We had an amazing time in the Bahamas. My family of four ate gluten-free and enjoyed every bite! I’m going to share with you what I planned, what foods we brought with us, and how we managed our way through the island known best for fried conch (and white sandy beaches – I can’t leave those out).
I’m going to be honest with you upfront. The Bahamas are not the most gluten-free friendly place to vacation. It took some planning and a lot of extra effort on our part to ensure that we had a fun family vacation and that everyone ate safely. The good news is that no one got sick and we all came back with glowing tans.
I looked up restaurants and restaurant reviews prior to departing and planned all of our meals. Non of the restaurants listed gluten-free options, but I knew we could work our way around the menu’s given that every menu had salad and seafood. I recommend planning out all your meals to ensure that everyone’s dietary restrictions are accommodated.
Bringing some of your own food is essential when traveling anywhere. I baked up a batch of gluten-free chocolate donuts for our trip and packed the following foods in a hard case carry on bag:
- Canyon Bakehouse bagels, bread, and hot dog buns
- Simple Squares Bars
- Enjoy Life Foods S’mores Bars
- Glutino’s Crackers, Pretzel Twists, and Cookies
- Dried fruit, fruit leather, and fruit snacks
- Beef Jerky
- Packets of Mayo, Mustard, and Ketchup (so we could ensure they were free from cross contamination)
- Justin’s nut butters
- Kind Bars
- Kettle Chips
We flew from Oregon into Nassau (with a connection through Newark) and stayed a the Comfort Suites, Paradise Island. The reason we chose this hotel is because:
- It’s less expensive than Atlantis
- It includes all-access to Atlantis (water park, slides, beaches, aquariums, the dig… everything)
- It was nice to go back to a quite pool after dinner
- The staff is super helpful
- You get a refrigerator, coffee maker, and microwave (just ask for this one) at no additional cost
- Your stay includes a free breakfast
Knowing that we had a refrigerator, we stopped at the store for hot dogs, lunch meat, sliced cheeses, drinks, and fruit.
When we arrived at our hotel, we wiped out the refrigerator and microwave and unloaded our groceries before heading over to Atlantis for a walk through the Dig (it’s a giant aquarium and we loved it so much we walked through every night).
Breakfast at the hotel & How we made this work to our advantage:
They have scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, fruit (apples, bananas, oranges), yogurt, boiled eggs, juice, water, coffee, tea, and cereal. The staff could not guarantee that the scrambled eggs and breakfast meats were free from cross-contamination so we enjoyed the hard boiled eggs, yogurt, juice, fruit, and breakfast bars that we had brought with us. Trust me, we had plenty to eat for breakfast. We also took a piece of fruit with us to the pool each day and filled up our water bottles.
We brought a collapsible cooler with us and packed a lunch to take with us to Atlantis. We ate sandwiches, chips, fruit, nuts, and drank our water. Occasionally we grabbed a soda or a salad by the pool.
Each night we enjoyed something different for dinner. We only ate in two nights. We ate out for the rest of our dinners.
- Night 1: Bamini Road – We had conch chowder, salads, and seafood. Our server was Celiac, so he was able to help us eat safe.
- Night 2: Hot dogs and chips by the pool
- Night 3: Crusos’s, the hotels restaurant – Grilled Chicken, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Steamed veggies (we spoke to the chef and made sure everything was safe)
- Night 4: We made pizza bagels and microwaved them and went out for Ben and Jerry’s for dessert. Ben and Jerry’s has gluten-free and dairy-free options.
- Night 5: Bamini Road again – We enjoyed lobster, shrimp and salad
- Night 6: Cruso’s again – This time we had a variety of fish, cheesy french fries, salad, and chicken (everyone was happy)
Food on Paradise Island is unfortunately average, similar to amusement parks, but we made the best of it and enjoyed what we ate. We were really there to enjoy the white sandy beaches, water slides, and warm sunshine.
I would definitely stay at the Comfort Suites again. It was clean, roomy, and had everything we needed for our stay. I might be inclined to try one of the Atlantis hotels if they were to fly my family out their and show us how they can accommodate food allergies, otherwise I’ll pass.
Have you been to the Bahamas? How was your trip? Did you enjoy your food?
Disclosure: This post is in no way affiliated with any of the Brands mentioned. This is based off of our experience and opinions.