Brimming with cosmopolitan energy and recently ranked amongst the Best Places To Travel In 2015 by Travel + Leisure, Nassau’s culinary scene explodes with diverse, authentic, and exotic new restaurants you must try this year.
Credit: Lukka Kairi
Undoubtedly one of Downtown Nassau’s most vibrant new restaurants serving fresh Bahamian flavors with a contemporary twist. Dare we assign Lukka Kairi with the unique title: Bahamian Nouveau? Lead by internationally renowned, Food Network affiliated Executive Chef Monica Hutchinson, who has called The Bahamas home for nearly half a decade, Lukka Kairi’s menu features traditional Bahamian and Caribbean bites with contemporary techniques, ingredients, plating and service. Each dish, which is perfectly portioned for sharing, is masterfully presented with wood blocks, mason jars, and glazed ceramics, elevating your culinary experience. Monica and her esteemed team including local favourite, Chef Alpheus Ramsay, have capitalized on some of Nassau’s most sought after real estate. Visitors by cruise or water ferry will quickly recognize their waterfront, second story restaurant conveniently located on Woodes Rogers Wharf, steps away from the dock.
- Menu Highlights: New Nassau Conch Chowder with Johnny Cake Croutons, Tamarind Ribs
- Off-Menu Appeal: Artisan touches from a full wall mural depicting Bahamian history to handcrafted pine furniture and custom finishings
- Cost: Inexpensive- $10-$15 per plate
- Location: Woodes Rogers Wharf, Downtown Nassau
- Contact: Website, Facebook, Phone (242) 323-1777
Credit: The Nassau Guardian
Having recently undergone a major renovation, The Melia Nassau Beach Resort opened its doors with a chic rebranded ambiance inline with Baha Mar’s vision of a luxury Bahamian destination. Cilantro is perhaps one of the resorts’ more casual eateries but certainly does not lack style. After you finish examining the one-page menu with considerable thought, your server will make deciding even tougher when s/he rings off the two specialty house cocktails: sweet hibiscus flower or spicy red chili margaritas? Cilantro’s menu features Mexican favourites like enchiladas and guacamole as well as some colorful delights such as traditionally prepared street barbeque carnitas served with charred pineapple atop handmade corn tortillas. No matter your menu selection though, your tastebuds will zing with excitement.
- Menu Highlights: BBQ Pork & Pineapple Tacos, Hibiscus Flower Margarita
- Off-Menu Appeal: Exciting views of handmade tortillas being cooked on a live taco station
- Cost: Reasonable, $15-$25 per plate
- Location: The Melia, Nassau Beach Resort, Cable Beach
- Contact: Website, Facebook, Phone (242) 327-6000
Brand new to the Nassau restaurant scene, this cozy Western-New Providence eatery is filled with aromatic smells of choice Italian ingredients like fresh Roma tomatoes, succulent sausage, and sage. As you might expect, Wildfire serves traditional Napoli style (thin crust) pizza cooked to perfection in a wood burning pizza oven. A guest of Wildfire should expect scenes of the pizzaiolo (pizza maker) tossing handmade yeast dough onto flour-dusted slabs of granite, generous ladles of rich tomato sauce swirled on a doughy canvas and scattered mozzarella cheese, haphazardly topped with your favourite Italian garnishes. Did we lose you? Was your mind wandering the piazzas of Italy? A meal at Wildfire is an escape. Buon appetito.
- Menu Highlights: Bruschetta, Vegan Supreme Pizza, Wild Mushroom and Spinach Pizza
- Off-Menu Appeal: Located among a buzzing community of retail stores, art galleries, salons, and commercial enterprises
- Cost: Reasonable, $15-25 per plate
- Location: Old Fort Bay Shopping Plaza, Airport Road
- Contact: Facebook, Phone (242) 377-4992
Credit: Social House
Located off of Cable Beach, west of downtown, Social House marries chic ambiance and exotic menu offerings. Indeed, the island’s sushi options were given a sophisticated upgrade by the opening of this trendy sushi bar and grill. While The Bahamas is certainly well known for its own local seafood, those interested in expanding their culinary horizons can also try imported marbled raw salmon, decadent burgundy tuna, black cod, and rock shrimp. And, what is a sushi restaurant without the bar? Social House also boasts an incredible choice of premium sakes, plum wines, and Japanese beers- perfectly paired with your prepared raw or grilled foods.
- Menu Highlights: Tuna Tostados, Black Cod, Dynamite Sushi Special, Rock Shrimp
- Off-Menu Appeal: Sexy uplight sushi bar, intimate lounges, or Japanese garden terrace to suit any seating mood
- Cost: Reasonable, $15-$25 per plate
- Location: Skyline Drive and Cable Beach
- Contact: Facebook, Phone (242) 327-2097
Presenting an unexpected fusion of French and Bahamian Continental cuisines, Sapodilla’s award winning team, lead by Executive Chef Edwin Johnson, supports a menu worthy of a Michelin Star. It’s true- Caribbean Journal recently cited Sapodilla in The 50 Best Caribbean Restaurants. While we could easily rave about the top-notch service and idyllic ocean views, the menu at Sapodilla is exceptional. As tempting as it may be to fill up on aperitifs, amuse-bouche, and entrées it comes highly recommended that you save room for dessert. Before your eyes, Sapodilla’s Executive Pastry Chef, Lynden Young, flambees your choice of rum macerated raisins, black cherries, and fresh bananas served over vanilla bean ice cream. If you haven’t already made your reservation, you should.
- Menu Highlights: Escargot En Croute, Island Lobster with Lemon Beurre Blanc, Rum Raisin Ice Cream
- Off-Menu Appeal: Wander the gardens, porticoes, and cabanas of Sapodilla’s sprawling and expertly manicured estate
- Cost: Expensive, $50-$60 per plate
- Location: Sapodilla Estate, West Bay Street
- Contact: Website, Facebook, Phone (242) 327-0611
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