When you think of your childhood, there’s likely at least a few memories tied to homemade dishes, family recipes or birthday cakes that left you drooling. Food is one of the ways we bond and create memories, which is why it’s such a shame to visit a new place without experiencing the food.
While local cuisine is often a bit outside our comfort zone, taking a moment to dine like a local will give you insights to their lives, the culture and of course some new fond memories. Enjoy a true “taste” of the Bermuda lifestyle with some of the country’s signature dishes and drinks.
Food is one of the ways we bond and create memories, especially when we travel.
One of the most traditional and beloved of all Bermudian dishes is the codfish breakfast. This dish — which consists of dried, salted cod, boiled potatoes, avocado, boiled eggs, bananas and a sauce that will vary depending on the cook — is, in fact, considered by some to be the national dish of Bermuda.
Less adventurous visitors to Bermuda will typically give the codfish breakfast a pass, so while this used to be a breakfast you could enjoy on any day, nowadays, it is typically only available on Sundays due to lower demand.
Fish again? Of course! You’re on an island, so it’s not surprising that Bermudians also favor fish for lunch — this time in the form of a sandwich. And you won’t have to look hard to find a Bermuda-style fish sandwich, as most restaurants offer some spin on this perennial favorite.
What can you expect in a Bermuda fish sandwich? Deep fried fish filets piled high on raisin bread are top of the list. The filets are often snapper, but you might also receive wahoo, tuna or rockfish. And depending on the venue, your sandwich might also include grilled Bermuda onions, lettuce, tartar sauce, tomatoes, coleslaw, cheese or hot sauce.
If you’d like to try an award-winning fish sandwich, consider heading to Rosa’s in Hamilton. The title of best fish sandwich was bestowed upon this restaurant’s version by the Bermuda Tourism Authority in 2015.
Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory, which means you can still enjoy a very English treat here — the afternoon tea. Traditionally, this light meal includes brewed tea, an assortment of pastries, scones, clotted cream, jams and finger sandwiches. If you’re interested in having a spot of tea near the Royal Naval Dockyard, check out the Dockyard Pastry Shop & Bistro.
If you’ll be in Bermuda between September and March, make sure to order spiny lobster, which has no claws but has a longer, meatier tail than its Maine counterpart. This local favorite is served in a variety of manners, but one of the best ways to enjoy this crustacean is the simplest — boiled and served with melted butter.
Another year-round favorite is a just a twist on the breakfast and lunch options: fish chowder! Often compared to Manhattan clam chowder, it uses fish instead along with a hearty broth of onions, tomatoes, celery, carrots and herbs.
Bermuda is famous for its rums, which is included in one of most popular desserts. The Bermuda Rum Cake comes in a variety of flavors, including chocolate, banana and the traditional lemon and vanilla version.
One of the best places to sample this yummy treat is at the aptly named, Bermuda Rum Cake Company, which is located in the Royal Naval Dockyard. Its cakes are made only with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum.
Speaking of rum, there is at least one drink that anyone who imbibes should try while in Bermuda — that is the Dark ‘n’ Stormy, which is this country’s national drink. This highball cocktail contains Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and ginger beer. It is served over ice with a garnish of lime.
The Gosling Brothers have trademarked the name and the ingredients for this drink and so — according to Smithsonian.com — it’s actually illegal to use any other rum and still call it a Dark ‘n’ Stormy. The company takes its trademark very seriously and has even gone after a rum distributor who suggested using its alcohol in a Dark ‘n’ Stormy.
Are you a foodie who enjoys visiting restaurants that are run by celebrity chefs? Then you’ll want to check out Marcus, which is located in the historic Fairmont Princess and Beach Club and is owned by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson. This is the first celebrity-run restaurant in Bermuda. Samuelsson is an award-winning chef who has appeared on a number of television shows, including Bravo’s “Top Chef.” He was also awarded the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef Award in 1999.