5 Tasty Shore Excursions for Foodies

Foodie Shore Excursions

Travel insights from Jenna Buege, associate editor of The Compass

Ask any avid cruise-goer and they’re sure to have plenty to rave about when it comes to culinary offerings onboard their favorite vessel. And while the food offerings at sea are certainly exciting, there’s also something to be said about the fun that comes with finding a tasty little spot onshore. That’s why we’re exploring a few of the most delicious shore excursions for foodies around the world. From Alaska to Rome, there’s something scrumptious for everyone.    

Gold Creek Salmon Bake, Juneau, AK

Encompassed by ice, water, forest, and rock, Alaska’s capital city, Juneau is truly something to behold. Travelers and residents alike adore this chilly getaway for its natural wonders and hip downtown complete with historic sites, a Cultural Arts Park, and several noteworthy restaurants and shops.

For a dining experience that you won’t soon forget, be sure to check out the city’s Gold Creek Salmon Bake where visitors can enjoy signature Alaskan flavors while immersed in the beauty of a rainforest setting. Interestingly, Gold Creek Salmon Bake is perched upon one of the very spots that the Alaskan gold-rush took place and guests can even tour the historic Wagner Mine during their visit. Pair this with the restaurant’s signature all-you-can-eat freshly caught salmon dinner served beneath translucent domes and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another world.

P.S., don’t fret if you aren’t into salmon, chicken, potatoes, baked beans, wild rice, fresh salads, and cornbread are also on the menu.

Gladys’ Cafe, St Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

St Thomas is home to two popular cruise ports - Havensight and Crown Bay. Surrounded by lush green islands and crystal blue waters, these ports are just a quick cab ride away from the heart of downtown where travelers can explore colorful buildings, historical sites, stunning beaches, and much more. Amongst the plethora of exciting things to do in St Thomas are several delicious establishments for traditional Caribbean fare. However, for something really special, don’t miss Gladys’ Cafe in the historic Charlotte Amalie neighborhood.

Situated in a historic pump house that dates back to the 1700s, you might recognize Gladys’ Cafe from programs on HGTV and YouTube. The restaurant is famous for its local flavor with dishes like jerk mahi-mahi, curry chicken roti, creamy conch chowder, and kalaloo soup.

What’s more, you can keep the flavors of the Caribbean coming far after your trip is over with a set of Gladys’ homemade hot sauces. Mango, mustard, tomato, and oil and vinegar, these scrumptious sauces pair well with just about every meal and are sure to keep your tastebuds guessing.

Fat Tuesday, Cozumel, Mexico

For a taste of the Big Easy in an island setting stop by Cozumel’s famed Fat Tuesday. Known for its frozen daiquiris, Cajun creations, and Mexican offerings, Fat Tuesday is the perfect mishmash of Mexico and New Orleans. Not to mention, this colorful establishment is just footsteps away from Terminal Maritima de Cruceros, one of the area’s most bustling cruise ports making it an easy place to grab a drink and some appetizers to fuel you for a day of exploration. 

While Fat Tuesday offers guaranteed fun no matter the hour, the restaurant really shines after the sun goes down when DJs spin top 40s hits and happy travelers dance the night away, frozen drink in hand. How crazy you get is up to you with drink offerings available by the glass, yard, and gallon. Party on. 

King Edward Gastro Pub, Rome, Italy

A trip to the Eternal City guarantees a few things - romance, stunning architecture, and plenty of delicious food. Travelers arriving in this legendary destination by way of cruise ship can expect to dock at the Port of Civitavecchia which is conveniently located nearby several must-see attractions like Fort Michelangelo, the Taurine Baths, the National Archaeological Museum of Civitavecchia, and Old Town Center to name a few.

But in the heart of Italy’s capital city sits a restaurant offering unexpected flavors, King Edward’s Gastro Pub an Irish pub and restaurant that’s garnered the attention of many. Established in 1996, King Edward’s menu skews more Italian than what you would consider traditional Irish offerings with pizza, pasta, meat dishes, artisan desserts, and a selection of signature sandwiches. Pair this with the restaurant’s long list of beers and house cocktails and you have a laidback atmosphere that makes for the perfect pitstop during your Italian escapade.

Bahamian Cookin’ Restaurant and Bar, Bahamas, Nassau

The largest of the cruise ports in the Bahamas, the Port of Nassau is conveniently located in the country’s capital city providing cruisers with easy access to some of the best attractions, shops, and dining in the area. Whether you spend the day relaxing by the sea, sightseeing, or browsing the Straw Market, Bahamian Cookin’ is the perfect spot to grab a bite to eat when you’re stomach starts to rumble.

Located just 5 minutes by foot from Port of Nassau, Bahamian Cookin’ has been serving up authentic Bahamian Island-style food to hungry travelers since it opened its doors in 1986. The eatery is owned and operated by three generations of Bahamian women and locals and visitors alike can’t get enough of the restaurant’s specialties served for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Expect a variety of dishes and flavors including fresh seafood, savory mutton and poultry dishes, and homemade favorites like baked macaroni and cheese. Don’t forget to wash it all down with one of Bahamian Cookin’s’ excellent rum punches referred to as “Switch-Ups”.