Emerald Sakara Dining

4.5 / 5.0
3 reviews
Greek flatbread on Emerald Sakara (Photo: Jorge Oliver)
Lunch buffet at Emerald Sakara's La Cucina restaurant (Photo: Jorge Oliver)
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Editor Rating
Very Good
Jorge Oliver

Food on Emerald Sakara ranges from solid to excellent, with menus that emphasize global cuisine consistently solid. Breakfast and lunch is served buffet style, with a handful of a la carte options available. Dinner is always a waiter-served affair. Emerald Sakara’s food options aim for international fare, with a slight preference for Mediterranean dishes. The dinner menu always offers a starter and a main course inspired by the destination of the day. This well-intentioned approach often worked well, but could turn out underwhelming or repetitive at times, especially in destinations like the Caribbean.

There are only two venues where you’ll find food onboard Emerald Sakara. La Cucina Restaurant on Deck 3 is the yacht’s primary eatery, and it opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner. On Deck 6, the Aqua Pool Café offers lighter fare for breakfast and lunch.

Both dining venues onboard Emerald Sakara are included on your fare, as is room service. There are no specialty restaurants.

Restaurants on Emerald Sakara

La Cucina

The closest thing to a main dining room onboard Emerald Sakara, La Cucina also happens to be the largest public space onboard the ship. The venue boasts a classy ambiance accentuated by light gray tones, pale wood and marble-topped tables. La Cucina offers indoor and outdoor seating, the latter located aft of the restaurant. It’s a popular spot, particularly for lunch and dinner, so securing a table early is a must if your sailing is at full capacity.

The breakfast buffet – served from 7am to 9:30 am – features pastries and baked goods, cold cuts, fresh fruit, cereals and juices. There’s also an assortment of hot items like sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, baked beans, and a made-to-order omelet station. There is also an a la carte menu with various classic breakfast items like pancakes, French toast, waffles, hash brown potatoes, eggs, and corned beef hash.

La Cucina opens for lunch and for this meal most of the dishes are presented buffet style. There’s a decently-sized salad bar with a range of toppings, a soup of the day, five or six hot dishes, and a made-to-order pasta station featuring a dish of the day. You can also order always-available items a la carte, like minute steak, grilled salmon, breaded eggplant, Caesar salad, spaghetti Bolognese and shrimp cocktail. Desserts come in bite-sized portions, along with a selection of fruits and gelato with several topping options.

Dinner onboard Emerald Sakara is always served a la carte, with a selection of starters (usually two salad and two soup options), three main dishes (one of which is always a vegetarian option) and a featured dessert, along with an ice cream sundae or sorbet or the day. You can also order any of the items from the always-available list. The dinner menu also features a sharing dish every day – typically pasta or risotto – and we found it is often one of the best things on the menu.

Tip: There’s no need to share the sharing dish; you can opt to make it your main entrée or have it as a side dish.

Your fare entitles you to wine and beer with every meal, and a rotating selection of reds and whites are featured every day. You can also ask for a rosé. Emerald Sakara also has options available from a premium wine list for an additional fee.

Aqua Pool Cafe

Tucked away in a corner on Deck 6 in front of the infinity pool, the Aqua Pool Café is your secondary choice for meals on Emerald Sakara. Specializing on lighter, more informal fare, this venue is open for late breakfast and lunch/early dinner, usually from 12 to 6pm. The venue boasts a generous amount of al fresco seating.

Tip: If you book back-to-back shore excursions or otherwise plan to spend enough time ashore that you’ll miss lunch hours, the crew can happily pack a picnic lunch for you.

The Aqua Pool Café offers ready-made items like salad bowls, wraps, pastries and fruit platters, as well as menu items made to order, including sandwiches and burgers. In this category, the star item is the lighter-than-pizza flatbread, which is offered in 10 different varieties. Options include Greek (feta cheese, black olives, tomatoes and onions), Caprese (tomato, mozzarella and basil) and Levantine (artichokes, lemon and ricotta cheese). All flatbreads are available with gluten-free bread.

Tip: For a midafternoon delight, try the yummy gelato. There are usually four rotating flavors available.

Dietary Restrictions on Emerald Sakara

The menu items offered onboard Emerald Sakara are labeled to indicate if they are dairy free, gluten free, nut free, vegan or vegetarian. You’ll also find vegetarian and some vegan options at every meal. Much like the ship itself, Emerald Sakara’s galley is small but provides separate prep stations to avoid cross-contamination of allergens. Gluten-free bread is available and kept separate from regular bread options.

It’s also advisable to be proactive and let the wait staff know of any dietary restrictions you have. You can also ask the crew to modify any dish by removing ingredients that you wish to avoid.

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