It’s not far from the states, and there are a lot of Canadians and Americans here, so the food and drink in the Bahamas isn’t very different from home. As long as you are willing to pay, you can get almost everything you want in the shops and restaurants.
The national food of Bahamas is conch for good reason! The shellfish is so plentiful here and they make some delicious dishes with it.
Conch Dishes Ranked
Here is my ranking of the conch dishes in Bahamas:
- Conch salad. Similar to a ceviche in that the chunks of fish are cooked in citrus and then mixed with veggies. Peppers, red onion and maybe some hot sauce. Simple, fresh and delicious
- Conch chowder. We’ve had two versions: one in a red broth in Nassau, and a yellow chowder in Clarence Town. Both had generous chunks of conch and a little kick of spice.
- Cracked conch. Lightly fried but with lots of meaty conch.
- Conch fritters, which usually just taste like fried dough, so I pass on this dish.
We’ve been watching the locals open the conch and we think we are ready! Soon we will be making our own conch salad, we just have to find some fresh conch.
The Bahamas does not have the most fertile soil so farms are not in abundance here. What is common though, is bananas.
Red bananas and mini bananas taste just like regular bananas! All the bananas here have been fresh and taste delicious. I am going to have to keep trying all the kinds.
The country has two beers: the “national beer” the long established Kalik lager, and the newer rival Sands. There isn’t much difference, they are both pretty innocuous and unmemorable, but I prefer Kalik.
These beers are not cheap. At a bar, one costs either $5 or $6. At the Staniel Cay Yacht Club we went with the 3 Sands for $10 special. Their dollar is on par with the US dollar; the bills are used interchangeably, but pricing is a lot higher than in the U.S.. We bought a case of beer in Staniel and it cost $60. Here’s hoping the prices go down as we travel south.
What I DO like quite a lot is the Kalik line of radlers. We both have taken a liking to these 2% alcoholic cold beverages. There’s the original lemon flavor, cranberry, and mango. Mango is so juicy and tastes like the fruit. Refreshing on these hot days we’ve been having!
Finally, something that’s cheap. A bottle of the locally made Ricardo rum is $11. We buy the dark rum and mix it with ginger beer for tasty “Dark and Stormys” after a day at sea. The light rum goes well with lemonade, so we buy that too.
Ricardo also offers flavored rum and the coconut seems to be the most popular.
Another popular beverage here is egg nog. Every liquor store and bar has egg nog which seems odd in this heat!
How could I forget hot sauce? We bought locally made D’Vanyas Goombay Hot hot hot sauce and have been adding it to everything we eat! It’s delicious and won’t last much longer. We bought it for only a few bucks at a roadside stand in Nassau and haven’t seen it again. All the grocery stores have had hot sauce from outside the Bahamas, unfortunately. We enjoyed it while it lasted!
Beer and food are not cheap here, especially food we commonly eat back home. I may have mentioned shopping in Staniel Cay how pricy clamato was, but that’s understandable. It’s imported for Canadian tourists. Cheese is also very expensive: when we were in Nassau, I saw average sized blocks of cheese for $20 – those would have been <$10 in the U.S.
In Georgetown, prices at the Exumas Market: Over $9 for Breyers ice cream and more than $7 for Triscuits!
Provisioning Food and Drink in The Bahamas
Since arriving in Bahamas and meeting other cruisers, we’ve learned that a lot of people stock up big time in Florida. As newbies, we didn’t do that. We could have saved a lot of money if we’d bought cases of beer before we left. Produce you can’t do that with anyway, so we’re scrounging in Bahamas instead.
Now that you’ve learned about the food and drink in The Bahamas, check out our Bahamas Favorites!