A Complete Guide to Eating in the Cayman Islands

As in the rest of the Caribbean, seafood is prevalent on Cayman Islands menus. Try a delicious dish of Conch stew, a local shellfish that resembles a cross between clams and escargot with a delicate texture. A blackboard embellished with a few scribbled dishes is all that’s needed to find this popular local cafe on Cayman Brac serving up ackee and codfish, Jamaica’s national breakfast of boiled ackee, salt cod, and onions served with scotch bonnet peppers and plantains.

Conch Stew

Seafood is a huge part of Caribbean cuisine and is no different in the Cayman Islands. Here, you’ll find a variety of fish and shellfish dishes, but one particularly popular on the islands is conch stew. The dish is a soup incorporating conch meat, tomato, herbs, and Cayman peppers for a unique and flavorful taste. You can try this traditional dish at the best restaurants in Cayman Islands. Another favorite seafood dish is lobster, which can be found all over the Cayman Islands. Both an appetizer and a main meal can be served with this dish. Often, it is prepared with a spicy sauce to give it an extra kick.

During your visit to the Cayman Islands, you’ll also want to make sure you try turtle stew. This meal, frequently served with rice, beans, and plantains, is a terrific way to taste the local marine critter. You can also get turtle stew at a restaurant that offers tours of the island’s turtle farm. To prepare this Haitian dish, you’ll need a few essential ingredients, including allspice and thyme. Although the list of products on hand may appear lengthy, many are kitchen essentials you already have.

Coconut Shrimp

Coconut shrimp is a crispy, sweet appetizer or entree made with simple pantry staples. The dipping sauce can be anything from regular cocktail sauce to pineapple or orange marmalade. You can also bake the breaded shrimp instead of frying them. The first step in making coconut shrimp is to prep the ingredients. Butterflying your shrimp before frying will ensure that they are covered evenly. It helps cook the shrimp more evenly and gets more surface area for the crumb to adhere. Working with one shrimp at a time, dust it in the flour, dip it in the eggs, and coat it in the coconut and panko mixture. Repeat the technique with the remaining shrimp after the first one has been thoroughly coated. To fry the coconut shrimp, heat a large pan with 2-3 inches of oil — you can use a Dutch oven or a cast-iron pan. 


Lobster is an essential ingredient in many dishes in the Cayman Islands. Lobster can be prepared in various ways, such as grilled, boiled, or steamed. It is also a common ingredient in soups and other seafood dishes. When preparing lobster, you want to ensure you get the best meat quality. The first step is to get the meat out of the shell. It can be done by grabbing the tail, twisting it away, or using kitchen shears to cut through the shell. You will then need to remove the claws and knuckles from the lobster. The claws and knuckles can also be cracked open with a lobster cracker, releasing the flesh. Once you have the lobster meat, you can prepare it however you like. The preferred method is to boil it. However, you can also grill it or even deep fry it. Another great way to enjoy lobster is to stuff it. You can make this by cutting the lobster in half and removing all the meat from the claws, head, and tail. Then you can stuff the lobster with crab meat, mayonnaise, and cheese. It can be served with a roll or a side of bread.

Fried Lionfish and Breadfruit Salad

As is common throughout the Caribbean, local cuisine blends a coal pot of influences from the island’s Creole roots, English and French colonial past, and bountiful tropical fruits and vegetables. A cruise to the islands is an excellent opportunity to discover new flavors and tastes that will become your next favorite. During your visit, be sure to try fried lionfish and breadfruit salad. Lionfish have beautifully patterned skin that resembles a giant kiwi, and their meat is tender and sweet. The prickly skin is edible and adds a unique texture to the dish. It may be grilled or fried and served with shredded breadfruit or a salad made with a mild vinaigrette. While fried lionfish and breadfruit salad may sound exotic, both ingredients are easy to find at the local grocery stores or the primary market in Castries. It’s also an excellent place to pick up some locally produced items to take home, including hot sauce, coconut oil (great for the skin), and sticks of cocoa tea. For a more gourmet experience, head to Orlando’s restaurant in Soufriere. It’s a casual cafe-style venue, and the menu changes daily depending on what Chef Orlando finds at the market or what seafood is available. It’s one of the few restaurants not in an upscale resort hotel and is well worth a reservation for fine dining with a Caribbean flair.