Food & drink in the Cayman Islands

Food & drink in the Cayman Islands

The venues might be lively, romantic, modern or tranquil. The style might be fast, spicy, sophisticated or organic. You can eat take-aways on a picnic bench beside a local farm, sample fine wines from an extensive cellar in plush surroundings or eat fresh catch of the day on a boardwalk under the stars.

The Cayman Islands may be relatively small but the choice of restaurants and the variety of the cuisine on offer is enormous. And there’s even a local brand of rum that is aged under the sea.

There are close to two hundred restaurants in Cayman ranging from small cosy family run establishments with just a couple of tables, to award winning clubhouse-style pavilions serving the latest, sometimes experimental dishes that compare to the best in New York or London. Visitors are sure to find something and somewhere to suit their appetite and mood. And if you are self-catering, Cayman has modern supermarkets that stock virtually everything you would expect to find at home.

Whether you feel like truffles and prosciutto, a heaped plate of oxtail stew with fried beans or a vegetarian feast of aubergine ratatouille, kalamata olives, pine nuts and polenta chips, Cayman chefs can offer something tempting for almost any palate. Japanese, Italian, Mediterranean, Cuban, Jamaican, pan-Asian, Columbian and Indian are just some of the flavours available on Grand Cayman. Many of the restaurants have been long-established favourites for years and have their loyal customers who come back again and again, but new venues often spring up to bring a new flavour to add to the eclectic mix. With a steady influx of visitors from around the world the restaurants of Cayman have learned to offer an astonishing variety of food to an ever more discerning set of customers.

Seafood remains a popular staple, especially as so many visitors expect to sample what can be caught ‘on the doorstep’. Delicious fish dishes– from simple grilled tuna steaks, blackened snapper or roasted Caribbean lobster served with lemon butter sauce - the tastes of the sea are easily found. And the succulent flavours of Wahoo, Mahi-Mahi or spicy conch chowder form part of many vacationmakers’ lasting memories of their visit to the Caribbean.

In recent years the trend to ‘eat local’ has seen a trend for chefs in the islands to favour fresh local produce grown by Caymanian farmers. If you have the urge to go out and source your own ingredients, it’s easy, with twice-weekly farmer’s markets held at The Grounds near Bodden Town and at the Camana Bay village on Grand Cayman where you can pick up locally grown and packaged meats, herbs, vegetables and freshly baked bread.

On Grand Cayman you will be spoilt for choice when looking for a restaurant – or even just a quick snack from a café. Well known international outlets and some of Cayman’s finest dining rooms are clustered around Seven Mile Beach and at the west end of the island, but each part of the island will have something different to offer – so it’s worth exploring.

Grand Cayman also offers companies who can provide ‘personal chef’ services; catering companies who can come to your villa or apartment and cook for you and your family. In addition, there is a ‘Fine Dine-In’ service which can bring you a take away from any of the numerous restaurants on the island any night of the week.

Read about things to see and do and shopping in the Cayman Islands.
Moonlight dining at Kaibo Luna Del Mar, Cayman Islands. Photo by Cayman Islands Tourist Board
Fresh fish, Cayman Islands. Photo by Cayman Islands Tourist Board
Chefs, Cayman Islands. Photo by Cayman Islands Tourist Board
Fish shack, Cayman Islands. Photo by Cayman Islands Tourist Board
Jerk shack, Cayman Islands. Photo by Cayman Islands Tourist Board
Papagallo Restaurant, Cayman Islands. Photo by Cayman Islands Tourist Board
Responsible Travel would like to thank the Cayman Islands tourist board for their sponsorship of this guide
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