Grand Cayman has long been known as a scuba diving mecca and a prime spot for offshore banking. The lure of white sand beaches, crystal clear water, and vibrant sunsets that explode in an blaze of pinks and oranges make it one of the Caribbean’s most popular vacation destinations. But travelers need to eat. Luckily, there are many options. Located south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica, the population descends from British, Irish, Scottish, and African settlers and today there are over 135 different nationalities represented. Which means local here means a variety of cuisines. The island is relatively small, but with a diverse culinary scene, the options for dining are large.
This is not an inexpensive island, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay top Cayman dollar to eat well. From Jamaican jerk barbecue to Trinidadian roti to Indian curry, here are a handful of affordable places to eat and drink, recommended by the island’s top chefs.
For a more extensive array of Cayman recommendations for where to eat, drink, shop, stay, and places to explore, download the FED Grand Cayman Guidebook.
This is the charming seafood shack that you dream about finding in the Caribbean and opened by one of the first families to ever settle on the island. Sit in their garden overlooking the water and dine on fresh fish, johnnycakes, and conch.
Pro Tip: “They make amazing fried local fish topped with escovitch sauce. This place is off the main road, so you'd never know it exists.” (Chef Massimo De Francesca)
Caymanian | $$
Boggy Sand Road
Grape Tree Cafe
This little outdoor shack is right on the beach and nestled among the sea grape trees. Order their fried snapper, wahoo, mahi mahi, or swai (white fish), and grab a seaside picnic table.
Pro Tip: “They have great fried fish and vegetables and there’s a pickle that goes with everything. The pickle is white vinegar with all spice, scotch bonnet, onions, and carrots.” (Chef Sara Mair-Doak)
Seafood | $
Bodden Town Road
Red Bay Jerk Stand
You can follow the smell of the smoke to this parking lot jerk centre. They fire up a line of oil drum BBQs and grill both chicken and pork. The take-away sauces range from sweet to super spicy. Most days, they serve a side of festival, a fried Jamaican bread.
Pro Tip: “They have five or six smokers going and you can smell it and see it from a distance. They do a really good jerk chicken and jerk pork.” (Chef Ervin Horvath)
Pro Tip: “Huge portions for a reasonable price. Always go for the spicy with a little extra sauce on the side.” (Chef Dylan Benoit)
Pro Tip: “Great for jerk chicken. Just look for the line of six or seven oil drums.” (Chef Thomas Tennant)
Jamaican | $
191-223 Shamrock Road
Singh’s Roti Shop & Bar
Not too far from the Cayman’s Owen Roberts International Airport is this small Trinidadian roti restaurant. They serve dhalpuri roti, which are wrap-type pockets filled with oxtail, curried goat, chicken, fish, or local vegetables. On Saturdays, they feature doubles, fried flat breads filled with curried chick peas that have both a sweet and savory quality to them.
Pro Tip: “It is tucked away and you wouldn't find it unless you knew it was there. It is no frills. They make all their roti in-house. They do a really nice curried goat roti, but my go-to is the shrimp curry roti.” (Chef Dylan Benoit)
Pro Tip: “They make the best roti -- the texture and flavors are authentic and delicious. Order a curried shrimp and also get a veg with pumpkin, chick peas, and spinach.” (Chef Massimo De Francesca)
Trinidadian | $
108 Doctor Roys Drive
You’ll feel like you’ve been invited into a local’s home because Vivine cooks Caribbean dishes in the kitchen of her own house. Her menu features oxtail and curried goat, fresh seafood such as conch, rice and beans, plantains, and fresh-made juices like mango. Save room for the cassava cake.
Pro Tip: “Their stewed beef is second to none that I’ve found on the island. Sit overlooking the water with a great view.” (Chef Dylan Benoit)
Pro Tip: “It is a nice drive out east to get here. She puts a lot of care into her cooking. Everything is fresh, tender and marinated properly.” (Chef Ervin Horvath)
Caribbean | $
493 Austin Conolly Drive
My Bar at Sunset House
This is one of the best places on the island to enjoy an unobstructed sunset, drink rum cocktails, and eat Indian curries. The bar is set in the back of the Sunset House resort, which is a divers’ hotel and training center.
Pro Tip: “For the sunset, beers, and a Malabar fish curry.” (Chef Michael Schwartz)
Pro Tip: “They make a great Caesar cocktail. It’s like a Bloody Mary, but they use Clamato juice instead of tomato juice. For food, I like to order the Chana, which is an Indian dish like a curried dal with chickpeas. It’s delicious.” (Chef Sara Mair-Doak)
Pro Tip: “This is my favorite place to watch the sunset. It’s right on the water with great views. I either enjoy a crispy local Caybrew or White Tip beer or a cocktail.” (Massimo De Francesca)
Indian | $$
Sunset House, 390 South Church Street
Contributing Local Chefs
Executive chef of Prime Kitchen bespoke culinary experiences in Grand Cayman.
MASSIMO DE FRANCESCA
Executive Chef at Ave, Avecita, and Coccoloba Restaurants at the Kimpton Seafire Resort in Grand Cayman.
Executive chef and owner of Agave - Urban Agaveria in Grand Cayman.
Executive chef and owner of Smokies. BBQ in Grand Cayman.
Executive chef and owner of The Genuine Hospitality Group in Miami, previously in Grand Cayman.
Former Chef de Cuisine at The Brasserie and now executive chef and owner of Tomfoodery Kitchen in Grand Cayman.
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