Search Is On For Bermuda’s Best Fish Sandwich

July 14, 2015

The Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] will launch a competition next month to determine the island’s best fish sandwich and is asking residents to help with the search.

“Visitors to any destination want to eat where locals eat,” said BTA Chief Product & Experiences Development Officer Pat Phillip-Fairn.

“With this competition we will challenge our restaurateurs to win the endorsement of locals on the often debated topic of great Bermuda fish sandwiches.

“The restaurant that wins favour with locals and can impress a panel of local judges will be recommended to visitors through BTA marketing efforts on-island.”

The Chamber of Commerce Restaurant Division has been notified of the upcoming competition and the BTA is inviting all other restaurants to also participate.

Restaurateurs are being given notice of BTA’s Best Fish Sandwich Competition so they can prepare for its start on August 4, 2015. The competition will last for two weeks.

During that time the BTA will ask residents to scour the island in search of the best Bermuda-made fish sandwich and then vote for their favourite online or by telephone.


The restaurants with the highest volume of endorsements from locals will advance to a second round where a panel of judges will crown Bermuda’s Best Fish Sandwich.

Any restaurant taking part in the competition is asked to let the Tourism Authority know between now and July 29, 2015, by calling 525-FISH [3474] or sending notification via email at

Mrs Phillip-Fairn said: “Restaurant Weeks this year showed us that a well-run culinary promotion can noticeably improve the bottom lines of our stakeholders.

“We hope the Best Fish Sandwich Competition will also grow sales for local restaurateurs, particularly takeout counters who don’t take part in Restaurant Weeks because it’s a dine-in promotion.

“Also if you’re a restaurant that doesn’t typically offer fish sandwiches perhaps this is an opportunity to put it on the menu for a couple of weeks to see how customers respond. We hope to see a strong showing of local restaurants vying for this title.”


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Comments (76)

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  1. R says:

    Will this mean the FISH should be local fish?

    • Jr Smith says:

      I agree, very seldom do you find local fish sandwiches on the menu, most times the restaurant that do serve it run out early.

    • umok says:

      Seaside Grill has the best fish sandwich hands down..

    • I guess the next step would be trying to get tourist here, what a brainstorm for $100,000 bonus.

    • Think about it says:

      As nice as that would be…at $30 per pound for local filet (although I am sure they could get a slightly better rate than that)it wouldn’t be financially feasible. With the amount of fish these places put in a sandwich the cost of the sandwich would skyrocket if it were local fish.

  2. Q says:

    All I’m saying is, Art Mel’s better NOT win. Buzz has a better fish sandwich than them ffs!

    I vote for Woody’s or Island Spice

    • Woody’s by far, but I agree with the other statements, Fresh Local Fish is hardly sold that’s why I buy my own fish and make my own sandwiches.

    • frank says:

      Art mels fish is not. Local

      • Brian says:

        Like every other place sometimes it is sometimes it’s not

  3. Cow Polly says:

    Err… that prize has already been won by Aunt Mels. Should come up with something else where restaurants at least have a chance to be competitive.

    • JC says:

      Art Mels is grosss the only thing good about the sandwhich is the seasoning not the fish !!!!

  4. Proud to be Bermudian says:

    I agree with both R & Jr Smith. If tourist want a local experience, they should be treated to local fish. That’s what makes it unique!

    My 1st vote goes to WOODY’S!

    • Danielle says:

      This is a great way to get travelers to visit local restaurants and ‘dine like locals’. I can’t wait to cast my vote. If locals really want to send tourists to where you can get the best ‘local’ fish then they should be sure to cast their votes.

      • How can that be when this when this Government acts like they don’t want locals to interact with tourist.

    • Regina says:

      I would try Woody’s but I don’t want to be shot or cut! Should we really steer our innocent tourists there?

  5. Christine says:

    Can I be a judge?

  6. jolly rancher says:

    What you mean ? Sea side grill has thes best fish sandwhich’s handsdown !

    • these-mawi-people says:

      are u dumb! that is swai

      • donneika says:

        Its your choice there on wahoo or swai fish. But by far the wahoo sandwiches are great at Seaside

      • jake says:

        Artmels uses Swai too…….

      • Ya doooon says:

        Lmfao….. Same thing Art Mel’s uses!

  7. JohnBoy says:


  8. Do the Math says:

    One must take into consideration the availability of local fish… If my most popular menu item runs out due to lack of supply am I as a business owner meant to take the hit and choose not to feed my family this week? I think not.. I don’t hate on any business for choosing to make a profit. However, I WOULD take issue if the business owner asserts that they only use local fish and you find out otherwise. Just some food for thought….

    • PBanks says:

      That’s where truth in advertising comes in play, hopefully. People would appreciate the honesty if the server or chef indicates if they’re out of local fish for a product that ordinarily is advertised as local.

  9. Goose says:

    Fish sandwich or mush sandwich?

    Kind of hard to tell the difference between swai and elmers paste after it’s been fried…

  10. bermyguy says:

    WOODYS, hands down

  11. Mmmmmmmm says:

    Woody’s gets my vote!

  12. Bermerican says:

    Art mels food has gone back, sorry but don’t even include them in the competition.

  13. Alvin Williams says:

    I am torn between Art-Mels and Woodys

  14. Brian says:

    Art Mels

  15. Only right says:

    Soccer & friends in st georges down d square! Try it

  16. Navin Johnson says:

    Whether local fish or not Art Mel’s is número uno……perfectly fried never greasy and great fries……Lobster Pot’s cup match fish sandwich is great too…..

  17. bob13 says:

    Local isn’t always better…

  18. Legalgal says:

    Fish must be fresh and local. Full stop. Am happy to volunteer to taste test. Hope there’s a People’s Award to vote for.

  19. Legalgal says:

    Tribe Road Kitchen. My Friday treat.

    • Jus' Wonderin' says:

      Their’s is too salty and got sick from it there once, will never try it again :( .

  20. Onion says:

    Great idea! But it has to be local fish. These restaurants/cafés have enough time to get themselves some local fish.

  21. Say Whaat? says:

    Mr. Chicken has a really good fish sandwich! Just as good as Art Mel’s too!

  22. russ says:

    Every restaurant in Bermuda uses Swai fish for there sandwiches, there isnt any local fish…period.
    For restaurants to serve local fish we would need 50 more full time fishermen and some fish in the ocean to catch. Word has it that a guy is starting a fish farm in dockyard but fisheries will only let them use tilapia, would that then be local tilapia.
    At present cost of local fish your sandwich would have to be $20 plus and no one would buy one.. so Swai it is i guess

    • I guess that will be fitting being that everything else is anti-local.

    • Shakey says:

      Cafe Ole @ Crystal Caves sells wahoo. They recently changed management and one of the first things they did was take tilapia and swai fish off the menu!

  23. Serious Though says:

    . BTA will be marketing best fish sandwiches in Bermuda to the tourists? Or just another local BTA project ?

  24. Cottereaux says:

    What happens to tourism business at all the other restaurants that sell fish sandwiches but were not #1?

    As a judge of fish sandwiches, I get all my sandwiches free from participating restaurants, correct?

    Shouldn’t BTA being trying to first get tourists to come to Bermuda and the Chamber handle all such contests?

  25. these-mawi-people says:

    “St.Davids Sea Food” @ St. Davids Cricket Club

  26. ProudBermudian says:

    Can we please have a moment of silence for the sad demise of Black Horse. Theirs was the best fish sandwich EVER. I used to go there every Friday for a fish sandwich. I miss that place so much.

  27. FISH WAR says:

    Yup Top 3

    1) Art Mels
    2) Woody’s take out
    3) and probably my house (cause at least I fry up local fish) lol!

  28. MB says:

    Are any fish sandwiches made with Bermuda fish anymore?
    And the question is WHY?

    I will tell you. It is too expensive for a restaurant paying all the small biz taxes the govt heaps on them plus the exhorbitant Bermuda wages and utilities to make a buck selling a darn fish sandwich for less than $12 … and if it was Bermy fish it’d be like $20. Would you pay that, yet that is what the market says it should be in Bermuda for a restaurant to make enough to survive. yes do the math.
    Famous Art Mel’s is not Bda fish-according to TripAdvisor all the tourists say it is foreign … yet BTA keeps supporting it.

  29. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    It’s a crying shame that we are surrounded by beautiful waters but yet we cannot supply ourselves with bermuda fish on a regular basis…yup!let’s go independent!!

  30. Fishy says:

    Sea Side Grill does a great fish sandwich. But the Dockisder “Back-o-town” fish sandwich is the bomb!!

  31. De Truth says:

    Best fish sandwich on the island is from Black Horse, hands down. They only use local wahoo! Only problem is figuring out when they are open!

    • Onion Seed says:

      Black Horse chef and hostess are now running the restaurant above what used to be Pub On the Square in St. G. We had wonderful fish sandwiches on Mother’s Day. A hidden gem.

  32. jake says:

    My vote goes to Seaside Grill. They do a very great tasting Wahoo sandwich

  33. DJ says:

    Woody’s by far should win this. Wahoo sandwich topped with coleslaw and tartar sauce?? Oooo my dear!! Real local fish. Not that imported art mels fish that everyone is brainwashed to like.

  34. Well then says:

    Better be somewhere that sells wahoo and not some damn foreign fish. KEEP IT LOCAL.

  35. BDABOY says:

    Lionfish Sandwich competition would be a great idea. It’s so plentiful in our waters!

  36. Beast Mode says:

    If you the best fish sandwich was got to go WOODY’S!!

  37. Jus' Askin' says:

    Good thing OBA does not have a restaurant/cafe because ‘Local’ fish would never see any ‘Bread’ ;-)
    And You know they would get BTA to push for PRCs – Peas n Rice Competitions :-D

  38. A Hall says:

    My vote for best fish sandwich would go to Harry’s. I make a point of stopping there for lunch just about every day after I spend the morning at Miles enjoying the sights. Newport Room used to have a decent fish sarnie as well – it always tasted better after a few glasses of Dom Perignon ’73. I haven’t tried Art Mells yet…is it served with a frois grois and truffle infused Peruvian slaw?

  39. navin johnson says:

    why not make it the best fish sandwich made by Bermudians and if you make if local fish made by locals that would narrow the field down even further….

  40. kiskadee says:

    Everyone raves about Aunt Mel’s but they use Swai and I would not eat those dirty foreign fish from disgusting waters

    • Family Man says:

      Only ‘real’ Bermudian fish for you, right? The ig-grunts are the best.

  41. Brian says:

    Just go ice queen n get d wahoo nuggets and ask for a roll

  42. Dread says:

    When did black horse close?

  43. Former Union Member says:

    No one has mentioned Freeport Gardens in dockyard…my favorite boat stop/destination and get a takeout.

  44. gta says:

    Black Horse always had the best in my opinion, fresh local fish, and could get grilled or pan fried, as well as deep fried. I heard they are back open too!

  45. Yummmmm says:

    After reading this article yesterday, I was in the Northshore area today and decided to stop and try Seaside Grill. I purchased a Wahoo fish sandwich on raisin bread. Boy was it good. I will recommend Seaside Grill to anyone. The girl in the front also said Seaside will have a Cupmatch stall in St Georges this year. I will def support them when i go to the Cupmatch game.
    I’ve had lots of great tasting fish sandwiches in Bermuda I wish all the restaurants good luck in this competition.

  46. jenntbenny says:

    Yes seaside grill has OK fish sandwiches but whats making me mad is the fact that people really think they use LOCAL wahoo. Seaside grill buys their wahoo frozen and imported from Amber Fisheries in st davids. Yes its good tasting fish but its NOT local and they will tell you this. Blackhorse had the BEST fish sandwiches and art mels needs more credit, as for TASTE their fish sandwich is really good. And he uses imported frozen snapper NOT swai!

    • thefact says:

      Seaside grill does use imported Wahoo and so does every other restaurant in Bermuda. But when seaside has local Wahoo there is a sign up in the restaurant saying so. There is no way any restaurant in Bermuda can keep up with buying local fish in the volume they sell and the prices it cost to but local one can

    • smh says:

      Well if your soooo sure Seaside buys all their wahoo from amber fisheries in St Davids then you so know that artmels DOES sell SWAI and not snapper. Call buterfield & vallis or Bieco and you would get your answer…Looks like Your brain washed like everyone else.Artmels had bermudians for years thinking he was selling BDA fish.. At least you know what your buying at Seaside Grill

  47. stacysmom says:

    seaside grill uses frozen imported wahoo. not fresh bermuda wahoo. and the managers wud tell you theirselves. Blackhorse had the best fish sandwich but they’ve closed down. eager to try Woodys but until then ARt Mels wins in my books!

  48. Tania Stafford says:

    Gojps on the Town Square St. George’s makes a great fish sandwich and it is a small place so the fish is local