GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND RESTAURANTS
The Grand Bahama dining scene stretches well beyond traditional Bahamian cuisine. The resorts and shopping centers have eateries that serve up everything from West Indian rotis to fine Continental and creative Pacific Rim specialties. For a true Bahamian dining experience, look for restaurants named after the owner or cook—such as Billy Joe’s, Geneva’s, or Mary Ann’s. A native fish fry takes place every Wednesday evening at Smith’s Point, east of Port Lucaya (taxi drivers know the way). Here you can sample fresh fish, sweet-potato bread, conch salad, and all the fixings cooked outdoors at the beach. It’s a great opportunity to meet local residents and taste real Bahamian cuisine—and there’s no better place than seaside under the pines and palms.
A gratuity or “service charge” (15%) is often added to the bill automatically; be sure to check your total before adding an additional tip.
By Amber Nolan
An important factor in any vacation is where to eat, and Grand Bahama Island has a number of excellent restaurants that serve up local Bahamian dishes. It’s no surprise that seafood reigns supreme on the island and conch dishes are the specialty. When departing or boarding the cruise ships, passengers should swing by Robinson’s Seafood Delight for a true taste of the island cuisine. Another tasty option is Tony Macaroni’s beach restaurant which also offers a relaxing patio and tropical cocktails to match.
For an elegant night out, try Pier One and East for incredible sushi, as well as shark feeding demonstrations (outside of Lucaya) or the Flying Fish seafood, located right next to the famous Port Lucaya Marketplace. Several restaurants can be found in the market, including Zorba’s Greek Cuisine, and Cappuccinos Italian restaurant which consistently serves quality pasta dishes.
For an unusual setting, try the Garden of the Groves Cafe, a quiet, tropical oasis that is open for lunch. Kick your shoes off and leave worries behind at Margarita Villa (the Sand Bar) because the entire floor is made of sand!
The editors at 10Best.com have rounded up a list of 10 best restaurants in Grand Bahama Island to help the make your decision easier.
Robinson’s Seafood Delight
With a killer location right at the cruise ship port, this little seafood shack is a favorite among visitors. Freeport Harbor has a number of small shops in the straw market for cruise passengers, and when they are ready for a taste of Bahamian food Robinson’s delivers. Expect all-things-conch: conch salad with extra lime juice, conch fritters, cracked conch, and garlic conch. They also serve other seafood options like lobster, grouper sandwiches, and fried snapper. This is not a sit-down restaurant, but an order-at-the-window booth with extremely reasonable prices. Note: it is a bit far from the Port Lucaya Marketplace.
Cappuccino s Italian Restaurant
Quality Italian cuisine can be difficult to come by on tropical islands, but Cappuccino’s serves excellent pastas, salads, and wine. Located in Port Lucaya Marketplace, this cozy restaurant has an incredible, friendly staff that delivers top-notch service (return more than once and they will likely remember your order). From classic pasta dishes like pappardelle, veal marsala and penne bolognese, to seafood-infused entrees like lobster linguini or shrimp diavolo, you can’t go wrong. Entrees are served with warm bread and balsamic vinegar. With reasonable prices for entrees and wine, it’s no wonder this is a popular place in Port Lucaya; arrive early!
Pier One & East
Known for their sushi and locally-caught seafood, Pier One is an excellent choice on Grand Bahama island. The restaurant’s shark feedings are an added attraction – so don’t miss it! With a wide variety of sushi, the restaurant offers some unusual types – like the “Latino Roll” with mango salsa, beets, and ahi tuna, and the “Explosion Roll” with hamachi, white fish and salmon. Located west of the Port Lucayan marketplace, visitors will need a car to visit this restaurant as cab fares are not cheap. The cuisine is also a tad pricey, so this is a place for those looking for fine dining. ((242) 352-6674)
Zorba’s Greek Cuisine
If you ask any local to recommend a restaurant to you, nine times out of ten, they will say Zorba’s. Here you will find truly great Greek food and lots of it, as well as classic Bahamian cuisine and a few American staples. Located conveniently in the Port Lucaya Marketplace, this restaurant offers both open-air patio dining as well as indoor air-conditioned dining. Authentic menu selections include grape leaves stuffed with beef and dressed in avgolemono sauce and tasty kebabs grilled just right. Pork, lamb and beef dishes round out the offerings, and regional seafood items punctuate the menu as well. (242-373-6137)
Located directly on Fortune Beach (in a clothing-optional area), Banana Bay is open daily and has a nice menu of sandwiches, salads and barbecue. It is a quiet spot to enjoy a meal or sip on a cocktail. Supposedly, at this spot you’ll find the island’s best pina coladas, and they are also known for their “Tropical Frozen Wacky Banana Drink.” The entrance is hidden among palm trees and tropical vegetation, so look for cars parked in the small side lot. It is about as casual as it gets: sip your drinks on a reclining beach chair, swim in the sand bar, and dine on the shady patio or inside with funky-island decor. (242-373-2960)
The Garden Cafe and Bar (at Garden of the Groves)
Offering a serene setting in Garden of the Groves, this casual, yet elegant restaurant serves up an excellent lunch. The gardens are an enchanting, tropical paradise; it’s a peaceful change from the beach bars and restaurants of Lucaya. Located several miles from the marketplace, a car is required to reach this oasis. Diverse menu items may include hummus and pita, Greek salads and chicken souvlaki, bratwursts, or grilled steak and shrimp. The bar deck overlooks the ponds and waterfalls or guests can dine in the the new our air-conditioned dining room on the upper deck. On Fridays, the Garden Cafe also serves dinner. (242 374-7778)
This small little beach “snack shack” has remained a local favorite despite the destructive force of three hurricanes. Tony rebuilt his seafood hot spot, which now offers a wooden porch with picnic tables and straw overhang for shaded options. Conch shells make up most of the decor, and the view of the sparkling sky-blue water is mesmerizing. The small menu is posted on the wall, which includes conch burger (with spicy sauce), roasted conch and lobster, hot dogs and burgers, and his famous conch salad. Portions aren’t generous, but the food is delicious. Wash it down with a pina colada or gully wash and let a few hours go by.
A perfect breakfast spot in the heart of the Port Lucaya Marketplace, they also serve up sandwiches, Austrian specialties (an interesting find in the Bahamas), and classic Bahamian dishes. For breakfast, don’t pass up the coconut French toast or pancakes with walnuts and bananas. Cafe Breeze makes a nice break from shopping, and guests can also dine outside on the patio. For lunch, try the conch fritters, fish sandwiches, chicken cordon bleu, and wiener schnitzel. The restaurant is in quiet area of the marketplace, and the food is extremely affordable – particularly when compared to some nearby hotel restaurants. (242 373 2664)
The Margarita Villa Sand Bar
Often called simply, the Sand Bar, the signature characteristic of this restaurant and bar is that the floor is made of sand! Inside, there are televisions for watching the game, live music on a regular basis, and the elusive air conditioning. Located just five minutes’ drive from Port Lucaya Marketplace, it’s far enough from the crowds but close enough for day trippers on a time crunch. The menu offers a number of bar favorites like conch fritters and fish burgers, as well as Greek salads and Philly cheese steaks. Two top decks offer relaxing views, perfect for sipping on a signature margarita and leaving stress being.
Flying Fish Modern Seafood
This waterfront restaurant next to the Port Lucaya Marketplace is a traveler favorite. The Flying Fish boasts a posh atmosphere where almost every inch was designed by the owner, the largest wine list in Grand Bahama, and the only certified sommelier on the island. No surprise here, but seafood is a staple; from oysters on the half shell, stone crab, and grilled calamari to crispy snapper, seared mahi mahi, and sea scallops. Other dishes include Australian rack of lamb, beef short ribs, black truffle fettuccine, and crispy duck breast. Happy hour specials start the evening at 5 pm six nights a week. ((242)373-4363)