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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
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Food & Drink

There is a wide choice of restaurants and bars in The Bahamas. Fresh fruit is available from the Out Islands, including mango, sweet pineapple, breadfruit and papaya. Local drinks in the Bahamas are based on rum and table service is general in restaurants.

National specialties include Grouper cutlets, baked crab, rock lobster and red snapper fillets in anchovy sauce. Peas are used a lot in cooking, in the token peas & rice, and also in pea soup. Another unique soup that is definitely worth tasting called souse, consisting purely of water, onions, lime juice, celery, peppers and meat. Fish n' grits is worth trying, which is fish cooked with salt pork, onions, and green peppers served with grits as a morning meal.

Johnnycake is a well known mildly sweet bread served as a side order. Chicken and dough (dumplings) is a popular dish, as well as conch, which is everywhere and is popular in chowder, fritters, salad, scorched (raw and washed with seawater and lime juice, then rubbed with hot pepper, topped with fresh tomato and onion slices, served on a knife or skewer) and stew. Curried mutton is a dish served which refers to either goat or sheep, and Racoon stew is another dish frequently on the menu in The Bahamas.

Guava duff is a dessert specialty of The Bahamas, made with sieved guava pulp, served with hard sauce (a blend of confectioners' sugar, butter, vanilla, and rum).

The local liqueur is Nassau Royal, which is either served alone or in coffee. A refreshing alcoholic drink is coconut water, gin and sweet milk. Kalik is the national beer of The Bahamas. Besides rum punch, the 3 top tropical island cocktails are Yellowbird (crème de banana liqueur, Vat 19, orange and pineapple juice, apricot brandy and Galliano), Bahama Mama (Vat 19, citrus juice, bitters, nutmeg, crème de cassis and grenadine) and Goombay Smash (coconut rum, pineapple juice, lemon juice, triple sec, Vat 19 and syrup).

The legal drinking age is 18 years old.

Nightlife

Hotels have nightclubs and bars. Beach parties and discos are organised on a regular basis. Live entertainment includes goombay music (traditional Bahamian sound), calypso and limbo dancing. Nightclubs are found in Freeport and Nassau.

On Paradise Island, Dragons and Atlantis offer nightclubs that serve up that classic Bahamian fusion of cultures, dance to club anthems combined with reggae and Bahamian classics. There are 4 casinos, 1 on Cable Beach, another on Paradise Island on Grand Bahama, there is a casino in Freeport and 1 in Lucaya. All casinos feature live entertainment and restaurants.

Shopping

Special urchases include cutlery, china, leather, fabrics, spirits from Britain, Swiss watches, Scandinavian glass and silver, German and Japanese cameras and French perfume. Local products include all types of seashell jewellery, straw artefacts and woodcarvings.

General shopping hours are Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Tipping

15 % is usual for most services including taxis. However, some hotels and restaurants include service charge on the bill. Bellboys and porters generally receive US $1 per bag.