Eat Like a Local in Turks and Caicos

Conch is the quintessential local food in Turks and Caicos. The mollusk isn’t for everyone, but seafood lovers will dig its chewy goodness and myriad serving styles. We’ve gathered a list conch shacks, a weekly fish fry, and some watering holes that locals favor, to give you a taste of TCI.

Dolphin Avenue
My favorite experience in Turks and Caicos was going out in the ocean with a guide to catch conch. Once the spot was chosen, we jumped overboard and dove into the blue water. My friends and I were not able to dive down deep enough, but the guide did it with ease. He stayed down for more than a couple minutes, and happily surfaced with armfuls of conch. Back on the beach, he showed us how they crack open the shell to retrieve the meat (in the photo), and then prepared us raw-conch salad. It was delicious!
Blue Hills Road
Conch is as ubiquitous on Turks and Caicos restaurant menus as palm trees on the beaches, and at Da Conch Shack, you’ll find it prepared any way you can imagine. Of course, there are the classic dishes of conch fritters, conch chowder, and conch salad, but you’ll also find entrées such as curried conch and conch creole. The breezy beachfront restaurant on Provo also serves fresh catch, local lobster, and non-seafood items like steaks and burgers.
TKCA 1ZZ, Turks and Caicos Islands
After you’ve explored the stunning sea cliffs along Mudjin Bay, get a table on the patio of the Mudjin Bar and Grill to savor the scenery a little longer and enjoy a well-earned meal. The restaurant is part of the Dragon Cay Resort and open every day for lunch and dinner. The menu shows off local flavors such as fried local lobster and conch fritters, along with burgers and chicken wings, but it’s the view overlooking the stunning Middle Caicos coastline that steals the show. (Dinner service requires reservations.)
Hemingway’s Restaurant has the best sunset views of one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Grace Bay, from a pier-like patio. The restaurant at the Sands at Grace Bay Hotel makes blended-just-right Pina Coladas topped with an extra dollop of rum. Sip and keep watch for the resident dolphin JoJo, who has been patrolling the turquoise waters off this picture-perfect crescent of sand for more than a decade – there’s even a bell to ring if you see him, although who knows if it’s the same dolphin. After you get tipsy, order dinner. In addition to conch, the restaurant is known for steak and fresh-caught fish cooked only in olive oil. At lunch, the fish tacos are my favorite dish. There is live music twice a week.
To satisfy your conch craving, stop at Bugaloo’s Conch Crawl on the south side of Providenciales, just a few minutes from Chalk Sound. The beachfront restaurant in Five Cays has indoor and outdoor seating, with some of the tables set right along the waterline, lapped by the rising tide. You’ll find a great selection of seafood, including plenty of conch dishes, along with fried chicken and burgers. In the evenings, Bugaloo’s hosts local bands, fire dancers, and other entertainment.
Osborne Road
The hours may be inconsistent and the menu—if you can call it that—is limited, but the ribs here are hands-down the best on the island. The chef/owner slow cooks his specialty outdoors and the only options are either with or without sauce. There’s a small collection of tables, usually inhabited by locals though they are happy to make room for visitors.

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AFAR Journeys
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe