Restaurants & markets for large family in Nassau
My family is renting a home with full kitchen on Eastern Road (far east tip of Island) in Nassau (see location @ http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rent...) to celebrate my Dad's 60th Birthday at the end of May.
We are planning on cooking breakfast and lunch most days and eating out most evening but with 10 adults and 4 children (all under 2 years old!), I fear that many restaurants will be either very expensive and/or won't be able to accomodate such a large crowd without reservations every night!
I am looking for suggestions on where to get local produce/food for cooking as well as where are the best places to eat for dinner (or the occasional lunch). We are renting two minivans for the week we are there but again, i am not sure about parking avaliability at many of the restaurants I have seen recommended on here. From our location, I am guessing that there will not be any restaurants within walking distance of the home?
Lastly, we are not picky eaters and LOVE to eat local cuisine and try new things but with little kiddies, obviously it can't be upscale!
Thanks for the input.
Also I meant to ask if someone could tell me what the average meal is going to cost us per person (dinner). I know that it varies widely, but everything that I've seen recommended her and on TripAdvisor seems to be in the $50 per person range for dinner (without alcohol) and honestly that is a little pricey for a family of 12 to do every night! Are there decent places that are cheaper or is that just what to expect for Nassau?
Just saw your post - some great questions!
You might actually decide on cooking more dinners at home, and perhaps some lunches out instead, as it will be much more cost efficient.
Your location is very convenient to Montague dock - on the map it is the point listed as Montague Beach - fresh fish and conch most days. Weekends are busiest, and they will also have some produce there, although not tons. Don't be put off by the smell or the flies, and remember to try to bargain - best bargaining to be had later in the day.
In terms of grocery stores, the primary grocers are City Market and Super Value. There is a Super Value on Prince Charles (not far from your house), and a City Market between Shirley St. and East Bay St. in Harbour Bay (between Mackey St. & Village Rd).
For more gourmet grocery items and better (albeit more expensive) produce, including organic items, there is Balducinno's on East Bay - on the right between Esso (Kemp Rd) and Harbour Bay. Then, at Kemp Rd. & Village Rd., there is Simply Gourmet. These two both have very reasonable prices (for Nassau) and you can often find some really great gourmet items, including snacks (Balducinno's has some really yummy homemade sweets!). Balducinno's also serves lunch.
If you head under the PI bridge, you will find lots of fresh, local produce, but it will be the same stuff as each stall. Crab season usually starts late May, but I'm not sure just when. If they are in season, you will also find lots of cages of different live crabs at Potter's Cay (under the bridge).
The best fresh produce (quality and price) is at the Lucayan Tropics farmer's market on the second level of the parking garage at Town Centre Mall - that is at the roundabout at Blue Hill (Bayou Hill) Road and the East/West Hwy/Harold Rd. I'm not sure of the exact hours, but the produce is really good. New product comes in Friday mornings, so they don't officially open until 12 on Fridays. I believe they are closed on Sundays.
For meals out, Green Parrot (on PI-Hurricane Hole or on the Nassau-Harbourfront) would be a good choice - not too expensive, kid friendly, outdoors on the water, casual menu with more upscale choices for specials. Luciano's, near Green Parrot Harbourfront is an option for a nicer dinner, also on the water. Some people love it, some people hate it. We're rather indifferent about it, but it is a really nice atmosphere. Poop Deck Yacht Haven is another good choice for you for dinner. It is on the water, but not open to the water. You can pick your own fresh live fish to be cooked, or simply choose off the menu. Definitely a kid friendly place, and the food is generally consistent and good. There is also a Poop Deck out West at Sandyport/Delaporte, if you're looking for a trip out west. However, I would recommend this more for lunch, as it is a quite a trek out from where you will be.
If you go west, Beach Club Cafe is immediately beside Poop Deck west, and the view is really gorgeous. Perfect for a later lunch early dinner. The thin crust pizzas are excellent and the mohitos and margaritas yummy (albeit pricey at $10).
If you like Chinese Food, along East Bay Street there is East Villa. Family friendly, consistently good food.
Cafe Matisse, however, would be my choice for the big 60th dinner. Ask for the gazebo outside (weather dependent) or the room upstairs for your own private party. Greg & his staff will take good care of you.
Sun and..... is a choice lots of people like. We're less thrilled about it, but it has always been very good when we've gone. They have many different dining areas, and so may also be able to accommodate the kids by having you all in a more private/separate dining area.
Now, of course there are all the restaurants at Arawak Cay (Fish Fry) that you can try, as well as the Cricket Club (across from Arawak Cay). Lots of local fare there. Be aware, though, the restaurants in Arawak Cay are the only restaurants where the gratuity is NOT automatically added to the bill. Everywhere else, it is added at 10 to 18%.
If you go west,, Traveller's Rest is also a good choice. Again, though, you might prefer to go that far just for lunch, late lunch, or early dinner.
Beware - driving after dark here is different. If you out east (like where you will be) or west of Cable Beach, it is VERY dark. There is little uplighting from the "city" and few street lights west of Cable Beach and east of Montague.
In terms of reservations, the only places you would absolutely need them are at Matisse & Sun and.... For Luciano's I would definitely call first, but you probably don't need a reservation.
I'm posting websites for most of my recs...
Good luck and have fun! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.
Oh, and May 22 - 29th there is a seafood and wine fest going on. http://www.downtownnassau.org/festivalprogram_files/festivalprogram.pdf
Many restaurants will have a special prix fixe menu, and then on the 29th there is a festival on the beach just west of the Hilton that you might all really enjoy!
re: Food on the brain
By the way, I STRONGLY encourage you to bring some of your favourites from home. They can be a lot more expensive here (especially things like peanut butter, jams, specialty meats, coffee, snack foods). If you have the extra luggage space, (don't laugh) even bring kleenex & TP. TP averages about 8 dollars for 6 to 8 rolls of 2 ply, and a small (little square) box of kleenex can be over $2!!!