AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
As the popularity of the organic movement skyrockets and the government launches an aggressive new push to promote healthy living, it’s fitting to salute the individuals and businesses that are making a real difference in providing healthier eating options to the Bermuda public. Enter BermyFresh, a markedly innovative organic food provider that offers locally grown microgreens, baby leafy greens, mushrooms, shoots, sprouts, herbs and micro-herbs that are pesticide-free and positively brimming with essential vitamins and nutrients. Owner Scott Tucker started BermyFresh in 2015, and it has since exploded in popularity with restaurants, grocery stores, and individual buyers, giving consumers locally unprecedented access to fresh-picked, hydroponically grown vegetables.
As demand for BermyFresh has increased, their busy operation on Wellbottom Road has adapted to accommodate. As such, in 2016 they began offering “Farm Boxes” to people who wanted a consistent supply of their products on a weekly basis. Each box features an assortment of their offerings that is carefully crafted to promote a wellbalanced diet and lifestyle; shoots, microgreens, herbs and micro-mix, shitake mushrooms, and baby lettuce are all included. By personalising the experiences of their customers in this and many other ways, BermyFresh leads the charge in helping Bermuda understand where our food comes from, and why it’s so important to be aware of that.
15 Wellbottom, Southampton, 236-3400
CUP OF JAVA
Devil’s Isle Cafe takes their java very seriously, and is always coming up with new, innovative ways to popularise coffee culture to an increasingly interested Bermuda public. They recently released a “nitro” coffee, which is coffee infused with nitrogen for added smoothness and served cold out of a keg, much like a pint of beer. They’ve even begun offering coffee “cupping” classes to benefit charity, where those interested can learn how to properly appreciate the beverage under the guidance of master roaster Enrique “Kike” Rodriguez.
19 Burnaby Street, Hamilton, 292-3284
Bouchee Bistro Francais is no stranger to winning this award, and if you pass it on any given Saturday or Sunday morning, you’ll understand why. On the weekends, it’s positively packed with eager breakfast seekers looking to indulge themselves from a delectable selection of omelettes, eggs Benedict (their specialty), pancakes and more. If you’re in the mood, they even serve a selection of “morning pick-me-ups” including mimosas, Pimm’s royales and classic bloody Marys.
75 Pitt’s Bay Road, Hamilton, 292-5533
It’s tough being the new kid in town, but Astwood Arms scooped up this year’s award with its distinct selection of European draft beers, truly authentic pub-style cuisine and an unmistakable air of British charm. The classiness of its vibe is nicely complemented by a more casual sports-viewing area in the back of the establishment, making it an ideal venue whether you want to catch the game, enjoy a family dinner, or hang out at the bar with your friends.
81 Front Street, Hamilton, 292-5818
PLACE FOR A POWER LUNCH
When it’s time to get down to business, a power lunch is a great way to seal deals, establish new relationships and nurture existing ones. Meetings of this importance demand a venue that understands and accommodates the corporate dynamic, which is why Harry’s Restaurant & Bar was this year’s clear favourite. The upscale atmosphere, no-nonsense service and appetising menu options perfectly lend themselves to a deal-making environment, and if you need some liquid confidence before you make your big pitch, their wine list and cocktail menu will be your best friends.
96 Pitt’s Bay Road, Hamilton, 292-5533
While there used to be only one contender for Indian cuisine in Bermuda, Ruby Murry’s on Chancery Lane has evolved into a resilient crowd favourite, and now has its own loyal, dedicated following only a few years after opening its doors. Frequent patrons rave about the authenticity of its dishes, the cozy ambience, the stellar service, and last but not least, the indulgent daily lunch buffet.
Chancery Lane, Hamilton, 295-5058
The signature sandwich menu of this tucked-away gem in Chancery Lane is a force to be reckoned with. Fresh ingredients and creativity are the currencies at Common Ground, a fact reflected in heavenly creations like the Ultimate Veggie Burger, The Frenchie and The Illy. The pièce de résistance, however, is the Nu-Club Classic, an appetising tower of scrumptiousness featuring marinated chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, crispy bacon, avocado and Gombey pepper jam mayo on toasted ciabatta bread. Yum!
Chancery Lane, Hamilton, 292-2353
Keith’s Kitchen has won this award so many times that we don’t even know what else to say about them, and that should tell you something. Sure, we could go on about how there’s a lineup every day for their highly regarded burgers, fish sandwiches and chicken wings, but what would be the point? Everyone knows this already. If you are one of the few that don’t, however, you need to get down to the Bermuda Athletic Association parking lot and find out for yourself.
Woodlands Road, Hamilton, 295-1310
LUNCH ON THE GO
Casablanca has exploded onto Hamilton’s cuisine scene with its ambitious mix of Middle Eastern fare and traditional western dishes, offering wide appeal to hungry patrons who walk through its doors on Washington Lane. Consistently busy on any given workday, the buffet is so popular that it’s sometimes shoulder-to-shoulder, but their attentive service never fails to result in a smooth checkout experience. They must be doing something right; as of this writing, they will soon be opening a second location on Front Street!
18 Washington Lane, Hamilton, 295-9999
In the year 2018, Speciality Inn should need no introduction. This local favourite at Collector’s Hill can seemingly do no wrong, and may as well be an official cultural landmark at this point. Their menu is splendidly diverse, featuring Bermudian fare, Italian-style pizza, a full sushi bar, and, of course, diner-style comfort food. They’ve got you covered for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the casual atmosphere lends itself to a genuinely warm, nostalgic feeling that you’ll experience every time you walk in.
4 South Road, Smith’s, 236-3133
Nothing beats a good pizza, and Sul Verde’s Neapolitan-style pies were the clear favourite for this year’s award. With a puffy, aerated outer edge, slightly singed bottom and a crispy centre topped with any number of fresh ingredients of your choosing, thin crust lovers will rejoice at their take on this classic Italian favourite. Stuck on what to order? You can’t go wrong with their White, Red & Green pizza, which features mozzarella, pesto and grape tomatoes as a nod to the Italian flag.
60 Tucker’s Point Drive, Hamilton Parish, 298-6983
If you like to get creative with your hunger and want to keep it healthy, Nonna’s Kitchen on Bermudiana road has an incredibly well-stocked salad bar with nearly 40 different items for you to mix and match. For Nonna’s owner Katerina Smith, the focus is on organic and sustainably sourced ingredients, and the droves of hungry lunch-goers who pass through its doors each day clearly support her commitment to promoting a green and healthy lifestyle for her patrons.
4 Bermudiana Road, Hamilton, 295-7687
PLACE FOR VEGGIE LOVERS
As vegetarian eating has become more and more mainstream, Village Pantry in Flatt’s Village has been paying attention. Their lunch and dinner menus are positively bursting with hearty, robust veggie options which crush the unfounded myth that meatless meals don’t fill you up as well as their carnivorous counterparts. Incidentally, we’d be remiss not to give a special shout-out to their highly acclaimed Buddha Bowl, which features roasted veggies, carrots, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, sauteed mango, black lentils, baked spiced chickpeas and avocado.
8 North Shore Road, Flatt’s, 478-2300
Pink Beach Club at The Loren
As Bermuda’s newest luxury resort, The Loren had significant buzz surrounding it upon opening in 2017, and one of the many reasons that buzz hasn’t died down is due to the outstanding quality of cuisine offered at its Pink Beach Club restaurant. PBC’s culinary team puts a special emphasis on using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, and as if the food wasn’t enough, the venue’s soothing ocean views are truly magnificent.
116 South Road, Smith’s, 293-1666
If you’re looking for a hearty salad with robust diversity of flavour and high nutritional value to match, Devil’s Isle Cafe is pretty difficult to top. Though their award-winning Kale Chicken Caesar is what first established them as salad masters, their recent focus has been on paleo salads which feature a range of fresh, healthy ingredients that are rotated on a frequent basis to keep things interesting. Depending on the day, these paleo delights can feature anything from house-roasted brisket or chicken to pickled celery root, pine nuts, plantain chips and much more.
19 Burnaby Street, Hamilton, 292-3284
An undeniable cornerstone of Bermuda’s fine dining culture, Waterlot Inn has a rich, storied history and a stellar reputation to match. Specialising in steaks and chops, this 350-year-old venue has won both Wine Spectator and AAA Four Diamond awards, and prides itself on spectacular service. The view isn’t bad, either: Waterlot Inn rests on Southampton’s Jew’s Bay, where the sunsets are often so serene and romantic that you may end up proposing to your dinner date by accident.
101 South Road, Southampton, 238-8000
Overlooking Elbow Beach on the south shore, Sea Breeze is known for stimulating a relaxed, chilled-out vibe in its patrons, and it’s not hard to see why. Breathtaking ocean views and soothing sea breezes complement a calming decorative style, a clear sign that the venue was designed to help people temporarily forget the stresses in their lives. Sea Breeze also specialises in tapas, so if you’re in the mood for a nibble while you unwind, you’ve found the right place!
Elbow Beach Resort, Paget, 232-3999
Pearl, the wildly popular sushi spot owned by the Yellowfin Group, can almost be described as having a cult following; people who love it, really love it. The signature maki rolls are to die for, the sashimi is sensational, and it’s one of those places where if you invite someone along who claims that they “don’t like sushi,” they will walk away after their meal questioning every- thing they’ve ever believed. Throw in reasonable pricing and exquisite presentation, and you’ve got yourself an unforgettable sushi experience.
87 Front Street, Hamilton, 295-9150
Danai at Marcus’
Executive chef Danai Hongwanishkul of Marcus’ Bermuda may have only moved to the island a year ago, but he’s already made a hugely positive impression on the local culinary scene. Having gained influence from cultures all around the world, he’s worked hard to ensure that Marcus’ menu appeals to everyone regardless of their dietary requirements, and often works directly with Marcus Samuelsson himself. Recently, Hongwanishkul launched a new menu with tantalising offerings such as salt cod croquette with avocado, plantain and a poached Wadson’s egg, as well as a special new veggie burger that promises to look, cook and taste just like ground beef.
Hamilton Princess Hotel, Hamilton, 298-2028
Sunday brunch at Marcus’ Bermuda is a delightfully relaxing experience that benefits from a tantalising menu, stunning views of Hamilton Harbour and diligent staff who are ever-so-vigilant with the unlimited champagne refills. An increasingly popular setting for group birthday celebrations, this Sunday tradition at the Hamilton Princess has impressively emerged as a worthy contender in the Bermuda brunch scene after only having started two-and-a-half years ago. If you’re lucky, you may even see Marcus Samuelsson himself wandering around!
Hamilton Princess Hotel, Hamilton, 298-2028
La Trattoria’s reputation as one of Bermuda’s kid-friendliest restaurants goes back several decades, and in 2018, that reputation still stands. Eternally accommodating no matter the size of your group or the number of children you bring along, “La Trat” is the perfect place to take your little rascals if you want a seamless experience with speedy, competent service. The little ones can be as loud as they want (within reason), and they’ll receive nothing but a smile from the friendly waitstaff.
23 Washington Lane, Hamilton, 295-1877
PRIVATE DINING ROOM
The private dining room at Harry’s Restaurant & Bar seats up to 10 people, and is nestled within their temperature-controlled wine cellar for an elegant, tasteful ambience. It’s the perfect place to hold a birthday celebration, an office gathering, or any other type of event where you’d prefer to keep your and your party’s conversation to yourselves.
96 Pitt’s Bay Road, Hamilton, 292-5533
Blû Bar & Grill
What do you get when you combine a staggeringly diverse menu, jaw-dropping views of the Great Sound and a wine list that would make a sommelier blush? You get Blû Bar & Grill, the Newstead Belmont Hills Resort’s beloved fine dining establishment that bills itself as a “light steakhouse with southwestern flavour to please any palate.” Modern with a cosmopolitan vibe, this Warwick favourite never fails to impress.
25 Belmont Drive, Warwick, 232-2323
Though many restaurants have proudly held this muchcoveted award over the years, the 2018 prize goes to the kitchen at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. Perfectly spiced with a consistency that’s neither too thick nor too watery, it’s made with love from a cherished recipe that has kept people coming back for years.
Albouy’s Point, Hamilton, 295-2214
This legendary spot never fails to please its seafoodloving patrons, offering casual indoor or patio dining with a fetching view of St. George’s Harbour. While most famous for their wahoo fish specials, their menu features options for all tastes (seafood and otherwise), and they even make a mean cocktail, having won an award in 2013 for their “Pink Prickly Pear.” Co-owner Geza Wolfe is also known for his ever-changing daily coffee creations, making this a favourite spot for way more reasons than seafood alone!
36 Water Street, St. George’s, 297-1307
Captain James Robinson of Wound Up Charters is known for his unbridled enthusiasm for everything fishing-related. His deepsea charter service caters to his customers’s specific requests: he will ask them in advance what species they are looking to catch, then design a day plan based on their answer. Robinson’s decades of fishing experience (including many awards) combined with his palpable love of the island and a friendly, accommodating demeanour towards clients represent Bermudian hospitality at its finest.
Albouy’s Point, Hamilton, 737-9985
Botanical Gardens Farmers’ Market
Bermuda loves fresh produce, and this year, our judges decided to show love to everyone at once instead of choosing an individual vendor. The Botanical Gardens Farmers’s Market truly showcases the best of Bermuda-grown fruits and vegetables, and represents a community of passionate food growers who make a collective difference in lessening our dependency on imported food. Stop by any Saturday morning from November to June…you won’t regret it!
Botanical Gardens, Paget
Sweet SAAK Bakery
With humble beginnings at a weekly farmers’ market over 10 years ago, Sweet SAAK Bakery in St. George has evolved into one of Bermuda’s most well loved and respected establishments for sensuously tempting baked goods of all varieties. Whether you love fresh bread, cinnamon rolls, scones, pies, cupcakes, pastries or all of the above, they’ve got you covered. They are also available for event hosting, with special catering menus and customisable gift boxes for your convenience.
16 York Street, St. George’s, 297-0663
Russell at Miles
Russell Sedgwick is the butchery manager at Miles Market, where he operates a meat counter of unparalleled selection and quality. With the help of a courteous staff, he enthusiastically continues Miles’s long-standing legacy of sourcing nothing but the very best poultry, lamb, beef, fish, and specialty items from vendors both local and international. He also hand-selects their wet- and dry-aged beef from sustainable suppliers such as North Carolina’s Joyce Farms, demonstrating a commitment to social responsibility as well as quality.
96 Pitt’s Bay Road, Hamilton, 295-1234
Taste One Four One’s Kia Wolfe has always had a special connection with his customers since starting as bar manager seven years ago. Ready for anything that involves food and cocktails, he prefers to leave all of his problems at home when he works, focusing solely on delivering a seamless experience for patrons. To regulars and newcomers alike, he’s known primarily for his wacky sense of humour and high energy level, effortlessly embodying the upbeat spirit of Bermuda’s world-class hospitality.
141 Front Street, Hamilton, 292-0777
AL FRESCO DINING
If the idea of a romantic meal on the beach under a perfect Bermuda sunset tickles your fancy, then you’d do well to check out Breezes, a tucked-away spot at Cambridge Beaches Resort that is open seasonally for lunch and dinner. With rave reviews across the board, this upscale west end restaurant features an array of crowd- pleasing dishes, a courteous, accommodating staff and an exceptional selection of cocktails and fi ne spirits.
30 King’s Point Road, Sandys, 234-0331
Mad Hatters is the type of venue that effortlessly blends class and upscale cuisine with a distinctly unpretentious atmosphere; their stellar wait staff is one of the main reasons they succeed. Attentive without being overbearing, professional without taking themselves too seriously, each server fully understands the “fun” ambience the restaurant aims to convey, and builds on it with efficient service and personal charm. The ease with which they can recite the long list of daily specials is quite impressive, too!
22 Richmond Road, Hamilton, 297-6231
You may not expect that a museum and institution dedicated to marine research would be an ideal place to catch a thought-provoking film, but the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute consistently surprises with regular screenings of both documentaries and narrative movies. Last year from September 29–October 1, they were a chosen venue for the Manhattan Short Film Festival, where 10 Oscar-qualifying films were screened and then voted on by the audiences. They also host regular film nights for the Bermuda Alliance Francaise (L’Alliance Française des Bermudes), where viewers can enjoy popular selections from French cinema.
40 Crow Lane, Hamilton, 292-7219
BEST DRAMATIC PRODUCTION
The Pantomime, BMDS
“Puss In Boots—Bollywood Style”, the Bermuda Musical & Dramatic Society’s 2017 Christmas pantomime, was well received by attendees young and old for putting a unique twist on a classic tale in a beloved holiday format. The formidable cast of child and adult performers numbered almost 50, and writer/director Carol Birch was able to channel the consequential backstage chaos into a truly remarkable evening (or matinee) of entertainment that the whole family could enjoy.
11 Washington Street, Hamilton, 295-5584
Two Rock Wines stands apart from Bermuda’s other wine importers for one primary reason: As they state on their website, “Our love is the hunt.” Equally committed to quality and value, they focus primarily on importing selections from small, familyowned wineries as opposed to larger producers, resulting in an eclectic portfolio for Bermuda’s wine lovers to choose from. They also sell seasonal gift baskets featuring their wines along with various artisanal products to complement them.
8 Harvey Road, Paget, 232-2325
(Mat Macdonald abstained from voting in this category.)
PLACE FOR A GLASS OF WINE
Unwind with a glass of red, white, rosé or something bubbly at the Little Venice Wine Bar on Bermudiana Road! The breadth of their wine list will knock your socks off, as they pride themselves on having the largest and most comprehensive selection of bottles on-island. Whether you’re stopping in for a solo glass or to share a bottle with friends, you’ll undoubtedly find something to your liking.
32 Bermudiana Road, Hamilton, 295-3503
The Big Chill
The Big Chill is one of the most recognised names in Bermuda’s live entertainment scene, as their name is synonymous with the transcendent summer party vibes that make our busy season appealing to both residents and tourists. Comprised of veteran entertainer Tony Brannon, percussionist Keith Caisey, BAFTA nominated DJ Felix Todd and 2016 Bermuda Idol winner Jesse Seymour, this in-demand group can be found performing at venues such as Sea Breeze, Hamilton Princess Beach Club and The Terrace on Front Street.
Various Locations, 334-8669
PLACE TO WATCH SPORTS
When you’re a sports fan, choosing an establishment to watch your favourite team is serious business. The ambience, drinks, food and service must all be on point, and that’s why the Fairmont Southampton’s Boundary Sports Bar has been crowned this year’s winner. Located on the site of the former Bacci restaurant, Boundary’s design and layout ensures that every seat in the house has good views of the game, while their staff and kitchen have been given rave reviews by hotel guests and regulars alike.
Fairmont Southampton, 238-8000
AFTER WORK HOT SPOT
Let’s face it: after a hard day at work, sometimes there’s nothing better than a relaxing libation to wind down and collect yourself. That’s why when 5:01 p.m. comes, you should head on down to Harry’s Restaurant & Bar for a drink or three! With a noble selection of beers and wines, as well as an impressive cocktail menu (both signatures and classics), this harbourside staple of Hamilton’s business community continues to impress year after year.
96 Pitt’s Bay Road, Hamilton, 292-5533
HONOURABLE MENTION: The Astwood Arms
‘Wine Down Wednesday’ at Rumbar
Although Rumbar recently shut its doors, it went out with a bang after choosing to host Wine Down Wednesday as a weekly pop-up event. Every Wednesday after work, an eager crowd would gather to socialise over a $25 open bar for select wine, prosecco and sangria (an incredible deal for Bermuda or anywhere else), and to listen to the sounds of DJ Jah-Che Cooper. Sad that you missed it? Don’t worry, because it has now moved to Bulli.Social!
Since opening last year, The Dog House has emerged as an overwhelmingly popular late-night spot in the centre of Hamilton. Every weekend, this spacious, open-air Front Street venue is packed to capacity until 3 a.m., giving club-goers ample time to find that special someone and dish out the charm. With aaid-back atmosphere, loud music and energetic bar staff, it’s the perfect place to blend in with the crowd and put your charisma to the test.
93 Front Street, Hamilton, 232-3644
PLACE TO PARTY
As the night settles in at Sea Breeze, something enchanting happens: the breezy, laid-back ambience of the early evening slowly but surely morphs into a high-energy party atmosphere, and patrons begin to let loose! It’s a particular favourite during the summer months as a place where locals will have a blast for a few hours before eventually making their way into Hamilton. Look out for live music from The Big Chill on Thursday and Friday nights, too!
Elbow Beach Resort, Paget, 232-3999
This year’s coveted “Best Fish Sandwich” award goes to Woody’s Sports Bar & Restaurant, and we couldn’t be happier to celebrate their glorious amalgamation of fresh fish, crispy, well-seasoned batter, raisin bread and mouthwatering toppings for any palate. Revered by locals and visitors alike, Woody’s has a reputation that precedes it: A Google search of the term “Woody’s fish sandwich” results in wildly positive TripAdvisor feedback describing their signature offering in terms such as “nothing compares,” “phenomenal,” and “perfection.”
1 Boaz Island, Sandys, 234-6526
Bermuda loves Heroes Weekend, and one of the rea- sons is because of the incredibly well-organised and internation- ally acclaimed carnival- and soca-themed events that are thrown every year. The most surreally enjoyable of these events is undoubtedly J’ouvert, where party-goers fl ood Ber- nard’s Park from 3 a.m.–8 a.m. to throw paint at each other, get sprayed by a water truck, careen down a slip n’ slide and ulti- mately greet the sunrise while jamming out to high-energy soca music.
House of India
An enduring favourite for Bermuda residents, House of India has a stellar reputation as the original gold standard of Indian takeout food on-island. From chicken tikka masala and lamb vindaloo to onion bhajiya and everything in between, this back-of-town landmark is sure to leave you full and satisfied.
58A North Street, Hamilton, 295-6450
If you’re partial to a traditional Bermuda codfish and potato breakfast and haven’t tried Island Cuisine’s take on it, then it’s time for you to make a trip over there. This unassuming spot next to Heron Bay MarketPlace serves the local favourite every Saturday and Sunday, and this isn’t the first time they’ve won an award for it!
235 Middle Road, Southampton, 238-3287
FOOD/DRINK SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
As the “foodie” arm under the Bermemes umbrella, Bermunchies promotes and celebrates the diversity of our local cuisine like no other social media presence on the island. Any given post on their Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts will not only make you salivate, but dare we say, you may even learn something. Far from just being “food porn,” they share recipes, cover food- and-drink-related events, and do an excellent job of conveying that the culture behind what we eat is just as important as how it tastes.
BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
A good meal deal can be a difficult thing to come by in Bermuda, but Cafe Acoreano (a.k.a. “Portuguese Bakery”) manages to strike the elusive balance between reasonable pricing and high quality. Though they are arguably most popular for their baked goods, this hidden-in-plain-sight spot on Washington Street also has a daily lunch buffet, a variety of grab n’ go soups/sandwiches, and even a liquor license for if you want to relax with a beer. Throw in a friendly, attentive staff and you’ve got one of the best-kept secrets in Hamilton.
2 Washington Street, Hamilton, 296-0402
Mat Macdonald • owner, Two Rock Wine Co. Limited
Leonard Williams • special projects in Product & Experiences, Bermuda Tourism Authority
Nicky-Lynn Hines • travel coordinator, Lancashire
Laura Norman • vice president, Bowring Marsh
Megan Rumbelow • lead beauty and massage therapist, Three Graces Day Spas
To see the winners of the other 2018 Best of Bermuda Award divisions, follow the links below: