New Providence in The Bahamas Is the Small Island With Big Flavors

On any given night Shima is the backdrop to a date, an important business meeting, a wedding proposal, a party for the newly divorced, and the like. (Shima’s been my spot for a few of these reasons!) The food here celebrates the delicate, savory flavors of Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam and uses local ingredients, which makes it feel very Bahamian. The brunch is popular, but I go for dinner and order all the small plates, which change often. If you see the grilled roti—flaky and charred to perfection—get it.

Parents never openly admit to having a favorite child, although they surely have a stronger connection with one. That’s how I feel about this old-school Italian spot, where the food and service are consistently on point. Try the homemade ravioli with osso buco and roast gravy, or ask about the daily specials. Either way it’ll be unforgettable.

Photograph by Julian Cousins

This is the premier craft cocktail bar of The Bahamas. The bartenders are not just adept but entertaining, and their drinks don’t disappoint. I love the Big Major Smash, a Bahamian tiki-style rum concoction, and the Zephyr, a citrus-forward gin and tonic. A lot of restaurant folks come here after dinner or a shift to unwind. Just make sure your phone is charged—not only are the drinks stunning but so is the decor. It’s Instagram overload

This decades-old mainstay is an earshot away from the crashing waves of the northern shoreline in the Delaporte community. Locals gather to talk about island politics, international news, and gossip, but they linger for the seafood. For breakfast there is an amazing stew fish, the catch of the day simmered in a velvety brown-roux gravy. For dinner there is lightly-floured-and-fried grouper seasoned with bird pepper.

Where to Island Hop

Photograph by Julian Cousins

Grand Bahama
Go to the Dolphin Cove resort for gorgeous views, then drive to West End for pickled conch. 

Great Exuma Island
Visit the world-famous swimming pigs in Big Major Cay and enjoy fried fish or roasted veg on the beach. 

Harbour Island
For a luxurious excursion stay at The Landing hotel and try the acclaimed restaurant’s spicy crab capellini. 

North Abaco
After Hurricane Dorian, Richie’s Restaurant has returned better than ever. It’s still the spot for smothered pork chops. 

Ernest Hemingway’s hideaway is also renowned for its baked goods. Head to Charlie’s Bread and order a dozen dinner rolls.

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