Food and Drink in Grand Turk
Most restaurants you will encounter in port cater to tourists and provide Americanized versions of bar food and pub grub: burgers, quesadillas and mixed salads, with some fresh seafood on the menu. But the name of the game is conch for Caribbean cuisine, and Grand Turk is no different.
John's Ocean View Bar, a more-local-than-local joint located along Front Street, provides native brews, conch and drinks at cheap prices. Get the grilled conch and ask for homemade hot sauce (it comes in a water bottle). John's doesn't have an exact address, but as a testament to the times, it has its own Facebook page. (649-243-7157)
Editor's Note: Because the island is so laid back, addresses and hours are often flexible or unlisted; unless otherwise noted, lunching suggestions are located on the main drag in Cockburn Town.
Outside of the immediate cruise center, Jack's Shack is where most cruisers seemed to flock for a day of drinks, local food and relaxation. Owned by Jack and Janet (the listed phone numbers are their cellphones), their website encourages you to "Follow the crew away from the crowds for a real island experience." A menu prepared by a Caribbean chef includes items like jerk chicken, spicy steamed conch, fish stews and peas and rice. The menu also has typical bar food offerings. However, vegetarian meals are not readily available, and seafood is limited. You'll find water sports gear and full resort amenities like free Internet, lounge chairs, floats, beach umbrellas, volleyball gear, showers, restrooms and storage lockers. Sign in online and print a coupon for a welcome shot of local rum. (500 yards north of the cruise center; 649-232-0099 or 649-244-9309)
Barbie's Bar and Restaurant is a local favorite featuring conch fritters and native island cuisine. Easy to spot from the road, but not as common with tourists, this might be your best bet for an authentic Grand Turk meal. (Churchill building, Cockburn Town; 649-946-2981)
Most of the restaurants on the island are connected with its few resorts. Secret Garden Restaurant at the Salt Raker Inn is a great place for cracked (delicious deep-fried) conch. (Duke Street; 649-946-2260)
The Sandbar, an outdoor bar on the beach across from the Salt Raker and neighboring Manta House, is a great spot for a quick snack, serving up quesadillas, burgers and cracked conch. (Duke Street; 649-243-2666)
The Birdcage at the Osprey Beach Hotel is open for lunch, with island dishes like spicy conch salad, fresh fish and lobster, as well as curries, pizzas, salads and key lime pie. Tables surround the pool and overlook the ocean (1 Duke Street; 649-946-2666)
Though there are no real "upscale" eateries on this casual island, Guanahani Restaurant at the Bohio Dive Resort is probably Grand Turk's finest, on a quiet strip of Pillory Beach. The menu changes daily; lunch offerings are eclectic -- French, Italian and American with a Caribbean twist. Entrees range from simple fresh fish sandwiches and pecan-crusted mahi mahi to jerk chicken. (Bohio Dive Resort, Pillory Beach; 649-946-2135; open for lunch daily)