Local fare is hearty and delicious, with dishes that have been enjoyed in Cayman for generations. Over the years, traditional Caymanian cuisine has had a dash of Jamaican and other regional influences added to it.

Here are some island favourites.

Jerk chicken

Slow-cooked over a smoky grill, this island staple with roots in Jamaica uses jerk seasonings – a mix of Scotch bonnet peppers, allspice, garlic and onions – to give it a spicy kick.

Fried fish

Straight from the sea, seasoned and fried so they are dry and crispy, the fish are served with onion and sliced hot pepper, eaten with a fried dough dumplings known as festivals.


This dish reflects Cayman’s seafaring heritage, combining seafood with ground provisions and infused with milk made from grated coconut. Everything is cooked in one big pot, with fish on top, and left to simmer until the juices are absorbed.

Curry goat

A spicy dish of goat meat, which has been simmered until it is full of juice and aroma. Conch fritters Made with finely chopped conch meat mixed with bell peppers and spices, the fritters are battered and deep fried and served with a dipping sauce.


The Caribbean spiny lobster is found in Cayman’s waters, with lobster season running from 1 Dec. to 28 Feb. Try it prepared Cayman-style – sauteed with Scotch bonnet peppers, tomatoes and onion.

Ackee and codfish

Known in Jamaica as ackee and saltfish, where it is the national dish, this hearty meal combines the fruit of the ackee tree, which looks and tastes likes scrambled eggs, with dried fish.

Heavy cake

Made from starch vegetables such as yam, cassava or sweet potato, this dish is nowadays baked in the oven although in years gone by it was baked in iron pots buried in the ground and covered with ash.

Cayman-style beef

Similar to pulled pork, the seasoned beef is slow-cooked to tender and juicy perfection, and then shredded.

Turtle stew

Turtle was a staple food in Cayman for hundreds of years and the meat continues to be popular with locals. It is made into a stew with meat harvested sustainably at Cayman Turtle Centre.