What is the Oistins Fish Fry?
An opportunity to immerse yourself in some true Bajan culture. An authentic Barbados tradition that has intertwined with inquisitive tourists. A lively open-air, beachfront ‘cook-up’ where music, dancing and most importantly beautiful food come together. An eclectic mixture of locals, tourists, dancers and shakers as varied and interesting as the secret ingredients in many a bajans jerk seasoning.
Huts and shacks line the maze-like gathering selling THE best seafood. Friends congregate around the casual benches, catching up on the island events and slamming dominoes. A party atmosphere is in place with laid-back beats flowing from the makeshift speakers and locals showcasing their moves.
The food at the Oistins fish fry is always the main draw for locals and visitors alike. The aromas of freshly caught fare being expertly sizzled on open grills is just incredible and insatiably mouth-watering. Dependant on your stall host, you can choose to have your catch of the day fried, grilled or blackened, all to expert local standards. Expect freshly-caught delicacies of the sea that include:
- Flying Fish
- Red Snapper
And for those that aren’t aquatically inclined, there are racks of sumptuously charred chickens and juicy steaks to feast on under the stars. Sides also include deliciously oozing mac n’ cheese, fries, Caribbean slaw, salad and sweet potatoes. If you want to wash those spices and tropical flavours down with something local and refreshing, make sure you shop around and grab one of the 4 banks beers for BDS$10 deals.
Dancing is a must at the fish fry. Even if you’re not the most natural of movers, the infectious beats find their way into the soles of your feet and before long your legs are Watch the old boys slowly groove to ska, or immerse yourself in the rhythmic beats of calypso, iced drink in hand. Some nights, guests are even entertained by the stylings of a live band, and many a Friday has played host to some incredible steel-pan work.
Arts & Crafts
There are an abundance of stalls with local vendors selling jewellery, pottery, ceramics, leather craft, clothing, accessories and original paintings and prints. These lovingly crafted items prove an excellent souvenir and something different from the touristy stalls found elsewhere on the South Coast.
Local Bajans showcase their creative talents in fascinating ways, and also offer visitors a chance to support local trade through the purchase of small gifts.
The Oistins’ Essentials
- Food is usually available from about 7pm, however we recommend arriving early for a chance to walk on the pier and feed the lumbering turtles with fish scraps from the vendors.
- If you arrive after 8pm, you may have to queue for quite a long time!
- The music and real festivities start around 9.30pm on a Friday Night.
- Dress down – it’s a completely casual affair.
- Great for adults and children alike, everyone is welcome.
- Seating is rustic and so charming, groups meet and chat under the informal string lights and swaying palms accompanied by the frequent clicks of passionate domino matches.
- Very safe, well-lit and with a wonderfully friendly atmosphere.
- Make sure you catch the ballroom dancing – the perfect accompaniment to freshly cooked delights.
- There are immaculate toilets available on-site.
The Best Time To Visit
- Friday nights are for those looking to party, have plenty of time to explore and who don’t mind a friendly crowd.
- Weekday nights are better for those looking to really explore the food on offer, and sit watching the world go by. Dependant on the time of year visitors can also partake in karaoke or laid-back movie nights!
- Weekdays are ideal for breakfast or lunch, where afterwards guests can explore the varied water-sports on offer.
Where is Oistins?
The coastal town of Oistins is located in South Barbados, in the parish of Christ Church. Close to the hotspots of St Lawrence Gap and Rockley, this small fishing community has risen in popularity over the years due to it’s fantastic beaches and friendly residents.
Grantley Adams International Airport (10 minutes)
1. Continue on to the Tom Adams Highway.
2. At the roundabout take the 1st exit onto Newton Road.
3. Follow Newton Road all the way down Oistins Hill.
4. When you reach Oistins Main Road turn left and Oistins Fish Fry is immediately on your right.
St Lawrence Gap (5 minutes)
1. From the entrance of the Gap at Cafe Sol, continue right on the Maxwell Main Road.
2. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit, continuing on Maxwell Main Road.
3. Continue onto Welches Road.
4. Continue onto Oistins Main Road, Oistins Fish Fry is on your right.
Holetown (25 minutes)
1. Take Sea View Rd (next to the Limegrove Centre) to St Thomas’ Parish Church.
2. At the roundabout take the 3rd exit onto Highway 2A (South).
3. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the Errol Barrow Highway.
4. Keep on the Errol Barrow Highway (will go through several roundabouts, heading South) until you reach the Errol Barrow Roundabout.
5. Take the 2nd exit onto the Graeme Hall Road.
6. At the next roundabout take the 1st exit onto Maxwell Main Road.
7. Continue onto Welches Road.
8. Continue onto Oistins Main Road, Oistins Fish Fry is on your right.
For a taste of what to expect, watch Chriggy1‘s excellent home-filmed video of the party atmosphere at the Friday Night Fish Fry!
If you’ve enjoyed our article on Oistins Fish Fry, make sure to comment/share below – we’d love to hear your own stories and experiences from the Caribbean!