Caribbean food offers a fusion of West African, South Asian, European, and East Asian cultural influences. Authentic Caribbean food is, quite simply, unmissable, but you do have to look beyond the tourist traps to taste it at its best.
At Red Sail Sports, we see a vacation in Grand Cayman as a multisensory experience, from speeding through the waves and swimming among the coral to the taste of fresh coconuts or the smell of jerk chicken grilling on the shore.
We have a long-held interest in finding the best locally sourced and culturally rich cuisine and drinks, and here we have put together our list of unmissable Caribbean tastes from across the island.
And if you’d like to build up an appetite for all this incredible local food, check out our range of Scuba Diving in Grand Cayman! Nothing builds up an appetite like exploring the local reefs and wrecks!
1. Rum Point Club
The most famous, uniquely Cayman contribution to mixology is the MudSlide; a mix of coffee liqueur, Irish cream, heavy cream, and vodka. It was invented at Rum Point Club around 1970, inspired by the White Russian.
The Rum Point Club sits right on the soft white sands of the beach on the quieter north side of the island. Apart from a lovely drop-in bar and restaurant, it also organizes bespoke music and relaxation events.
There are plenty of crazy ways of making a MudSlide, but Rum Point Club sticks to the authentic essentials, showcasing the underlying spirit with complementary flavours. Mixology keeps going too, and Rum Point Club has invented the Rum Slide; taking the Caribbean right to the centre of the cocktail.
Apart from the authenticity of its drinks, Rum Point Club offers much more, with on-site beach volleyball, hammocks, and a lunch and dinner menu rich with island specialities.
2. Vivine’s Kitchen
This homely restaurant is on the East End and is a great stop-off point on a drive along Sea View Road. Vivine’s Kitchen has a reputation island-wide for the best oxtail, curry goat, and stewed turtle.
The locally caught fish is served with plantains, rice, and beans in true Caribbean style and seating is right on the ocean. Couple this up with fresh juice and relax in the shade of the sea grape trees as you watch the waves roll in.
3. Cayman Cabana
For locally sourced food with the flair of a tourist favourite, head to Cayman Cabana in George Town. The restaurant takes seriously its mission to serve Caribbean food with reverence and style, and it excels at providing a fusion of colour and Caymanian culture.
Take, for example, the Ital Buddha Bowl, with influences literally from across the world spiced up with a Caribbean twist: jerk tofu, local callaloo, plantain, and coco lime cream sauce.
Cayman Cabana is one of the best places to get a sense of local cuisine and indulge in farm-fresh local fare.
Every Thursday, the Cayman Cabana hosts a Farm to Table Dinner, which spotlights Grand Cayman’s homegrown produce. Our favourite local dishes here include the young coconut meat ceviche, the seaside breadfruit tacos, and the plantain and coconut rundown.
Not heard of a rundown before? This is a Caymanian stew, that literally ‘runs down’, traditionally made with fresh local fish, coconut milk and breadkinds, but is also offered as a plant-based version
4. Heritage Kitchen
Over on West Bay, Heritage Kitchen is the best place for local comfort seafood, or for a Sunday BBQ (from 12-8 pm). Grab your delicious fresh fish fry and sit on the sea wall, soaking in the friendly, authentic Caribbean experience.
The owner has excellent knowledge of local history, as well as of the sea life around the restaurant. We love the grouper here which comes with rice and a Johnny cake — a cornmeal pancake of Native American origins.
5. Peppers Bar & Grill
Peppers Bar and Grill describes itself as the ‘casual friendly local restaurant & bar’, and this is an excellent description — even if it comes from them!
There is a mouthwatering range of dishes on the menu, but you may like to try the Jamaican jerk chicken, ribs, high-quality steaks, and homemade pizzas. The food here is hearty but also delicious, with a large menu that caters to almost everyone imaginable.
6. Chicken! Chicken!
Another great option for sampling great jerk chicken is Chicken! Chicken!, located on Seven Mile Beach (so perfect to satisfy your hunger after working up an appetite after our Grand Cayman Water Ski Experience). This award-winning restaurant specializes in wood-roasting chicken and offers a great delivery service. This is a great place to grab a quick lunch or takeaway dinner.
Apart from the jerk classics, check out some of the sides, which include tarragon carrots, local slaws, cornbread, and perhaps the best brownies on the island — they’re made with coconut and caramel.
7. Czech Inn Grill
Czech Inn Grill offers a very relaxed atmosphere and the best fish burgers on the island. Grand Cayman fish burgers are a must-try when you visit, and Czech Inn Grill is a local favourite.
However, there is so much more to Czech Inn Grill than fish burgers alone; there are schnitzels, steaks, ribs, pasta dishes, chicken wings, salads, tacos, and so much more. The best way to get a sense of the atmosphere and the menu is to visit Czech Inn Grill’s website. Just don’t read the menu if you’re very hungry!
It is hard for us to stop here because there is just so much to Grand Cayman’s food that one blog is just not enough to honour our local chefs. Keep an eye on the blog here at Red Sail Sports for more great ideas or personalized suggestions for a snack, a party, or a romantic evening.
And if you’d like to work up an appetite on the water, browse our range of Boat Excursions in Grand Cayman. Because food always tastes better when you’ve gotten out on the ocean waves!