Bahamas — Food and Restaurants
It’s not hard to find a good place to eat in the Bahamas, and lovers of seafood in particular will be blown away by the food. Dining is generally expensive since most ingredients need to be imported, and although many of the restaurants are high-end, you get what you pay for. All hotels have quality eateries and a standard 15 percent service charge. Some resorts are fully-inclusive, where holidaymakers have all food and drink options at their fingertips, and sometimes entertainment and activities, included in the package. Bahamas nightlife is classified as pumping and if you’re looking to go out, you won’t have to look too far.
Bars and Pubbing in the Bahamas
Nassau and Paradise Island are the de facto nightlife havens in the Bahamas, the latter of which is predominantly based around its big hotel resorts. Atlantis Paradise Island Resort & Casino (Casino Dr., Paradise Island) is all-encompassing, with various bars, clubs, and restaurants, as well as a fabulous casino.
All main resort towns in the Bahamas have bars, terrace cafés, and clubs, including Freeport on Grand Bahama, which is good for some ‘rake ‘n scrape’, though Cable Beach in Nassau has the best options. Popular places include: Cocktails & Dreams, Club Fluid (West Bay St., Nassau), and* Club Waterloo* (East Bay St., Nassau). If you can’t swallow the prices of Atlantis Paradise, consider the Crystal Palace (West Bay Street, Cable Beach, Nassau) complex on Cable Beach. Expect steep entry fees for nightclubs, which typically are open until 2:00 a.m.
Live music is as popular as the discos, and there are many joints with soca (West Indian) music. Those staying at the all-inclusive resorts will get beer included with the deal, albeit the local brew, usually Kalik. Imported beers are expensive, though Caribbean rum is eternally popular and a lot better value than imported liquors. Ron Ricardo is good local rum, and for punch, the pineapple-centric goombay is tasty. Main towns on the Out Islands all have places to play for a festive Bahamas night.
Dining and Cuisine in the Bahamas
There are more restaurants and cafés than anything else, in particular on Paradise Island and in Freeport City, Grand Bahama. The all-inclusive resorts have some of the best eating and these are open to non-guests, as well as those who have pre-purchased a package. There are also plenty of independent dining establishments, along with fast-food like McDonalds and KFC in the main towns.
Cable Beach’s West Bay Street in Nassau is particularly well endowed with restaurants and eateries, and nearby is the excellent Shoal Restaurant (Nassau St., Nassau). For Italian food in the capital, try Café Matiss (Bank Ln., Nassau). Paradise Island, meanwhile, has a vast amount of restaurants in its hotels, including Café Martinique in Atlantis (Marina Village, Casino Dr., Paradise Island) for good French food in the Bahamas and Dune (Ocean Club, Ocean Club Dr., Paradise Island).
Elsewhere, China Beach (Radisson, Lucaya Resort, Grand Bahama) has great Asian/Pacific Rim options, while Coolie Mae’s (Bullock’s Harbor, Berry Islands) serves Caribbean; and Casa Lyon (Bimini Bay Resort, King’s Hwy, Bimini) on the popular fishing island of Bimini dishes up French fare.
For a local dish, fried or raw conch is the Bahamian meal of choice for many and is available everywhere from high-end restaurants to beach shacks. Crab and lobster are equally ubiquitous, but to really eat like a local in the Bahamas, head to the Fish Fry (Arawak Cay, Nassau), which offers good nightlife, as well as fried fish on Sunday.