Local Food and Drink in Nassau, Bahamas

Most of the local food and drinks in Nassau revolve around the island setting.  Seafood, Conch and chicken dishes are very prevalent due to the long history of fishing and limitations to other forms of farming that require significant amounts of pasture land (cows). 

Rum is the favorite Libation and the official "spirit" of the Bahamas.  It's prevalance is probably due to the rum being made from sugarcane and the long history of its production and consumtion in the area (it was a pirate favorite...).  Rum based fruity drinks are also popular.

Local Bahamian Food

Bahamian Cookin' Restaurant and Bar (Formerly Bahamian Kitchen)

Cuisine: American, Caribbean, Bahamian

Currency: Visa, Mastercard and Cash ($3-$32)

Hours : 7:30 am - 4:00pm (Breakfast until 10:30)

Bahamian Cookin' is considered by many to be the best local Bahamian food in Nassau and is the oldest Bahamian restaurant and bar that is family owned and operated. Their specialties are all of the local Bahamian foods including Conch Fritters, Fried Plantains, Beans and rice, Fried Snapper, Mac-n-cheese, Grouper Fingers, Conch Ceviche and Jerk Chicken.  If you are looking for local food to enjoy, this place should not be missed.  The prices are very reasonable and they offer friendly service and atmosphere.  Located on Trinity Place across from the Central Bank of the Bahamas just off Market Street (near Balcony House).

Arawak Cay "Fish Fry"

Cuisine: American, Caribbean, Bahamian

Currency: Cash recommended ($10-$25)

Hours : Open for Breakfast through dinner and some open late into the night

The "Fish Fry" is just west of Downtown Nassau on West Bay Street.  It is near Junkanoo Beach (Western Esplanade Beach) and the bridge to Arawak Cay and Fort Charlotte.  This place is not for everyone but it does offer a good exposure to the local culture and food in the Bahamas.  This is where the locals eat and it is best to bring cash as there has been some questionable credit transaction in the past.  Some locals will pressure you to go into one of the unnamed restaurants, but the list below have the best reviews, been in business the longest and are our recommendations.  Get the famous "Sky Juice" drink here as well as some local Kalik beer to enjoy.  Best ways to get there are either to walk, take Jitney bus #10 or a short taxi ride. 

  • Twin Brothers

  • Seafood Haven

  • Oh Andros

  • Goldies

Cafe Matisse (Upscale dining)

Cuisine: American, Italian, Bahamian

Currency: Visa, Mastercard and Cash ($25-$100)

Hours : 12:00 pm - 11:00pm (Closed Sunday and Monday)

Cafe Matisse is referred to as the best upscale local place on the island and is considered as the best restaurant overall in Nassau. It is upscale dining and requires smart casual dress and has an elegant old school feel.  The food and service overall are first class.  Reservations are recommended and may be required during peak times.   Cafe Matisse is located near the cruise port just behind Parliament Square on Bank lane.

Local Bahamian Drinks

The Daiquiri Shack

Located near Cable Beach across from the Wyndham resort (a short walk from the Sheraton hotel).  There are over 20 varieties of daiquiris to choose from mostly made with fresh fruit including traditional strawberry, pina colada, mango, coconut, lime and peach. Every drink is great, reasonably priced and individually made to order.  Daiquiris can be ordered with ($8) or without ($5) alcohol.  To add to the history of the place people often bring pictures of themselves to add to the photo wall.  They also offer other drinks and some simple food (burgers, chicken, fries) for reasonable prices ($8).  Easiest way to get there is the #10 Jitney Bus.