From West Bay to East End, this small island is packed with top-notch restaurants. Palm tree–lined beaches and balmy temperatures make friends and families descend upon the Cayman Islands to escape the cold and enjoy a warm holiday retreat. Now, where to go with your group for a holiday dinner?
Those lucky enough to spend Christmas, Hanukkah or New Year’s on Grand Cayman will find no shortage of delectable restaurants. From West Bay to East End, this small Island is packed with top-notch restaurants, representing every type of cuisine imaginable. If you’re in need of suggestions, we’ve rounded up a list of four restaurants known for their ability to accommodate large groups — as well as for their succulent culinary offerings. So put on your best holiday attire and get ready to enjoy a special meal amongst your loved ones.
In the northern tip of West Bay is Catch Restaurant & Lounge, offering indoor and outdoor dining with beautiful views of Cayman’s North Sound. “Catch is in Morgan’s Harbour, [so] we literally take the day’s catch from the boat to your plate,” says Walter Fajette, co-owner of Catch. Catch serves a wide variety of seafood dishes in a modern style, pulling on Caribbean or French influences for some truly delicious creations, using fresh-from-the-dock fish. Catch also offers tapas, tiki-themed cocktails and regular lunch and dinner menus.
Catch offers great flexibility for large groups and can be booked out for a private function for 120 guests. Another bonus is that they can usually take same-day reservations. When asked what sets Catch apart, Fajette says, “Our superb view and fresh al fresco dining. Our patios face out over the waters of the North Sound, which means fresh breezes, chilled-out tunes and the finest view of the full moon rising over the horizon.”
A 15-minute drive from Morgan’s Harbour to the Seven Mile Beach Corridor will bring you to Agua Restaurant & Lounge. “Agua is an award-winning restaurant on Seven Mile Beach. Inspired by fresh catch and local farmers’ market produce,” explains Cristiano Vincentini, co-owner of Agua. Whilst it may seem unusual to pair Peruvian, Italian and Caribbean cuisine in one restaurant, the combination works seamlessly. As an annual Wine Spectator award winner, Agua is worth a visit for its wine collection alone. And as if that weren’t enticing enough, the cocktail bar is backed by award-winning bartenders, creating inventive aperitifs inspired by local produce.
With a menu featuring three different cuisines, served in a trendy indoor dining room, Agua is sure to please even the pickiest palates. Much like Catch, Agua can also accommodate any size group, with a maximum of 150 guests, which is a complete restaurant buyout. Agua recommends making a reservation at least 24 hours in advance. “Our seafood, authentic Peruvian ceviches and crudos served in a cool on-trend atmosphere make Agua stand out,” Vincentini proudly explains.
FARM TO TABLE
Nestled in the heart of Cayman’s capital, George Town, is The Brasserie, a farm-to-table and ocean-to-table concept known for having its own greenhouse, fruit trees, beehives, fishing boats and chickens. “We catch, grow, harvest and produce everything ourselves. No other restaurant on island is doing this,” says co-owner Lisa Flowers. Everything is fresh and seasonal, travelling minimal food miles to get to your plate. Their food is described as modern Caribbean cuisine, utilising native and traditional flavours like sorrel and conch in December. The Brassiere offers holiday menus with Christmas crackers for each guest, as well as Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve specials.
For a more intimate dining experience, patrons can opt to dine in the organic vegetable garden, the elegant dining room that holds 30 to 50 guests. For a more romantic setting, the wine room accommodates 2 to 20 people. The Wicket is perfect for larger groups.
The Brasserie’s award-winning menu, extensive wine list and creative cocktail selection put them in high demand, so bookings and reservations are strongly recommended weeks in advance. However, they will always do their best to accommodate all reservations.
WAY OUT EAST
If you’re staying in East End, North Side or Bodden Town, The Lighthouse Restaurant is a convenient choice to host your holiday soiree. The restaurant serves Italian-Mediterranean dishes in an indoor nautical-themed dining room, whilst the outdoor patio offers stunning views of the Caribbean Sea off the south coast of Grand Cayman. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, The Lighthouse features a special á la carte Christmas menu featuring holiday favourites.
“Join us to have your dream-come-true Christmas dining experience. Dine under the stars or over the Caribbean Ocean,” says Guiseppe Gatta, owner of The Lighthouse Restaurant. The Lighthouse can accommodate groups of up to 100 people. Reservations are recommended at least a few days in advance. Guests staying in George Town or West Bay are also encouraged to make their way out to The Lighthouse, as the drive will offer stunning views of Cayman’s best Christmas light displays — sure to put everyone in the holiday spirit.
If you’re looking to embrace local traditions whilst celebrating the holidays on Grand Cayman, keep your eyes open for some of Cayman’s traditional Christmas dishes. December is lobster and conch season, and therefore these delicacies are traditionally enjoyed during the holidays. Additionally, no Caymanian Christmas feast is complete without Christmas beef. If you want to try Christmas beef, Cayman lobster or conch prepared in the traditional way, we recommend venturing out to East End to Vivine’s Kitchen or to George Town’s Island Taste, which both offer scrumptious local dishes.
Whether you are enjoying a holiday dinner amongst friends and family at one of Cayman’s restaurants or cooking your own Caymanian-style feast, one thing is for sure: Spending the holidays in the Cayman Islands is different in the best way possible.
Use your Butterfield Bank Visa Gold credit card at any of these restaurants to earn Butterfield Miles with Cayman airways. Have questions? Don’t have an account? Don’t fret! Visit caymanairways.com/butterfield-miles for more information.
Author: Stacie Sybersma