The land of eternal celebration, Grand Cayman has no shortage of drinking holes. The question remains, which of these are worth patronizing? It depends. Do you want to sip Negronis alongside artsy blue checks? *Attempt* to whine on a locally dominated dance floor? Or do you want to be shoulder to shoulder with a sea of expats belting out ‘Sweet Caroline’ into the wee hours of the morning?
You can have all of that, and more. All in the span of a few hours, really. For the most part, the nights to go out in Cayman are Friday and Saturday, with the exception of the Wharf on Tuesday nights. Keep reading to find out where to go out in Cayman!
***This is a working list that will be updated in accordance with my own experience. I will continue drinking and dancing my way through Cayman…purely for research purposes. Obviously. 😉 Have any recommendations? Send them my way!
Located in Georgetown, not far from the waterfront, Carib Café is a conundrum of a place. The music is deafening and prime for dancing; however, very few are actually dancing. We’ve never let that minor detail deter us, and you shouldn’t either. The bar is inside but the real vibe is on the outdoor patio, decorated with bright, painted murals and hanging shade sails. The best nights to go are Thursday for Latin music or Friday for their regular DJ who plays a rather sporadic mix of soca, reggae, Afro beats, and when we’re really lucky, reggaeton. Definitely one to work up to if you like to go out in Cayman.
Mango Tree is a bar and restaurant during the day, but on Fridays it transforms into a night life venue for locals and unhinged expats alike. Its location is somewhat unexpected — right next to the airport, but the atmosphere is great. Huge bar, many tables and TVs, and even a dancer’s pole. While you still will not find a sea of party-goers taking to the dance floor, there is at least more participation than in Carib Café. The times I have been the music has always been very danceable and the service super quick!
Located on the corner of North Sound and Shedden Road, Cotton Club is like the local version of the Bird in terms of Friday night congestion. But that’s about the only similarity it bears. Arriving around midnight, the parking lot was a madhouse and the crowd from inside spilled out onto the patio and sidewalk. We shouldered our way up to the bar where we were promptly served our gin and tonics along with the interim entertainment of Jamaican music videos on the surrounding TVs. The atmosphere at Cotton Club is one of bright neon lights, random billowy curtains, and loud hip-hop reggae. Should you find yourself needing a moment of respite, the patio is a “calm” place to take a breath and regroup.
Sol y Luna
We stumbled upon this second-floor nightspot by accident en route to Carib Café. Located on Shedden Road less than a mile from Cotton Club, Sol y Luna is a bar and restaurant whose nightlife vibe emulates a sky parlor club. Upon ascending the outdoor stairs, we were greeted by blasts of reggaeton, winding bodies, and Dominican flags. I recommend Sol y Luna as an end-of-night destination for those who like their music and dancing with a bit of flavor.
The vibe at Sand Bar is very event-driven. They are known to have DJs on Friday nights, though the music is overwhelmingly house and electronic. Even I (who would rather bang my head to total silence than listen to EDM) have had a great time at Sand Bar on Friday nights. The prime oceanfront location and young, chill atmosphere are its saving grace. The DJ and dance floor are set up on the lower level, directly on the water. Follow them on Instagram or Facebook to hear about their upcoming events.
On Saturday nights, Cuba Libre hosts a salsa party with free entry from 9-12 pm. Fuego Latino hosts the event and provides a short lesson at the beginning for anyone interested in learning the steps and even a few turns. Then, DJ Fuego begins and plays a wide variety of salsa, bachata, merengue, and, if we’re lucky, reguetón. The vibe on Saturdays is consistently good and is best enjoyed with a mojito in hand. Obviously. The dance floor showcases all levels of salseros, from beginners to advanced, to those who can only dance with alcohol in their systems. Then, of course, there are those lurking in the wings who don’t dance at all. Don’t be one of them.
We don’t have to wait for the weekend to go out in Cayman. Tuesday nights are where it’s at at the Wharf, an oceanside bar and restaurant where you can dance beneath the stars. Every Tuesday they host ‘Salsa at the Wharf,’ from 9:30 pm to 12:30 am. Similar to Cuba Libre, there is short lesson at the beginning where you can learn some basic steps and turns, then the dance floor starts to fill up as the night goes on. Additionally, on the last Friday of every month, The Wharf hosts ‘Boogie Nights,’ a disco-themed dance party from 9 pm to 1:30 am.
Recommended Read: 11 TRENDY NEW PLACES IN GRAND CAYMAN, NOVEMBER 2021
Paradise Pizza’s Mambo Italiano
Saturday night’s only, Paradise Pizza hosts a very niche event that has garnered a great deal of attention from locals and visitors alike. Rub elbows with the high falutin Palm Heights crowd and prepare for a possible celeb sighting. Dinner service starts at 7:00 pm and features a 4-course meal for 29 CI. Sounds like a great deal until you order a few Negronis and a round of shots and BOOM, $100 gone. But it IS outrageously fun. After most the food has been served they start karaoke which always kicks off with a Frank Sinatra solo by the larger-than-life head chef, Jake. The party goes until about 11 pm or until yours ears start to bleed.
**Definitely need to make a reservation — at least a week in advance
Dark and intimate, this cigar bar will leave you reeking of ash tray. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. If there’s no space at the bar, you can drift toward the namesake ‘Back Room,’ lined with plush couches ideal for chilling with a group of friends. It can draw a good crowd on Fridays and Saturdays. And although it’s typically a low key vibe, I seem to recall dancing there on one particularly wild night. Aside from the cigars, they are also known for making a mean espresso martini that will keep you going late, or at least late for Cayman standards.
Recommended Read: 11 MOST INSTAGRAMMABLE PLACES IN GRAND CAYMAN
This is where you will inevitably end your night, reluctantly singing along to some stupid party anthem while being steam-rolled by a sea of drunk bodies. The Bird is essentially for those not ready to go home yet, desperately clinging to the last hour before bar-close. If you go around 1 am, you will invariably find all the expat rugby and Gaelic players in wavering stages of inebriation, but what you won’t find is someone to take your drink order. The party overflows onto the sidewalk and parking lot, where you can enjoy a chorus of revving Honda Accord engines and other late night debauchery.
That’s it for now! Stay tuned as I continue to explore the world of Cayman night life. I know there is a lot of ground left to cover.
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Hi, I’m Kate! I’m a Wisconsin native who traded her snow boots for flip-flops in May of 2020 when I packed my whole life into two suitcases and moved to the Cayman Islands with my partner, Bryan. I created Island Diaries as a way to document my island adventures and share about the Cayman lifestyle. A Midwest girl at heart, I bring a fresh perspective to Caribbean life, serving as a guide for locals and tourists alike on all things Cayman Islands. Whether you are local to Cayman, planning to visit, or just curious about island life, I invite you to explore Island Diaries and let this site guide you on your next island adventure!
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