Top 10 Beach Bars in the Bahamas
There are hundreds of bars and restaurants all over the Bahamas that serve amazing food along with a side of great vibes. But there are only a handful that are located on the edge of some of our favourite beaches. We’ve made this list of the top ten for their ambience and food, but mostly for their ocean views from the deck or dining rooms. All of these places have a great beach where you can make the tender leave you, go for a refreshing dip or take a stroll on the soft sand after your meal.
Typically these establishments have a good mix of locals, seasonal homeowners, boaters and tourists. There are many more ranging from lean-to’s to high-end cuisine, but most of the ones on our list are somewhere in between, serving up a laid-back flip-flop vibe, great music and cold beers.
So here they are, in no particular order… the 10 best beach bars in the Bahamas.
1. Chat ‘N’ Chill, Stocking Island, Exumas
Situated on a sandbar on Stocking Island, Chat ‘N’ Chill is a popular spot for cruisers, holidaymakers and locals. It’s only accessible by boat, and you’ll find the beach crowded with boats during the winter months, but there’s also a jetty inside a small sheltered harbour that allows water taxis and centre consoles to pull up so guests can arrive without getting their feet wet. On normal days, the menu serves burgers and Bahamian fare, and on Sunday it’s their famous pig roast, along with freshly made conch salad from their conch bar. It hosts numerous George Town Cruise Regatta events in April each year.
2. Sip Sip, Harbour Island
Sip Sip is the local term for gossip. When you get a “sip” of something, you are getting inside information. Sip Sip was established as a sort of social house for the Harbour Island community, but word has spread about this food-only restaurant and every day there is a line to sit at the table. The menu changes daily according to the season, including tasty items such as chilled gazpacho, tuna carpaccio and grilled wahoo with quinoa. Their handcrafted cocktails are intoxicatingly delicious. Be sure to try the Passion Fruit Sangria and if you have room for another, the Sip Sip Rum Punch. For those sitting later in the evening, many tend to linger around their cocktails, enjoying the views of Pink Sands beach.
3. Tippy’s, Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera
No trip to Eleuthera would be complete without a stop at Tippy’s Beach Restaurant and Bar. Located across the road from Pineapple Fields on a stretch of Eleuthera Beach, this well-known establishment has been attracting the beach bar crowd for many years with its fresh, home-cooked meals, ocean views and live entertainment. The open-air restaurant is painted in primary yellow and blue and the shaded dining room overlooks a beautiful stretch of Atlantic beach. The whitewashed panelled interior and colourful painted wooden beams, accentuated by string lighting, make this relaxed chiringuito a welcoming place. On Saturday nights you’ll find a crowd of winter residents playing in a local band. The menu changes daily, but can include salads with local and organic vegetables, beetroot salad, homemade pizza pies, homemade conch ravioli, spring rolls and lasagne.
4. Sandbar Bar & Grill, Spanish Wells
The Sandbar is located on Russell Island, just over a bridge and golf cart from the bustling town of Spanish Wells. Of course, you can get there by land in the typical way, but you can reach its white sandy beach by boat. This place has a great beach bar vibe with happy hour drink specials every day from 6-8pm. They serve fish in a bag with veggies and potato wedges, and poutine (a dish you won’t typically find on Bahamian menus) which are fries covered in gravy and melted cheese. Be sure to get one of their craft cocktails like a rose slushie, watermelon cooler or freshly squeezed margarita.
5. Tiny’s Hurricane Hole, Long Island
Tiny’s Hurricane Hole is located on a long dirt road just outside of Salt Pond on Long Island. Once you arrive, you’ll feel like the clock has slowed down to island time. Try their fantastic cocktails like the Tiny’s Tonic, Moscow Mule or homemade margaritas (no pre-made mixes!). Menu items include burgers, sandwiches and handmade pizza. Enjoy the sunset on their small white sandy beach overlooking the sheltered bay while mingling with sailboats and locals. Find a quiet respite under the gazebo with hammocks and Adirondack chairs, or stay the weekend in their adorable guesthouses.
6. Nipper’s, Great Guana Cay, Abaco
Nipper’s Beach Bar & Grill was created purely with the party animal in mind. Playing Caribbean, reggae and tropical country music, this oceanfront beach bar is the hot spot of The Abacos. Wherever you decide to stay at The Abacos, try to make an effort to get to Guana Cay and visit Nipper’s. Try a potent Nipper’s Juice, or several. Soak up the tropical sun as you float in their pool, or head down to the beach and take a refreshing dip in the ocean. Serving tasty cheeseburgers in paradise and Bahamian seafood dishes, the bar stays open until the last customer leaves. Nipper’s hosts the annual Barefoot Man concert series at the end of March, so if you’re in the area, be sure to check out the charismatic Caymanian entertainer. Many businesses in the Outer Islands close for the off-season from August to October, but Nipper’s is open 364 days a year.
7. Pete’s Pub, Little Harbour, Abaco
Next door to Pete Johnston’s Art Gallery and Foundry is Pete’s Pub, a funky outdoor beach bar that bills itself not as a “topless bar” but as a “lounge without walls”. These are the only two establishments in Little Harbour, by the way. The pub menu serves a small selection of daily specials based on the season or what they might have caught that day. Customers’ T-shirts adorn every inch of space, and the floor is a soft sandy bottom. You can follow a path to the ocean side and look out over the craggy beach with a cold cocktail in hand. The harbour is extremely sheltered, almost crater-shaped and only about 2,000 feet at its widest point. If you come by boat don’t arrive early in the day during the season, you may struggle to find a water parking spot to drop anchor.
8. Nirvana, Love Beach, New Providence
This one made the list because it’s the only place in Nassau where you really feel like you’re on an Out Island. The bar is located right on Love Beach, a beautiful stretch of beach even though it’s directly below the planes arriving at the international airport and is lined with condos. It’s a popular spot on Friday afternoons for the after-work crowd, and any day of the week taxis arrive to take cruise ship passengers from downtown looking to escape the tourist crowds. Their food may not be the main reason for your visit, but they do have a conch salad bar and sometimes on weekends, you’ll find Anthony grilling a selection of meats on his barbecue barrel.
9. Banana Bay, Fortune Beach, Grand Bahama
Banana Bay is a hot spot for locals and tourists alike. Located in the centre of Fortune Beach, it is probably the best casual beachfront restaurant on Grand Bahama. There are both outdoor and indoor restaurants, but we advise you to sit outdoors and enjoy the breathtaking views of Fortune Beach. There are daily specials as well as long-standing favourites such as Indian summer curry chicken salad, grouper sandwich, crab cakes and mahi tacos. If you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss their delicious homemade banana bread. Cocktail specialties include the Frozen Wacky Banana, Guava Duff (a dessert-inspired rum drink) and the Frozen Tango Mango Daiquiri. Bring your swimming costume and go for a dip in the sea after lunch.
10. On Da Beach, Elbow Cay, Abaco
On Da Beach is less than a mile south of Hope Town, about a 10-15 minute walk. Look for the Turtle Hill signs at the bend in the road and you’ll follow a sandy path to the beach. This colourful open-air bar rises above a beautiful stretch of beach. It’s super casual, barefoot beach vibe makes it one of the best places for a daytime watering hole. Expect simple, tasty Bahamian dishes like grilled fish sandwiches, shrimp skewers and lobster salad. Sunday is popular for chicken and gravy. Kids love the beach for the waves to play in. It has one of the longest happy hours between 4pm and 7pm and serves Sands draft beer.