14 Best Bahamian Traditional Dishes You Should Try [Best Local Food in Bahamas]

To have a blast in the Bahamas, you should never forget to try the local food in the Bahamas. Not only it will make you full but would leave you to crave for more. 

Besides of Havana in Cuba, Bahama is another most popular place in the Caribbean Bay. It has so many attractions that will make tourists come back again and again. The most popular activities in the Bahamas are swimming with sharks or swimming with pigs on the beach. Relaxing in the Bahamas will be more complete if you will try its delicious foods. Surrounded by the Caribbean bay and Atlantic Sea, the Bahamas has a lot of seafood resources.

Discussing the local food in the Bahamas, you have to know that the food is pricey here. Well… not only food but almost anything here is pricey, so you have to prepare enough money if you want to go to the Bahamas. That is because most of the ingredients that they use to make a dish are imported. Below we have a list of the best local food in the Bahamas that will satisfy your stay in this beautiful paradise on Earth.

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Table of Contents

Main Dish

1. Conch

Best Local Food in the Bahamas

Conch is the main ingredient in most of the Caribbean island dishes. Previously, the raw conch came from the wild nature, presently, the conch is bred on the farm and it’s as tasty as the wild one. In the Bahamas, chefs processes conch to various dishes, such as; Conch Salad, Conch Fritter, Grilled Conch, and Cracked Conch.

2. Conch Salad

Best Local Food in the Bahamas
Photo by bookfinch CC BY 2.0

The conch is sliced in dice and mixed with tomatoes, shallots, scotch bonnet pepper, paprika, celery, lime juice, and other herbs. It has a salty, sweet, and sour taste at the same time.

Conch salad is the most popular conch dish in the Bahamas and you can find this dish in almost all of the restaurants.

3. Conch Fritter

Best Local Food in the Bahamas
Photo by inazakira CC BY-SA 2.0

If you want a crunchy and tender texture at the same time, conch fritter is the best choice. It has a savory and spicy taste that comes from the pepper and hot sauce as the conch seasoning.

4. Grilled Conch

This grilled dish can never go wrong. You can try this grilled conch in the Bahamas in almost every place. They seasoned this conch with lime juice, butter, minced garlic, black pepper, and hot chili. In every 1.5 pounds of the grilled conch, it contains 122 calories.

5. Cracked Conch

Using the same cooking technique as conch fritters, cracked conch uses a different conch as the main ingredient. Crayfish, an Arthropod that locals call as the queens of conch. They seasoned the meat with Bajan and dipping it into flour before frying it.

6. Rock Lobster

Rock lobster, or in this case is a spiny lobster that is widely consumed in the Bahamas. Besides being consumed by the locals and visitors, the spiny lobsters are also majorly exported in the Caribbean. Bahamians usually boil it and then serve it as a salad, patties, or fried.

7. Souse

Wants to escape from seafood? Then you have to try Souse. This dish is a traditional stew made from land meat (it can be chicken, goat, pork, or beef) and is seasoned with onion, lime juice, pepper, celery, and bay leaves. They cook it along with potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots. Souse has a savory taste. They usually served it along with Johnnycake and grits.

8. Pigeon Peas & Rice

Do not read it as Pigeon.Peas.and.Rice. If you read it that way, you might be thinking that this dish is made from a pigeon, but it’s not. Pigeon peas or legume is widely used in Caribbean Bay and one of the most popular dishes made from pigeon peas is Pigeon Peas and Rice. Most Bahamians consumed this dish almost every day.

This dish is made from deep brown pigeon peas that are mixed with long grain rice. They use tomato sauce, onions, celery, thyme, and salted pork to season the rice.

9. Boiled Fish & Grits

The simple way of processing a fish is by boiling it. The locals consume boiled fish as a breakfast menu and mostly appear at special occasions such as family gatherings every Sunday, or during Easter and Christmas. The fish is seasoned with celery, onions, and spices and boiled along with diced potatoes and sometimes several leaves of cabbage.

You can try this dish with grits and sliced plantains.

10. Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Best Local Food in the Bahamas
Photo by Scott Veg CC BY 2.0

Macaroni and Cheese might look-alike with Mac and Cheese, but the Bahamas has its own Macaroni and Cheese signature. This dish was brought to the Bahamas by the colonials in the 18th century and the locals modified it with the available seasoning in Bahama.

Instead of using fresh milk as the original Mac and Cheese, this dish is using evaporated milk since fresh milk is hardly found in the Bahamas. This combination produces a creaminess and irresistible taste. They usually serve this mac and cheese at room temperature. That’s when the cheese sauce becomes thick and cheesy.

Dessert

11. Guava Duff

What is your most favorite dessert? If you’re a cake lover, you have to try this spongy and soft texture of Guava Duff. It has a similar presentation as the roll cake and served while it’s still warm along with sweet butter rum sauce.

From the name itself, the Guava Duff is made from fresh guava that is easily found in the Bahamas as tropical islands produce tropical fruits as well. But if you can’t find the fresh one, you can also use canned guava, guava jam, or frozen guava.

12. Rum Cake

Another most popular dessert from the Bahamas is Rum Cake. The caramelized color of this dessert is tempting your taste buds, isn’t it? This dessert recipe is a relic from the colonial era centuries ago and was modified with the availability of the ingredient in the Bahamas.

It has a fluffy texture and sweet taste. Some places are serving Rum Cake along with the Rum itself or honey, and you can pour it on the top of the cake.

Beverage

13. Sky Juice

Coconut drinks in the tropical islands are like a match made in heaven. Sky juice is the most popular beverage in the Bahamas and it’s made from coconut water, rum and sometimes they add condensed milk. Leaded sky juice (with alcohol) and unleaded sky juice (without alcohol) are the two types of sky juice.

14. Goombay Smash

Last but not least, is the Goombay Smash. This fruit cocktail will help you have a refreshing stay in the Bahamas. You can easily find this cocktail in every bar and restaurant all over the country.

The relaxing holiday with special dishes is the perfect combination. All of those menus above are just a small part of the local food in the Bahamas. You can try to explore more menus and places. Are you ready for the Bahamas’ sunshine and breeze?

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