What is the Best Food to Try When Visiting the Cayman Islands?

At Red Sail Sports, we love showcasing the best that Grand Cayman has to offer. This includes our Grand Cayman scuba diving trips, our boat excursions from Seven Mile Beach and Rum Point, as well as our fun and thrilling watersports and beach activities.

But in this blog, our focus is on the best food to try when visiting the Cayman Islands! The good news is that Grand Cayman has a truly unique culinary scene. Our rich Caribbean roots have infused with global influences, and the arrival of world-renowned chefs has elevated our dining scene to a whole new level.

The result is a delectable array of dishes that will leave your taste buds dancing! Scroll down to find our recommendations, and if you have any questions for our team, please get in touch!

A man and woman hand holding 2 mudslides by the Caribbean beach

Conch Stew: A Taste of the Sea

You’ll soon realise that seafood rules in the Cayman Islands, so let’s start this culinary journey with a bowl of conch stew. This dish captures the essence of the Caribbean. Conch, a large sea snail, takes centre stage in this hearty and flavorful dish. If you’re unfamiliar with conch, think of them as somewhere between clams and escargot, albeit with a more delicate texture and flavour.

Simmered to perfection with a blend of herbs, tomatoes, vegetables, and Cayman peppers for an extra kick, the tender conch meat absorbs the rich broth, creating a dish that is both comforting and exotic.

A Conch fritters platter and sauce

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Conch Fritters: Bites of Crispy Delight

Sticking with conch, let’s move on to another local favourite — conch fritters! These bite-sized delights pack a flavorful punch. Freshly diced conch is mixed with a seasoned batter, deep-fried until golden brown, and served with a zesty dipping sauce. 

The result is a crispy exterior giving way to a succulent, sea-kissed treat on the inside. Whether enjoyed as a snack or a starter, conch fritters are a must-try for those seeking the perfect blend of texture and taste.

If your stomach is already rumbling, check out our picks for the best local Caribbean Restaurants in Grand Cayman when you have finished here. There’s no better way to immerse yourself in an authentic Cayman culinary experience.

jerk chicken on the grill

Jerk Chicken: A Spicy Caribbean Affair

Can you handle food with a spicy kick? Prepare your taste buds for an explosion of flavours with the famous jerk chicken! Marinated in a blend of thyme, allspice, Scotch bonnet peppers, scallions, and garlic, the chicken is slow-cooked to perfection over an open flame, creating a smoky and spicy masterpiece. 

The combination of bold seasoning and a slightly charred exterior makes jerk chicken a beloved dish that embodies the vibrant spirit of the Caribbean.

Rundown: A Seafood Symphony

Every country in the Caribbean has its own take on the rundown dish. You may think we’re biased, but the Cayman version is among the very best! In fact, this may be the meal that you want to recreate when you get home.

There are variations of this rich and hearty stew, but it typically includes thick fish fillets and other seafood, coconut milk, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, and numerous aromatic herbs and spices. Then there’s the finishing touch of thin doughy dumplings. If you prefer, you can also have rundown with meat, usually beef, instead of seafood.

This rich, aromatic seafood symphony captures the essence of island living, making it one of Grand Cayman’s most beloved dishes.

All the diverse culinary goodness listed here is just one of the reasons why the Cayman Islands is so special.

Fish Sea Bream Grilling Grilled with grilled tomatoes and onions

“Catch of the Day”: Embrace Spontaneity

With a national cuisine so abundant in seafood, there’s no better place to embrace the local charm of the “Catch of the Day”. These dishes showcase the freshest seafood available, be it grouper, mahi-mahi, snapper, or any other staple on local menus. 

Your dish could be grilled or fried, marinated in local herbs and spices, and even paired with delicious coconut rice. The “Catch of the Day” promises a culinary adventure that reflects the day’s bounty from the Caribbean waters — and we’re certain it will be mouthwatering!

cassava heavy cake slice

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Heavy Cake (Cassava Cake): Sweet Endings

No culinary journey is complete without a sweet ending, and in the Cayman Islands, Heavy Cake (also known as Cassava Cake) is a traditional favourite. Every family has its own recipe!

This dense, rich dessert is made from cassava (known as tapioca elsewhere), a starchy root vegetable, and is infused with coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sometimes rum. The result is a decadent treat that encapsulates the warmth and sweetness of the Caribbean sun.

As we near the end of our recommendations for the foods you need to try in the Cayman Islands, let us point you toward our Grand Cayman Culinary Guide. While this blog focuses on specific dishes, our culinary guide takes a deeper look at our home’s one-of-a-kind food scene.

Tortuga Rum cake and vanilla ice cream

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Tortuga Rum Cake: A Sweet Taste of Tradition

Why stop at one sweet treat? Satisfy your sweet tooth even more with a slice of Tortuga Rum Cake, a beloved dessert with a hint of Cayman maritime history. Made with a generous splash of local rum, this moist and flavorful cake is often adorned with nuts and dried fruits, creating a dessert that’s hard to resist. 

A man and woman holding 2 cups of mudslide on the beach

Mudslide: A Native Cayman Cocktail

Wash down your culinary adventure with a sip of the famous Mudslide cocktail. A blend of vodka, Kahlúa, Irish Cream, and a touch of cinnamon, this chilled concoction is a refreshing indulgence. 

Sip on a Mudslide as you bask in the Caribbean breeze, letting the rich flavours and cool sensation transport you to a state of bliss.

The Mudslide was invented at The Rum Deck at our own Rum Point Club back in the 1980s. Why not head over to the North Side and try this local creation in the very spot it was created?

an aerial view of woman on the beach

Book Your Grand Cayman Diving Trips and Boat Excursions with Us!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our picks for the best food to try when visiting the Cayman Islands. Our culinary offerings are as diverse and captivating as the underwater wonders surrounding our home.

All these delicious dishes (and many more) are the perfect way to satisfy the hunger you work up on our Grand Cayman scuba diving trips and after boat excursions to Stingray City or to experience a Cayman sunset. Be sure to check out our range and start preparing for an unforgettable escape to the Caribbean!

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Red Sail Sports if you have any questions about our Grand Cayman activities.

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