Bahamas

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Local color and street food is more prevalent in Nassau, but you can still get a good feel for the local vibe on the Out Islands. While Harbour Island is going the way of St. Barts with fancy gourmet menus and exotic themed dining rooms, rustic local fare and beach shacks with fried grouper sandwiches are still prevalent whichever way you look. Obviously, seafood plays a starring role wherever you go in the Bahamas. Call ahead during the autumn slow season to verify that your restaurant of choice is open as many establishment close during this period.

Top Restaurants in Bahamas

Ma Ruby's

This popular local dive in the Tinghum Village Hotel dishes out authentic Bahamian fare alongside American favorites like their big, juicy “Cheeseburger in Paradise” (even Jimmy Buffet is said to have raved about this one). Fried chicken is a specialty too and best paired with one of their strong rum drinks.

Colebrook St., at Tingum Village Hotel, 242-333-2161
Tags: budget | dive bar

Mate & Jenny's Pizza Restaurant & Bar

This unassuming local place is one of the few places you will ever find that serves conch pizza. Too adventurous? Stick with pan fried grouper or a fish sandwich and a Goombay Smash (an intoxicating combination of dark rum, coconut rum, and orange and pineapple juice). A jukebox and pool table make Mate & Jenny's pretty lively on the weekends.

South Palmetto Point, Sout Palmetto Point, off Queen's Highway, 242-332-1504, www.the-bahamas-restaurants.com/matejen
Tags: budget

Nippers Beach Bar & Grill

Perched on a 40-foot sand dune on a small cay near Great Abaco, this extremely happening bar and grill is always the place to be. The fare is creative, island-style: battered and fried coconut conch, surf and turf, lobster salad sandwiches, and cheeseburgers. Most guests stick around to lay on their beach front, swim in their pool, or listen to their live music.

Great Guana Cay, 242-365-5143, www.nippersbar.com
Tags: moderate | seafood | great value | local favorite

Pisces

Bahamian-Italian would best categorize this popular, nautical themed restaurant in the Port Lucaya Marketplace, a favorite of locals, tourists, and sailors alike. Apart from 27 specialty pizzas - including conch, alfredo, and lobster - they have a few Caribbean curries, grilled fish, and straight pasta dishes like fettuccini.

Port Lucaya Marketplace, 242-373-5192, www.the-bahamas-restaurants.com/pisces
Tags: moderate | seafood | italian | pizza

Rock House Restaurant

Located in a trendy hotel of the same name, the Rock House’s eclectic international menu seems imported straight from South Beach. Dining on Harbour Island doesn’t get more sophisticated than this. Lunch tends to be casual with the likes of Rock Lobster sandwiches dominating the menu, while dinner is more exotic with Green Curry grouper and fashionable cocktails.

Rock House Hotel, Bay and Hill Sts., 242-333-2053, www.rockhousebahamas.com
Tags: expensive | smart splurge | trendy

Seaview Takeaway

This bright pink seafood shack, the first one off the government dock, has been beloved by all walks of life for decades for their fried grouper burgers and sloppy conch burgers and fritters, all served steaming hot in paper lined baskets.

Government Dock, 242-333-2542
Tags: budget | editor pick

Sip Sip

Named after the local slang for gossip and a drink, Sip Sip, opened in 2003, on a dune above a three-mile-long beach is the place to see and be seen. At this lime green restaurant Prada sunglasses are as common as orders of conch chili, lobster quesadillas, and baba ghanoush. Open for lunch only.

Court St., 242-333-3316
Tags: seafood | expensive

The Landing Restaurant

Australian chef Ken Gomes's contemporary menu at The Landing has drawn accolades from as far a field as the New York Times. Fresh local produce and seafood dominates the menu with dishes such as lobster dumplings, stone crab stacks, and pan-fried grouper filet. It also has the best wine list on Harbour Island.

Bay St., 242-333-2707, www.harbourislandlanding.com
Tags: expensive | trendy

The Pub at Port Lucaya

British pub fare like Sheppard’s Pie and fish and chips the standouts at this bustling bar and grill in the center of the Lucaya marketplace. Burgers, lobster tail, and Bahamian dishes like cracked conch also make the menu. Opt for the waterfront tables.

Port Lucaya Marketplace, 242-373-8450
Tags: budget | seafood | pub

The Stoned Crab

Open since 1968, this independent, Swiss-owned, Bahamian eatery is located in a pyramid shaped building that’s supposedly hurricane proof. Although they specialize in locally caught stone crab and lobster, their other dishes like conch fritters, conch chowder, and shrimp linguini are nothing to laugh at.

Taíno Beach, 242-373-1442
Tags: moderate | great value

Tippy's

Tourists and local Eleutherans alike frequent Tippy’s, the beachside shack with a refined menu from Austrian chef Peter Birkwieser. The blackboard menu changes often based on what’s fresh and in season: fried grouper finger sandwiches, conch fritters, and smoked salmon Carpaccio. The bar is perpetually packed and rocker Patti Labelle often takes the stage when in town.

Old Banks Rd. between Governor's Harbour and North Palmetto, 242-332-3331, www.pineapplefields.com
Tags: moderate | seafood | local favorite

Wally's

The main dining area on the porch of an elegant colonial villa in Marsh Harbour is charming all by itself, but the highlight will always be the French-Bahamian cuisine. Filet Mignon, dolphinfish burgers, and cracked conch put to shame anything you would find at the Four Seasons or a big resort.

East Bay St., Marsh Harbour, 242-367-2074
Tags: expensive | editor pick

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