The Best Restaurants in the Cayman Islands
Many restaurants around the Cayman Islands have pushed the ocean-to-table movement to new heights. From the Grape Tree Cafe, a popular roadside fish fry, to Morgan’s Seafood Restaurant, a fine dining spot in West Bay, there are plenty of locally-sourced options waiting for you. For a meal well worth the trip all on its own, try the tasting menu at Blue by Eric Ripert, the French chef’s restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton on Seven Mile Beach.
When you’re in the Cayman Islands to begin with, the idea of “getting away from it all” for a meal may strike you as redundant. Until you get to Morgan’s—the best kind of escape within an escape. Tucked into the Cayman Islands Yacht Club, this ocean-to-table spot becomes particularly dreamy by night, when the waterfront deck is illuminated by little more than candles, lanterns, and twinkle lights. Staring out at Governor’s Creek, you’ll feast on the likes of mixed-seafood risotto or crepes with shrimp and scallops in a white-wine sauce, and perhaps toast with something from the island’s extensive champagne list.
Bodden Town Road, Bodden Town, Cayman Islands
For a true taste of local life, head to Bodden Town—the Caymanian capital before George Town rose to prominence in the 1800s—and pull over at the roadside fish fry where the likely queue tips you off to the impending tastiness: Grape Tree Café. Granted, on any given day, the crowd may include as many chickens as humans (the former seem to love nothing more than strutting from palm-shaded table to palm-shaded table on Grape Tree’s patch of beach sand). Atmosphere aside, the big lure here is the array of fried fish: snapper, mahi-mahi, swai, and wahoo—served with fritters, cassava, sweet potatoes, and breadfruit.
245 N Church St, George Town KY1-1107, Cayman Islands
A local institution, the Lobster Pot serves up its crustacean namesakes, among other Caribbean delicacies, on a vista-blessed seaside deck. If you can, arrive at sunset for the nightly tarpon feeding (much more engrossing in person than you’d imagine). And even if you don’t get there exactly at the appointed hour, you can still spot these giants as they continue to patrol the dramatically floodlit waters off the restaurant’s deck for leftovers. As you take in the view, you’ll be eating the likes of lobster-and-mango salad, lobster bisque, or lobster sautéed in a tomatoey, peppery blend and served with fried plantains, rice, and beans.
Seven Mile Beach, KY1-1209, Cayman Islands
With its world-renowned chef and ultrachic decor, Blue—tucked discreetly into the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman—seems the sort of place you’d find in New York or Paris. But the main draw is decidedly local: spectacularly fresh ingredients sourced largely from the sea right outside and served up in such specialties as lightly seared wahoo with bok choy and kimchi broth; or poached halibut with sunchokes, salsify, and truffle jus; or bread-crusted red snapper with squid and sofrito sauce. If you’re feeling ambitious, go for the gusto with a six- or seven-course tasting menu—and tack on the wine pairings.
Morgan's Ln West Bay KY, West Bay, Cayman Islands
Deep within Grand Cayman, one finds another restaurant on the water. Be careful not to sit too close to the edge on the deck, however, the breeze might blow you right off. Inside the restaurant is a different story. All the tables and chairs are close together, making your dining experience intimate yet open to that of your neighbor and you can’t help smiling at those sitting next to you. Written on a savvy chalkboard one finds the specials of the day, of which you will find rarities like chicken liver pate and ceviche. The food is fantastic and the drinks are phenomenal. I personally recommend anything with mango in it. Once you’re good and full it almost feels necessary to sit and talk with the wait staff before leaving. The close knit environment makes it all the more friendly. Calypso Grill is definitely one of my favorite restaurants in Grand Cayman and I definitely recommend it to seafood lovers or just food lovers in general.