Barbados : Stay + Eat for Cheap

Barbados.

The sound of it makes me feel like I’m about to blow a fortune on a tropical island trip. I mean, I could have gotten the “Sandals Resort, all inclusive, overpriced, have-everything-without-experiencing-anything” trip, but we all know that’s not me. I spent 9 days in June/July exploring this lovely country and living it up on the beaches of Barbados, for less than $1,000. Oh, and I didn’t skimp on anything. I had amazing food, a gorgeous hotel room next to the beach, and explored a ton of the island!

Where to Stay.

The moment I Googled “places to stay in Barbados,” I was slammed with ads for fancy resorts featuring their best all-inclusive packages. Needless to say, this was NOT in my budget. I accepted the “you get what you pay for” rule and continued my search for cheap options.

The Meridian Inn quickly became my hotel of choice, which ended up being the perfect bang for my buck. At only $50/night, it came with a queen size bed, TV, kitchenette, and adorable balcony (no real view, but I didn’t plan to stay in my room all day and neither should you!). The Inn sat right behind the Dover Hotel, which has beach access to the left of their entrance. This means that there was only a couple hundred feet between my bed and the beach! If that alone doesn’t tickle your fancy, it was also just around the corner from the St. Lawrence Gap, where you can find all sorts of food, drinks, shops, and beaches in between.

Finding Food.

My flight had put me on the island very late at night, and I was starving! After dropping my bag off at the hotel, I was quickly rushed down the street into “The Gap” where there are an abundance of eateries. Most were closing down already, when BAM! We spotted a food cart with the best sloppy burger and mac n’ cheese I had consumed in a long time (total munchies food). It was cheap, it was delicious, and it was everything I needed in that moment. From that point on I new I was headed in the right direction.

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE food, but ask anyone that knows me, and they’ll tell you that I’m a picky eater slowly eating her way out of her comfort zone. Therefore take everything I say about the food with a grain of salt (not literally though, because you don’t need that much sodium in your diet). I’m pretty sure I ate at about 90% of the restaurants in “The Gap,” and definitely went to the Bliss Café more than once. Not only was it one of the only places open early, but its flawless superiority of breakfast options was to die for!

Some of the more notable restaurants from my trip include Bliss Café, Sharkey’s Tropical Cafe, Pronto Pizza, Harlequin Restaurant.  Did I mention Bliss Café?! Seriously, if you don’t go there to eat at least once, you might as well not go to Barbados. These were some of my favorites, but there are far more options as you walk up and down The Gap.  Many have pretty awesome food and aren’t terribly overpriced. Just explore!

Groceries?

Eating out for every meal was a little overboard for me, so I definitely hit up the grocery/convenience store for some quick and easy foods and snacks. Some days making a grilled cheese in my hotel room for lunch was everything I needed, and I’m totally ok with that.  My goal was to try at least one new place per day (which usually ended up being more anyways).  This gave me quite the extensive food experience. Also, the portions they serve are generally HUGE, which make for great leftovers the next day. Simply ask for a take away box after your meal!

Another important thing to note is paying for your food. If you don’t have a currency calculator on your phone, I suggest downloading one before you go. Most places take either local currency or U.S. dollars, but make sure you get the right amount of change back. Some restaurants I paid U.S. dollars for my food, and got local currency back (too much math to do in my head, so thank goodness for the power of cellular devices) and was able to double check that I received the right amount (not that I don’t trust them, but just in case). I never personally had an issue with them converting the amounts, and they do it all the time, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. I hope this helped!

Meridian Inn Balcony
Gate on the way to Dover Beach
Dover Beach
Dover Beach

4 thoughts on “Barbados : Stay + Eat for Cheap

  1. We LOVE Barbados, we always talk about getting back there soon. We visited in 2010 so we are overdue to go back. I do remember the food being pricey, we loved Sharkys and Oistins fish market super cheap and tasty. I think you scored big on that hotel!

  2. This article totally makes me want to visit Barbados! Thanks for the great tips, especially about eating out and buying groceries. Good to know that the portions are huge! 🙂

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