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Nov 11, 2012 07:17 AM

questions for food on the brain on nassau

Hi Food, I have asked questions of you before and i have a few new ones. Is Travelers Rest still good for lunch with kids? how do you get to the spot to buy fresh fish and crawfish. Is it at the Fort? is potters cay better for conch ceviche. where the best cracked conch be found and hopefully it is a hole in the wall. thanks

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  1. The place to go is Fish Fry. It's easy to get to, a lot of fun and fish is very inexpensive, as opposed to most other restaurants where the fish is surprisingly expensive.

    1 Reply
    1. Hi Kevin,

      Just found this post. :-) Traveller's Rest is now closed forever. They did not open back up after Hurricane Sandy. :-(

      For fresh fish and crawfish, you want to go to Montague - East Bay Street to the tip where it meets Village Road. The dock is not nearly as "fun" as it used to be. It is much more civilized now with a paved parking lot and a bunch of stalls/tables along the peripheral wall. Note, though, as you pull into the parking lot, you will be inundated with guys trying to get you to their buddy's tables. I like Marco Polo - he is usually on the left somewhere. Sometimes the "runners" ask you to try different vendors when they come back. The runners do expect a tip. That's why I don't tend to use them. I know what I want. Crawfish are usually sold in 3's, but there is always room for negotiation. Obviously, best bought still moving. I usually take a cooler with me to toss them in.

      Where do you live? Sometimes there is also crawfish at the entrance to Arawak Cay, sometimes a guy has a table in the empty field just west of the Texaco on West Bay Street, and often there is crawfish at the Gambier Village dock - sometimes fish too. Gambier is way west, just beyond Compass Point.

      For conch ceviche, Potter's Cay is definitely better, but be prepared to sit and have a couple beer while you wait! They are not quick about it. Green Parrot on Bay Street used to do fresh conch salad/ceviche on weekends, but alas no more. Unfortunately, I don't know where the best cracked conch is. Green Parrot (same one) has some really good cc, and Traveller's Rest used to. I don't know about the holes in the wall. Lots say that the Bamboo Shack has great CC and other local fare, but I must admit I have never eaten at them. I can't even attest to where they are, but when I do see them, they are always busy. They are primarily take out shacks, started up as 1 by a woman who was struggling to survive. She has done really well. Ask a local - they will likely know. Arawak Cay (Fish Fry) also would have good CC, but have only eaten at a couple places there, so can't tell you which is best. Note, gratuities are added everywhere EXCEPT Arawak Cay.

      Ah, it has just hit me, the dock by Gambier Village also has fresh conch salad/ceviche - primarily in the evenings and on the weekends.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

      17 Replies
      1. re: Food on the brain

        By the way Kevin, if you want any other fresh seafood, go to Solomon's Fresh Market - they just opened up in Harbour Bay (I just read your other post and see you are on PI), and they have been out west for over a year. I have been in heaven since they opened as you can get amazing fresh salmon, fresh mussels, oysters & clams, and lots of other fresh fish. Of course, some is local (grouper, snapper, mahi, tuna) and some is not. To buy whole fish from Montague is still cheaper, but if you want something not local, go to Fresh Market. If you want scallops, though, make sure that they are big or they are not worth the $2.99 EACH. They used to be $15.99/ pound!


        1. re: Food on the brain

          Hi Food, i live north of pittsburgh pa and am coming down to Atlantis with 2 other families jan 9th. the 5 boys (total for 3 families) always wanted to try the water park at atlantis so here we come. I prefer bonefishing in south Andros or long island but this is a kids trip. do you bonefish? the info above is very helpful. the 3 dads love seafood and we love to cook fresh stuff. Solomons sounds good but like you i will try to buy fresh whole fish if i can and crawfish. Sorry about Travellers Rest that was our lunch spot waiting for connection flights to other Islands from Nassau. I will try to find Bamboo Shack for sure. I do want to take my wife to Dune for an evening cocktail in their bar hope its nice, thanks for the info. you answered things for me in the past and I knew you could help. merry christmas and safe holidays to you.

          1. re: Food on the brain

            hey Food I was looking on google maps is the Montague spot the same as the Nassau fish market? it looks like East Bay St comes to intersect Village and the road is then called Eastern rd. where is the paved lot when your at the intersection? thanks

            1. re: kevin25

              Hi Kevin,

              I went back and re-read some of our old threads, and I remember you, now. :-) I'm glad you are coming back down, although I definitely understand that Nassau wouldn't be your first choice - but it is for the kids. :-)

              How many days are you here? I can give you some suggestions. The kids will definitely love the water park for a day or two.

              I'm glad the info is helpful. It is too bad that Traveller's Rest is gone. I used to take myself there for lunch on a non-office day once in a while - the cracked conch always satisfied my craving. As for Bamboo Shack, as I am out and about in the next couple weeks, I will make a mental note on where I see them. That said, the kiosks along Potter's Cay under the PI bridge FROM PI also will have a lot of really yummy local fare. Very busy at the end of the work day as many will stop off to play dominos, have a few, and have some nibblies.

              Glad the 3 dads love seafood and like to cook your own. Are you staying off Atlantis property?? Depending upon how long you come down for, perhaps 2 days at Atlantis (or 3 at Comfort Suites - less expensive, and you have full access to Atlantis when there 3 or more days) and the rest in a villa or such would work for you. Otherwise, day passes at Atlantis are crazy expensive.

              Dune is beautiful for Sunday brunch or sunset drinks. Of course, lunch and dinner are fabulous too, but the last couple times we were there, we weren't so impressed any more.

              If you have a chance, get over the bridge to Cafe Matisse, and request tables in the courtyard. With that many people, they will likely do whatever they can to accommodate you. If there are only 4 to 8 of you going, maybe even ask for the gazebo in the courtyard. Greg & Allan are fantastic and will make you feel at home. The service is always excellent, and the setting is heavenly.

              I actually don't buy fish at Montague anymore - of course, that's because we catch our fish now. :-) Looking forward to the 26th and fishing! That said, the crawfish there are abundant and definitely the best place to buy them. The more you buy, the more bartering power you have. When my parents were here last Jan, Dad bought 19 whole crawfish and an additional 5 heads (because a lot of people just want the tails) for a total of about 55 pounds for $150. The later in the day you go, the better your bargaining power.

              Keep in mind that the traffic at rush hour will be absolutely crazy though.

              And, yes, Montague is the "fish market" on the map. :-)
              It is around the bend just after the Yacht Club, where the road becomes Eastern Road, and the entrance to the parking lot is just before the Village Road turn off.

              Now, for the Bamboo Shack, as I go to and fro in the next couple weeks, I will try to make note of where I see them. There is one I drive by periodically when I go to certain area, but for the life of me, I can't remember where that is or where it is that I am heading when I see it. A lot of locals do lunch there.

              As for bonefishing, have never tried it. However, my parents land Jan. 8, and we are looking to take them to one of the outislands to try some bonefishing! Long Island is hubby's first choice. We'll see.

              Have a very Merry Christmas yourself, and have a fabulous trip down. Let me know if there is anything more I can tell you.


              1. re: Food on the brain

                hi food on the brain, I am coming on a cruise next week and will be in Nassau for a day. I want the best cracked conch I could find, what do you suggest?

                also, what beach is best to go to? nice sand to lay on, water will be too cold to go in.

                don't want to spend a lot of money on food, alcohol, or cab rides, but don't mind spending it if it is worth it

                also, which areas to visit away from the tourist traps. where would the locals hang? and safe?

                all tips greatly appreciated

                I was there last year and was extremely bored! didn't know what to do. went to atlantis and did not enjoy. I want to go away from the overly expensive tourist traps and enjoy Nassau on a local level


                1. re: chinamel16

                  Oh crap! I was responding and hit something and lost it all. Let me try again.

                  Hi Chinamel,

                  Sorry I'm just getting to this - I'm not on here a lot. Hopefully you have not left yet, and will have a chance to read this before you arrive.

                  Cracked conch - Poop Deck is good, Green Parrot (Nassau side) is even better - huge portion, not greasy. Poop Deck is just east of the second Paradise Island Bridge, and Green Parrot is before the first Paradise Island bridge (from the cruise docks).

                  Beaches - ohhh......first, I must tell you we were out on the boat today and it was freeeeeeezing!! ;-) The water at the surface was only 82 degrees, and 3 feet below it was only 74.5 degrees! ;-p Too cold to go in depends upon where you are from. Last weekend we went fishing and hubby had to dive in to dislodge a huge lure that got caught on some coral - he said it was colllld, but then again the air has been cold in the last few days (as low as 69 degrees! I know, no one feels sorry for us!).

                  From the cruise ship, the best beaches that do not cost alot would be either going over to Paradise Island (east of the cruise dock) and to "cabbage beach" or go west to Junkanoo beach. Junkanoo beach is just west of the Hilton (yellow hotel you see as your ship docks). Of course, you could also pay the day fee ($25????) to hang out at the Hilton beach which is really nice. Junkanoo beach is not quite as fab - there are more stones and rocks and such in the water, but still amazing.

                  Water taxi over to Paradise Island is $6 return. It departs from the wall adjacent to the cruise dock disembarkation area.

                  When it comes to where to go and what to do for the day - hmmm. Depends on what you want to do. You said that you were here last year and found it a bit boring. Atlantis - not a lot to do there. What day of the week will you be here? Perhaps I can make suggestions based on the day.

                  What time do you disembark, and what time do you need to be back aboard? These are things that may make a difference.

                  On a local level, unfortunately, Nassau does not have a lot to offer, unless there are certain things you are particularly interested.

                  If you are into good food/drink, I can make some suggestions as to places to head to. Some people will rent scooters, and this may make sense to see some sites and then hit some good drinks and good food.

                  So, let me know more about your date and times, and what you are interested in, and then I will make some suggestions. :-) I will be sure to check daily to make sure I can catch you.

                  If I am too late, I hope you had a lot of fun!

                  1. re: Food on the brain

                    hey there thanks for getting back to me. i will be there on saturday from noon to midnight. i want the best cracked conch and conch fritters that i can find. i also want a rum punch or rum runners, they don't have to be together if there is a better place for conch that doesn't serve drinks. and i just want to lounge on the sand, not go in the water, its too cold. last time i went to atlantis and went to a beach that was walking distance and free. they had jet skis, the water was really pretty to look at and the sand was gorgeous. i don't know what beach that was. but there was a bar on the beach, it was a hole in the wall bar but they served really good strong mixed island drinks. they were a little bit on a hill and were constructing the stairs to it when i was there. do you know which beach this was? i wouldn't mind going back there just to lounge on the beach and drink. all i really want is some good conch, and then some good STRONG drinks and lounge somewhere SAFE and nice. where i won't be harassed. thank you for your tips.

                    1. re: Food on the brain

                      I've done a lot of research and determined that i was going to go to fish fry oh andros near arawak kay. do you suggest this? for conch? I'm still searching for a place for good drinks and a good vibe. maybe island music and just fun. not a lot of kids or families. just a place to get a little wild but not with teenagers. we are in our 30s

                      1. re: chinamel16

                        OK, now I have a better idea of what you are looking for. :-)

                        Noon to midnight - not a lot of time. I do NOT recommend that you hang out locally after dark. So, it is really about noon to about 6 or 7.

                        John Watling's Distillery is a great place for you to be on a Saturday! They have their own local rums, with nibbles. A lot of locals love it! One of their bartenders created a signature Bahamian drink - the Rum Dum.

                        John Watling's is quite close to downtown, if you want to walk up or go by cab. You can walk there. If, once you have checked out the site and do not know just where it is, I can give you directions.

                        Fish Fry - Not near Andros - that is another island - however, Fish Fry is on Arawak Cay. You are here on Saturday - I do NOT recommend that you go there after dark. In the afternoon is fine, though. Conch - You MUST try conch salad. The fritters are okay, but they really are about chunks of conch rolled with doughy batter and deep fried. Conch salad - ohhhh - heavenly - conch that has been chopped up and marinated with lime juice, orange juice, onions, tomatoes, and peppers. There are two types of conch salad - the type without orange juice, and the type with. The type with has become more and more popular in the last year. YUUUUUMMMM!!

                        You can get this "under the bridge" at Potter's Cay, but if you are staying near Sandyport, there is a guy on West Bay Street, by the basketball courts (I can be more specific about the locations! :-)) who does really fantastic conch salad on the side of the road.

                        If you look at some of my other posts, I list some of the distances between significant spots. Staying out by Sandyport, you have some beautiful beaches. There are also some great provisioining/grocery options, as well as some restaurant options.

                        I know you will have a great time. Perhaps one day as you are hanging out in the gazebo or on the dock near where you are staying, you will see us exiting the canal with our fish windsock on our boat. :-) (I am sure we are the only ones with one!


                        As for Twin brothers - if you go to Arawak Cay, this would be my first choice - just because they serve "real Bahamian food," and they have been around the longest! Having eaten there twice, the food has been stellar! Of course, the daquiris do not hurt!

                        1. re: Food on the brain

                          thank you so much for the tips! the distillery sounds great. the restaurant that I am talking about is called "oh Andros", have you heard of it?

                          also, are there any other good bars with music and cocktails?

                          I am not staying anywhere near sandyport, I am coming on a cruise ship and will be near the port

                          1. re: chinamel16

                            I have not hear of Oh Andros, but I am sure it is there. I must admit that we do not go to Arawak Cay/Fish Fry more than once every year or two. :-) There are a lot of restaurants along there, and they all have very similar menus. They will all have cracked conch, conch chowder, conch salad, and conch fritters. Cracked conch and conch fritters are both deep fried. Conch chowder can be really yummy, but it depends where. Unfortunately, i cannot tell you where the best is. A lot of people love to add heat to it with hot sauce too.

                            As I said above, Twin Brothers is always consistent, and they have been around the longest.

                            Sorry about the references to Sandyport. That is someone else coming down next month!!

                            In terms of good bars with music and cocktails, it depends on the kind of music. Most Saturday nights Crazy Johnny's has a great band playing. They are just west of the PI bridges.

                            Hammerheads is the bar closest to the PI bridges (in between). I do NOT recommend being near there after dark.

                            By the way, do remember that at Arawak Cay, gratuities are NOT added automatically, but everywhere else it is.

                            Hope all that helps.

                            1. re: Food on the brain

                              Thank u so much for all of your tips! I definitely will not be staying out after dark, I'll be back on the ship before that. Should I be concerned for my safety during the day?

                              1. re: chinamel16

                                You are very welcome. You don't need to be back onboard right at dark, but be careful to stay in safer areas. If you like the idea of Waitling's Rum Distillery, they are open until 7 on Saturdays, so you may decide to enjoy that later in the afternoon, then stay til close and cab it back to the cruise dock. If you choose to check out Crazy Johnny's, the music is usually jazz or Rock & Roll. Again, just be mindful of not walking around outside - get a cab back to the cruise dock.

                                You are not likely to be accosted, but you may find yourself in harm's way if you are not careful. Do not be afraid to be out and about, but be smart.

                                Have fun!

                                1. re: Food on the brain

                                  Thank u so much for all the info! I greatly appreciate it :)

              2. hi Food, we are staying at Atlantis 4 night in a 2 bedroom suite so we have a full kitchen(they say). we are buying seafood whenever possible and potters is a must it sounds like. i love dominos a kalik and some good food. I remember paying dominos in south caicos with the old gents at a bar. probably one of the most fun times i ever had on a bonefish trip. also south andros has some good domino players as well(they all drink guiness not Kalik) cafe matisse is number 1 on my list when we eat out so I am glad you like it. right south of Montague looks like there might be some bonefish flats so i will be over there for a couple different reasons. thanks for the time on the bamboo shack let me know what you find out. by the way are you canadian? and what type of red wine do you like? my wife and i love a nice red. also i am going to lauderdale in march can you help with a good cuban spot for lunch. thanks again.

                5 Replies
                1. re: kevin25

                  Ah, so you are at the Reef - very nice.

                  So Potter's Cay and Montague are good choices for fresh seafood and some produce. If you like conch chowder, negotiate on price for some fresh conch at Potter's Cay (at the back, both left and right - check out different prices and sizes before you choose) and then get the produce there. If you need stock or broth, you can get it at Solomon's Fresh Market in Harbour Bay.

                  Now as for Montague, the parking lot is actually just after the lights at Village Road. Don't go out that way much but went to family Xmas dinner on Tues and paid attention! :-) Not sure about any bonefishing there, though! I have never seen anyone out there fishing in any way other than in a boat.

                  Do book at Matisse - check the weather, and book a table in the courtyard. An oasis in the middle of town. Beautiful, with pizza available for the kids! Maybe you will even get the gazebo in the courtyard. :-)

                  I'll be out and about on Monday so will pay more attention to the possibility of Bamboo shack. I must admit that I can't promise, because I just truly do not know where they are! I am sure about a couple possible locations, but they would not be areas you would normally go. I'll let you know.

                  Now, on to other things. Yes - I am Canadian - why do you ask? Red wine - mmm.... a nice full bodied, spicy red - our favourite is Amarone...then a full bodied Old Vine Red Zin or Shiraz.

                  Unfortunately, not a lot of good cuban in Fort Lauderdale, but Little Havana in Miami is on SW 7th and SW 8th just west of I95. We only ever go for hubby's quarterly haircuts, where neither he nor the barber really communicate well with one another. :-) However, there is lots in the area. Try CHounding for responses in Miami. We have our favourites in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, and none are actually Cuban. Sorry.

                  Let me know if you have more questions! :-)

                  1. re: Food on the brain

                    hi Food, thanks for the continuing info. We are booking Matisse for the courtyard(hopefully tomorrow when i get together with the others coming to Nassau) I will have a car so I dont mind driving anywhere you recommend. is there now 2 Solomons locations? on to other things. my moms side of the family is canadian they are from Stoney Creek St Catherines hamilton mississauga and all around that area. we always went to Muskoka in the summers(Beaumaris) my name kevin25 is for Kevin Stevens #25of the penguins,( i am rick) anyway i saw some of your other posts and figured your were Canadian. i was wondering about your wine choice and where you buy wine in Nassau. my wife and i love a big red and will bring some wine but our friends will drink it quick i suspect. too bad about hockey this year :( my boys and i really miss it. thanks again

                    1. re: kevin25

                      Glad you are going to Matisse. You will love it.

                      As for Solomon's, there are now 2 Fresh Markets (as opposed to Solomon's Super Centre). They have a lot of organic produce and meat, a lot of gluten free products, and a great fresh meat and seafood section. The one closest to you is in Harbour Bay. Coming off the PI bridge, turn left onto Bay Street. It is halfway between the bridge and Montague. You can also access it from Shirley Street coming back from Montague if you want to get your crawfish and/or fish first.

                      For wine, there is a Bristol's Wine & Spirits on PI. Going on to PI from the bridge, you would turn right then left at the roundabout. You will see Bristol's on the right. To go to the Reef, you turn left off the bridge. They have a pretty good selection. Another option is Island Wines & Spirits at the top of the hill Mackay Street. Coming off the PI bridge, continue straight to the top of the hill. There is a plaza with Super Value. Island Wines & Spirits is in the far left corner. They have a fabulous selection of Scotch.

                      Hope that helps! :-)

                      As for being Canadian, yes! Southwestern Ontario.

                      Have fun on your trip!

                      1. re: Food on the brain

                        Hi Food,we are back. Had a wonderful trip.Only dinner we ate out was Cafe Matisse. excellent duck and veal as well as pastas with different seafoods. courtyard is the way to go thanks. lunch at twin brothers potters cay for skyjuice and cracked conch.(good and alot of fun) not where i would bring a first date but maybe. Balduccinos was great(went there every day) close to us on east bay street. excellent duck confit as well as breads that were fresh and tasty. we had them make a double chocolate cake for a birthday that was rich and to die for. great shop if you havent been yet. solomons worked out great for everything else again right there on east bay so VERY convenient. my spot was Montagu though. i was there every day to buy fresh seafood. first day i bargined for 4 large lobsters whole 3 conch(they cracked for me) 2 whole nice size strawberry grouper and 7 whole yellowtails for $120. we were in hog heaven. i liked buying different fish and seafood everyday. first time i had lionfish and i loved it. bristol worked out for etoh and i almost forgot i snuck away for a long lunch with my wife at the Ocean Club at Dune.(really enjoyed that i can tell you tuna tartare to die for. thought that i would check Atlantis off my list and move on but i tell you we all had such a great time we will be back(with 4-5 days over to stella maris as well) thanks for your help if i can return the favor let me know....rick

                        1. re: kevin25

                          Hey Rick,

                          Glad you had a good time! I am really glad you went out to Matisse - definitely a must do. Glad as well that Balducinnos and Fresh Market met your needs, then of course, Montague!! :-) Just be sure not to OD on the seafood!! My parents were here last Jan (as they are now), and last year mom counted 25 meals of fresh seafood and fish in 21 days. She had hives when she left and is only just able to eat seafood and fish again without Benadryl or Claritin.

                          Glad my suggestions helped, and glad to hear you will be back. Maybe by the time you are ready for your next trip, you will be able to try Bahamar! It will be different than Atlantis.

                          BTW, hope you had a chance to really enjoy the aquarium at Atlantis.