Eating, Drinking, and Shopping in Grand Cayman (How, Where, and What)

The Cayman Islands is one of the top tourist destinations in the Caribbean region. It is composed of three islands: Cayman Brac, Little Cayman, and Grand Cayman, the largest among the three. Most of the popular and festive activities happen in Grand Cayman Island. Many tourists visit Grand Cayman to dine on Caribbean dishes and shop for souvenirs and other items. Most locals and tourists dine and shop at Seven Mile Beach and George Town.
Eating, Drinking, and Shopping in Grand Cayman
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Seven Mile Beach is quite different from its name because it only measures 6.3 miles long. Seven Mile Beach, or SMB as they call it, is a long-curved sand beach west of Grand Cayman. Tourists label it as the Caribbean’s Best Beach. It is home to the Island’s top luxury hotels, restaurants, and shopping malls.

Aside from Seven Mile Beach, locals also shop at George Town, the capital city of the Cayman Islands. You can find most banks, companies, and shopping centers in George Town. Government offices are also in the city center.

Since most of the population of the Cayman Islands is in George Town, it is also a major tourist destination for tourists in the Caribbean. The city is a port of call in the Caribbean region, and cruise ships commonly anchor the George Town Harbour from Tuesday to Friday.

What Food Is Grand Cayman Known for?

In Grand Cayman, you can try and taste the best turtle stews and cassava cakes in the Caribbean. If you visit Grand Cayman, do not forget to try their mouth-watering local dishes offered by locals. Many restaurants and shops offer turtle stews, cassava cakes, conch stews, and other Caribbean cuisines. You can all enjoy them in your dining experience in Grand Cayman.

Turtle Stew

The turtle stew is one of the oldest delicacies on the Island. Explorers in the past discovered the abundance of green sea turtles in the Cayman Islands and used it as an alternative to common pork and beef meat. Today, turtle meat dishes are very popular among locals and tourists, and you must try one if you visit Grand Cayman.

Most of the turtle’s meat used in cooking this dish come from the Cayman Islands Turtle Farm. The stew is served together with rice and beans with a side of coleslaw. You are sure to enjoy the meatiness and the mix of cassavas, potatoes!

Cassava Cakes

Another popular dish in Grand Cayman is cassava cakes. They are also called “heavy cakes” because of the ingredients that make them loaded. The classic recipe of the cake is mainly composed of shredded cassava, which is homegrown on the Island. It gives you a rich taste of a dense and moist kind of cake.

The cassava cake is considered Cayman Island’s national dessert since every family has its recipe. Caymanians serve cassava cakes during festivals and occasions. Locals and tourists enjoy eating them on normal days.

The cake’s appearance might be unappealing to you, but once you’ve tasted it, you will be really craving more cassava. You can order the best cassava cakes at the Grand Old House Cayman, located at 648 South Church Street.

Conch Stew

You can also try their seafood dishes, such as the Conch Stew. There are a lot of varieties of fish stews that you can eat in Grand Cayman, and the Conch Stew is a must-try.

A Conch is a sea snail with a bright pink shell. These types of snails are similar to clams and escargots.

The stew mixes conches with various herbs and Caribbean spices. They are a good source of low-fat protein if you avoid pork and beef stews.

When you visit Grand Caymen between November to April, you can find Conch stews and dishes in most restaurants since this is their season. If you are craving Conch stews, you can best try it at the ‘Over the Edge’ restaurant, located at 1148 North Side Road, Old Man Bay.

Cayman Style Lobster

Countries in the Caribbean serve almost common seafood dishes. However, nothing beats how Caymanians cook and serve their lobsters.

Restaurants in Grand Cayman serve different lobster dishes. These dishes are really enticing and mouth-watering. Grand Cayman offers the best among the rest, from boiled lobsters to pasta and even patties.

Most locals and tourists try the Cayman-Style Lobster served at Decker’s Grill and Lounge at Seven Mile Beach. They serve lobsters with hot sauce and peppers, which gives you the spicy and juicy texture of the dish.

Fritters

Fritters, also known as Johnny Cakes, are famous side dishes served in the Cayman Islands. It is a kind of bread fried in coconut oil which is good to pair with butter or sauteed fish. The dish became one of Grand Cayman’s traditional dishes, which no one could even remember when it started.

One good thing about fritters is that you can eat it at any time of the day and a great go-to snack if you are in a hurry with your Grand Cayman itineraries. You can buy Fritters at the George Town Yacht Club located at 612B North Sound Road.

Jerk Chicken

You can taste the savory chicken grilled with Scotch bonnet peppers and other spices. The Jerk Chicken famously originated from Jamaica. They are now scattered across the streets in Grand Cayman.

If you are craving spicy Caribbean grilled chicken, you must try Grand Cayman’s Jerk Chicken. This chicken gives you the spicy and tender taste of chicken meat because of its great mix of seasonings. You can easily find stalls and street vendors selling Jerk Chickens in downtown Grand Cayman.

Coconut Shrimps

You can buy coconut-crusted shrimps anywhere in local pubs and restaurants. Grand Cayman’s coconut shrimps give you the freshest shaved coconuts. They cover the newly caught shrimps deep-fried in coconut oil. You can pair it with a dip mixed with honey, orange, or pineapple. This is an excellent appetizer before you eat your Caribbean dishes.

You can order these coconut shrimps at the following restaurants: Coconut Joe’s Bar and Grill, Alfresco Restaurant, Guy Harvey’s Bar and Grill, and Duke’s Seafood and Rib Shack.

Is It Expensive to Eat in Grand Cayman?

Food prices in restaurants are quite high in Grand Cayman. This is because the value of the Cayman Islands Dollar (Grand Cayman’s currency) is slightly higher than the US Dollar. Dollar exchange rates are about US$1.20 per Cayman Island Dollar. You must be sure that you will check the restaurants’ prices to prepare your budget for dining at low-budget restaurants or pricey ones.

How Expensive Is Food in Grand Cayman?

Tourists in Grand Cayman spend between CI$120 – CI$140 from eating at restaurants and spending food per day. On average, a tourist spends around CI$16 – CI$20 per meal in a day. Given this average, you must prepare your budget per meal per day when you visit Grand Cayman. You can choose to dine in simple diners or in fancy restaurants. It really depends on your wallet.

Can I Take Food to Grand Cayman?

Grand Cayman is strict on tourists who will bring imported food to the Island. The government allows small amounts of meat (pork, beef, chicken) and seafood for import as long as the tourist only consumes it for personal use.

If you want to bring specific types of seafood beyond 20lbs (9 kg), you must have a permit for that. You can get a Certificate of Wholesomeness from the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture. You will not be allowed to onboard a plane or ship if you do not have this import permit for your seafood.

Various meat products 25lbs. (11.3 kg) and below are allowed for personal luggage as long as that meat is under their list of approved countries. You should properly wrap the product under a brand name. It must also obtain the official seal of inspection from the meat inspection authority of your country.

Aside from the meat, you can also bring herbs, spices, and even coffee, considering it will only be for your personal use. You cannot bring any kind of fruits or vegetables to Grand Cayman.

Why Is There No McDonald’s in Grand Cayman?

There is no McDonald’s in Grand Cayman because there is a local restaurant named MacDonald’s Restaurant in the Island. The world-known fast-food chain cannot establish its franchises because of trademark issues. Urban legend has it that McDonald’s filed a lawsuit against the local restaurant because of its similar name but lost the case. The big company never attempted to open a single franchise on the Island.

You can visit the locally owned MacDonald’s restaurant at 180 Shedden Road, George Town.

Does Grand Cayman Have Nightlife?

Yes! Grand Cayman offers a lot of activities to all ages, especially for adults who are excited to experience the nightlife on the island. Most of the nightlife activities happen at Seven Mile Beach. But aside from that, there are still other places in Grand Cayman where you can enjoy drinking and partying for the whole night.

You must be at least 18 years old to purchase and drink liquor and other alcoholic beverages. However, some party and nightlife activities are limited until 1 in the morning and there are strict laws on liquor licensing. Despite all of this, you can find a lot of bars, pubs, and restaurants that can give you a nightlife full of the best dining, drinking, dancing, and partying.

Is Grand Cayman a Party Island?

The party and nightlife in Grand Cayman are not the same as the dusk-till-dawn activities in Jamaica or other places in the Caribbean. Still, there are a lot of clubs and bars that you may visit depending on your preference for music, drinks, and party environment.

Tourists and locals usually party at Seven Mile Beach (SMB) and at George Town. You can enjoy the night dining by the beach and dancing at their bars. Most bars on the Island are attached to restaurants; therefore, you can dine, drink and dance all at the same place if you like.

Most nightlife activities happen at Seven Mile Beach. Its main beachline has hotels and resorts with bars and pubs for local and foreign customers. It offers a great combination for your entire nightlife since you can dine-in at a restaurant while waiting for the late-night parties at their bar.

There are also restaurants and bars you can check out in George Town. As you walk down the streets of the capital city, you can find a lot of restaurants and bars just next to each other.

However, most bars and clubs start to close after midnight since the nightlife in Grand Cayman ends by 1 in the morning. Be sure to get the most out of the nightlife in Grand Cayman during your visit! Here are some places you can go on the Island:

Coconut Joe’s

The Coconut Joe’s is a bar located at West Bay Road, just across Comfort Suites. It is one of the most visited outdoor restaurants and bars in Seven Mile Beach. They offer all kinds of dishes and cuisines at affordable prices.

You can visit the place as early as 7:00 am and enjoy their breakfast menu. They also serve lunch and dinner. You get to enjoy their live bands performing in the night as you dine with their Caribbean and American Cuisines. Coconut Joe’s is open from 7:00 am until 11:00 pm.

Kaibo

Kaibo is one of Grand Cayman’s beach dining destinations. Its Beach Bar and Grill is part of the Kaibo plantation house and its beach, rum bar, and coffeehouse. They offer a lot of cuisines and services fit for your dining by the beach. You can try their best pizzas, barbeque and grill, seafood, and Caribbean cuisines while enjoying the view of the sea. The restaurant also offers alternative food options for vegetarians and vegans.

The restaurant is only open during the weekends from 12:00nn to 6:00 pm, and the Kaibo Coffee Shop is also open during the weekends from 8:00 am to 12:00nn. You can also visit other places in Kaibo such as the Marina, Upstairs at Kaibo, and Barefoot Beach BBQ.

Since there are limitations with their capacity for locals and tourists, you must set up a reservation. You can visit them at 585 Water Cay Road.

O’Bar Night Club

Located at Queen’s Court Plaza, West Bay Road. The O’Bar Night Club gives its customers the liveliness of Grand Cayman from its calm and cozy feeling brought by its beaches. The club has different attractions every night. From hip hop 90s to electro funk music, you can never expect the upcoming vibe of the DJs and bands in the club. You can check the schedule of Grand Cayman’s famous DJs on their website. You must never miss the chance to enjoy O’Bar Night Club during your Grand Cayman nightlife.

Ports of Call Beach Bar at the Wharf Restaurant

This is one of the most famous restaurants in Seven Mile Beach. You can enjoy their delicious cocktails while enjoying the sunset by their beach during their daily happy hour. The bar starts their Happy Hour from 4:00 in the afternoon until 7:00 in the evening. Aside from cocktails, you can also drink the finest wines from their wide selections.

Activities in Ports of Call are different every day of the week. On Tuesdays, you can join salsa lessons at 9:30 pm with salsa queens from Grand Cayman. Ports of Call also have their harpists who will light up your dining experience thrice a week. Just check their performance schedule as you inquire for reservations. The Wharf Restaurant has its own Boogie Night disco party every last Friday of the Month from 9:30 pm onwards. During the weekends, you can listen to and enjoy the music of the local bands performing from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

Aside from the main dining experience offered by the Ports of Call, you can also try Tarpon Feeding every evening from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. The Ports of Call Beach Bar at the Wharf Restaurant is at 43 West Bay Road.

There are still many restaurants, bars, and pubs that you can visit and dine along the Seven Mile Beach and in George Town. Make sure you plan your dining trip ahead of time to avoid long queues and miss reservations. Enjoy the Grand Cayman party experience!

Is Alcohol Expensive in Grand Cayman?

Alcoholic beverages are at a favorable price in Grand Cayman. The prices are quite higher compared to average US and UK alcohol prices. Grocery stores do not sell alcoholic beverages because they are sold at liquor stores across the island.

How Much Alcohol Can I Bring to Grand Cayman?

Tourists and visitors going to Grand Cayman are allowed to bring a maximum of 1 liter of alcohol during travel. The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism regulates the importation of alcohol by tourists in Grand Cayman. Minors are not allowed to bring any amount of alcohol.

There is a lot of liquor and wine stores in Grand Cayman so you do not need to worry about bringing your favorite alcoholic drink to the Island.

Where Can I Buy Beer in Grand Cayman?

Beers and other alcoholic beverages are not available in grocery stores. Stand-alone liquor stores sell different kinds of alcohol, beers, and wines. Most of these stores are in George Town and Seven Mile Beach, but some are in the East part of Grand Cayman.

If you are planning to buy drinks during your Grand Cayman trip, here are some stores that you should check when visiting Grand Cayman:

Blackbeard’s

Blackbeard’s Beer Wine and Spirits has seven locations across Grand Cayman. Four branches are at Seven Mile Beach. They offer local and international beer brands that you can choose from. You can check out their website to find out more about their promos and offers. Blackbeard’s also suggests gift ideas and has monthly specials.

If you want to have beers delivered to your hotel rooms, they also do deliveries within Grand Cayman. They only cater orders before 2 pm from Monday to Sunday to guarantee same-day delivery. Most of their stores are open from 10:00 am up to 9:00 pm.

Fidel Murphy’s Irish Pub & Restaurant

Their pub offers draught Irish Beers as well as other European and American beers and alcoholic beverages. You can enjoy your beer while watching different major sports events shown on their multiple tv screens. You can visit them at West Bay Road from 10:00 am to 12:00 am.

19-81 Craft Brewery

A local brewery in George Town. It has its own three signature handcrafted beers: Island Session, Cayman Blonde, and Tropical IPA. Their beers are available on tap at other bars and restaurants in Grand Cayman. Better check out their local beers and compare them to your favorite ones. Worth the try!

Cayman Islands Brewery Ltd

Located at 366 Shamrock Road, George Town, they produce eight local beers such as the Caybrew, Ironshore Bock, and White Tip Lager. They also have seasonal beers, Twisted Citrus, Mango Tango, and Pirate’s Gold. You may buy their beers directly at the main location because they are much cheaper than buying their products from other liquor stores. They are open at 11:00 am, Monday to Saturday but close at different times. 5:00 pm Monday to Wednesday, 8:00 pm Thursday to Friday, and 7:00 pm on Saturday.

How Much Is a Beer in Grand Cayman?

Prices of local beer in Grand Cayman are between CI$4.00 – CI$7.00 in restaurants and CI$2.00 – CI$4.00 in liquor stores. Imported beers, which are per 0.70-pint bottle, are in between CI$5.00 – CI$8.00 restaurants and CI$3.00 – CI$6.00 in liquor stores. You can visit the websites of Grand Cayman’s liquor stores for more specific prices of liquor products. You can try visiting the website Jacques Scotts Wines and Spirits. They have a lot of liquor options to choose from.

What Kind of Beer Do They Have in Grand Cayman?

Liquor stores in Grand Cayman offer various kinds of beer, both local and imported ones. They have local beers produced by the Cayman Islands Brewery, such as the common Caybrew Brand, Ironshore Bock, and White Tip Lager. There are also locally crafted beers you can try in pubs and restaurants. You can also try international brands and draft beers aside from local beers. You can find more of them at Fidel Murphy’s Irish Pub and Restaurant.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Drink in Grand Cayman?

The legal drinking age in Grand Cayman is 18 years old. They are very strict with their liquor laws, and any restaurant or pub offering drinks to minors will have their liquor licenses revoked. Be careful and avoid drinking alcoholic beverages if you have minors along with your Cayman trip.

Can You Drink on the Beach in Grand Cayman?

You can buy your alcoholic beverages from liquor stores and enjoy drinking them while relaxing at the beach. Grand Cayman allows its locals and tourists to have open containers on the beach. You must not carry open beverages when driving or in any non-alcohol consumption zone. Grand Cayman ensures the safety of both Caymanians and tourists enjoying their stay on the Island.

Does Grand Cayman Have Casinos?

Casinos and all forms of gambling have been illegal in Grand Cayman since 1963. Even though the Island is a tax haven for the rich, they are very strict in implementing their anti-gambling laws. Therefore, there are no existing casinos in Grand Cayman. However, if you plan to visit the Cayman Islands and you are looking for casinos, you can find them on the nearby islands of Grand Cayman. It will only take a few minutes to reach other Caribbean Islands with casinos.

What Should I Buy in Grand Cayman?

You must also experience shopping in Grand Cayman aside from dining and drinking. Most of the shopping centers in the Island are at George Town, Seven Mile Beach, and Camana. Since the Cayman Islands is a tax haven, you will also experience tax-free shopping on all items you buy, making it more exciting! Moreover, most items sold at Grand Cayman are way cheaper than North American and European shops. It remains free from import duties and sales taxes.

You have a lot of items to choose from in your shopping sprees such as jewelry, luxury brands, precious metals, branded clothing, and many more. These are ideal for gifts and souvenirs which you can give to your family and friends at home.

Is There a Walmart in Grand Cayman?

Unfortunately, there are no Walmart stores in Grand Cayman. However, you can get a wide variety of goods at stores like Al Thompson and Kirk Home. Cost U Less is the place to go if you want to get reduced goods, which is similar to Costco without any membership requirement. Buy Smart is also located on West Bay Road. They sell things for prices between $2 and $5, similar to Dollar Tree. You can find it at Galleria Plaza shopping mall, also located on West Bay Road.

Are Groceries Expensive in Grand Cayman?

Groceries in Grand Cayman are quite expensive compared to the prices in the United States. It is mainly because of the dollar exchange rate between Cayman Dollar and US Dollar, which is approximately CI$1.00 = USD 1.20. Most of the dry goods sold in Grand Cayman are imports. Although there are no duty and sales taxes on groceries, they are still a little expensive since some are not locally produced in Grand Cayman.

How Much Are Groceries in Grand Cayman?

Caymanians had an average of CI$600 – CI$1200 monthly costs for their groceries. If you are planning to have a long stay in Grand Cayman, you can also try shopping for groceries instead of eating at restaurants and diners all the time. Be sure that you have set aside allowances in case of unexpected expenses and groceries during your Grand Cayman trip.

Where Do Locals Shop in Grand Cayman?

Caymanians commonly shop at Grand Cayman’s business and shopping centers. Moreover, Grand Cayman has been a top shopping destination for tourists in the Caribbean. They have duty-free and tax-free prices of luxury goods and other expensive items. The best shopping centers in Grand Cayman are at Seven Mile Beach.

Here are some places where locals and tourists shop at Grand Cayman:

Farmers & Artisans Market at Camana Bay

The address is at The Paseo, 10 Market St., Camana Bay. The market has a lot of fresh produce and seasonal products available in the Cayman Islands. All products in the market are from local farmers. So, if you shop and buy products at the market, you are helping Caymanian farmers in their daily living.

The Craft Market

This is a market sponsored by the Cayman Islands Government. They help support local artists showcasing their products and selling them to locals and tourists. You can shop from a wide variety of souvenirs and collector items. You can visit them at S Church St. George Town, Cayman Islands.

The Island Plaza

Located on the Waterfront, Corner of Harbour Drive and Cardinal Avenue, George Town. Grand Cayman’s retailer of choice by locals and tourists has been open since the 70s. It comprises various shops but mainly jewelry stores. It has an extensive collection of jewelry, watches, cigars, and other luxury items in the Cayman Islands.

Galleria Plaza

A shopping center in Seven Mile Beach where you can find a wide variety of home décor and accessories, and luxury and souvenir clothing. You can visit Galleria Plaza at West Bay Road, close to Comfort Suites and Resort.

Kirk Free Port

It has been a leading retailer of duty-free products in the Cayman Islands for more than 40 years. Its stores are ideal for those who want to take advantage of duty-free and tax-free prices while shopping for gifts for loved ones or themselves. Its location is at Cardinal Avenue, Bayshore Mall and The Strand, West Bay Road, George Town.

Funky Monkey

Located at Governors Square, West Bay Road, Seven Mile Beach, this boutique has a collection of trendy clothing for all. They also sell European, American, and Australian brands. Most of their international brands are limited, so be sure to grab your favorites during your shop!

The Claws-It Thrift Shop

Perfect for thrifty shoppers! They sell a lot of gently used clothes and shoes to locals and tourists. If you are fond of thrift shopping, this is the best place for you. Claws-It also sells jewelry, bags for both men and women at cheap prices. They are at 139 North Sound Road, George Town.

Cayman Gifts and Souvenirs

This is a great place for you to shop for souvenirs for yourself and your loved ones after your great Grand Cayman trip. They have a large selection of casual and beachwear that are both local and imported. You can also buy unique handicrafts and Caymanian jewelry, which can be a great give for your friends who haven’t visited the Island yet.

Cayman Gifts and Souvenirs’ items have very affordable prices, which is good if you have a tight budget. Visit them at 19th Fort St., Jack & Jill Building, George Town.

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