Visiting the Cayman Islands? Here’s a guide to restaurants, dishes, and drinks to help you travel better!
Take me back to the beach! I’ll be saying that for a while since the heat of the Caribbean sun is now a memory. But at least I can look back at all the good things we ate! During our five-day trip in the Cayman Islands, we island-hopped between Little Cayman and Grand Cayman, eating very well all the way.
Dishes to Look For in the Cayman Islands
Because of the Islands’ past, you’ll see influences of Jamaica and Britain in its cuisine. You’ll find spicy foods, stewed meat, and plenty of seafood cooked in a variety of ways. The cuisine is very similar to other Caribbean islands and destinations. Here are some dishes to look for:
- Cracked Conch – Breaded and fried conch
- Conch multiple ways – You can also find conch in ceviche or fried fritters
- Slow-Cooked Stew with fish, beef, or pork
- Turtle Stew – This is a popular, traditional dish with the locals
- Jerk Chicken – Chicken with a spicy, traditional glaze
- Johnny Cake – I first found these deliciously fried puffs of dough in Belize
- Rum Cake – A popular Caribbean dessert, many times warmed and topped with ice cream
You’ll be able to find Cayman Island Brewery beers in many places. The brewery on Grand Cayman is open to visitors. Caybrew and White Tip Lager are both lagers and perfect for drinking on a hot day. They have more varieties, so keep an eye out!
Little Cayman Restaurants
Little Cayman is tiny! There is one restaurant not attached to a hotel on the island – Hungry Iguana. There is also a grocery store with options for snacks, microwave meals, fresh vegetables, and more.
Our meals were included in our package at Pirates Point Resort. Dinner is open to the public and reservations are required because the seats in the dining room are limited. At full resort occupancy, they probably have room for four outside guests.
Pirates Point Resort’s chef is fabulous! All meals are buffet-style, and breakfast and lunch are “come when you want” while we all sit down together for dinner. Here’s a sampling of what we had for each meal:
- Breakfast: veggie omelette, sausage, bacon, fresh fruit, English muffin
- Lunch: cod wrap, fresh fruit, cucumber and tomato salad, kale salad, chickpea salad, chocolate chip cookie
- Dinner: tuna steak, grilled squash, grilled snap peas, mixed greens salad, key lime pie, red or white wine
Grand Cayman Restaurants
Grand Cayman is considerably larger than Little Cayman. Being a destination for a variety of cultures, there are plenty of options and almost every cuisine you can think of here. These are some of the restaurants we tried, all in the West Bay area.
This restaurant was right next to our dive shop and the only quick option to fuel up between our morning and afternoon dives. Thankfully, we loved it! They call themselves an “alternative restaurant,” and provide vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. On two visits we enjoyed the lionfish cakes, beetroot carpaccio, coconut ceviche, falafel bites, Big Bap sandwich (looks like a burger but is a falafel patty with fried eggs), and the lionfish sandwich.
Whenever we mentioned going here or told people we ate here, they were surprised and asked us how we heard about it. It’s a low-key spot with local Caribbean food. We ordered a Caymanian fish plate and a jerk chicken plate. They came with rice and beans, plantains, and coleslaw.
We ate at Calypso Grill for dinner our first night. We started with lobster bisque and the fishcakes. I had grilled mahi-mahi and Boyfriend got the snapper Montecarlo. While this restaurant was recommended to us by a few locals, our experience was underwhelming, and I would rather recommend you go to the next place I talk about, which is next door.
We dined here for a leisurely lunch and was the only other table on the patio. For drinks, my Caribbean gin and tonic was very light and refreshing. For food, we started with the local crudo, mahi-mahi with mango, which I liked a lot. We also enjoyed the hearty jerk chicken entrée.
A favorite restaurant in the area, Macabuca is an ocean-front tiki bar and its sister restaurant next door, Cracked Conch, is a little more formal. Fun fact, they are also a shore diving location, so you’ll enjoy watching divers get in and out of the water. Here we enjoyed the conch platter that served conch three ways: ceviche, fritter, and cracked conch. I then enjoyed the burger while Boyfriend had the fish and chips. We ended with one of my favorite things we ate in the Cayman Islands – warm rum cake with vanilla ice cream and walnuts.
Additionally, here are some notable restaurants I had bookmarked and recommended by locals.
- Casa 43 – It’s a Mexican restaurant, which wasn’t a first-choice for us visiting Texans but we heard they have the best margaritas.
- Hemingways – This is a happening restaurant on the beach with Asian fusion cuisine.
- Island Bites – This food truck serves Mexican-influenced dishes.
- Cimboco – Caribbean food by the beach.
- Anchor & Den – Located at a Marriott, this restaurant serves a variety of food.
- Chicken! Chicken! – Get your chicken!
- Cayman Cabana – Place for seafood and ocean views
It felt like a quick trip, especially since a few of our meals were already decided. I always make sure to try the local food wherever I visit, and the Cayman Islands did not disappoint! I liked the kick of the jerk sauce and I tried to get as much seafood as possible. I’m pretty sure food tastes better when you’re by the ocean. 😉
Have you ever had Caribbean food?