Food and Drink in Freeport
Not surprisingly, seafood is a staple of residents, and the signature dish of the Bahamas is conch salad, chilled conch marinated in lime or orange juice and mixed with tomato, onion, celery, cucumber and green peppers. Many locals believe conch is an aphrodisiac, and the mollusk is also deep fried (cracked conch), mixed in stews or soups and served as a breaded appetizer (conch fritters). Other dishes include Bahamian "rock lobster," fresh grouper and bonefish accompanied by side dishes like peas and rice or johnnycake (simple bread). Wash it all down with the appropriately named, "Gully Wash," the Bahamian cocktail made with gin, coconut water and condensed milk.
Port Lucaya Marketplace: Options abound, and two favorites are Cafe Breeze (242-373-2664; open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.) and Zorba's Greek restaurant (242-373-6137; open daily 7 a.m. to 10:45 p.m.).
Margaritavilla Sand Bar: Located at Mather Town Beach off Millionaire's Row, the "Sand Bar" serves casual fare with a laid-back beach vibe and American football on the television. (Spanish Main Drive; 242-373-4525; open for lunch and dinner, 11 a.m. until the party winds down)
Flying Fish: Formerly The Ferry House, Flying Fish offers seafood specialties in a posh setting. For something truly unique, ask whether they are serving lionfish, an invasive species that is destroying the coral reefs but is delicious. (Next to Port Lucaya Marketplace; 242-373-4363; open 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday to Friday for lunch, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for brunch and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday for dinner)
Tony Macaroni's: At Taino Beach, look for the thatch-roofed shack with outdoor dining and amazing views. Its specialty is roast conch, but it also serves conch salad, roast lobster and shrimp and hot dogs. If you happen to be in port after 4 p.m. on Sunday, Tony hosts live jazz at the beach. (Taino Beach; 242-533-6766; open for lunch and dinner from 10 a.m.)
Sabor: Tucked away in the garden of Pelican Bay Hotel overlooking Port Lucaya marina, Sabor has a changing fusion menu with a Latin flavor that features the best seasonal catches. The menu includes items like baked Bahamian grouper or classic mushroom and Swiss burgers. (Sea Horse Road at Port Lucaya; 242-373-5588; open 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.)
Pier One: The shark feeding at this seafood and sushi restaurant might be the best-kept secret at the cruise port. Hidden on the other side of the port, you'll find both an upscale dining room and a casual wraparound patio located right on the water. The best part: the nurse sharks swimming around the water and the feedings that take place at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. daily. (Freeport Harbor; 242-352-6674; open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday)