Barbados' St Lawrence Gap: lively fun, great food!J

St Lawrence Gap on the south coast of Barbados offers wonderful food at all price  points. Kick back and liming with friends?  McBride's, Scotty's or Cafe Sol's your spot. Traveling with your kids? Give Southern Palms a try. Whatever you're hankering for, the St Lawrence Gap restaurants will fill the bill - and your tummy:

1. Cafe Sol. Casual, upbeat, fun. Not on the sea, but does offer terrific people-watching on the Gap. Two-for-one drinks at happy hour (the margaritas are the best on the island, hands-down). Dinner.

2. Southern Palms. Part of the Southern Palm hotel, this open-air restaurant is super-casual, reasonably priced, and right on Dover Beach. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served here. Lounge on the beach and then pop into the bar for a libation or light meal.

3. Harlequin. Fantastic jazz is the backdrop to a terrific meal with large portions.Terrific people-watching along the Gap. Excellent vegetarian options. Dinner.

4. Luigi's. Super southern Italian food in a pretty, shaded setting at the very end of the Gap. Sit on the porch and enjoy the sound of Barbados' whistling frogs as you dine on terrific pasta, chicken, fish. Dinner.

 5.  Pisces.  Closeto The Gap entrance.  This restaurant has been around for a long time.  Right on the water  with nice views of the Caribbean Sea.

6.  McBride's.  Excellent Irish pub atmosphere with good food as well. 

Just outside the Gap:

5. Mama Mia's. In Hastings, along Hwy 7 (called "highway" but it's really just a small road). No one cooks like Mama; her place is a deli, a pizzeria, and also sells cheese, cookies, and more direct from Italy. Mama's got a big personality, big heart, and serves up big portions. Without question the best pizza in Barbados. Lunch and dinner.

6. Tapas. Opened in August of 2009, this is the current darling of the restaurant scene on the south coast. The seaside setting (Hastings) is mind-blowing as you sample a whole bunch of small dishes (known as tapas) or dine from the menu offering more traditional meals. First-rate. Dinner. On the south coast boardwalk.

9. 39 Steps. Also in Hastings, this old-time eatery is upstairs with a changing menu that is consistently terrific. If they're offering them when you go, try the spinach-and-goat-cheese crepes ... they won't be forgotten anytime soon. Lunch.

Terasu offers first-rate patio dining. 

10. Terasu. Consistently wonderful breakfasts (eggs, toast, bacon, fresh pastries and breads), lunches (salads - the Cobb salad and chicken curry are fantastic) and now serving dinner as well (as of December '09). 

There's one other option for dinner that must be included: the vendors along the Gap who bring big grills and cook up chicken and fish to order as you wait.  The food is terrific, wonderfully spiced with the inimitable Bajan spices and cooked to order. The vendors offer sides such as traditional Bajan foods like macaroni pie and peas-and-rice. Good stuff. Get a plateful and chow down! Dining from the street cooks is part of the fun of being in St Lawrence Gap.

Enjoy your holiday! Eat up!