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Dining In The Bahamas’ Abaco Islands

By Simon Harris

One of the things that make a vacation destination special is the food, and dining in the Bahamas’ Abaco Islands is sure to please. The islands offer a wide variety of cuisine in a multitude of settings, ranging from the luxuriously formal to beach side casual.

Abaco Inn, located just outside of Hope Town, specializes in Bahamian and American cuisines. The menu is variable, changing with what fresh ingredients are in season. In addition to seafood dishes and meat dishes, they also offer vegetarian selections, including an impressive pasta primavera. Diet plans should be postponed until the return home, because the desserts at this restaurant are fabulous. Offerings include key lime pie, coconut cream pie, chocolate silk pie and even a fine crème brulee. Open daily, the hours are from 8am to 10:30am, from 12pm to 3pm and from 6pm to 8pm. Reservations are essential for dinner.

Mangoes Restaurant is located on Front Street in March Harbor. Bahamian and American foods are served in a tasteful atmosphere, to a crowd that includes local residents. The fish is excellent – fresh, then fabulous after it leaves the skilled hands of the chef. Reservations are strongly suggested for this establishment, which is open daily. Hours are 7am to 3pm and 6:30pm to 9:30pm.

The Jib Room is a must do for those who like to eat where the locals do. It’s a relaxed place, where diners do not feel rushed out the door. The food is hearty Bahamian and American fare, with barbecue, steaks, baby back ribs and lobster being among the favored items. Found in the Marsh Harbor Marina, this restaurant and bar is open Wednesday through Saturday, from 11am to 2:30pm and from 7pm to 11pm.

Mother Merles Fishnet is a take-out joint beyond compare, serving among other dishes, fish and chicken cooked Bahamas style. This is a cash only enterprise, no credit cards accepted, so enter prepared. An island favorite, located in Dundas Town on the main drag – you won’t miss the cement house with the delicious smells wafting out into the air -- this spot is open Monday through Saturday, from 6:30 to 10:30.

Wally’s is a different sort of dining experience, as the restaurant features not only the cuisine of the Bahamas, but also features international cuisine with a distinct French influence. The setting is lovely, though pretty might be a better word. This Marsh Harbor eatery serves a variety of foods and the cooks have a fine hand with their spices and fresh herbs. In addition to delicately flavored seafood dishes, there is filet mignon, tarragon chicken and lamb chops prepared just right. Entrees are served with house salads and vegetables. Reservations should be made for dinner. Wally’s is open Monday through Saturday, from 11:30am to 3pm and on Fridays and Saturdays the restaurant is also open for dinner from 6pm to 9pm.

Dining in the Abaco Islands is a pleasant culinary adventure and a social delight. The excellent and varied cuisines are the perfect complement to an Acabo Islands Bahamas vacation.

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