Here is an update based on numerous visits to Freeport over the past year. All restaurants are at Port Lucaya unless otherwise noted. An amazing new place called Agave just opened over Thanksgiving. The Molcajete was the best dish I've had in a while. For breakfast, Island Java does a great job of coffee and pastry; later in the day their homemade gelato is excellent. Zorbas has a good hot breakfast and is a reasonably priced go-to place for any meal. I love the Veal Luciano at Lucianos but it is $42 on the menu. People always leave La Dolce Vita happy. Also Shenanigan's has very solid English/Irish food. Cappucino's has a great early bird deal if you order by 6. I love the curries at Pisces, and their pizzas are popular. Away from the Port, Simply Native is excellent and the Pepper Pot is popular too. On the beach next to the Sheraton, Billy Joes has great conch salad and grilled conch, as well as burgers on the grill and plenty to drink. Many places are closed on Sunday, so plan carefully. Also away from the Port, the Wednesday night fish fry at Smith Point is not to be missed.
I am headed to GBI in August and wanted to know if there were any good places for steak. Yes, yes, I know I should be looking for great seafood but they BF love his steak.
Does anyone have feedback on local fare? I'd much rather try a small, local place than some high priced hotel food.
Have you left yet? I just returned from a week, which was great, even though we had a visit from TS Fay for the last 2 days.
First, if you want a steak, a real steak, there are 3 places I can recommend. The old-time standard is Ruby-Swiss, over by the old "International Bazaar" which is pretty well shut down in the off season, particularly since the Crowne Plaza Resort went under. Ruby Swiss is crazy--an odd, old style continental European menu that stays open until at least 3:00 AM, and often later. Not cheap, but worth a visit and the steaks are not bad.
Churchhill's Chop House is in the Westin Our Lucaya (in the Manor House) It is expensive, and a bit too contrived/resorty and is the only place we encountered where they had a dress code (no shorts, t-shirts, or flip flops--IT'S THE BAHAMAS!!) but again, good beef.
Zed's had a decent steak. It is a pretty decent place in the Port Lucaya Market. Their grilled toast with garlic butter dip is a great start...comes with dinners.
Luciano's has a nice selection, but we haven't eaten there. Steaks will range from 35 to 60 bucks...
My otherwise recommendations:
The snorkeling at Paradise Cove/Deadman's Reef is phenomenal. It's one of the most underated beach snorkeling reefs in the Carib... If you are renting a car, just drive to the West End. They charge you 3 bucks for access and everyhing else is very reasonable. Lunch is simple grill food, but very reasonable. ALWAYS drink Kalik Gold if you can...and there is no exception.
We ate at Becky's, which is basically a local diner out on the highway. Good rice and beans, but nothing too spectacular.
I really enjoyed the conch salad's at the stand in the Lucayan Marketplace (8 bucks) especially when he cracked the conchs to order. Some will crack a few in advance to deal with the lunch rush (Billy Joe's Conch Shack in the Our Lucaya Resort--10 bucks)
Best Conch Fritters: The Pub (formerly Pusser's Pub)
Coldest Beer: RUm RUnners (cheapest snacks in the market, also)
Fish Fry on Wed.nights is fun, but not a must do.
If you want an amazing day, get Captain AJ to take you on a full day excursion: 150 a person, he'll pick you up on the docks in his very comfortable boat, do a bit of island sight-seeing, snorkel an amazing reef, then on the way to Walker's Cay National Park (reef) for more fantastic snorkeling, he'll pop over the side to spear your lunch: we had super fresh Blue Parrot Fish and Wolf Snappers--amazingly fresh, grilled in foil with citrus, rum, and garlic--fantastic--which they cooked for us on a private beach with good snorkeling and beachcombing. An amazing day.
Go have drinks and dance to the Rake and Scrape sounds of the Island Boys Band at Bikini Bottom...food is snacky, but the music is pumping and it's across the street from the beach.
All time favorite place: Taino Beach. Talk to Tony Macaroni, former everything, current conch-master and lover of life. He'll grill you fish, conch, whatever he can catch, right there on the beach. Have yourself a Corona Ad Moment, but don't drink the Corona: have a Kalik, or at least a Sands.
Buy the Don Lorenzo (now Ole Nassau) or Ricardo Bahamian Rums. We usually buy bottles of mango, coconut, gold, and dark rums, and the ubiquitous cans of various flavored Bluebird canned juices. Get some ice and plastic cups and walk around enjoying yourself: you are on vacation.
You can bring 2 liters of these rums back. They are over 25 bucks a bottle in Miami, but 12 or less (Don Lorenzo is the best and as low as 6 bucks)
AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE:
Generally, GBI is not a really great food destination, but you can have decent meals if you know what to expect.
One last find:Java City Cafe in the Lucayan Marketplace has island fruit flavored gelato and excellent baked goods for breakfast with Starbucks-ish beverage service. The owners and staff are very nice and their sugar doughnuts are amazing.
We were there from 8.15 - 8.20. Someone recommended Ruby Swiss but we didn't make it there. We ate at Pices - which I don't recommend.
The Greek Place in Lucaya Market was outstanding. We had their Greek omlette which was chock full of feta, fresh tomato and gyro meat. It was served with grits and sooo freakin' good. This was the only place we found good, unsweetened iced tea.
My boyfriend drank Kalik and Sands. He really liked the Sands Beer. If anyone goes - be sure to tour the new Brewery there. Bahamian Brewery and Beverage. We didn't do this, but I wish we had. They are currently giving away free Sands Beer t-shirts. We found Kalik shirts everywhere, but not Sands.
I can say, without a doubt that THE BEST place we ate was Simply Native. It's a run down looking bar/restaurant/drive through place that is increadible. I had the whole steamed snapper with peas/dirty rice, veggies and plantains. My boyfriend had the baked Lamb Chop with coleslaw and mac and cheese. OMG. You HAVE to go to this place. We had these 2 huge meals with drinks and the total was $31. We'd go to Prop Club to get burgers and drinks and would be charged $60 easily.
re: Doug Mc.
Well, to be honest, I didn't find anything truly amazing. Pretty good, but not mind-blowing.
Anyway, here's the recap:
Pisces -- pizza was good, not great. I was surprised/ disturbed to see that many of their seafood pizzas had "imitation crab" listed on the menu. That was a turn-off. I had lobster pizza, which, again, was good, not great.
La Dolce Vita -- food was good but it was served lukewarm. I had like a veal/ spinach/ cheese wrapped-into-one thing served over pasta & it was good but lukewarm. My mom had shrimp risotto -- again, served lukewarm. They were very busy in there & the waiter wasn't that attetive so we didn't bother sendingn it back.
Lucianos: I had shrimp scampi, which was just ok... not worth $35. Just shrimp in a creamy (not scampi) sauce over egg noodles. The veggies served on the side, though, were nice. My desert was really great -- cherries flambeed over ice cream... yum!
Zorbas for breakfast -- to me this was just basic breakfast, no frills, nothing special.
Callys for breakfast -- liked better than Zorbas since they had coconut pancakes
Le Med for breakfast -- I liked that they had more than the basics. I had a crepe that had nuts & honey in it, and I didn't care for it but I ordered the wrong thing. I should've known better-- it ended up being just like baklava. My mom had a crepe w/ fruit & it was really good. An older couple next to us experienced horrific service there. They were there before us and their food did not come out until we finshed our entire meal & were getting ready to pay the bill. And once they got their food (eggs), they were cold and they felt like they had bee sitting in the kitchen forever, just forgotten about.
Best Breakfast I had there: Island Java. Yes, this is simple stuff, nothing cooked... but their selection of homemade pastries is awesome! I had a guava danish every day (even on the days we ate breakfast elsewhere). Good coffee selection, similar to US. They also have great little chocolates w/ island flavors (mango chocolate, spiced lime chocolate, etc...)
Best Dinner: Iries (on Westin complex) I was hesitant to eat here since it was on Westin property & the Westin had the worst food I've ever experienced at a beach resort... but this place was great! Upscale, true island flavors, fantastic desert. Although I don't think they have the "world's best pina colada" as they claim).
Well, I guess I'll have to repll to my own post. My choice (2 nites in a row) is La Dolce Vita (What a nice & orginal name). Italian (ya think), on the dockside in the Lucaya Marketplace. Actually all joking aside, home made pasta (flat kind), fresh fish, I had Wahoo w/ white wine & capers over fresh, home made angel hair one nite & the bride had it the next nite w/ mango salsa over fennel. Both excellent. App of eggplant also very good. Wine list has nice selections and reasonable prices. Had a nice bottle of Rose w/ the Wahoo & a Shrimp dish. Staff was very good for an island that is on "Island Pace". A side note to this review. I asked about a French Rest in the International Marketplace. Well don't even think about it. The "International Marketplace" exisist in name only. The buildings area there, some open, most not. It's like a vacant neighborhood. No one told us this, even the tour desk at the hotel. Major disappointment. Please do not get this confussed w/ the Lucaya Market Place. Any questions? Will return to board after 2/11/8