Cafés and Pubs
Jamaican Grill’s Coney Island outlet (1 Duck’s Puddle, tel. 441/293-8899, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon., 6:30 a.m.–10 p.m. Tues.–Thurs., 6:30 a.m.–midnight Fri. and Sat., 7 a.m.–10 p.m. Sun.) serves up West Indian favorites like jerk chicken, coconut fish, and cocoa bread.
A local institution, the Swizzle Inn Pub & Restaurant (3 Blue Hole Hill, tel. 441/293-9300, www.swizzleinn.com, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. daily) is as much a Bermudian hangout as a tourist magnet, thanks to its lively social calendar, satisfying menu (including all-day breakfast), and deadly pitchers of rum swizzle. The Swizzle’s caloric masterpiece, the Bailey’s Bay Fish Sandwich ($14.50), seems to have reached legendary proportions, and regular visitors commonly stop for lunch on their way to or from the airport—just a few minutes away. “I have missed this so much, I couldn’t leave the island again without one,” confided a former resident, who now lives in Los Angeles, during a pit stop for the Dagwood-sized creation (chunks of battered local fish fillet, topped with melted cheese, tartar sauce, lettuce, and tomato, stuffed precariously inside pieces of white toast). The swizzle, made from an artful combination of Goslings Black Seal Rum, Gold Rum, and fruit juices, is the sort of refreshing but potently mind-liberating concoction that makes it dangerous to get on a scooter afterwards. Take a cab to lunch and back instead. The Swizzle offers nightly entertainment, including live bands, trivia nights, and Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, and (American) Thanksgiving celebrations. The on-site Swagger Out Gift Shop is popular for hangover souvenirs, accessible for online shopping via the pub’s website.
Conveniently located on the edge of Shelly Bay Beach, Yardie Kitchen (tel. 441/293-6826, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., noon–8 p.m. Sun.) serves up dine-in or take-out specialties like oxtail stew, daily fresh fish specials, curried chicken and goat, burgers, finger foods, mac ’n’ cheese, and peas ’n’ rice.
Pizza House Restaurant (at the Shelly Bay MarketPlace, North Shore Rd., tel. 441/293-8465, fax 441/293-1290, 10:30 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 1:30–9 p.m. Sun.) is one of a three-outlet chain (also at Southside and Heron Bay) offering pizza slices, sandwiches, cold drinks, and snacks.
Dig into burgers, fish sandwiches, buggets, and mac ’n’ cheese at BeanZ Café (at Hamilton Parish Workman’s Club, Crawl, tel. 441/293-1455), a tiny, homespun eatery run by Colleen Bean.
A welcome addition to parish eateries, Café Olé (8 Crystal Cave Rd., off Wilkinson Ave., tel. 441/293-7865, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. daily) attracts local clientele by offering breakfast and opening on Sundays. Service is super-friendly and fast, the restaurant spotless, and the menu tasty. Breakfast includes a choice of eggs, bacon, or a combo sandwich, while the lunch menu has hot dogs, hamburgers ($6.50), ice cream ($2.50 a scoop), sandwiches, cookies, and other snacks. The property is a good place to stop while heading east—for its quaintly tiled, powder room–style bathrooms alone.
The Ice-Cream Parlour (2 Blue Hole Hill, tel. 441/293-8605, summer 11 a.m.–9 p.m., winter 11 a.m.–7 p.m. daily, closed Jan.) is a hot spot throughout the summer months, thanks to its 40-odd flavors of Bermuda-made cool stuff, namely the award-winning Bailey’s ice creams, yogurts, and sorbets. In the summertime, people wait in long lines for scoops of chocolate-chip cookie dough, butterscotch crunch, Oreo sweet cream, and mango-passion fruit—all available by the tub in several island supermarkets that stock Bailey’s products. Sit in the air-conditioned interior, or outside on the brick patio. The 20-year-old eatery expanded its menu in 2005 to include more snacks and sandwiches, and an array of popular hot items, such as chicken legs, fish cakes, peas ’n’ rice, meat pies, and meatball subs—a move sure to garner a larger local clientele and cover the winter months.
Bermuda’s only pizza-delivery chain, The Upper Crust (6 North Shore Rd., Flatts Village, tel. 441/292-9111, 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–midnight Fri. and Sat., noon–10 p.m. Sun., $10 minimum order, $2 delivery charge) delivers deep-dish, low-carb, and 10- and 14-inch specialty pizzas, as well as calzones, sub sandwiches, salads, chicken wings, breadsticks, and desserts. If you’re accustomed to North American fast food, you might be shocked by the steep prices ($27.50 for a 14-inch pizza, gratuities not included). You can take out or dine in.
© Rosemary Jones from Moon Bermuda, 2nd Edition