Culinary Styles of Bermuda

Many international influences can be detected in the dishes that represent Bermuda's unique culinary style

Culinary Styles

Long days spent exploring the local shops and museums or soaking up the gorgeous Atlantic surf and sun are bound to give vacationers a formidable appetite. Luckily, Bermuda has enough options to suit every palate. In fact, the culinary styles found on the island reflect its rich cultural heritage while managing to incorporate many pleasant - and some unexpected - international flavors.

In recent years, world-class gourmet chefs have begun to arrive on the island, and their skill is noted in the gourmet dishes served in Bermuda's newest upscale restaurants. Many of these establishments import spices, vegetables, and other fresh ingredients directly from Europe and the United States in order to complement local fare - a way to provide travelers with an intriguing blend of the familiar and the exotic.

...great variety of regional fish...


Most travelers will be eager to sample the island's local fare. Seafood is a staple here, and local fishermen provide a great variety of regional fish including rockfish, Bermuda lobster (also known as "guinea chick"), snapper, wahoo, and shark. Mussells are served often in such variations as stew, fritters, pie, and steamed. 

Locals enjoy "Portuguese red bean soup," an extremely spicy soup often served before meals.  "Black-eyed bean soup" is a less spicy version of soup.  Both use imported beans.  Another well-known national dish is the aformentioned "mussel pie," which is filled with mussels, potatoes, bacon, onion, and papaya and seasoned with curry powder and thyme. Other dishes, such as wahoo steaks, are served with a side of "johnnycakes," a type of bread made from cornmeal that has been seasoned and pan-cooked. Johnnycakes are also popular in the U.S. southeast.

Other Bermudian favorites include fish chowder, an innovative version of the well-known soup; it is made with white fish and seasoned with black rum and sherry peppers to bring out the flavors and give the stew a distinctive twist. For a real seafood treat, don't pass up codfish and bananas, or shark fritters.  Potatoes and onions are two of the main vegetables grown on the island and feature prominently in many local dishes.

Bermuda honey is a particular source of pride for islanders.  Because the bees on the island have access to plants and flowers that other bees around the world do not, they produce a honey that tastes slightly different, and is highly sought after.  Bermuda honey is so popular that it is more expensive on the island than honey imported from Canada and the United States. 

Vacationers with a sweet tooth have a number of dessert options, including Bermuda Rum Cake, loquat jam, bay grape jelly, sweet potato pudding, hot cross buns, and syllabub.

Not to be outdone by the food, the drinks on the island are also unique and flavorful. Rum is a major component of many of Bermuda's favorite mixed drinks, despite the fact that rum is not distilled on the island.  Still, it is bottled and blended Bermuda, and there are numerous varieties, including black rum (also called Demerara). Gosling's Black Seal Rum is a popular choice, and mixed with Barritts Ginger Beer, and garnished with a lemon wedge it creates the "Dark'n'Stormy," one of Bermuda's signature drinks.  Another island concoctions is a "rum swizzle," a cocktail of rum, citrus juices, and club soda.  North Rock Brewing Company produces the island's ales and beers, while those looking to avoid alcohol can sip on fruit juices and sodas.

Ready to eat your way through Bermuda?  Check out our Restaurant Directory, where you can search for restaurants by type of cuisine they serve.  The details provided on each individual restaurant page will help you to decide if this is a locale you would like to visit.  You can also click here to search by restaurant name.  Many hotels in Bermuda have restaurants on site.  Find out which are the best by reading our article on Best Hotels for Dining Options.  Finally, take a look at our complete list of island hotels (A to Z: Hotels in Detail), where you can read about the accommodations offered at each hotel, plus find out which restaurants are within walking distance.

Visitors are usually pleasantly surprised by the wide range of foods offered throughout the region; the multicultural influences ensure that all visitors can find something they like. Enjoying the delicious fare that abounds here is the perfect way to end fun-and-sun-filled days in Bermuda.