Eating Well on Harbour Island

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It would be a stretch to describe the Bahamas‘ Harbour Island as a gastronomic hot spot — a well-known food critic of my acquaintance once remarked, “Lovely place, shame there’s nothing to eat” — but in fact it’s possible to dine agreeably at contrasting restaurants, which range in style from formal to sand-in-the-shoes casual. Most visitors seem equally at home with both simple and sophisticated, and even the owners of the gazillion-dollar yachts anchored out in the bay can be found at lunchtime eating conch salad off plastic plates, washed down with a local Kalik beer.

The Landing

The most obvious choice for dinner in gracious and traditional surroundings is the Landing, a restaurant that is part of a 13-room hotel of the same name, housed by a colonial building with an atmospheric interior that is the work of well-known designer India Hicks. Located on Bay Street, overlooking the harbor, three minutes’ walk from Bahama House, the Landing is at the epicenter of the island’s social scene. Unsurprisingly, the menu emphasizes local fish and seafood; the cooking is enjoyable if not exactly stellar.

The Landing
Tel. (242) 333-2707

Rock House

Upper terrace at Rock House on Harbour Island
Upper terrace at Rock House on Harbour Island - Perry Joseph

Close by, in an elevated location, Rock House has a lovely airy dining room, with white tablecloths, hardwood chairs and a terrace that overlooks the harbor and the coast of North Eleuthera. In high season, the outdoor tables are probably the most sought-after on the island. Expect dishes like lobster curry with ginger, and grouper with lima beans and bok choy.

Rock House
Tel. (305) 433-2024

Clubhouse at The Dunmore

Terrace at the Clubhouse at The Dunmore on Harbour Island
Terrace at the Clubhouse at The Dunmore on Harbour Island - The Dunmore

Another restaurant with a (very different) view is the Clubhouse at The Dunmore, which surveys the pink sands and Atlantic waves of the island’s eastern shore. The food is well prepared if a tad predictable, with appetizers like tuna tartare and stone crab claws, followed by Caribbean bouillabaisse with catch of the day, shrimp, lobster and jasmine rice, or beef tenderloin with wild mushrooms, Briland farm greens and peppercorn demi-glace.

Clubhouse at The Dunmore
Tel. (242) 333-2200

Sip Sip

Nearby, Sip Sip (which means “gossip” in the local slang) is almost universally regarded as the best place for a casual lunch with a view of the ocean. The menu is self-described as “Bahamian with a twist,” but you will invariably find tuna burgers, grouper sandwiches, grilled mahi-mahi and the famous — at least on Harbour Island — lobster quesadillas.

Sip Sip
Tel. (242) 333-3316

Queen Conch

Bahamian conch salad at Queen Conch on Harbour Island
Bahamian conch salad at Queen Conch on Harbour Island - Shalamov/iStock/Getty Images

Another, even more laid-back lunch spot is Queen Conch on the waterfront in Dunmore Town. This is not a place for those in a hurry, and patience is definitely a virtue. But there are reasons why this beach shack restaurant is so popular, and the outstanding conch chowder is one of them.

Queen Conch
Tel. (242) 333-3811

Da Vine Sushi & Wine Bar

Finally, for those suffering from sushi withdrawal, a remedy can be found at Da Vine Sushi & Wine Bar, located on Bay Street close to Bahama House, which serves surprisingly good sushi, sashimi and ramen.

Da Vine Sushi & Wine Bar
Tel. (242) 333-2950

Read more about our editor’s trip to the Bahamas

By Hideaway Report Editor Hideaway Report editors travel the world anonymously to give you the unvarnished truth about luxury hotels. Hotels have no idea who the editors are, so they are treated exactly as you might be.
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