With award-winning restaurants and a barefoot island vibe, it’s easy to see why the Cayman Islands is the self-proclaimed Culinary Capital of the Caribbean. Ocean-to-table cuisine and a commitment to sustainability, Grand Cayman, and its sister islands, delight guests with everything from fine dining and food festivals to local joints. Here are ten of the best food experiences in the Cayman Islands for the culinary traveler.
Five days of haute cuisine on a white sand beach on Grand Cayman’s famed Seven Mile Beach is the calling card of the annual Cayman Cookout. Attracting world-renowned chefs, mixologists, and culinary celebrities such as Eric Ripert and José Andrés, its relaxed Caribbean casual vibe welcomes guests year after year. Bespoke lunches, dinners, demonstrations, and cooking classes delight the senses and make memories.
This award-winning restaurant earned both the AAA 4 Diamond Award and Wine Spectator’s 2016 Award of Excellence. With stunning views of Seven Mile Beach, the Beach House is known for its refined wine list featuring boutique producers. Foodies will be equally impressed with its five-course tasting menu showcasing unique fish dishes like tandoori Caribbean snapper and cured wahoo carpaccio.
Everyone is invited to slow down and enjoy the culinary delights of the Slow Food Moment celebrating traditional recipes and local ingredients. Held in April at Camana Bay, local chefs work with island farmers and dish out free samples of delicious local cuisine. Bring the kids to learn how to make fun nutritious meals with local ingredients. Slow Food Day attracts the likes of three Michelin-star Chef Clare Smyth who teams up with local restaurants to serve up slow food delights.
The sunset isn’t on the menu but it’s a favorite at The Lobster Pot. A popular spot since 1965, this family-owned landmark restaurant has panoramic waterfront views from its over-the-water deck. Specialties include lobster Cayman-style, lobster mango salad, conch fritters, and marinated queen conch. For dessert, try the fluffy coconut pie. Just steps away from the restaurant is the dock where local fisherman unload their daily catch of red snapper, mahi mahi, and wahoo.
In the Cayman Islands Yacht Club, Morgan’s Seafood Restaurant is elegant yet casual with an open airy Caribbean vibe and view of Governor’s Creek. With an extensive ocean-to-table menu, its husband and wife team deliver the freshest seasonal fish caught daily by their own fishermen. Begin with a signature artisanal cocktail followed by ceviche, its famous jerk burger, and key lime pie.
When you’re in the Cayman Islands there’s a 50% chance you’re barefoot on the beach. Which is all good at Kaibo Beach Bar. Relax in the shade at their causal picnic-style tables and soak up the island vibe as music sets just the right mood. After you’ve cooled off with one of their famous mudslides, stay at the beach bar or head upstairs for a fine dining concept with casual elegance. There’s no dress code and it’s recommended to try their six-course tasting menu. Make sure to sample their extensive library collection of rare rum.
A locals’ favorite on Cayman Brac, its extensive menu of Caribbean specialties and Chinese fare is the perfect place to fuel up between diving and snorkeling. Guests love the “Caymankind” friendly service at Star Island and a chance to meet local characters. Try the brown fish stew, conch steak, jerk fish sandwich and the carrot juice made with rum, milk, and spices, or refresh with a glass of zingy ginger juice.
Recently renovated, a panoramic ocean view is just one of the highlights of this poolside bar at the Cayman Brac Beach Resort. An outstanding cocktail menu at the Tipsy Turtle Pub is another. Or be adventurous and ask your bartender to make a signature cocktail just for you. Try the pan-fried snapper stuffed with shrimp and crab or the jerk chicken sandwich, and check out the schedule for fun events like crab racing.
The Caribbean flair of this fun, colourful poolside restaurant shines through both in the décor and on the menu. Must-try dishes are its award-winning fish tacos with signature sauces, jerk chicken egg rolls, and Asian salad. Focusing on fresh local ingredients, the Sunshine Grill bakes its own bread every morning and is proud to support local growers.
A chic city vibe meets island time at Abacus, a farm-to-table Caribbean restaurant in Camana Bay. Boasting a lively lounge culture, its cocktail menu is seasonally inspired using local fruits. Dine indoors or on its patio in the shade surrounded by palm trees as you feast on a menu that focuses on sustainability and supporting local farmers. Try the marinated conch, roasted octopus, and the sashimi of the moment.