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August 26, 2009

Surf, Sun, and Food in the Bahamas

Bahamas_conch
You can find plenty of conch shacks
in the Bahamas, where the goods
go from the sea to your plate
right before your eyes.

Surf and sun make everyone hungry. Whether you prefer a quick bite at a beachside bar or a five-course meal at a haute restaurant, Condé Nast Traveler's September-issue Bahamas guide has something to fill your belly--and plenty of conch for to go around. Here's a peek at a few of our favorite spots for noshing:

THE BEACH BAR
Snorkels and swim trunks are perfectly acceptable at Chat 'n' Chill, a beach party/restaurant on Exuma's Stocking Island. People float in by motorboat, kayak, and sailboat to settle into pastel-colored lounge chairs scattered across the sand. The grill turns out nicely charred chicken sandwiches and conch burgers, and on Sunday there's a rowdy pig roast complete with live music and dancing (no phone; sandwiches, $4-$7).

THE SWEET SPOT
Early birds get the pastries at Arthur's Bakery, a modest family-owned café on Harbour Island. If you miss breakfast (the famed sticky buns sell out by 8:30 a.m.), you can console yourself with the island's best coffee, hearty sandwiches on fresh-baked bread, and puckery Key lime pie (Dunmore St.; 242-333-2285). In Gregory Town on Eleuthera, a tiny hand-lettered sign points the way up a steep street to the bright-green Thompson Bakery. Pineapple tarts are the specialty here: tender pastries filled with delicately spiced fruit (Sugar Hill St.; 242-335-5053).

THE GRANDE DAME
White gloves are only the beginning at Graycliff, a mansion turned hotel in downtown Nassau. Old-school dishes prevail (lobster Thermidor, anyone?), and a nightcap in the parlor is de rigueur--or a glass from the 250,000-bottle wine cellar (242-322-2796; entrées, $38-$68).

For more restaurants in the Bahamas, check out the September issue of Condé Nast Traveler or read "Must Love Conch" on cntraveler.com.

Further reading:
* Video: Watch senior editor Kate Maxwell dive into some lobster quesadillas at Sip Sip Eleuthera's Harbour Island
* Video: Exuma, a sailor's paradise
* Video: Cat Island is all about unplugging

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