Bimini Restaurants: Joe's Conch Shack, Sherri's Beach Bar, and Stuart's

Categories: Travel Hog

All photos by Laine Doss
Yes. It's that gorgeous.
At about 50 nautical miles from Miami, Bimini is our closest Bahamas neighbor. But, unless you have access to a boat or private plane, the tiny island that captivated both Martin Luther King Jr. and Ernest Hemingway, has been difficult to get to with scheduled air service in the hundreds of dollars for the short half-hour flight.

With the introduction of a fast ferry service from Miami, Bimini is gaining in popularity. But if you go, don't expect the duty-free shopping arcades and gambling palaces of Nassau, Paradise Island, and Freeport (although there is one casino on the far North side of the island). For some, that's bad news. For us, it's nirvana.

Formal restaurants on this tiny slice of heaven? There are a few hotels that offer steak or sushi. But our question is, why on earth would you want a steak in the Bahamas? You want conch and lobster, taken that same day from the turquoise Bahamian waters.

Our suggestion? Rent a golf cart and stop by these three local establishments. None of them are fancy. In fact, they're all tumble-down shacks. But again -- that's the entire point of the exercise. All of them serve the freshest seafood you'll arguably find anywhere with the best view you will ever encounter. Barefoot beach side dining is what Bimini is about.

Joe's Conch Shack
At Joe's Conch Shack on Main Street in Bailey Town, you can get grilled fish and lobster. But, like the name implies, you're there for the conch. Joe dives in the early part of the week and keeps the giant sea snails alive in pens directly in the ocean behind his shack.

The shack's owner goes through about 300 conch on an average day, but during busy holidays and festivals, he can use as many as 3,000 in his salads and fritters.

If you don't believe him, stroll over to the water's edge, lined with tens of thousands of shells. Thankfully, there are strict restrictions on harvesting conch, which are plentiful in the Bahamas.

Try Joe's house made hot sauce only if you dare. Made with locally grown goat peppers, it packs serious heat. Scorch conch is a dish favored by the locals that come to the shack on Friday evenings after work for a salad and a Kalik. Fresh conch is cut into large chunks, then marinated with fresh lime juice, salt, garlic, and red onions. Joe's is open daily from sunrise to sunset.

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Paula Jean Steiner
Paula Jean Steiner

We were looking for something more to do then just taking the high speed over and coming back in the same day. We were sure what else was there then just gambling. This looks promising. Thanks!

Nick Bernal
Nick Bernal

If you go to Joe's ask for the bird or goat pepper. Gives the conch salad a spicy kick! Wash it all down with 3-4 kalik golds.


@Paula Jean Steiner Go! Enjoy! Bimini is amazing -- even for a few hours.

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