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Food & Dining in Bahamas


As both the capital of the Bahamas and a world-famous vacation destination, Nassau boasts a wide variety of dining and entertainment options. Many of the island's restaurants and bars keep to a tropical theme in terms of ambience and cuisine, but a more eclectic dining scene is beginning to flourish, and different kinds of night spots are also beginning to crop up. One can find Chinese take-out, European bistros and Italian trattorias throughout downtown Nassau and Paradise Island. Gourmet rooms and upscale cocktail lounges are also scattered throughout the island, with a few restaurants making the "Top Ten" list in gourmet publications and trade magazines.

However, people don't come to Nassau to eat Chinese food or French food. They come to Nassau to drink rum and eat conch—that deliciously chewy sea creature rumoured to have extraordinary libido-boosting properties. The quintessential Nassau dining experience includes chipper Calypso music, fresh fish or lobster, friendly service and a view of the sea. One can find all of these qualities at dozens of restaurants in Nassau and Paradise Island.

Places to Dine

Downtown Bay Street
Dining options on Bay Street aren't quite as plentiful as one might expect. The street is primarily a shopping area, and there are just a few restaurants interspersed with the stores. Most restaurants are located on side streets, a short distance from the thoroughfare. At the beginning of Bay Street, the majestic Colonial Hilton offers several dining options, all of them expensive. The Wedgwood Room is a perfect choice for very special occasions, say anniversary dinners or 50th birthdays. Portofino Italian Café, located on the ground floor of the Hilton, is less formal than the Wedgwood; it's appropriate for business lunches or dinners.

Fine dining choices don't stop at the Hilton, however. A number of gourmet restaurants are located within a few blocks of the landmark hotel. Graycliff and Chez Willie are known around the world for ambience and cuisine.

Although Nassau boasts a high number of world-class gourmet rooms, especially given its diminutive size – it has plenty of less formal options. Across the street from the Hilton is an extremely popular, extremely touristy restaurant, Conch Fritters. Prices are relatively low and portions are large. It's a great place to try conch for the first time. Two doors down, the dingy Imperial Cafeteria offers authentic Bahamian fare. Only the bravest tourists venture in here, but locals flock to the counter day and night. Skans Café is smack dab in the middle of Bay Street. Busy and informal, it does a brisk lunchtime business. On a side street of Bay, the Brussels Brasserie serves delectable brunch and lunch dishes in a casually cosmopolitan atmosphere.

East Bay
While it's not known for much else, the area around the foot of the Paradise Island Bridge has become a sort of restaurant district. Several popular restaurants, including the jazzy Pink Pearl and legendary Poop Deck, are clustered here, near Nassau Harbour. The recent addition of two popular restaurant franchises, the Outback Steakhouse and Hooters, makes this an even more popular dining destination.

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