This summer head off the beaten path and visit some small, but tasty restaurants in the quiet districts of Bodden Town and East End.  Many of these smaller businesses have an open-air setup from shady big trees and beachy backyards to covered decks.  Check out a few of my favourites below!

Bodden Town

Thatch & Barrel. Image supplied by Island Epicurean.

Take a trip to the cliffs of Pedro St. James Castle in Savannah and find Thatch & Barrel.  Sip on tropical cocktails that incorporate Cayman Spirits products while soaking up the seaside views from a new height.  Their menu is eclectic, but they tend to focus on seafood and adding a Caribbean twist to each dish – breaded lobster lollipops, Red Stripe mussels and the variety of flatbreads. 

Continue driving east and pull into the parking lot adjacent to the Bodden Town Public Beach if you want one of the best fish fries on island. Grape Tree Café is a tiny beach shack frying mahi mahi, snapper and grouper and topping it with vinegary escovitch and all your favourite island carbs – cassava, breadfruit, plantain and fritters.  Grab a seat at one of their colourful picnic tables on the beach or take your box to go. 

A bit further down the road is Czech Inn Grill, an open air restaurant sitting right next to the road.  You can’t miss it! They serve American classics, including ribs, homestyle burgers and sandwiches, but don’t miss out on the schnitzel which is an ode to Chef-Owner Jiri “George” Zitterbart’s Czech heritage. 

Head to Southcoast Bar & Grill if you’re wanting a large menu serving both American & Caribbean favourites. They have indoor and outdoor seating facing the rocky coast and vast sea.  Their daily specials really focus on popular Caymanian dishes including fried crab, stew conch, stew turtle and stew beef. 

East End

As you enter East End, you’ll see Captain Herman’s Fish Fry, a casual restaurant serving Caribbean cuisine and, of course, fried fish. It’s shaded patio and palm tree topped benches give a clear sea view.  Order some curry goat or oxtail with all the fixings, or a plate of fried snapper, mahi mahi or wahoo with escovitch and fritters. 

Big Tree BBQ. Image supplied by Island Epicurean.

It’s hard to miss the tent and table setup of Big Tree BBQ since it is located under a massive tree on a Caymanian family’s front yard.  They serve up a fantastic barbecue, including ribs and chicken quarters with a hearty helping of local sides.  Visit them on Sunday for a selection of Caymanian and seafood based dishes, such as lobster, shrimp, conch and turtle.

Literally across the road from this big tree is where you’ll find Miss Vivine’s Kitchen. This established restaurant sits conveniently in the back yard of another family home with a view of the sea.  This is the place to go if you want to enjoy classically prepared local dishes, such as Cayman style beef, stew conch and stew turtle with breadkind, rice & beans and so much more. 

La Casita may be new to the area, but they’re serving delicious and authentic Mexican cuisine.  They make a killer margarita that pairs well with any of their signature dishes – guacamole & salsa with homemade tortilla chips and homemade tacos with an array of fillings.  Their laidback Sunday Brunch menu is a la carte and offers sweet and savoury Mexican delicacies with the option of adding bottomless margaritas, palomas, sangria or mimosas if you want to kick it up a notch. 

Where will you visit before the summer comes to an end? Comment below or tag me on Instagram at @island_epicurean.