Located in the western Caribbean Sea, the Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory consisting of three islands: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Combined, these cosmopolitan islands are home to a local population of approximately 61,000, made up of almost 130 nationalities. With historic ties to the UK, close proximity to the U.S. and more than 200 restaurants, the Cayman Islands attracts a number of talented chefs and mixologists who migrate here to flash their culinary flair. So, it’s no wonder this tropical destination, known for its sun-kissed sandy beaches and scuba diving and snorkelling sites, is frequently lauded as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean, with the largest of the three islands, Grand Cayman, especially celebrated for its culinary scene.
The internationally inspired Boulangerie Brunch features a Jamón Ibérico carving station, as well as French crepes and American classics. Enjoy bottomless sparkling wine and snag speciality drinks from the grab-and-go cocktail bar.
Located in Camana Bay, this bistro and bar switches it up with a dim sum brunch. From its famed dim sum to noodles and sushi, everything is made to order. Wash this fresh fare back with complimentary sake, beer, highballs or prosecco.
The luxurious brunch at Seven, one of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman’s dining options, features a seafood station with king crab legs and fresh oysters, unlimited refills of Moët & Chandon and a different welcome cocktail each week.
Budget-Friendly: Sunshine Grill
This casual outpost situated inside Sunshine Suites Resort is one of the island’s best-kept secrets. The fish tacos are a perennial favourite, as is the kitchen sink burger—ground daily and shaped by hand. Wash it back with the signature craft cocktail, The Painkiller—rum infused and topped with grated nutmeg.
A heroic wine collection of more than 8‚000 bottles awaits at this upscale restaurant that overlooks Seven Mile Beach. Take a seat in the wood-panelled dining room or head out onto the terrace and enjoy your meal with the sound of the nearby surf. Luca is known for its impressive Sunday brunch and also its contemporary Italian dishes—try the Branzino al Sale, salt-crusted striped bass that’s filleted table-side.
For cocktails: The Bar at Ave
The Bar at Ave inside Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa riffs on classic cocktails. Sip a Hopped Up—Aquavit, French pamplemousse liqueur, citrus hops kombucha and fresh lemon juice.
For coffee: The Brasserie
Jump-start your day at The Brasserie in downtown Georgetown. Take a seat in the bright café and savour a frothy latte whipped up with beans from Barrington Coffee Roasting Company.
For fresh juice: Jessie’s Juice Bar
Jessie’s Juice Bar offers raw and cold-pressed juices and smoothies with no added sugar. For a pick-me-up, try a Dr. Green smoothie with spirulina, local coconut water and spinach.
Join in the Cayman Cookout’s 10th anniversary celebrations on Jan. 10 to 14. Hosted by Eric Ripert—the acclaimed chef behind the Caribbean’s only AAA five diamond restaurant, Grand Cayman’s Blue by Eric Ripert—this is one of the Caribbean’s major food festivals and offers epicurean experiences such as beach cookouts and chef-hosted dinners.
Keep the gourmet party pumping on Jan. 27, when Taste of Cayman, the island’s largest culinary event, marks its 30-year anniversary with local fare and contests including the heavy cake competition, which promotes this unofficial national dish.
Drool over the baked goods (croissants, Danish pastries) displayed in wicker baskets at Petit Paris. This French bakery also turns out traditional crepes, muffins and chocolate cake.
When it’s time to cool down, head to Gelato & Co. for a made-from-scratch scoop of fresh gelato or fruity sorbet.
For afternoon tea, pull up a stool and sample it all at Icoa, where wholesome loaves of bread, buttery pastries and classic American cookies, such as chocolate chip and peanut butter, are baked daily.
Getting there: WestJet flies to Grand Cayman twice a week from Toronto.