While restaurants in the Bahamas can range from casual vendor stands to upscale bistros, the legendary island hospitality and delicious cuisine will always come standard.
The cost of dining in the Bahamas, as in many of the Caribbean islands, can be somewhat expensive. Travelers should have no problem finding moderately priced meals but are reminded that local specialties such as grouper, conch, and "peas 'n' rice" will be more affordable, as they are more readily available on the islands.
Diners who prefer a very casual dining experience may be interested in the small local restaurants that have a somewhat limited menu. These can be a great opportunity to sample the most authentic local fare, and an average meal should cost less than $20(USD) per person. Fast food has also made its way into the islands and can be a familiar alternative for guests looking for an inexpensive bite to eat. Meals at fast food places will cost around $10(USD).
Moderate dining in the Bahamas often showcases many of the cultural influences that have played such an important role on the area. The menus generally reflect an interest in international cuisine and even the local dishes are often served with a continental flair. The cost of dining in a mid-range restaurant will generally be between $25(USD) and $40(USD). If you're interested in viewing Bahamas restauraunts by cuisine, check out the following table.
|American||71 Restaurants||Baha Mar, Dunmore Town, Nassau, Great Abaco, Treasure Cay, downtown Nassau, the Bahamas, Cat Island, Eleuthera, Great Exuma, Great Guana Cay, Green Turtle Cay, Cable Beach, San Salvador Island, Freeport, Marsh Harbour, Paradise Island, Man of War Cay, Lubbers Quarters Cay, Stocking Island, New Providence, downtown Freeport, Staniel Cay, Port Lucaya|
|Asian||5 Restaurants||the Abaco Islands, Marsh Harbour, Port Lucaya, Freeport|
|3 Restaurants||Marsh Harbour, Great Exuma, Paradise Island|
|8 Restaurants||Dunmore Town, Freeport, George Town, Eleuthera, Great Exuma, Port Lucaya|
|Bajan||1 Restaurant||the Bahamas|
|Belgian||1 Restaurant||downtown Nassau|
|1 Restaurant||downtown Nassau|
|Cajun||2 Restaurants||Eleuthera, Cable Beach|
|Caribbean||133 Restaurants||Baha Mar, Dunmore Town, Rolleville, Long Island, Nassau, Hopetown, Great Abaco, Arthurs Town, Treasure Cay, downtown Nassau, Tarpum Bay, Mangrove Cay, the Abaco Islands, North Andros Island, the Bahamas, Cat Island, Elbow Cay, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, Great Exuma, Great Guana Cay, Great Harbour Cay, Green Turtle Cay, William's Town, William's Town Beach, Potters Cay, North Bimini, Sunrise Park, Cable Beach, Freeport, George Town, Stocking Island, South Bimini, Marsh Harbour, Paradise Island, Rock Sound, Deadman's Cay, Man of War Cay, Lubbers Quarters Cay, the vicinity of Freeport, High Rock, New Providence, Deep Water Cay, Spanish Cay, Staniel Cay, Port Lucaya|
|Chinese||20 Restaurants||Baha Mar, downtown Nassau, Cable Beach, Freeport, Caves, Nassau, Port Lucaya|
|Continental||5 Restaurants||Long Island, downtown Nassau, Freeport, Port Lucaya|
|Creole||1 Restaurant||Cable Beach|
|European||8 Restaurants||Eleuthera, Port Lucaya, downtown Nassau, Paradise Island|
|French||11 Restaurants||Baha Mar, downtown Nassau, Olde Town Sandyport, Freeport, Nassau, Paradise Island, Port Lucaya|
|Fusion||7 Restaurants||South Bimini, Marsh Harbour, Port Lucaya, Dunmore Town, Great Abaco|
|Greek||3 Restaurants||Port Lucaya, downtown Nassau, Cable Beach|
|Indian||1 Restaurant||downtown Nassau|
|1 Restaurant||Lyford Cay|
|International||50 Restaurants||Baha Mar, Dunmore Town, Lyford Cay, Nassau, downtown Nassau, Cat Island, Elbow Cay, Eleuthera, Great Guana Cay, Great Harbour Cay, Green Turtle Cay, Harbour Island, William's Town, Winding Bay, Cable Beach, Freeport, Governors Harbour, Paradise Island, Garden of the Groves, the vicinity of Freeport, New Providence, Spanish Cay, Port Lucaya|
|Italian||26 Restaurants||Baha Mar, downtown Nassau, Lyford Cay, Cable Beach, downtown Freeport, Nassau, Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island, Port Lucaya, Harbour Island|
|Jamaican||2 Restaurants||Nassau, Cat Island|
|Japanese||4 Restaurants||Baha Mar, Nassau, Paradise Island|
|Latin American||1 Restaurant||Port Lucaya|
|Mediterranean||10 Restaurants||Baha Mar, downtown Nassau, Cable Beach, the Abaco Islands, Marsh Harbour, Paradise Island, Olde Town Sandyport, Port Lucaya, Harbour Island|
|Pan Asian / Pacific Rim||5 Restaurants||Baha Mar, Port Lucaya, Paradise Island, Cable Beach|
|Thai||1 Restaurant||Lyford Cay|
|1 Restaurant||Lyford Cay|
|1 Restaurant||New Providence|
|Eclectic||28 Restaurants||the vicinity of Freeport, Baha Mar, Long Island, Nassau, Winding Bay, William's Town Beach, Port Lucaya, Man of War Cay, South Bimini, Paradise Island, Hopetown, Great Abaco, Eleuthera, Great Guana Cay, Great Harbour Cay, Green Turtle Cay, Cable Beach, Chub Cay|
|Vegetarian||2 Restaurants||downtown Nassau, Elbow Cay|
Traditionally, the Bahamas has not been known for adventurous and innovative dining. This has started to change lately, as more renowned chefs have begun to arrive. It is no longer difficult to find very upscale establishments that serve traditional gourmet tastes alongside more exotic local fare. Visitors should expect to pay more than $40(USD) per person for a meal at one of the more tony restaurants.
The Bahamas have always tried to maintain a laid-back attitude, and this is nowhere more apparent than in the relaxed dress codes found at many popular island restaurants. During the daytime, shorts and t-shirts are generally acceptable, although travelers should note that bathing suits should be worn only at the beach or poolside. Several establishments may require a jacket for gentlemen, particularly for dinner and during peak season. If you are unsure of the exact requirement, feel free to inquire when making reservations.
Restaurants in the Bahamas get extremely busy, especially during the peak season. Consequently, vacationers are advised to make reservations well in advance to ensure that tables are available. Booking a table in advance can be made easy by such means as faxing reservations to restaurants before you even leave home. Hotels with concierge on staff should be able to give personalized recommendations and make reservations for their guests, as well.
Travelers should also be aware that when the check is presented at restaurants in the Bahamas, a service charge of 15 percent may have already been assessed. This is a gratuity for your servers and the staff who prepared your meal and if the charge is present, there is no need for additional tipping. If this charge is absent from your bill, the tipping standard here is around 15 to 20 percent, as in the United States. As always, guests should tip to reflect the quality of service.
With world-class service and an intriguing blend of colonial refinement and island exuberance, the restaurants of the Bahamas are sure to please hungry vacationers.
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