Oistins Fish Fry is one of those places every guidebook about Barbados will recommend to you. Being close to the fish market, Oistins Fish Fry’s little restaurants offer a wide range of fresh fish, such as mahi-mahi (also known as dolphin), swordfish, flying fish and tuna.
Go there on an empty stomach
Not only are the portions huge (seriously huge – I ate mine for three meals) and thus rather cheaply price (generally at around $30-35 BBD), they are also incredibly delicious. My family knows I shy away from spicy foods. So it comes to no surprise they were amazed I had tasted such a delicious swordfish steak, I couldn’t stop eating it, in spite of my throat burning from the spices. Therefore, I can wholeheartedly recommend Pat’s place, as well as the other little restaurants in Oistins. Also it turns out that a Banks beer (“the beer of Barbados” as banners around Oistins will tell you) washes down the spiciness rather well.
Not your quaint little fishing village
Part of Oistins Fish Fry’s charm is the atmosphere. You can also build up your appetite while strolling past people selling artwork made out of coconuts and other souvenirs. Of course by the time you pass the little restaurant booths and you are bombarded by the delicious smells of fish being grilled, you’ll be eager to taste it. Located right by the sea, you can take your food to a table closer by the beach to enjoy the scenery.
Want to have a quiet meal? – don’t go Friday
Want the full atmosphere? – definitely go Friday
If you want the full Oistins Fish Fry experience, you should go on a Friday evening after sunset. Be prepared for large crowds and having to queue for your dinner. However, the up-tempo Caribbean music played on two different stages and people dancing will keep you entertained while you wait. It’s probably this mixture of delicious food in a relaxed environment, where people come together to lime, which draws in visitors as much as locals.
The insider perspective
There’s a regular crowd that usually goes to Oistins. Others go whenever they have a hunger for some really good grilled fish and perhaps head to another location that’s a bit quieter or home to relax . With a group of friends you usually go to enjoy the atmosphere, which is great with a crowd, especially with people visiting the island. Specials on drinks, particularly Banks, make it a good time to talk with your friends. You may even run into old friends you haven’t seen in awhile and catch up.
Bonus insider tip: Oistins is an even more exciting place with the bustle of the street fair and a hive of other activities happening during the annual Oistins Fish Festival, which begins one week before Easter and finishes on Easter Monday.