Tips on dining out in EleutheraRestaurants may keep irregular hours, and may or may not be open despite their posted hours of operation. Many establishments do not serve lunch after 2:00 p.m., and do not assume all restaurants are open for dinner. My suggestion is make the local phone book your friend, call prior to heading out, and make reservations.
As with most of the Caribbean, you need to chill out and slow down to "island time" for food service, along with the time it takes to get your bill. Bring cash as many restauants and bars do not accept credit cards, and check to see if a 15% tip has already been added to the bill.
One of my favorite night spots is Elvina's, a funky little bar/restaurant with license plates and bumper stickers on the walls, and the numerous surf boards hanging from the ceiling have been stowed there by surfers who frequent the bar.
The best time time to go is on Tuesday and Friday which feature "Open Mike" with local, regional and sometimes celebrity entertainment. The little place fills up quickly, and late comers hang outside on the porch and along the street.
This is the only place on the island where you can dine on authentic Cajun food. The bar's namesake Elvina has passed away, however her husband "Chicken Ed," who is from Louisiana, serves up a very spicy jambalaya, along with West Indian curry chicken and Bahamian cuisine.
Rocker Lenny Kravitz has a home on Eleuthera, and when he is on the island Elvira's is among his favorite places to hangout and start up a jam session. I've read his celebrity friends love to visit because the locals don't know who they are, and they can have all the anonymity most places do not afford.
Check out the video with Lenny on the drums at Elvina's
Sammy's PlaceWhenever I visit Eleuthera Sammy's Place is a frequent stop. I met Sammy years ago when we stayed at the old Cotton Bay Club where he was the maître d. During the first nights dinner I asked Sammy for recommendations of local places to eat - and of course he pointed us in the direction of his own restaurant.
It's located in Rock Sound right behind the Catholic Church. Once you get in the area, just follow the homemade signs tacked to the telephone polls, and if you still get lost, ask any of the locals - everyone knows Sammy.
I love the cracked conch, and a wonderful stew with dumplings, however I knew from previous visits it is not always on the menu. I called before going, told them I would be on the island for nine days, and asked when the dumpling stew would be available. Four days later I received a call the stew would be available on day five.
Governor's Harbour Fish Fry
This is the place to be on Friday's starting around 8 p.m. next to the Haynes Library in Governor's Harbour.
The deep fried chicken and fish is the best, and the Caribbean music is on full blast. Great spot for meeting locals and other tourists from around the world.
Tippy's Beach Bar
The favorite beach bar on Eleuthera is Tippy's - just one look, and it's not hard to guess why
Tippy's is located in Governor's Harbour right across from Pineapple Fields beach hotel, which by the way is an affordable place to stay.
The daily menu's are displayed on a chalkboard and change daily due to the delivery and availability of fresh seafood and local produce. My suggestion is to go early for lunch, enjoy time on the fabulous beach, and when the doors swing open be among the first to place your order.
Inside the beach bar you will find a rather interesting decor with tables made from old shutters, and lots of old keyboards hanging from the ceiling.
I prefer to sit on the outside deck, and that's the main advantage of getting there early. If you plan on heading there for dinner, it's best to make reservations for dinner as this is also a popular night spot with locals and tourists. Since the menu changes daily, it's hard to say what to expect, but you can count on conch fritters and cracked (deep fried) conch.
My friends and I ate there three times for lunch, and once for dinner. We sampled each others meals, and I can recommend the Spinach Lasagna, Fish Tacos, Shrimp with Sesame Dip, Seafood Chowder, Lobster Pasta, and the best dinner meals was roasted lobster with lots of garlic butter, and the steamed stone- crab claws. Also I tried the Tippy's Burger for lunch one day, and it was pretty tasty. Lobster and Shrimp Pizza was also on the menu, however it was certainly not the best pizza I've ever had.
Elliott the bartender is always full of smiles, and keeps the "Tippy Sunshine" drinks coming - you might want to keep the "sunshine" drinks to a minimum :) Tippy's is closed on Monday, and they offer live entertainment on Wednesdays and Saturdays - and Elliott the bartender and his band provide the music. You never know who you will run into - Cee-Lo Green was in Eleuthera earlier this year to record an album, and were overheard the locals saying he stopped in at Tippy's.
Rainbow InnWe stopped for dinner one night at the Rainbow Inn - another affordable place for lodging.
A great steak was the last thing I planned on having in Eleuthera, however they are known for their certified angus beef steak which is flown to the island.
The steak was cooked to perfection, along with fresh organic vegetables, lobster, and for desert a wonderful pudding with guava sauce. We ordered a whole coconut cake to go - delicious!
Shantzii'sIf you're on the south end of the island stop at Shantzii's. This is another local spot not much on decor, but they serve the best crispy Grouper fingers and Conch Fritters. It's located on the main Queen's Highway right before you get to Tarpum Bay, and the waitress told us we should come back on Thursday night for Karoke, however we had plans to visit Harbour Island.
Daddy Joe'sHere's a place that offers something for every taste - a little Bahamian and also American style food. We needed a picnic lunch on the way to Queens Bath, and got our order to go. The owner goes out of her way to make sure every customer is satisfied - and they have WiFi. The fried conch, grilled shrimp, hamburgers and chili fries were so good we stopped on the way back as the special for dinner was grilled lobster. As with many of the small establishments, you can rent the on-site rooms, and there's a great beach nearby. Definitely worth a visit!
Pineapple Festival - June 4, 2014 through June 8, 2014
Eleuthera boasts producing the sweetest pineapples in the world. Pineapple farming began in the mid 18th century, and the farming tradition is honored each June in Gregory Town. Festival activities include pineapple cooking contest, triathlon, live entertainment and much more.
Bahamian Independence Day - July 10
As a former colony of Great Britain, The Bahamas attained independence from Great Britain on July 10, 1973. The July 10th celebration on Eleuthera is known as (Family Fun Day), and the celebration usually lasts a week starting on July 3. Highlights include Junkanoo parades, fireworks, and lots of family friendly fun activities.
Hatchett Bay Festival - Late July/August
The big highlight is the Emancipation Day holiday weekend in August. Other festival highlights include live entertainment, crab racing, fashion shows, marching bands, jazz in the park, local vendors, jazz and gospel concerts.
Boxing Day Junkanoo Parade-Eleuthera & Harbour Island December 26 & January 1
The National Parade of The Bahamas reflects the cultural roots of the islands. In the early morning hours costumed bands start the Junkanoo march and dance through the streets in Tarpum Bay in South Eleuthera and Bay Street in Harbour Island. The costumes are very elaborate, and in many cases take an entire year to complete.
Eleuthera - All That Jazz - March 26 - 30, 2014
Weekend Jazz concert at the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve in Governor's Harbour showcases Bahamian musicians and international artists. www.eleutheraallthatjazz.com
James Cistern Heritage Homecoming - April 16 - 20, 2014
Activities include limbo/fire dancing, live band performances, sale of food and drinks, native crafts and fashion shows. The Homecoming takes place James Cistern in Central Eleuthera.
Lower Bogue Homecoming - April 16 - 21, 2014
Cultural activities, Bahamian music, food, drinks and games - venue at Lower Bogue - North Eleuthera.
Bluff Homecoming - July 9 - 13, 2014
Entertainment includes live band performances, the Little Ms. Bluff-Eleuthera Beauty Pageant, food and drinks. The homecoming venue is The Bluff on North Eleuthera.
Green Castle Homecoming Festival - November
Family friendly weekend event with cultural activities, food, drinks, live band performances and games.
More Eleuthera Things to Do
If you are looking for a professional local tour guide, I highly recommend Donald Anderson (pictured) who is licensed for a diverse selection of land and boat tours. http://www.eleutheratours.com/
Horseback Riding at Oceanview Farm - http://www.oceanview242.com/
More Eleuthera Activities - http://eleuthera.com/activities.html
Related Posts: - Eleuthera - An Authentic Bahamas Experience