Take a foodie tour of some of Antigua’s best restaurants.
Seafood gets top billing on many menus, as you’d expect given the island’s location where the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean meet. Common catches include lobster, conch and Mahi Mahi – all served with delicious creole sauce. If you’re more of a land-lubber when it comes to food, don’t fret – whether you’re hankering for Caribbean, French, Asian fusion, Italian or American cuisine, this destination has something to satiate even the most discerning diner.
Many of the island’s finest restaurants are located within the hotels, although they’re usually open to the public, even if you’re not staying there. It’s well worth the effort to get out and explore the best restaurants in Antigua. Many of them have a noteworthy feature aside from the food – be it a spectacular sunset view, an Aladdin’s Cave of a wine cellar or simply outstanding service.
Here’s our pick of the best:
East at Carlisle Bay is a stylishly designed space offering an eclectic mix of Japanese, Thai and Indonesian food. It’s got a good reputation as one of the best restaurants on the island. As you enter the large, Indonesian wooden doors, you’re greeted with wonderful exotic aromas wafting through the air. A Pan Asian menu is ready to tantalise your taste buds, offering delights such as crispy Korean chicken, fiery Thai noodle soups and Vietnamese duck rolls. The candlelit ambience is tranquil and intimate. The tables are well spaced, making it a perfect setting for a romantic dinner.
The Tamarind Tree at Curtain Bluff – where the superb food isn’t the only highlight. There’s live music every night, and a wine cellar with a 25,000-bottle collection – considered one of the best in the Caribbean. The sunset views are also very special. There’s a daily-changing five-course menu that showcases the chef’s top talent, whilst the grills are particularly good, too – be it fresh fish or a flat iron steak.
The Cove Restaurant at Blue Waters sources foodie favourites from France and serves them with a Caribbean twist. The Cove has gained a reputation as one of Antigua’s finest restaurants. Aside from the food, the main highlight is the open-air setting. Perched atop a cliff, overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the view is spectacular (especially at sunset) as you watch birds diving for fish in the surf below. Flaming torches enhance the ambience, creating a dramatic entrance way. The food itself is exceptional, with daily specials including fresh fish straight off the boat grilled to perfection. There is also an extensive wine list. The Cove is open 4 to 5 nights a week, depending on the season – and reservations are essential. Surprisingly for a restaurant of this calibre, it’s included in the all-inclusive package if you stay at Blue Waters Resort & Spa.
Carmichael’s is one of Antigua’s newest restaurants, located at Sugar Ridge. The restaurant sits on top of the highest point of Sugar Ridge overlooking the whole of Jolly Harbour Marina and the palm-fringed beaches out towards the neighbouring islands of Nevis, St Kitts and Redonda on the horizon. The sunsets from here are sensational. Once it gets dark, it’s also a great spot for stargazing. The emphasis is on fresh, local produce served with Caribbean flair – think medallions of lobster and Caribbean-style bouillabaisse – delicious!
Sheer Rocks is a lovely restaurant resting of the side of a rocky cliff next to Cocobay Resort, this is a highly instagrammable place. Swoon over the shimmering sea views and the flavourful food. There’s a strong focus on local, fresh and organic ingredients, showcasing the best that Antigua has to offer – whether it’s beetroot gazpacho or pan-roasted Mahi Mahi.
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