The Best Restaurants in the Bahamas

Rock House Restaurant
Rock House Restaurant | Courtesy of Rock House Restaurant
Photo of Sarah Holt
30 July 2021

As the Bahamas are surrounded by the ocean, it should come as no surprise that seafood is often the star of the menus here. Conch, snapper and lobster are cooked with Caribbean, French and Creole flair. You won’t go hungry if you don’t eat fish, though: pasta, pizza, pork and chicken dishes make perfectly good a la carte understudies. These restaurants in particular come highly recommended.

Tropic Breeze Beach Bar & Grill, Exuma

Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
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You get a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach at this cabana-style restaurant near William’s Town. It’s set on the semolina-coloured sands of its own beach, and its decking area serves up dazzling blue views of the sea. Seafood dishes are the highlight of the menu here – try the seafood nachos or conch gyro. Wash it down with a sugary Goombay Smash cocktail made with rum, coconut and pineapple.

Shannas Cove Restaurant, Cat Island

Restaurant, Seafood
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A different three-course menu is put on every night at Shannas Cove Restaurant in Orange Creek. The chef uses locally sourced ingredients, including net-fresh seafood like kingfish and red snapper. Dishes are presented with pools of jus, quiffs of puree and streaks of sauce. The view is equally as easy on the eye: the eatery’s decking area looks out over the forget-me-not blue waters of the North Atlantic Sea.

The Dunmore, Harbour Island

Restaurant, French, Contemporary
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The Dunmore Restaurant
© Julia Engel
Black-and-white photographs of the Bahamas in the 1960s line the walls of this vintage-style restaurant near Pink Sands Beach. Pick a table on the deck, and you can watch the waves as you dine. The menu is a pick-and-mix of cuisines: dishes like Caribbean bouillabaisse (fish stew) share the page with options like curry grouper and tuna tartare with wontons and a soy glaze. Try to save room for dessert – the rum-drenched banana fritters go down a storm.

Firefly Bar & Grill, Elbow Cay

Bar, Seafood
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This waterside restaurant took a hit from Hurricane Dorian in 2019, but it’s now back with a bang. Seafood is the star of the menu here: try the lobster tail or the just-hooked catch of the day. On Sundays, the eatery puts on a traditional Bahamian brunch, where you can wash dishes like conch stew and “boil fish” down with cocktails such as the Firelight – made with vodka, sweet tea and homemade lemonade.

Santana’s Bar & Grill, Exuma

Bar, Seafood
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Everything from the seasoning to the hot pepper sauce is homemade at Santana’s Bar and Grill. The menu here is seafood-centric, with highlights including lobster and cracked conch. No matter what you order, you can look forward to a multi-storey portion. Try to bag a table on the wide wooden deck: it looks out over the sea, and you can sometimes see lemon sharks swimming past as you eat.

1648, Eleuthera

Restaurant, American, Seafood, Caribbean, $$$
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Outdoor dining at 1648 Bar & Grille
© frenchleaveresort.com
The best tables at 1648 are on the veranda, with its white wooden railings, wicker chairs and lantern-topped tables. The restaurant serves up uninterrupted views of Governor’s Harbour and cinematic sunsets that play out here at dusk. Lobster dishes, including lobster pizzas, pasta and salads, tend to be the best-sellers here. On the drinks front, meanwhile, it’s all about the rum – alongside a rum-heavy cocktail menu, the restaurant offers a list of sipping rums.

Cafe Matisse, Nassau

Restaurant, Italian, Seafood, $$$
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Government House, Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas
© Victor Korchenko / Alamy Stock Photo
The menu at Cafe Matisse marries classic Italian recipes with locally sourced produce. So, you can look forward to dishes like jumbo-shrimp risotto, homemade seafood ravioli and scallops with fregola sada – a Sardinian-style giant couscous. If you can, book a table in the sun-showered courtyard garden: it’s filled with greenery and artworks, including a glass jellyfish chandelier. Thirsty? The lychee and pomegranate sangrias come highly rated.

Curley’s, Nassau

Restaurant, Authentic, $$$
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For pure, unadulterated Bahamian cooking, head to Curley’s on the Fish Fry strip in Nassau. This no-frills eatery is the place to wash down classic Caribbean dishes like conch fritters, rice and peas and fried plantain with half-pints of Bahama Mama cocktails and Sky Juice – a drink made from rum, coconut water and condensed milk. Arrive here hungry – portions are big enough to feed a family.

This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Sheri-Kae McLeod.

These recommendations were updated on July 30, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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