The Best Restaurants In Nassau, BahamasA conch salad stand you should go to more than once, the best resort restaurants, and more of our favorite things to eat in The Bahamas' capital.
While the capital city of Nassau can’t claim to represent the 30 inhabited islands that make up The Bahamas, it’s the perfect entryway to Bahamian culture and is exactly where you want to be if you’re looking for day trips to the outer islands. Sure, you’ve got mega-resorts like Atlantis and Baha Mar, plus hordes of rabid cruise day-trippers that simply must take a yoga class with flamingos, but you’re missing out on all The Bahamas has to offer if you solely park it on Paradise Island.
Many of The Bahamas’ staple dishes are inspired by African cuisine and recipes you'll find in the neighboring Caribbean islands, like curry chicken, pigeon peas and rice, and plantains. There are plenty of local favorites that you should be on the lookout for, including crispy hot chicken in da bag, souse, and just about every preparation of conch known to man.
Use this guide to experience it all, whether you’re looking to walk up in your flip-flops to a roadside conch salad stand or eat at a fancier spot where you’ll actually have to wear a pair of pants. And yes, we’ll tell you where to get a good meal at the resorts, too.
EAST, CENTRAL & DOWNTOWN NASSAU
Built in the 1700s, the building where the Graycliff is located is one of the oldest in Nassau. But nowadays, it’s all lobster bisque and bread pudding here. This fine dining spot has some of the freshest ingredients on the island, and old-world colonial decor to match.
At first glance, you may feel a tad overwhelmed by just how formal the dining room looks, but the service here is far from stuffy, and after your meal, you’ll get the option to enjoy a cigar that’s hand rolled on the property and some chocolate from the on-site factory you definitely won’t want to share. Our go-to dishes here are the tartare de thon and cœur de filet de bœuf grillé, and if you’re feeling extra fancy, there’s caviar service that probably costs the same as your roundtrip ticket to Nassau.
The London is the newest cocktail bar on the Nassau scene, and it’s already becoming a nightlife staple. It’s on Charlotte Street downtown, with a hard-to-miss red London phone booth outside. You can either settle in for the night and try some rum duck lettuce wraps with a thyme and whiskey-infused lemonade they call their Day Thyme cocktail, or use it as a pre-party spot for a quick drink before you explore the rest of downtown.
Conch fritters have always been a cornerstone of a Bahamian fish fry. While there are a lot of worthwhile versions from street food vendors across Nassau, Wild Thyme does them great justice in a sit-down setting. They take crisp bell peppers, freshly-caught conch, thyme, and onions, blend them all together, and fry them in a light dough. The menu has other things like blue crab ravioli and burgers, and nearly everything is worth ordering. Wild Thyme is perfect for large groups during lunch or dinner, especially if you sit on the restaurant’s veranda. There’s plenty of space to spread out and lots of foliage.
Latitudes is a sleek restaurant on East Bay Street that’s perfect for a leisurely brunch or anniversary dinner when you want some waterside views. Their menu is pretty all over the place, with stuff like pizza, Japanese robata, and ramen, but you should focus on the nigiri and rolls. The sweet plantain roll is a must-try, as well as the creamy rock shrimp roll along with the gin and elderflower punch. Plus, if you're staying on Paradise island, it's just a 10-minute drive.
The Greek-Bahamian population in The Bahamas is small but mighty. Greek laborers moved to The Bahamas in the 1800s to develop a once-thriving sponging industry, and since then, Greek cuisine has had a significant influence on food in The Bahamas in the form of the many restaurants in both Nassau and Freeport. This is what Acropolis is all about. They’re only open for breakfast and lunch, but you should definitely prioritize the Greek-style omelet.
Located in the East Street Plaza, Bask is a great Happy Hour spot with some of the best burgers in Nassau. We’re huge fans of their messy Holy Lamb Burger with sauteed mushrooms, vegetables, yogurt mint sauce, and bacon, all on a brioche bun. Their Happy Hours run from 4-7pm Sundays through Thursdays, with buy-one-get-one half-off specials—perfect if you want to escape your all-inclusive on a weekday.
As simple as it may seem, a lot goes into the perfect conch salad: fresh mollusks, crisp vegetables, and lots of lime and pepper. There are so many conch salad vendors in Nassau, and while we wish that we could name them all, Dino’s is a clear standout. Located off of West Bay Street, this spot claims to be the originator of the tropical conch salad. But we couldn’t care less about that official designation—we just appreciate the addition of pineapple, mango, and apples to this classic. The wait can definitely be long, especially if you’re there during a holiday, but part of the experience is having a mixed drink or beer while you wait for your order.
With live music, great Greek food, and a staff that encourages you to order everything, Kyma is where you go with friends to be loud, spend money, and eat tender calamari. Located in the One West Business Plaza, this restaurant is always a good time. You can only get the Bahamian lobster between August through March, and Kyma does our favorite version on the island paired with their sweet sojazu, butter sojazu, and spicy mayo. They have a great open dining area with a second level and a small outdoor patio. Kyma is great for large groups, celebrations, or a decadent lunch, and should be your go-to dinner spot if you’re staying on the western side of the island.
Guava duff is a steamed dough pudding dessert that’s traditionally boiled in a pillowcase, and the sweet treat is beloved by pretty much everyone who lives here. So when The New Duff came on the scene and fused the traditional duff into bao buns, they instantly got our attention. They've since started making savory buns stuffed with Caribbean flavors, so in addition to trying the original guava bun, you should add on some curry mutton stuffed buns as well. The space isn’t that big and there’s limited seating, but this is a pretty casual spot that works for breakfast or a quick bite in-between meals.
Chicken in da bag has been a staple in Bahamian society for longer than anyone can remember. Since 1990, Bamboo Shack has been serving this exceptional takeout meal of chicken thighs and conch with onions, mayo, and ketchup to locals and tourists alike. They have seven locations across the island, and each lets you see Nassau in a completely different light. If you’re staying in the western part of the island, go to their West Bay spot, since they happen to be one of two locations that also serve some grilled items. Wash it all down with a Goombay soda.
We can’t get the bourbon caramel apple pie donuts from Bakehouse out of our minds. This is the newest bakery on the island, but everything we’ve tried from them has been excellent. The recent addition of their ice cream counter, Mudda Freeze, also makes this a pretty solid after-dinner dessert move. Even the savory stuff, like their smoked turkey and pesto sandwiches made on housemade croissants, are great for a quick lunch.
This family-owned coffeehouse and restaurant gives you a peek into what the French Quarter would feel like if it sat cozily in the Caribbean. Louis and Steen’s is the first specialty coffeehouse in The Bahamas and offers New Orleans dishes with recipes that have been passed down through generations. Our favorite dish here is the Caribbean Creole Bowl with Louisiana red beans and rice, andouille sausage, plantains, stir-fried vegetables, and blackened shrimp. Head here for breakfast, brunch, or lunch—they even have a French Quarter-themed market if you want to pick up goods for later.
Cricket Club is where you should try some of The Bahamas’ most traditional breakfast foods: tuna and grits, stewed conch, and sheep tongue souse. We love coming here for a number of reasons, including (but not limited to) downing a bowl of souse to cure a hangover or to watch our favorite soccer club lose, again. The 1960s colonial decor and royalist trinkets make it feel like it’s trapped in time. Post up on the balcony, which overlooks a literal cricket pitch and gives you a perfect view of Arawak Cay across the street.
By day, Bon Vivants is a little cafe in the Sandyport area of western Nassau that’s a perfect quiet meet-up spot. But at night, it turns into a speakeasy with an extensive list of cocktails and appetizers. With an outdoor patio, the bar itself is big enough to have a corner for yourself with a group of friends, yet small enough that it doesn’t lose its intimacy. There’s a fake flamingo that greets you in the bathroom, fairy lights on the patio, bright wallpaper, and old Bahamian relics like police figurines and old framed newspapers, that all make you feel like the main character in a literary fiction novel. Take it all in while pairing a lychee syrup-spiked cocktail with some ginger pork bao buns.
THE RESORT RESTAURANTS
Chef Marcus Samuelsson, who you probably know from TV or Red Rooster in NYC or Miami, has a spot right here in Nassau in the Baha Mar hotel. The scene here is resort casual, and you can expect upscale Bahamian dishes like conch croquettes and island seafood rice, served to the background of a beachfront location that’s perfect for romantic dinners. The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating with a private space on an upper level that has the best view of Cable Beach.
A few years ago, the world found out about a small island in The Exumas where pigs lived in paradise. We’re not sure how they got there, and the story seems to change depending on who’s telling it, but we do know that The Bahamas’ best-kept secret soon became a huge attraction. The Swimming Pig at the Baha Mar resort is endearingly named after them, though the only bacon you’ll find are the strips on your plate. They do traditional pub foods with a twist, like BBQ short rib nachos and pulled pork poutine, but our go-to here is the french dip au jus, which is a perfectly messy treat after a night out. With stained windows, puffy black sofas, and gold-accented trinkets, the aesthetic is very much a ‘20s-era film.