Heading to Bermuda - where do the locals eat?
I just booked a long weekend in Bermuda in May for our one year anniversary. We got a great deal at the Fairmont Southampton, which appears to have several dining spots, but we tend to enjoy small - out of the way restaurants, rather than the typical hotel/tourist fare.
I know that restaurants are on the expensive side, and I'd love to find someplace lovely and romantic for our anniversary, but for the rest of our meals, we'd like to try some local fare (rather than burgers / pizza and typical American food) on the less expensive side...
One fun, reasonably-priced place with a largely local clientele is Freeport. It's right at the entrance to Dockyards. Take a bus or ferry to Dockyards and look for it near the entrance, or ask someone. One traditional Bermudian dish that we all enjoyed there was "peas and rice" -- sort of like Hoppin' John -- if you don't see it on the menu, you can ask. I think they offered it as a substitute to fries, if you asked. It was on a whole different planet from a side dish of fries. We have also had good, reasonably priced light meals at the Port Royal golf course, a beautiful public course on the west end. Two other places are mentioned in guide books as offering tasty local food, but we were disappointed -- The Spot in Hamilton, and Paraquet (on the right, on the way into Hamilton from the South Shore). We just didn't think the food was anything special, and the prices were steeper than they should have been. Friends who lived in Bermuda a few years ago recommend La Trattoria in Hamilton, and we agree. It's not local food, but nicely done Italian, at prices that are reasonable for Bermuda. The Lobster Pot in Hamilton is a great place for fresh seafood dinners at reasonable prices -- more money than the other places I mentioned, but understandably so. Some of their fish comes in frozen -- ask them what's fresh. If memory serves, the fresh hogfish is not to be missed, if they have it. The Mexican restaurant along the western end of Front Street is also great -- upstairs with a balcony looking out toward the shipping container part of the wharf. Again, reasonably priced for Bermuda. Please give us a trip report when you return. You may also do better with your query posted as a Caribbean search -- although Bermuda is not technically in the Caribbean, it tends to get lumped in with it, in people's minds. The South Shore of Bermuda is not the place to eat, if you're trying to hold the price to a reasonable level. The Reefs is a nice place to dine out there, for a splurge.
One more thought -- there was a great little breakfast and lunch place in Hamilton called Aggie's Cafe. It was down an alley from Front Street toward the water, tucked into the back of the building, facing the water. It was at the far end of Front Street, past the Birdcage, almost to the Hamilton Princess. Apparently they had a good catering business, along with the retail restaurant-type business, and on our last trip, we found that they had switched over to doing the catering only. But the sign was still out. If they reopen as a restaurant, keep it in mind. Have fun!
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Freeport is a good place and where locals do tend to visit (a lot) however being I live in Point I do not venture out that way much and has been a long time since going, so I am not sure what it is like now. Port Royal is closed for renovations
The Spot in Hamilton, and Paraquet are more like diners, greasy spoons, don’t take this the wrong way…I love the Spots open face Turkey Face Sandwich with gravy and fries. (with gravy on the fries…a must)
La Trattoria in Hamilton, cheap and cheerful Italian food and yes, prices are reasonable for Bermuda.
The Lobster Pot in Hamilton – stay away, they claim they use fresh local fish when in fact they do not, they use to at one point and they were fantastic, we ate there on average once a week, however they have gone down hill
Wahoo, Tuna, Swordfish, Rockfish (like grouper) Hogfish, Porgy, Rainbow runners, Mahi-Mahi, Coney’s are just some of our local fish – matter fact Swizzle Inn does a mean Wahoo burger! Yummy!
Harborfront has a great sushi HH ($4.95, certain rolls, wine and highballs) super location, right on the water and on a nice cool night can dine waterside.
Since you are staying at the Fairmont Southampton they have a private shuttle to their sister hotel Fairmont Hamilton (I think there is a small fee) and on Fridays they have an awesome happy hour! They even fire up the BBQ and serve food for a small fee.
Some local places that are worth the ride into Hamilton – Fish Hut on Court Street – they can make some fish sandwiches, piled high with tarter and hot sauce!
Jamaican Grill – my husband loves the goat dish
However…want to do something fantastic…get some goodies from Supermart on Front Street (anyone at the hotel can tell you were it is at) and then head to the beach for your own little picnic…I can assure you the view will be amazing
For more casual dining...http://bermudagourmetgoddess.blogspot