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What’s my favorite thing about traveling? Meeting new people, duh. But second to that is eating all the food. Seriously. My taste buds are a huge determinant of whether or not I’ll like visiting a new place.
While working on the Carnival Elation, I was so lucky to be able to visit the beautiful island of Nassau in the Bahamas every 4-5 days, and trust me, there’s no shortage of restaurants, especially if you’re next to the cruise port. There are a plethora of different cuisines available and restaurants to enjoy, including some you’d find in America, such as Margaritaville, Hard Rock Cafe and, of course, McDonald’s, but who goes on vaca just to eat the same food they can eat at home? Not me.
There are many, many restaurants that I didn’t get to try during my visits to Nassau, and I’m hoping to get to them on my next trip, but for now, here are a few that I would recommend trying out. Nearly all of them are walking distance from the cruise port if you happen to be visiting the island from a ship.
Side note: I would recommend skipping Sharkeez Tiki Bar. For some reason, it’s really popular, but I ate there twice, and I was not impressed. Plus, the WiFi is pretty horrible, and by horrible I mean it doesn’t work at all. On that same note, the staff was very friendly and welcoming, and there’s a lovely view of the ocean and cruise ships, but that didn’t make up for the fact that the food was mediocre. Now, if you’re looking for a place to watch American football, Sharkeez is the place to go; otherwise, I wouldn’t put it as a first choice.
This was easily my favorite place to eat in Nassau because the food was good, the service was quick and the WiFi was reliable. I always ate outside because the weather was gorgeous (and the WiFi worked faster, not gonna lie). My favorite thing on the menu was the Smoked Salmon Pizza. It was like eating lox, but on a pizza. Capers included.
I would also recommend the wings (tossed in Sriracha BBQ sauce. How can you not?) and the nachos. Those nachos, y’all… Salivating just thinking about it.
Also, attached to Smugglers is the Pirate Museum. I had a fun time walking through the museum and learning about the history of pirates in the area. The displays are very impressive, as well as the sound effects. I’m a sucker for a good museum, and if you are too, I would definitely recommend the Pirate Museum, particularly if you have kids. Many of the kiddos that came to camp on the ship raved about how much they loved the Pirate Museum and refused to take their pirate wristbands off.
Not only was the pizza absolutely delicious, the building itself is absolutely gorgeous. Graycliff is walking distance from the cruise terminal, albeit a little out of the way, but completely worth the walk. I didn’t actually eat in the fine dining restaurant area, so I can’t speak for that portion, but I ate an entire pizza while lounging by the pool, and boy, let me tell you, it was so good.
The building itself is a historic mansion that you can walk around and explore. There are also beautiful gardens outside and a walking path that leads straight to the pool. If you visit Graycliff during the day, you pay $25 for access to the pool area. The $25 you spend goes toward food and drinks at the bar, and it also includes unlimited WiFi during your visit. I got a bottle of water and a whole pizza (for myself because I’m greedy), and with a tip, I still stayed under the $25 mark. Admittedly, the pizza took a good little while to come out, but that’s how you know it was made fresh. Also, it didn’t really matter, because we were having a good time chatting and hanging out in the pool. I would recommend ordering your pizza first and then going to bask in the sunshine while you wait for them to bring it out.
If you’re looking for a restaurant with delicious Bahamian cuisine, a beautiful view of the ocean and free WiFi, Lukka Kairi is the place to be. Plus, it’s super close to the cruise terminal as well as lots of local shopping. Even the menu at the place is beautiful and displayed on a wooden board. Classy, I know.
I had the seafood burger with some sweet potato fries, and they were très magnifique, especially the sweet potato fries. I could have done without the slaw on the burger, but that’s just personal preference because veggies and me aren’t the best of friends (#27andIstilldonteatmyveggies).
THE VILLAGE BURGER SHACK
If you’re winding down from a fun day at Atlantis, I would highly recommend taking a short walk over to The Village Burger Shack, aka the newest Atlantis restaurant on the block. It’s located in Marina Village, and it’s the only restaurant on this list that’s not within walking distance from the terminal. Atlantis and Marina Village are just a short cab ride away from the cruise ships, and it only costs about $4-5 to get there.
We opted to eat outside because it was such a beautiful day, but the indoor decor is absolutely adorable and will remind you of an old diner. I had the Marina Brake-Fast Burger, which comes with a fried egg, bologna, bacon and American cheese. I took the bologna off though because I ain’t about that life. Also, you can’t leave there without getting a milkshake (unless you’re lactose intolerant, then by all means…). My friend, Paige, and I split a cookies and cream one, and it was just what the doctor ordered.
If you go to the Bahamas, and you have a hankering for some good old Chinese food, Summer Palace is the place to go. Y’all, this place is huge. From the outside, it looks like it’s a decent-sized restaurant, but no, it’s actually huge. Okay, I’m being a little dramatic, but honestly, when I walked in, I wasn’t expecting it to be as big as it is.
Summer Palace is located right across the street from all of the American essentials – Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins. Really though, it’s on your way to Junkanoo Beach, so if you want to stop in and get your Chinese food fix, this is a good place to do it.
Pros: Decent food, usually quiet, excellent service, near shopping, super fast WiFi (I sat in here for hours and watched Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life when it first came out.)
Cons: Slow service. It took me quite awhile to get my food, and I’m not sure if it’s because I was sitting by myself watching Netflix in no obvious rush or if the service is usually slow in general.
Y’all, I’m telling you, ya girl likes to eat, so if you happen to be in Nassau and try any of these places, please let me know. I’d love to hear your taste buds’ thoughts on the Bahamian cuisine. Also, if you’ve been to Nassau and eaten somewhere that’s not listed, holla atcha girl because I’ll be traveling there again on my next ship towards the end of the year.
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What’s your favorite meal to eat on vacation?