On Bermuda’s busy Front Street in Hamilton, visitors can buy everything from a $2 bottle of hot sauce to a $2,000 Louis Vuitton bag. But just a few blocks north, the Chewstick Foundation (chewstick.org) offers a different kind of souvenir – one more in the cultural vein.
Artists of all sorts have performed on the Chewstick stage: poets, rappers, steel-pan bands. Two Harvard a cappella groups recently duelled in a karaoke battle.
Here, Najib Chentouf, one of the non-profit’s founders – not to mention a writer, poet and DJ – shares five other stops in the capital to sample the flavours of the island.
“It’s part coffee shop, part gallery. It’s nice and small. They roast their own beans. Great staff. It’s just a really warm atmosphere and place to catch a good cup of coffee and relax. It’s centrally located on Reid Street, one of the main shopping streets. They have a sliver view of the harbour, but sometimes that can be obstructed by a cruise ship.” 48 Reid St., rockisland.bm
Art Mel’s Spicy Dicy
“This one, in my view, is the best Bermudian fish sandwich. It’s only takeout. It’s a small little yellow building right on St. Monica’s Road, just on the outskirts of Hamilton. They make really large, really good fish sandwiches. Bermudians like a little fish sandwich.” 9 St. Monica’s Rd.
Sushi and sashimi
“It’s not a Bermudian thing, but I really like sushi. For rolls, I like Yashi. There isn’t much of a view, it’s actually in the basement, but the food is really good. For sashimi, Pearl has the best on the island: They have local fish. They have a balcony overlooking the harbour. It’s a bit more upscale, bit pricier, but the food is really good.” Yashi: 10 Reid St. (below restaurant Coconut Rock); Pearl: 87 Front St., portocall.bm
“The Spinning Wheel on Friday nights has a great atmosphere. Nine p.m. on, you generally have a good time. It’s a mature crowd who love to dance and party. All the Bermudian black rum favourites are there – your Swizzles and your Dark ’N Stormys. Directly across the street is Jamaican Grill restaurant. They have a jerk chicken barrel out on the street Friday and Saturday nights. You can smell the spices a block away.” 33 Court St.
“During the summer Bermudians really enjoy snow cones. We call them snowballs. Most times it’s a roadside delight, but Snowy’s has an establishment in Hamilton. It’s shaved ice in a cup and then sweet syrups, fruity syrups on top. Snowy’s probably has one of the island’s largest selections of flavours. I’m very Bermudian. I put ginger beer in all of my snowballs.” 29 Princess St., facebook.com/SnowysBermuda
This interview has been edited and condensed.