Who Goes To Nassau, Bahamas in July?
People always seem to be surprised when we head to Bahamas for July. It is finally warm in Toronto and we escape south! But we have been unpleasantly surprised on too many vacations when we headed to cottage country only to sit inside when the weather turned cold or wet or the bugs threatened to carry us off. As long as we are gone before hurricane season begins, we can head to Nassau and be guaranteed a hot and sunny vacation without the humid and stinky air that similar temperatures often bring in Toronto.
We can make this choice because we have a good friend with a condo on Cable Beach in Nassau. It has everything we could ever want and when our friend Rob is there with us, we are spoiled with great food and hospitality every minute.
Dining At Sunset With A Nassau Sea View
Rob has developed a new interest in cooking and every day there was one of his favourites to try – from beans on toast on the day he arrived with this craving, to various breakfast frittatas, to homemade Italian favourites like risotto and Osso Bucco. We never really needed to leave the condo to search out food!
Days were filled with lazy lounging, walks on the beach or more energetic snorkelling to build up an appetite. Early into our stay we settled into a routine of having a late homemade lunch and then heading out around 7pm to a different spot for dining in Nassau – for drinks, a light snack and some entertainment. A number of the spots we visited offered great sea views as the sun sank below the horizon.
This new restaurant had recently opened up on the beach by Sandyport on Cable Beach. The owner of the Blue Caviar restaurant in Lyford Cay picked this second spot up to take advantage of the great scenery and anticipated crowds from the new Baha Mar Resort (delayed opening at the time of this report).
We visited twice, claiming a seat on the large outdoor patio where we could watch the beach and the sunset. On our second visit we got additional entertainment when a fitness coach took his basketball player through a set of gruelling workouts.
We were drawn back a second time to see if the Naples style pizzas from the wood fired oven would be consistently good and we were not disappointed. Pizza was a great and tasty snack, especially when washed down with Sangria!
Dune at The One and Only Ocean Club Resort
The resort made popular in the Casino Royal James Bond movie, is a regular stop for us on any visit to Nassau. When we made port in Nassau on our 26 day Caribbean cruise, we went in the opposite direction of most of the tourists and headed to the Ocean Club for afternoon tea.
As sunset approaches, it is great to get a table on the patio of the Dune restaurant overlooking the ocean. There was an added enticement when we found out that there would be live music with a bongo drums accompanying a saxophone player.
Everyone should try to signature mojito when visiting Dune. The bartender Henry knows how to properly mush the mint to ensure just the right flavour. While Dune is known for its $25 hamburgers, we instead opted for a much lighter snack of watermelon with goat cheese salad, crispy calamari with yuzo sauce and chicken samosas.
Luciano’s Of Chicago
This Italian restaurant is located on East Bay Street by the private piers and boasts a large outdoor patio with views of the boats, the inner Nassau harbour and the Atlantis resort in the distance across the bridge.
We sampled a wide range of appetizers – a mix of hot spicy ones (sausages with peppers) and traditional Italian starters (bruschetta, grilled Calamari and mussels in wine).
It was a great spot to sit and watch the harbour water traffic as everyone headed in for the night.
Capuccinos Before Noon
Every day we made a trek around the island to shop for the ingredients for the day’s treat. While some of the shopping could be picked up from the local shopping markets, we also visited the Goodfellow Farms for fresh produce and a visit with the rescued Macaws.
One day we even ventured out to Montagu fish market to bargain with the fisherman for a large, filleted red hog snapper.
While out and about one day we wandered into the Island House Resort. The property is gated but if you stop at the gate you can tell them you are stopping in to eat.
Once parked we were lured by the sign for the Coffee Bar. Desperately in need of a real Italian cappuccino, we were not disappointed. Lance took pride in making a piping hot cappuccino with their house brand Black Cat coffee with a great chocolate chip muffin on the side. In no time at all, I got a caffeine hit that lasted me for the day. We were able to take home a bag of coffee and knew we would not have to buy coffee at the grocery store again!
The Island House Coffee Bar is a great stop for breakfast, lunch or your coffee hit. There is a great outdoor patio by the pool for a relaxing stop in your day!
Dining In Nassau Where Cruise Tourists Often Don’t Go
There is lots to see and do when you visit Atlantis on Paradise Island – whether it is for the day or to stay. If you wander around the property you will find the Marina Village with its wide selection of shops and places to eat. While the village is generally busy with wandering tourists, Cafe Martinique is a quiet oasis located on the second floor, offering a well stocked bar, a place to escape for a little bit and good dining in Nassau.
We took comfortable chairs by the windows that let us see the people wandering in the village but let us enjoy the quiet of the lounge. This evening we were looking for a dessert treat. While David enjoyed his dark chocolate soufflé and my Gran Marnier Soufflé was to die for!
The treat for this evening was the entertainment provided when David ordered a house specialty coffee made at our table with manager Warren ensuring our entertainment!
If you are around after dark, Marina Village offers a magical view of Atlantis lit up for the night!
If you wander away from the water park and the casino at Atlantis, you will find a much quieter and elegant spot at The Cove for dining in Nassau. There are several restaurants to choose from including both the Mesa Grill and Mosaic.
While we didn’t try Mosaic on this visit, we wandered in to see the huge buffet selection that was supposed to be really great. That will be on the dining in Nassau agenda for our next visit.
For our evening jaunt this time, we settled into the SeaGlass Lounge for snacks and drinks. If you don’t want to go over to the main casino, the lounge includes a small bank of slot machines and on the weekend even runs a few table games.
This restaurant is located between Love Beach and Jaws Beach on Western Road by Mount Pleasant Village. It is a great drive along the sea to get out to this end of the island. If you keep going to can find Clifton Park where we snorkelled on the Ocean Atlas statue.
Located outside of the gates to the Island House, entering you first walk through a store that reminds you of a country market wine shop. The walls are filled with wine bottles and the shelves and cold section includes things like artisanal cheeses and butter.
The restaurant has some outside tables but without a sea view we were just as happy to eat in the air conditioning inside. There is comfortable seating at the bar if you don’t want a full sit down experience.
The Twisted Lime in Sandyport Marina
If you are looking for a spot that the locals go for dining in Nassau, head out along Cable Beach on the number 10 bus to the Twisted Lime. This restaurant is located at the back of the plaza with a great patio overlooking the canal.
They had a very broad menu and everything we tried was tasty from the mains right through to a well presented dessert and iced cold beer.
One of the things that remains stuck in my mind was the high excellent customer service. All members of the staff and management went out of their way to make sure we were happy with everything. This is definitely some place we would head back to for dining in Nassau at lunch or dinner.
Dining In Nassau When The Cruise Port Traffic is Low
Whenever we visit Nassau, David keeps track of the cruise visitors into the busy port and the number of visitors that will descend on the downtown area. We normally avoid going into downtown or through downtown to get to Paradise Island until after the ships sail away!
A favourite dining in Nassau spot for both locals and tourists is Arawak Cay. It is a long stretch of colourful bars and restaurants billed as the “Fish Fry” spot. We have visited several of the spots in Arawak Cay for conch fritters, cracked conch and fresh conch salad!
Lukka Kairi is located right on the main road in front of the cruise port down by Señor Frogs and on the upper level with a great view out to the port.
The restaurant offers a good selection of Bahamian favourites with just a touch of spice! We tried a smorgasbord of dishes (Mac and Cheese, Crispy Broccoli, Cracked Conch with Shaved Fennel) although we were tempted by the large selection of fresh seafood that you could pick direct from the tank.
If you are visiting Nassau and have a little time, make sure to explore the great restaurant options for dining in Nassau. You will find great patios for watching the sea or the sunsets. You will find hidden local gems. If you like your food spicy, you will have no trouble finding it but wimpy eaters like us had no trouble with the Caribbean food.
What is your favourite hidden gem for dinner, snacks or drinks when dining in Nassau? Can people visit if they are just in town for the day on a cruise?