- Food (being the most important)
- Accommodations/room type
Yep. Despite going south to feel sand in my toes and drench myself in saltwater waves, food trumps the beach. I’m a foodie through and through and bad food breaks a vacay for me.
And when it comes to food, all inclusives can be tricky. After all, not everyone’s a foodie and it’s pretty challenging to cater (literally) to hundreds of people day in and day out who have all kinds of ideas about what “good food” means.
Food is one thing you needn’t worry about at Beaches Turks & Caicos, because with 21 restaurants — which are a mix of buffet-style and a la carte — you WILL find food you enjoy. I’ll stake a guarantee on that one. It’s also worth mentioning that if you have allergies or food sensitivities, there’s a culinary concierge onsite who can help ensure that you or your family member(s) eat safely throughout your stay.
Are all of the restaurants five-star? No. Nor need they be, since food isn’t every guest’s priority. But all of them are at least what I’d rate very good — and all surpass what most of the all-inclusive resorts we’ve been to offer.
That said, there were clear gems at every restaurant we visited. So if you’re heading to the Turks & Caicos Beaches Resort, here’s a list of must-order items from this fine-dining snob:
Mocha with Baileys, Café de Paris
This was my daily (um, sometimes twice daily) indulgence, often paired with an almond tart. No need to wait until 11 a.m. to enjoy Baileys — just wander over to Café de Paris and request your beverage-of-choice be made with Baileys. Trust me when I tell you it’s delicious with a mocha!
Sea scallop risotto, Mario’s (dinner only)
We tried a few risottos throughout the resort, and this was the winner. Available as an app or main, the rice was beautifully al dente and infused with the right amount of seasonings that complemented the scallops brilliantly. It was a flavour party in my mouth.
Jerk chicken and pork, Jerk Shack
Get thee to the Jerk Shack when it’s open! Seriously #YUMazing jerk that doesn’t shy away from spicy heat.
Waffles, Barefoot by the Sea (breakfast only)
Belgian-style waffles that are light and fluffy but filling. Kids who are lighter eaters could easily share one order, but you’ll want your own.
BBQ chicken wings, Barefoot by the Sea (lunch only)
These wings! WOW. Crispy and covered (but not drenched) in a sauce that’s obviously made with love, they’re meaty and offer a great flavour-texture combination. My only complaint is that the order is too small (three wings) — because once you taste these, you’re gonna want more. So just order a double from the get-go.
Jerk chicken, Barefoot by the Sea (lunch only)
Big B gave rave reviews of this authentic jerk chicken that came with traditional rice and beans.
A Hummingbird, any bar in any village
This is, simply put, one of the best things that may ever touch your taste buds. It’s Baileys (sensing a theme?), banana and strawberry mix blended with ice. And it is to die for. I’m fairly certain this was the single-biggest contribution to my weight gain at Beaches. And it was worth every calorie.
The complete dining experience, Kimono’s
If you’ve never been to teppanyaki before, Kimono’s is a must. It’s table-side entertainment at its finest, and every member of the family from junior to Grandma will love it. Note that this is the only restaurant at Beaches Turks & Caicos that requires a reservation, and I strongly suggest making one the day you arrive to avoid disappointment.
Double pepperoni pizza, Bella Napoli Pizzeria
There are too many pizza choices to list, and we tried four different ones during our stay — with double pepperoni coming out on top! Two little kids could share a single pizza, but think of it as personal-pan-size for yourself. This joint gets BUSY, and you may have a 40- to 50-minute wait, so may I suggest that since it’s takeout style anyway, that one parent simply goes and orders the ‘za while the rest of the fam stays in the pool or ocean? Then if it does take 40 or 50 minutes, no one’s grumpy.
Asparagus, mushroom and Gruyère quiche, Neptunes (breakfast only)
Easily the best breakfast item we had all week. This tart-style quiche was filled to the brim with ingredients and featured melt-in-your-mouth flaky pastry.
Fennel and feta salad, Neptunes (lunch only)
A really fresh salad that pairs perfectly with your hot, sunny weather.
Orange polenta cake, Neptunes (lunch only)
I don’t normally love “dry” cakes, but this was amazing! Super orange-y, it wasn’t too sweet like so many desserts are at all inclusives and had an interesting mix of textures.
Fresh mixed juices, Reflections (breakfast only)
Even if you don’t stay for breakfast, be sure to pop into Reflections in the Caribbean village for freshly squeezed and juiced fruit juices.
Grilled chicken with tequila sauce, Arizona’s (lunch only)
I’m not sure what kind of tequila goes into making this gorgeous brown sauce that I drizzled (nay, free-poured) onto the grilled chicken I requested from the BBQ master just outside of Arizona’s, but I wanted to look for a shot glass because I could have taken it straight. The chicken was merely the conduit.
Milkshakes, Bobby D’s
Whether you order it inside or at the kids’ swim-up bar (adults allowed, barely) in the heart of Pirate Island, you absolutely must get a made-to-order milkshake from Bobby D’s. Made only with real ice cream and milk, these are the real deal and taste heavenly. I may or may not have enjoyed two chocolate shakes for lunch one day.
Potato wedges with blue cheese, The Cricketer’s Pub
The description in the menu doesn’t make these sound nearly as appealing as it should. Because they’re divine. Really. Get them.
Bangers & mash, The Cricketer’s Pub
I was pretty happy with my beer-battered fish and chips until Big B’s bangers and mash got delivered to our table. Then I pushed my fish to the side and ordered a small portion of bangers and mash. Because you can do that sort of thing at an all inclusive. These sausages are juicy, cooked to perfection and bursting with flavour; the mashed potatoes were some manifestation of creamy goodness that can only be described as MMMmmm; and whatever gravy the chef prepared should be entered into a food award.
Conch ceviche and any “fancy” roll, Soy (dinner only)
After a trip to Turks & Caicos, I’m pretty confident in my conch-critiquing abilities. Because I had it nearly every damn day. Conch fritters. Cracked conch. Conch stew. Conch soup. I had it all. And a lot of it. Including several rounds of conch ceviche, both on and off the resort. And I can say without hesitation that the ceviche at Soy (the sushi restaurant, and the only place that doesn’t offer takeout) won my heart. I was also pretty surprised that all of our rolls were so fresh and well put-together.
Chocolate chip pancakes, Sky (breakfast only)
I didn’t join my family for this breakfast because I had an early dive time, so you’ll have to take my kids’ word for it: the pancakes were da bomb.
Chicken liver paté, Le Petit Chateau (dinner only)
If your mouth could have sex with food, this would be the result. This paté is perfection on the palate; so smooth, creamy, full of fresh flavour that you won’t want to burden it with the accompanying toast.
Scallops, Le Petit Chateau (dinner only)
It’s a tiny appetizer, with only two sea scallops on your plate, but — boy! — are they cooked right. While many restaurants (even fine dining places here in Canada) tend to overcook scallops, these were spot on: seared with some tenderness inside.
French onion soup, Le Petit Chateau (dinner only)
I’ve been eating French onion soup since I came out of the womb. OK, slight exaggeration but I think you get my point. I eat it all the time, and while there’s no “right” way to make it, there are definitely some restaurants where I avoid it (think processed cheese, thin broth, too many onions, bread for days, etc.). This version did everything right. A quick note about Le Petit Chateau before I move on — during low season (September/October), it welcomes the whole family, but in high season, guests must be 12 or older. Our kids ate at Mario’s with the kids’ club while we enjoyed our adult-only dining experience.
Caribbean lobster tails, Sapodillas (dinner only)
If you told me I had to choose ONE food to eat every day for the rest of my life, it would be lobster. I love it. Did you know Caribbean lobsters don’t have claws? True story. So it’s all tail. And, yep, these ones were delish.
Venison filet, Sapodillas (dinner only)
I totally wasn’t expecting something as interesting as venison to make it onto any of the menus at Beaches, so when I saw it on this one, I knew we had to order two main dishes! And I am so glad we did, because this baseball-style filet was scrumptious. We opted for medium-rare and it came out just as I’d hoped.
Sinful Chocolate dessert, Sapodillas (dinner only)
I’m not ashamed to say that we tried all five desserts on the menu at Sapodillas. But the Sinful Chocolate. Oh my. It was chocolate. And it was sinful — in the best way. This warm chocolate molten cake was paired with a delectable cinnamon ice cream, creating a stunning medley of flavours that every member of my family devoured.
Finally, if you have young kids, you’ll want to consider booking (at an additional cost, via the “Extras” page once your vacation dates are set) the Sesame Street character breakfast at Le Petit Chateau. Honestly, my kids weren’t even into Sesame Street before we arrived at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa, and I’m so, so (SO!) glad we got to experience the character breakfast. While the food itself is nothing special, the vibe and everything that goes down during the meal is absolutely outstanding.
All of the Sesame Street characters visit each child, allowing ample time for hugs and photos (whether you’re taking the pictures or taking advantage of the available SnapShots photographers at Beaches) and then there’s a conga line followed by a dance party. I can’t emphasize enough how amazing these characters are with the kids. In fact, it brought me to tears to see the excitement on my kids’ faces when a character stayed for an extra-long snuggle or grabbed my otherwise shy boy from his chair to lead him to the dance floor. Both kids (ages 4 and 7 at the time) gave it two enthusiastic thumbs up.