular street food in Barbados. They consist of a fried or grilled fish fillet served in a soft bread roll with lettuce, tomato, and condiments like tartar sauce or pepper sauce.

Fish Cutters

Fish Cutters is a popular and delicious sandwich-style dish in Barbados. It typically consists of fried fish, usually marlin or flying fish, served between two halves of a soft bread roll, along with various condiments and toppings.

The name “Fish Cutters” is believed to have originated from the way the sandwich is prepared—by “cutting” the fish fillets to fit inside the bread roll. The dish is commonly found at local food stalls, beachside vendors, and even some restaurants throughout the island.

The main component of a Fish Cutters sandwich is the fried fish fillet. Marlin and flying fish are the most commonly used types of fish for this dish due to their availability in the waters surrounding Barbados. The fish is typically seasoned with spices such as salt, black pepper, and sometimes a hint of local herbs or spices before being coated in flour or breadcrumbs and deep-fried until golden and crispy.

The fried fish fillet is then placed between two halves of a soft bread roll, which is often referred to as a “cutter bun.” The cutter bun is similar to a hamburger bun but slightly denser and typically round in shape. It is often lightly toasted or warmed before assembling the sandwich.

Fish Cutters can be customized with a variety of condiments and toppings, depending on personal preferences. Common additions include lettuce, tomato slices, onions, pickles, mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, and even a squeeze of lime juice for added zing. These condiments and toppings add freshness, crunch, and additional flavors to the sandwich.

The resulting Fish Cutters sandwich is a delightful combination of crispy fried fish, soft bread, and a medley of flavors and textures. It is often enjoyed as a quick and satisfying meal, particularly during lunchtime or as a snack while exploring the beautiful beaches of Barbados.

Fish Cutters are a beloved part of Barbadian cuisine, showcasing the island’s abundant seafood and vibrant culinary culture.

8.Fish Cakes:

These small, deep-fried bites are made from seasoned salted codfish mixed with flour, onions, and spices. Fish cakes are a popular snack or appetizer in Barbados and can be found at local bakeries or food stalls.Fish Cakes

Fish Cakes are a popular savory snack and appetizer in Barbados. They are small, fried patties made primarily from salted fish mixed with various ingredients and spices. Fish Cakes are widely enjoyed throughout the island and are commonly found at food stalls, bakeries, and local eateries.

The main ingredient in Fish Cakes is salted fish, traditionally made from salted cod or saltfish. The salted fish is soaked and boiled to remove excess salt and then flaked into small pieces. The flaked fish is combined with other ingredients such as onions, garlic, herbs (such as thyme or parsley), hot peppers, and seasonings like black pepper and sometimes a dash of hot sauce.

To bind the mixture together, flour or breadcrumbs are added, along with a small amount of baking powder to give the fish cakes a light and fluffy texture. Some recipes may also include ingredients like grated sweet potato or mashed potato to enhance the consistency and flavor.

Once the mixture is well combined, small portions of the fish cake mixture are shaped into patties or balls and deep-fried until golden and crispy. The frying process ensures that the fish cakes have a crunchy exterior while remaining moist and flavorful on the inside.

Fish Cakes are commonly served on their own as a snack or appetizer, but they can also be enjoyed in a sandwich or with other accompaniments. In Barbados, it is not uncommon to find Fish Cakes served alongside Bajan hot pepper sauce, which adds a spicy kick to complement the savory flavors of the cakes.

Fish Cakes are a beloved part of Barbadian cuisine and are often enjoyed at various social gatherings, parties, or as a quick snack on the go. They showcase the island’s abundant seafood and reflect the rich culinary heritage of Barbados.

9.Jug Jug:

Jug Jug is a traditional Barbadian dish that is often prepared and enjoyed during the Christmas season. It is a hearty one-pot meal made primarily with pigeon peas, meat (usually ham or beef), and cornmeal. Jug Jug is considered a festive dish and is often served as part of the Christmas Day feast.Jug Jug

The dish gets its name from the rhythmic stirring motion known as “jugging” that is used during its preparation. This involves continuously stirring the ingredients in a pot, creating a thick and flavorful consistency.

The main ingredients of Jug Jug include pigeon peas, which are a common legume in Caribbean cuisine. The pigeon peas are boiled until tender and then combined with meat (such as ham or beef) that has been cooked and shredded. The meat adds a savory flavor and texture to the dish.

Cornmeal is another essential component of Jug Jug. It is added to the pot along with the peas and meat, acting as a thickener. The cornmeal absorbs the flavors from the other ingredients, resulting in a rich and hearty consistency. Other ingredients commonly used in Jug Jug include onions, garlic, herbs (such as thyme or parsley), and seasonings like black pepper.

The preparation of Jug Jug involves simmering and stirring the mixture over low heat for an extended period. This slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, and the cornmeal to fully cook and thicken the dish. The end result is a thick and flavorful porridge-like consistency.

Jug Jug is typically served as a main course dish and is often accompanied by traditional Barbadian side dishes such as macaroni pie, sweet potato, or coleslaw. It is a dish that brings families and friends together during the holiday season, and its preparation and enjoyment are cherished parts of Barbadian Christmas traditions.

It’s worth noting that while Jug Jug is primarily associated with Barbados, there may be variations in its preparation and ingredients, as culinary traditions can vary from region to region and from household to household.


While not originally from Barbados, roti has become a beloved dish on the island. It consists of a flatbread filled with curried meat or vegetables and is a delicious and filling option for lunch or dinner.

Roti is a popular dish in Barbados and throughout the Caribbean region. It is a type of flatbread that is typically served with various fillings and curries. Roti has its roots in Indian cuisine, brought to the Caribbean by indentured laborers from the Indian subcontinent.Roti

In Barbados, there are two main types of roti commonly enjoyed: Buss Up Shut Roti and Dhalpuri Roti.

Buss Up Shut Roti, also known as “Paratha Roti” or “Torn Roti,” is a flaky and layered bread that gets its name from its appearance. The roti dough is made from a mixture of flour, water, and sometimes oil or ghee (clarified butter). The dough is rolled out into thin rounds, brushed with oil or ghee, and then folded and rolled up like a swiss roll. The rolled dough is then flattened and cooked on a hot griddle or tawa until it puffs up and develops a golden-brown color. During the cooking process, the roti is “bussed up” or torn into pieces, which gives it a unique texture and appearance. Buss Up Shut Roti is typically served with curries, stews, or other flavorful dishes.

Dhalpuri Roti is another popular variety in Barbados. It is made by incorporating ground split peas (dal) into the roti dough. The split peas are soaked, ground into a paste, and then mixed with flour, water, and seasonings such as cumin, turmeric, and garlic. The dough is rolled out into rounds, and a portion of the dal mixture is placed in the center. The edges of the dough are then folded over, encasing the dal filling. The filled dough is rolled out again and cooked on a hot griddle until it is golden and cooked through. Dhalpuri Roti is often served as a standalone dish or accompanied by curries, chutneys, or pickles.

Both types of roti are versatile and can be filled with various savory fillings such as curried meats, vegetables, or chickpeas. They are often enjoyed as a handheld meal, where the roti acts as both a utensil and a tasty accompaniment to the flavorful fillings.

Roti is widely available in Barbados, with many restaurants, food stalls, and roti shops specializing in its preparation. It has become an integral part of Barbadian cuisine, reflecting the cultural diversity and culinary influences within the country.

These are just a few of the famous foods you can enjoy in Barbados. Exploring the local cuisine will give you a taste of the island’s unique flavors and culinary traditions.

About me

Hello,My name is Aparna Patel,I’m a Travel Blogger and Photographer who travel the world full-time with my hubby.I like to share my travel experience.

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