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Bermuda Restaurant Recommendations

k
kdlalib Mar 9, 2013 09:50 AM

My husband and I are headed to Bermuda on a cruise at the end of May. Does anyone have any great restaurant recommendations in the mid-range to bargain price area? I've heard from other folks who have visited Bermuda that the food can be insanely expensive, so I'm trying to stick to a budget.

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  1. b
    bdachow RE: kdlalib Mar 10, 2013 08:43 AM

    I assume your cruise ship will be moored in the west end of the island. Do you plan on leaving the area and traveling around the island? Going to St. Georges or Hamilton? Looking for lunches or dinners? I will say that relative to the States, you will find Bermuda to be relatively more expensive since almost all the food has to be imported.

    4 Replies
    1. re: bdachow
      k
      kdlalib RE: bdachow Mar 11, 2013 04:30 PM

      We're going to be docked at King's Wharf but plan to explore. We're definitely planning to go to Hamilton. We're looking for both lunches and dinners, but will probably do more lunches. We'll sample any cuisine, but really want to try out any Bermudian specialities and seafood.

      1. re: kdlalib
        b
        bdachow RE: kdlalib Mar 12, 2013 09:56 AM

        If you're headed out to the St. George's end of the island, I'd suggest hitting the BlackHorse Tavern in St. David's. They do local fish and specialties quite well. If you're in Hamilton and looking for something different at lunch hour, you could try House of India's lunch buffet. $16.95/person not incl drinks or grats. I personally love that each day has different dishes and I love Indian food. For dinners, your best value for money would be Mad Hatters in Hamilton as well but the menu is North American so nothing really different. If you like your seafood a little less cooked, Pearl Sushi in Hamilton (above Port O Call) serves it up and usually has at least one local fish but depends on the fisherman's supply. Lately, it's been so windy the fisherman haven't gotten out much.

        As for beverages, you can't come to Bermuda and not have a Dark n Stormy which is ginger beer and Gosling's black seal rum (dark rum). You can try that anywhere. And of course, the Rum Swizzle (fruit punch based) with a heck of kick if you order it from The Swizzle Inn.

        What time of year is the cruise? If you're around Easter, you can always try local cod fish cakes served with hot cross buns which is a local tradition, along with going out to fly kites.

        Otherwise, there's not too much that is specifically Bermudian except what's best served in somebody's home. With globalization, the cuisine in Bermuda tends to reflect that.

        1. re: bdachow
          k
          kdlalib RE: bdachow Mar 14, 2013 04:19 PM

          It's at the end of May. Great tips! My husband had found The Swizzle Inn online & already wanted to go. Definitely will try the Rum Swizzle. Sounds delicious!!

          1. re: kdlalib
            b
            bdachow RE: kdlalib Mar 15, 2013 09:01 AM

            There are two locations, one on South Shore by the beaches and one out by the airport, towards the east end of the island/St. George's. Both do great swizzles, food is ok as bar food goes.

    2. Athena RE: kdlalib Mar 10, 2013 02:15 PM

      I'm happy to hear that you want to explore restaurants on the island, but as bdachow says, food has to be imported - and while there is local produce, it is on a small scale so is more expensive. We cannot reap the benefits of economies of scale so it's really not fair to compare food prices here with North America/Europe and judge us as 'insanely expensive'.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Athena
        k
        kdlalib RE: Athena Mar 11, 2013 04:28 PM

        Fair point. My apologies.

      2. i
        Isolda RE: kdlalib Mar 12, 2013 12:19 PM

        We just got back from a week in windy, stormy Bermuda. Yes, it is very expensive to eat (and stay!) there, but the fish was absolutely delicious, so once we adjusted our cost expectations, we were fine. Our running joke was that every lunch cost $86 for the three of us (husband, myself, and 16 year old son) no matter what we ordered or where we ate.

        Our favorite lunch place by far, recommended by a taxi driver, a local on the street and the concierge at our hotel (Elbow Beach), was the Wahoo Grill in St George. The food was reasonably priced (this time, our $86 included a glass of wine apiece) and the side dishes (rice and peas, plantains, really fresh salads and slaw) were delicious. Tip is automatically added to your bill in most restaurants.

        For a blowout dinner that's worth breaking your budget, try Tom Moore's Tavern. It's in a 17th century house and is very elegant. Our tab there was considerably more than $86, though. Our son passed on the fine dining and ordered a $20 room service hamburger (yes, I'm serious!), while we paid $250 for a lovely, three course meal including wine and tip.

        Wherever you go, try the fish chowder (sort of like bouillabaisse without the shellfish) at least once. I think it's their national dish. I've been googling recipes for that, as well as the rum swizzle, while we await our astronomical visa bills!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Isolda
          b
          bdachow RE: Isolda Mar 13, 2013 04:36 PM

          Aha, yes I definitely forgot about fish chowder. That is a staple here, best served with a splash of rum and sherry pepper. Good for a cool to cold windy evening.

          Fish wise, rockfish, wahoo and tuna are the most popular and abundant local fishes. Be careful as both rockfish and tuna are sometimes imported.

          Athena might have some more ideas as well. I don't get out to eat nearly as often as I used to, since I'm hunkered down in study mode.

        2. coll RE: kdlalib Mar 14, 2013 03:49 AM

          Hope you report back, we are being treated to a cruise to Kings Wharf the first week of June; husband is in a wheelchair so we probably won't be exploring too much but do want to experience as much as we can regardless.

          15 Replies
          1. re: coll
            b
            bdachow RE: coll Mar 14, 2013 10:54 AM

            Can your husband walk at all or his completely wheelchair bound?

            Most of the dining establishments in and around Dockyard where you'll be moored are on ground level and I would consider wheelchair accessible. For a light lunch, I'd recommend the Dockyard pastry shop which has sandwiches and quiches and is set in an outdoor courtyard, so if the weather is nice, you dine al fresco.

            In and around Hamilton, it's much trickier as I try to think about establishments that are wheelchair accessible. For your evening meal, Port O Call has a ramp into the restaurant and if you wanted to order from their sister restaurant Pearl Sushi, I'm sure they could be accomodating. Mad Hatter's I believe is not accessible. Harry's on the waterfront is, you just need to go around past the entrance and through the patio area in the back. I believe that Red, the steakhouse is but again, you'd need to go around to the back entrance on Reid Street. House of India does have a ramp. Lemon Tree cafe would be good for lunch in Hamilton, you sit in the little cafe area adjacent to the park.

            If you have more questions, please feel free to ask, always happy to help out!

            1. re: bdachow
              coll RE: bdachow Mar 14, 2013 02:23 PM

              Thanks for the info, we are travelling with a friend whose husband is also wheelchair bound (both strokes); we have only had this issue for about two years and are proud of the fact that we are getting out and about at all! If worse comes to worse, we're on the new Breakaway and they are still in the showing off stage with award winning chefs etc on board, so we won't starve. But I'd love to try something with local fish, or the British fish and chips place, that kind of thing. I get a lot of exercise popping the wheelchair up and down stairs, it's a learned art and I'm very proud of my new skills! We will be docked three days so Hamilton might be an option, if there is handicap transport.

              1. re: coll
                b
                bdachow RE: coll Mar 15, 2013 09:07 AM

                I can't make any comments on fish and chips as I generally never order it. Hog Penny would be an English style pub but the entrance is a bit tricky and has a step down into it. It's also the same restaurant that Rachel Ray visited for their curry, on her $40/day show.

                As for transport, I'm a little hazy on that. I did find this link, perhaps you can find out more.

                http://www.gotobermuda.com/what-to-do...

                And of course, if you're looking for activities, the website:
                www.nothingtodoinbermuda.com has listings of activities, both dining and non dining related.

                Hope that helps!

                1. re: bdachow
                  coll RE: bdachow Mar 15, 2013 12:42 PM

                  Thanks for both of these websites, I bookmarked and will be monitoring them closer to departure. Both of our husbands can walk if forced, but they are somewhat lazy at times so we have to be prepared. I know it's touristy near where we'll be, and I never thought I'd be on a cruise in this lifetime, but I am ready to make the best of it!

            2. re: coll
              k
              kdlalib RE: coll Mar 14, 2013 04:21 PM

              I definitely will. I won't get back until June 7th though. I hope that won't be too late for you.

              1. re: kdlalib
                coll RE: kdlalib Mar 15, 2013 12:36 PM

                We're leaving from NY on June 2 but our ship is leaving Bermuda June 7 at 5PM. Guess we won't cross paths, but we should report any pertinant info for future travelers I would say. So much good info here already for us: Play it forward!

                1. re: coll
                  Athena RE: coll Mar 15, 2013 02:59 PM

                  The Swizzle Inn in Bailey's Bay does fish and chips so I assume the western one does as well.

                  I will check with my Dept of Tourism colleagues on wheelchair transport...

                  1. re: Athena
                    coll RE: Athena Mar 15, 2013 03:25 PM

                    Thank you so much Athena, I would love to taste a little of the local flavor if possible!

                    1. re: Athena
                      k
                      kdlalib RE: Athena Mar 17, 2013 06:31 PM

                      We were thinking of The Swizzle Inn too. Is it easy to get to? Do buses stop there?

                      1. re: kdlalib
                        Athena RE: kdlalib Mar 18, 2013 03:50 AM

                        The bus stops next to the Bailey's Bay one, the other one is right on the main road as well so a bus stop must be nearby.

                    2. re: coll
                      coll RE: coll Jun 26, 2013 12:43 AM

                      Once gain, thanks for everyone's help! The people we were with were very impressed with my knowledge of ferry transport, rather than taking the tours pushed by the cruise line. Very handicap accessible, and quick to board despite the long lines.

                      The first day we lunched at The Frog and The Onion at the Dockyard, a charming place. I ordered grilled wahoo, a fish which I had never tried before. When it was placed before me, I said wow this tastes like chicken. Guess what, it WAS chicken, they brought me the wrong plate. My husband and I ended up sharing his fish and chips, since there was plenty to go around. I had eaten most of the veggie side dish before I discovered the error, it was asparagus based and I totally enjoyed that, at least. Actually the chicken was nicely done too, if I had been in the mood! I fell in love with my Dark N Stormy, don't think I ever had one before. I was under the impression it was made with dark beer, so I had a lot to learn. will be trying to recreate it at home, I was told it had to be Barrits Ginger Beer besides the Goslings?

                      The next day we journeyed to Hamilton; I had another pub in mind, Flanagans. Their ad in the local paper had caught my eye. We get there to find a very tall staircase leading to the second floor where they are located. Luckily someone saw us looking at the menu and seeing my husband in the wheelchair, advised us to go into the ground floor atrium where there would be an elevator. I don't even think that he was connected to the restaurant but people can be so kind when they see our wheelchair issues. My husband really wanted to sit outside on the balcony and they were kind enough to move us out there once a table opened up. Glad he insisted!

                      For some reason, my husband ordered a Philly Cheesesteak which he thoroughly enjoyed. I got the fish curry, after making sure it was made with fresh fish. Delicious! The owner was charming, there were waiters too but he was hands on taking care of things, and when I wasn't sure how hot I wanted it, he had it made medium and then brought a little bowl of extra sauce just in case. I ate every last bite, it was wonderful.

                      The last day, my husband insisted on going back to The Frog and The Onion, he had fallen in love with the place. For some reason I don't remember what he got, a hamburger maybe? but I already had my eye on the Mussel Pie. Here on Long Island we do Clam Pie, and even Lobster Pie, but I had never heard of this version. What also caught my fancy was that it was lightly curried. This time I got the right dish and it was delicious, chock full of whole mussel meat.

                      One thing I figured out sort of late is that most restaurants already have a 17% gratuity added to the bill, meanwhile I was running around tipping like a drunken sailor! As someone else here mentioned, all the meals seemed to come out just below $100, of course being on vacation we were having a couple of drinks each time. And as also mentioned, if you are from a place like New York and don't frequent chain restaurants, the prices will feel very familiar.

                      1. re: coll
                        b
                        bdachow RE: coll Jun 26, 2013 12:38 PM

                        Thanks very much for reporting back on your experience. Am glad that you and your husband were able to work out logistics relating to his wheelchair use and that you had some good meals. I often forget about the entire tip issue since it's become second nature to me that it's automatically included here.

                        As for the Dark & Stormy, to be most authentic, use Barritt's Ginger Beer and Gosling's Dark Seal Rum. However, many bars in the US sub a Jamaican ginger beer due to availability, it really just comes down to personal preference. Good luck with coming up with your version!

                        1. re: bdachow
                          coll RE: bdachow Jun 27, 2013 03:16 AM

                          We have lots of ginger beer in our area (New York) I just never looked for a specific brand before. Even though some are obviously much better than others! Now this is the kind of job I look forward to.

                          The other thing that surprised me was no smoking anywhere in public or $1,000 fine. Not sure how strict they are about that, since they don't make a big deal about it. Husband doesn't smoke anymore, but man that would be a big vacation expense for sure!

                          1. re: coll
                            b
                            bdachow RE: coll Jun 28, 2013 12:57 PM

                            It's not super strict about the smoking, in buildings yes, outside on the street, don't think anyone fusses.

                            Good luck with the ginger beer, it's obviously a personal taste thing, some like it more "gingery" than others. :)

                            1. re: bdachow
                              coll RE: bdachow Jun 28, 2013 03:59 PM

                              Oh I love it gingery; time to experiment! There is a Jamaican fruit mix that is my ultimate so far, but will find Barritts and taste against it, just for fun.

                2. whs RE: kdlalib Mar 17, 2013 06:42 PM

                  Bermuda restaurants are priced like New York or Los Angeles restaurants, i.e. $35 - $40 entrees, $10 - $15 appetizers. I was especially impressed by the $15 hot dog at Mickey's.

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