A Diners Guide to Bermuda
Bermuda’s restaurant scene reflects the island’s character with British pub food, Contiental classics, and the bounty of the sea prominently featured on menus; choose from casual beach shacks to fine-dining restaurants and everything in between.
3 Blue Hole Hill
This is an island original. Not only is this pub home to the namesake Rum Swizzle cocktail, it’s also the oldest watering hole in Bermuda. Still family-run, this famous establishment first opened in 1932. The bi-level restaurant has a patio and newish gift shop, along with the old-school bar with its walls covered in graffiti left by drinkers. The menu consists mostly of pub fare—shepherd’s pie and the fish sandwich are two popular choices. Breakfast is available weekends until 3 p.m. You’ll likely want to order the bar’s signature drink: The Rum Swizzle is a blend of light and dark rums and a variety of fruit juices served over ice. (The place also now boasts a second location, called simply the Swizzle, in Warwick on the western end of the island.)
24 Rosemont Avenue
Located in Hamilton’s boutique Royal Palms Hotel, this intimate restaurant is the personification of Bermuda: a haute yet traditional celebration of the sea.. Antiques including porcelain pieces, heavy silk curtains, and Queen Anne chairs—coupled with the garden-view restaurant’s location in a mostly residential neighborhood—imbue the place with the feel of an old-fashioned private English home. The menu features sophisticated preparations of fresh-caught seafood (like grilled branzino and roasted rock fish) in artful presentations. The wine list is excellent and extensive, while the crepes Garibaldi (filled with hazelnut- chocolate sauce and dished up with berries and cream) is a must for dessert. Lunch is served Mondays to Fridays only; the restaurant is closed on Sundays.
Talk about a beach day. This feet-in-the-sand eatery serving burgers, chicken wings, and fries is more than a laid-back fish shack. Sure, there are all the requisite beach-bar amenities—a cool cocktail list, live music, and a line of loungers facing the water. But additional perks include free Wi-Fi, showers, and lockers; what’s more, concession stands are on hand to rent out water-sports gear. The bay itself is breathtaking with limestone rocks creating a barrier protecting it from the open ocean, meaning the shallow turquoise waters are perfect for paddleboarding. Tobacco Bay is also one of the best snorkeling spots in Bermuda.
76 Pitts Bay Rd, Hamilton HM 08, Bermuda
As a rule, Bermuda’s sense of sophistication includes a certain level of old-school formality. With the opening of this namesake eatery from the internationally renowned and somewhat hipster chef Marcus Samuelsson, the island’s approach to haute cuisine has taken a chic turn. Housed in the Hamilton Princess hotel with its landmark pink facade, the restaurant boasts a vibe that’s contemporary and airy with an emphasis on the turquoise sea. All tables have excellent views of Hamilton’s harbor, and the menu is—as might be expected—seafood-heavy, with dishes like Oysters with Black Rum Mignonette and grilled salmon. The local catch of the day and island-grown onions, along with other dishes, are prepared on a wood-fired grill that’s visible from the dining space.
When you think of the word pub, chances are you picture something like this place. Housed in the old Cooperage of the Royal Navy Dockyard, this causal bar-slash-restaurant is all about cozy atmosphere; there’s even a fireplace that was originally a forge used to produce iron hoops for barrels. The menu showcases comfort food—fish-and-chips, savory pies, and brisket with Yorkshire puddings—not to mention some local touches like the pepper jam served with red-onion rings. Enjoy a pint or two of ale, pilsner, or porter from the onsite Dockyard Brewing Company (the most established of the breweries on the island). The hoppy offerings change regularly.
56 S Rd
Whether you come for the spectacular scenery or the food, you won’t be disappointed by this tiki-lit eatery on Bermuda’s famous pink shores at the Reefs Resort and Club. The weekly Beach BBQ is a fun event with a robust buffet and a DJ or live music. There’s a casual bar, but the main Coconuts restaurant boasts white tablecloths and a menu that includes island favorites like fish chowder and pan-seared rockfish. A romantic option includes seating in the sand (reservations are required). Note that the evening dress code bars jeans, T-shirts, baseball caps, sneakers, and flip-flops.
7, Walsingham Lane, Hamilton, Bermuda
A warren of rooms make up this cozy restaurant that some claim is the oldest on the island. The building itself was originally a private waterside home constructed in 1652—some 40 years after the first English settlers arrived to Bermuda—and it has operated as restaurant for more than a century. The name comes from the married Irish poet who lived here and spent his days on Bermuda composing love poems to local women. However, don’t let the tavern in the name fool you: The cuisine and vibe here is haute, and the menu showcases French influences on island favorites, as well as traditional Bermuda fish chowder and grilled meats; if they’re listed on the day’s menu, the soufflés are a must-try. There’s no longer exactly a dress code (the emphasis is on “elegant casual”), but like everything in Bermuda, it is best to err on the side of formal.
6 Bermudiana Road
First opened in 1973, this maritime-themed restaurant is known for preparations of the sea creature after which it is named. The decor, with its lobster traps and brass gears, could be called kitschy, but diners come here for the seafood. From September to March, the local crustaceans (known for their meaty tails) are grilled here and served with lemon butter. Throughout the year, the sweeter cold-water Atlantic lobsters (the ones with claws) are on the menu. Freshly caught fish—tuna, wahoo, snapper—served in a variety of preparations round out the menu. Rockfish with bananas and almonds is a local favorite and the fish chowder is award-winning.
This elevated pan-Atlantic restaurant is at the storied—and adults-only—Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa. Celebrated for his locavore approach, chef Keith DeShields showcases the best flavors of the region, from both land and sea. While the menu changes daily, signature dishes at the candlelit restaurant include lobster baked in garlic and coconut oil or grilled wahoo with mango and roasted red onion salsa. The cheese plate served with house-made chutney is a dessert standout. Book a table outside for uninterrupted water views. A recent(ish) relaxing of the dress code has made jackets optional.