Bermuda Fish Sandwiches & Fish Cakes
I should have named the operation as "In search of best fish in Bermuda". Yes the goal was to find the restaurants serving best codfish cakes (known as Bermuda Fishcakes) and the Fish Sandwiches. I ended up eating so much of fish that day that I was smelling a fish in everything that I ate for weeks thereafter.
Fishcakes in Bermuda are prepared out of filleted codfish and potato patty, and fried. A fish sandwich may be prepared with local or imported fish and the bread may or may not be toasted. The local preparation of fish sandwich typically uses raisin bread or alternatively white or whole wheat bread. Usually nothing other than fish, bread, lettuce, tomato and tartar sauce would be used. Some restaurants however do use onions as well.
If you like to know how codfish cakes and codfish breakfasts are traditionally prepared by the Bermudians, check out Codfish Breakfast and Cakes
Below are the restaurants and eateries that I found to be serving the best fish sandwich and fish cakes.
(9 St. Monica's Road, Pembroke. Phone: 441/295-3965. Now also in St. George's, Water Street)
Located on a back street of Pembroke, this place is known for serving some of the best fish meals in the island. The fish cakes are crispy, tasty and served in buns or burgers as you like. The sandwiches are some of the biggest I have seen. It's difficult to finish one full portion by one person. However the price is also a little on the higher side. The sandwich was $11.50. Check out with them if the fish is local, otherwise half the fun is lost. Sometimes they prepare with imported or stocked fish, but they are tasty nevertheless. Art Mel's is somewhat accepted in the island as the best in making fish sandwiches for the past many years, and they know that.
They are the official winner of the 2015 Fish Sandwich competition in the island.
121 Front Street, City of Hamilton,
Open: Tuesday - Sunday, 11:30am - 11:00pm
Mama Angies Coffee Shop
48 York Street, Town of St. George,
Open: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 2:45pm; Saturday, 8:00 am — 12:00 noon
81 North Shore Road, Devonshire.
Open: Monday, 11:30am - 8pm; Tuesday - Thursday, 11:30am - 9pm; Friday - Saturday, 11:30am - 10pm
Tribe Road Kitchen
87 Reid Street, City of Hamilton, Phone: 441-734-1637
Open: Tuesday - Friday, 8:00am - 3:00pm
Wednesday - Saturday, 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Saturday and Sunday, 9:30am - 3:00pm
(1 Boaz Island, Somerset, Sandy's. Phone: 441-234-2082, 234-6526)
This casual friendly restaurant has nice picnic style benches that give you excellent view of the water. The sandwiches were great. They give you choices of local fish like wahoo or groupers. You can also choose the bread type and ask them to serve you toasted (grilled), and top it with choice of sauces like tartar sauce and hot sauce. It was delicious and the overall experience fantastic. The price here is also very reasonable. I paid $10 for a plate of sandwich and one portion is enough for an adult.
Update August 2015: Bermuda Tourism Authority recently held an island-wide competition to find out which restaurant makes the best fish sandwich. It was held over two weeks in August with 39 restaurants joining the competition. Strangely Art Mel's which is most reputed for fish sandwich, did not join the competition. Understandably they did not want to take any chance with their reputation.
Votes were taken from islanders during the initial rounds to shortlist the top five, and judges finally announced the winner during a Harbor Nights Festival. The winner was Rosa's
located on Front Street, Hamilton. In the final round, the judges used criteria such as taste, local flair, presentation and value. The other four in the top five are Mama Angie's (48 York Street, St. George's), Seaside Grill (81 North Shore Road, Devonshire.), Tribe Road Kitchen (located at the corner of King and Reid street, Hamilton) and Woody's (1 Boaz Island, Somerset). Quite ironically, Rosa's actually specializes in Mexican cuisine and did not have fish sandwich in their formal menu thus far. Having reinvented themselves and being the official winner of the competition, they will likely include it now.
Fish Hut Bermuda X Closed
(Court Street, North Hamilton. Phone: 441/292-3267)
Located a little off the tourist track in north Hamilton on Court Street and Angle Street junction, this is a fish lovers paradise. While great wahoo sandwiches and authentic fishcakes are local favorites, I knew that it also serves one of the finest lobsters in the island. So ended up packing that as well. While there is a small sitting area, most of the locals get their food packed. Bermuda's spiny lobsters have great sweetish taste. The lobster season in Bermuda is from September to March and locals literally queue up here to place their orders. The lobster meal comes with half broiled lobster with toppings of shrimps and cheese. Steamed vegetables and potato are also served as side dishes. The price was reasonable, $35 for lobster. Update March 2013: Sadly the much loved Fish Hut closes down. I understand that Molly Brown, the owner of Fish Hut may be looking for a new place.
(101 St. David's Road, St. David's Island. Phone: 441/297-1991)
Located at the eastern end of the island in St. Davids, this restaurant is also very well known to the islanders for preparing great fish cakes and sandwiches. But the fish is often not Bermuda's local fish. Also unless you tell them specifically, they won't toast the bread while making the sandwiches. Check out the above link for a detailed review of the restaurant.
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