One of the best things about vacation is going all in on food. Forget calorie counting or cutting carbs. Your vacation is the perfect time to indulge your palate with fantastic foods.
Grand Cayman has a reputation as the culinary capital of the Caribbean and boy does it show. With over two hundred restaurants, you’re guaranteed to find a dish you’ll fall in love with.
We narrowed down our list to these five restaurants serving up dishes we think you’ll be dreaming of long after your vacation.
#5 Rotisserie Birds at Chicken! Chicken!
Simple foods are sometimes the best foods, and the rotisserie birds at Chicken! Chicken! exemplify this.
Tucked away in a corner of the West Shore Shopping Center, a pink strip mall near Camana Bay, is where you’ll find Chicken! Chicken! A large rotisserie spit framed with blue and white tiles greets you as you enter followed by the rich aroma of the island’s juiciest birds rotating over a wood fire.
Seasoned with a blend of rosemary, thyme and other herbs and spices, guests can order whole, half, or quarter chicken portions along with one or two sides. For two people, you can’t go wrong ordering a half chicken with a sides of sweet tarragon carrots, rice, and beans. Oh, and don’t forget the Caribbean cornbread!
With reasonably priced big portions, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better deal for lunch or dinner.
#4 Jerked Chicken Thighs at Tukka*
Make no mistake, Jerk Chicken is synonymous with traditional Caribbean cuisine. You’ll find it on nearly every menu on the island with varying degrees of spiciness. But no restaurant puts its spin on this dish better than Tukka.
The chicken thighs are char-grilled with a sweet glaze that offsets the jerk spices. But, what makes this dish stand apart is its paring with gnocchi, small potato dough dumplings, in a creamy basil and pesto sauce.
The combination of basil and pesto with the sweet glaze and jerk spices is delightful. The charred bits of glazed chicken contrast perfectly with the pillowy soft beads of gnocchi. Fair warning: this dish will fill you up–it’s potato dough after all.
#3 Homemade Quesadillas at Casa 43
If you consider yourself a Mexican food connoisseur, you’ll want to stop by Casa 43. Located north of the airport along Seven Mile Beach, it’s the perfect spot for your first or last meal on island.
The owners here are committed to fresh ingredients. Tortillas are made in-house from scratch. Salsas and juices are prepped with the ripest ingredients available. Pretty much everything on their menu is good, but the quesadilla is amazing!
These delectable pockets of seasoned chicken and cheese melt together to form a gooey center while the handmade tortilla stays crisp and crunchy. The two textures combine to create the best quesadilla ever created.
Don’t try to split it with friends because you’re going to want the whole thing to yourself–I know I did! Fair warning though, no quesadilla will ever taste as good after this….sigh
Side-note: You’ve got to order one of Casa 43’s signature margaritas. Yes, all Mexican restaurants serve up tasty margaritas, but these are sooo much better. Order one for yourself and tell me they’re not the best margs on the island.
#2 Saucy Pork Ribs at The Czech Inn Grill*
These pork ribs will have you asking, “Have I really had true ribs before?”
Now, the location itself is a little different than the others on this list. Instead of a traditional dining room setting this place is more like…well, it’s a small shack on the side of the road in Bodden Town. It’s got tons of rustic charm and island character with ample outdoor seating. But don’t let appearances clout your judgement: the food cooked up in this tiny shack is worthy of being served at the Queen’s table.
The menu at The Czech Inn Grill features a wide range of foods from burgers to sandwiches, fresh fish and seafood plus chicken schnitzel. However, the best of the best on this diverse menu is the Hawaii pork ribs.
The sauce is sweet yet tangy with lasting flavor that perfectly adds to the tasty slow cooked ribs. We’re talking meat that practically falls right off the bones here. Rib lovers might consider eating these every night for dinner and I wouldn’t blame them. And trust me, you’ll want extra napkins.
If pork ribs aren’t your fancy, consider the chicken schnitzel. It’s a house speciality battered and fried to perfection served up with a side of potato salad or rice and beans.
#1 Lasagna Bolognese at The Lighthouse*
The Lighthouse Restaurant is a traditional fine dining eatery serving Italian food amid a spectacular atmosphere. Their over-the-water outdoor dining area is truly not to be missed especially on a balmy moonlit night.
The menu features traditional pasta dishes along with brick oven pizzas, surf and turf entrees, plus sushi and sashimi on the weekends. With lots of menu options, it’s easy to overlook the Classic Lasagna listed on the menu.
This glorious lasagna entree is a perfect yet simple dish. Layers of handmade pasta are stacked with ricotta and parmesan cheese, top with a robust beef bolognese sauce then baked in the oven. A word of caution: let this dish cool down a little as it’ll come to the table right out of the oven and you don’t want to be dealing with a singed mouth the rest of your vacation–trust me on this.
This flavorful melt-in-your-mouth decadence is one of the best dishes on island hands down. Paired with a nice glass of red chianti this dish is one you’ll be obsessing over for weeks to come.
Make no mistake, the restaurant scene on Grand Cayman is phenomenal with restaurants to satisfy any palate. Indulge your tastebuds with flavors that will linger with you long after your return flight home.
*As members of our Silver Thatch preferred vendor network, villa guests receive discounts at Tukka, The Czech Inn Grill, and The Lighthouse Restaurant. Just present your Silver Thatch Member card to receive a 10% discount off your final bill.