A staple of Grand Cayman with a long reputation for quality and consistency, ask any resident for a list of the best restaurants and the Cracked Conch is always on it. The wide wooden storm blinds open outward to the sea from the restaurant's open-ended veranda. Sit down and drink in the ocean views of this rocky coastline at the northwest point of the island.
Head chef Gilbert Cavallaro starts with local ingredients and recipes, and lots of seafood, and combines them with his European roots for an international menu that's distinctly Caribbean. The pan fried octopus is served with cannellini beans and chorizo ragout, and ends up light and spicy with a little sweetness from shallot jam. The conch ceviche is always fresh, with hints of citrus and quite addicting. You might want to be more adventurous and try the seared scallops with spiced tomato hummus served with lemon-coconut cream and herb pesto, an unorthodox mix that works. Main courses span the culinary landscape, starting with fish—the mahi mahi is poached in olive oil—and on to shrimp, then lamb, ribeye steak, and chicken. There is even a chef's special selection of the day vegetarian plate. Before or after your meal, the elegantly curved, indoor bar with blue walls and sea views serves up an intoxicating mix of bubbly cocktails.
Occupying the same rocky shelf, and just below the Cracked Conch, the more informal Macabuca Tiki Bar sits on an open air deck closer to the sea with a sweeping ocean view under a grand palapa. The all-day menu is fun and funky, serving up grilled beachy fare with lots of jerk chicken, salads, and paninis—and don't miss the coconut shrimp and crispy calamari. It shares a kitchen with the Cracked Conch, and the food is less pricey but still the same high quality. There is a jerk-spiced burger, and three blackened fish tacos for only CI$10. If you're in the mood for something sweet, the homemade ice cream sandwich is deceptively light. Monday is their Caribbean Night BBQ (5pm to 10pm) and it's all you can eat for CI$17.
DJs and live local bands play Friday and Saturday nights, when happy hour is extended until 9pm. On weekends the Caribbean Jerk Chicken plate is CI$9.
Once you are out of Georgetown and off Seven Mile Beach, consider spending the day in this area. There is much to see and do here. Swim and snorkel around Turtle Reef just in front of the restaurants—Sundiver’s dive shop is located on the restaurant's property—or explore other nearby attractions such as the Turtle Farm. The Motor Museum is right across the street. At the end of the day make use of that convenient happy hour at Macabuca from 5pm and 7pm; sit on the deck with a cocktail and watch the sun go down; the frozen banana fosters go down very smoothly indeed.