The diet in the region is usually based on sea food, so if you are a vegetarian you might find it difficult to survive. Fresh seafood can be found in most of the restaurants and some of the options include rock lobsters, conch, king prawns, and so on. Some of the local varieties of fish which you have to try include snapper, yellow tail and grouper.
Bahamian stew fish is a local dish which is available widely and this is something all sea food lovers have to try. Crab curry with rice is also a staple and you will find this served in most kitchens. Christmas meals in the region involve large servings of turkey, ham, vegetables and a variety of other dishes. Yam, cheese, sweet potato and macaroni are widely consumed through the region as well. Most lobster and fried dishes are served with coleslaws and salads. If you visit a Bahamian home you will not be able to leave with any space in your stomach.
Fish Fry is a chain of local restaurants which is popular among locals and the food is reasonably priced as well. American fast food joints such as KFC and McDonalds have invaded the region as well. Most of family run restaurants will provide clean food and slow service. Conch is a staple in most parts of the Bahamas and you can eat some of the freshest conch meat at the sea side cafes. Conch meat can actually be had raw as well. Crispy fried conch meat is a delicacy in the region and may try this as well. Some of the other conch delicacies in the region include conch fritters, conch stew and conch salad. Rice served with peas is available everywhere and this is one of the better options. This type of homely food is quite cheap too.
If you are looking for something more upscale then most of the hotels and restaurants of Bahamas offer good quality food. But they are bound to be expensive and most certainly will burn a whole in your budget. A meal will cost you somewhere between $5 and % 25. The downtown area is very touristy and offers a wide range of dining options.
Restaurants near Bahamas beaches are quite expensive and they will charge a 15 percent tax as well. Indian, Chinese and continental food might be available in the area. Most of the places work according to their own schedule and pace. Nothing ever happens in a hurry and the food might take a while to reach you. Understand that the Bahamian people are relaxed and laid back. However, the most of the restaurants work according to an American standard and this makes it clean and healthy.
The cheapest liquor option in the region is rum and this is plentiful in most of the islands. Rum is extremely cheap and a good bottle can be had for about $10. The cheapest rum will be around $2 but you might have to be careful with these. Some of the popular brands in the country include fire in the hole, Ron Ricardo, Ole, and Nassau. Bacardi is always widely available and manufactured in the region.
The Bahama Maama is a local cocktail made from coconut rum and you must try it while you are at the island. Beer and other hard liquor can also be found if you look hard enough. Kalik Gold is a famous beer brand in the Bahamas and it is quite strong. However, it has a refined and smooth taste and this provides a perfect combination. Most of the foreign liquor brands are available in the liquor shops and bars.
As far as possible avoid purchasing foreign beer at bars as they are usually overpriced. The minimum age for purchasing liquor is 18 but most of the stores overlook this rule. Liquor shops are available in most towns and cities and they are usually well lit up as well. If you want taste some fresh rum then you can go to one of the distilleries. In fact, they can be seen all over the place and most of the hotels will be able to guide you. You can sample a wide variety of freshly made rum at these places.
The population of the country is quite religious and most of the people here follow Christianity. Every second street in the Bahamas will have a church or two. People are quite friendly and one can experience a Calypso culture here. It is quite similar to the rest of the Caribbean as well. English is the main language in the country and the people are quite liberal when it comes to foreigners. As long as you know your limits and stick to them, you will be fine. Interacting with the locals is always a good way to figure out their culture and preferences. Avoid talking politics and other controversial subjects with the locals if possible.
Facts and Figures
Land Area: 5382 square kilometers
Population: 305655 (2007)
Weather: Moderate tropical climate
Airport/Railway: Nassau, Freeport/ No Rail Network
Bus Stops: Providence and Nassau
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