Tobago Bars & Nightlife
A guide to pubs, bars and clubs and other night-time activity on Tobago
Nobody goes to Tobago for the nightlife. The island is so laid-back and relaxed that most people are in bed by 10:30pm.
A local idion says "get up with the sun, go to bed with the sun". A very large percentage of the population, particularly in rural areas, go to bed only a few hours after sunset. Mind you, they are up before dawn. Many of them will have done half a day's work before the average tourist finishes breakfast.
Don't make the mistake of thinking that Tobagonians don't know how to have fun. In truth, they make our modern British culture of 'getting bladdered' look as pathetic as it really is. As the home of calypso and soca, Trinidadians and Tobagonians almost invented the word 'fun'. If you need convincing, just try a late-night session at Sunday School.
Most hotels provide nightly entertainment during the 'high' season winter months. The acts largely revolve around local cultural acts. They are generally very good, but audience participation is normally nil. For many years I thought this was a product of the type of clientele at the hotels I favoured, but having stayed at every major hotel on Tobago, I realise that it is probably more to do with the British guests who represent the majority of the patrons at these hotels.
Outside the Crown Point area, nightlife consists of little more than social interaction with locals and/or other visitors at small local bars. It is rare to find one open as late as 11pm. Given the sparsity of nightlife venues, our listing therefore ignores our usual regional geographical analysis.
Hold your mouse over any Reader Satisfaction Rating (RSR) for further information. Click on the RSR rating to cast your own 'satisfaction' with those services you have experience of.
RSR Azucar Restaurant & Bar, Mount Pleasant
New (2012) restaurant and bar offering tapas and selected local dishes, followed by salsa lessons, with salsa disco dancing every night from 9pm.
RSR Bar Code, Scarborough
Located a short distance from the harbour, in Scarborough's Milford Road, this sports bar features large-screen cable/satellite sporting channels. There are pool tables and the atmosphere can be lively. Customers are mainly local. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 5pm to 2am.
RSR Green Lime, Canaan
A small outdoor bar and dance venue located in Milford Road. A very popular venue with locals, particularly on Friday or Saturday nights.
RSR Jade Monkey, Bon Accord
A new feature for 2009, Jade Monkey is a slot-machine gaming/amusement parlour based in the Fortune Plaza in Bon Accord.
RSR Royalton Casino
A recent addition to the Tobago entertainment scene, the Royalton Casino is located at the Crown Point Beach Hotel in Crown Point. They offer roulette, black jack, stud poker, baccarat and slot machines, with a free hotel pick up service.
RSR Shade, The
Located in Bon Accord, The Shade is a bar/restaurant with a very lively atmosphere. It has sadly acquired a terrible reputation as the island's leading "pick up" joint, particularly on Friday nights. Visitors are advised not to stay late, unless in the company of a local who knows the score and can advise accordingly.
RSR Sunday School, Buccoo
Nothing religious here – Sunday School is a loud, vibrant street party. It is an ideal way of sampling one aspect of Tobagonian social life. The party starts at 8pm every Sunday evening when the Buccooneers Steel Band orchestra play pan for a couple of hours. However, the party only gets into gear about 11pm when the main sound system kicks in from the main venue, directly opposite the main beach. The music is Jamaican Dancehall with the best soca, hip hop and R+B. Sunday School is a great place for people-watching. It is best to go by taxi and to arrange for the driver to pick you up at a specified time. Do NOT take more than the few dollars (beer and rum are cheap and there's only a few barbecue and snack stalls) and leave all jewellery, expensive watches and cameras at your hotel. Like any crowded situation, the event can be a magnet for pickpockets. Sunday School is also a major 'pick-up' event, so don't be surprised if local gigolos make approaches to the ladies, even when accompanied by their partner.
RSR Sunset Palm, Buccoo Junction
A private member's club offering roulette, blackjack, rhum 32, 3 card poker and slot machines, located in the grounds of Tobago Island Suites at Buccoo Junction.
A Final Word
Tobagonians seem to favour putting all their energies into a few events scattered across the year. Carnival, which occurs before Easter, is the obvious one. In mid-August the Great Fete weekend describes itself as a "melting pot of local pop culture and extreme vibes" - meaning you party until you drop. The Great Race powerboat race at the end of August is another excuse to party and the Angostura Sailing Week in May provides yet another excuse. See our Calendar of Events for the actual dates of these events.