The tropical island of Antigua is one of the most popular Caribbean destinations. A historical island that offers a fascinating culture, friendly people, spectacular Antigua rentals and best of all there is endless sunshine. What makes Antigua so popular is its stunning sun-kissed white sandy beaches of which there are 365, one for every day of the year and as they say on the island, ‘the beach is just the beginning’.  Antigua is also home to some of the best cuisine in the Caribbean but with so many restaurants to choose from it can be difficult to decide on the where to eat in Antigua.  This guide provides you with a comprehensive overview of the Top 9 best places to eat in Antigua – all from personal experience.

Many Antigua restaurants are located on the water offering breath-taking ocean views with some restaurants being situated right on the beach. While visiting the island, you can enjoy a mixture of local Caribbean cuisine as well as 5-star gourmet restaurants.

Whether you feel like enjoying local street food such as jerk chicken or fresh fruit at the market in St Johns or you might want a more gourmet experience at the famous Sheer Rocks Resort. There is something to suit all budgets and all taste buds too!

It is worth noting that some of the Antigua restaurants are closed in the low season, but most of the restaurants remain open from November until April. In the high season we would recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment, especially if you want to research a table close to the water.

It is also good to know that the prices in Antigua are quoted in EC Dollars. You can pay in US Dollars, and most restaurants take both cash and credit cards however if you pay in US dollars your change will be given to you in EC dollars.

The Top 9 Best Restaurants in Antigua

There are so many amazing restaurants in Antigua it was difficult to pick the best 9. Having visited the island on several occasions while inspecting our luxury villas, I have always taken time out of my schedule to dine in Antigua and here is a list of my personal favourite restaurants in Antigua that I would highly recommend.


1. Sheer Rocks at Cocobay Resort, Ffreyes Beach

Top of the list is Sheers Rock’s Restaurant located at Cocobay Resort. Sheer Rocks was recently voted as the best restaurant in the Caribbean by a panel of Caribbean travel experts. As the name suggests, the restaurant is set on the cliff-side overlooking the azure sea. The menu offers Mediterranean inspired cuisine with lots of fresh fish served daily.

One of the most popular dishes to enjoy is the delicious sticky pork belly. They also offer a wonderful Tapas menu which is great for sharing with family and friends.  Cocobay is a great spot to enjoy lunch overlooking the beach and sea. There is also a selection of four-poster day beds that surround the infinity pools, making it a wonderful place for daytime lounging. The ambiance is relaxed, elegant and romantic.

My Top Tip: Get there early to enjoy a sunset cocktail before dinner.

Sheer Rock - one of the best restaurants in Antigua

Sheer Rocks Restaurant in Antigua


2. C & C Wine Bar and Restaurant, St Johns

C and C Wine Bar and Restaurant is located in the heart of St. John’s which is the capital of Antigua. As the name suggests, this Antigua Restaurant offers a fantastic selection of international wines. A casual, but sophisticated wine bar offering a deliciously varied menu. Visitors can enjoy a fresh and tasty selection of pasta, salads, burgers, steak and coconut shrimp. I have dined here many times, and I love going on a Saturday night which is Karaoke night. Head to C and C if you are looking for a fun atmosphere and great food with a superb wine list.

My Top Tip: Book in advance – I recommend dining on a Saturday night to enjoy the after-dinner Karaoke which can be a fun way to finish the evening.


3. Jacqui O’s

Jacqui O’s is one of my personal favourite beachfront restaurants in Antigua. You can enjoy lunch or dinner here and both options are just fantastic. It is so much more than just a restaurant on the beach! This really is your quintessential beach setting of swaying coconut palms with the backdrop of the turquoise Caribbean Sea.

The owners are English, and they have stylishly decorated the restaurant using white day beds and turquoise throw pillows allowing you to relax and unwind. You will also find wonderful artwork here. The setting is unbeatable and the food equally fantastic. Jacqui O’s specializes in fresh, modern French cuisine fused with Caribbean cuisine & great cocktails.

You might even leave here feeling like a Kennedy!

My Top Tip: Go at lunchtime and take a swim before or after lunch while relaxing on the luxury day beds.


4. Shirley Heights Lookout Restaurant

You simply cannot go to Antigua without a visit to Shirley Heights. High up on the hills overlooking English Harbour this historic location is the most photographed part of the island, and it is also the most popular place to go on a Sunday. Your entertainment will begin after 6 pm where you can enjoy a casual BBQ, the rhythms of calypso music and dance the night away. You will also meet a selection of local artists selling their hand-made goods. Shirley Heights is a must-do experience and we promise you won’t regret it.

My Top Tip: Go on a Sunday and take a taxi to get here so you can have a few rum punches! I would also suggest you get to Shirley Heights before sunset, so you can enjoy a cocktail while watching the sunset over English Harbour.

English Harbour in Antigua as seen from Shirley Heights

View of English Harbour from Shirley Heights


5. Carmichaels

Carmichaels Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Antigua, especially if you are looking for a fine dining restaurant with a romantic atmosphere. Set within the popular Sugar Ridge Resort in Antigua, Carmichaels is a gourmet restaurant with stunning views of Jolly Harbour. The setting is elegant, and the menu offers mostly gourmet seafood with some Asian style dishes and pasta entrees with a Caribbean twist. The views are some of the bets on island.

My Top Tip:  Book in advance in high season (November – April) and get there for sunset time to watch the best sunset over Jolly harbour.

Carmichael's Restaurant - you now know where to eat in Antigua

Carmichael’s Restaurant


6. Denis’s Cocktail Bar and Restaurant

If you are looking for something local, casual and on the beach then look no further than Denis’s restaurant. It is set on a wooden veranda above Ffryers beach one of my personal favourite local beaches with pristine white soft sands and calm turquoise waters. Denis’s is the place to be for locals and visitors alike. You will find a nice selection of local cuisines such as conch fritters, BBQ ribs jerk chicken, goat curry and lobster.  The ambiance is relaxed and casual.

Top Tip: Spend the day at the beach and enjoy lunch at Denis’s. You will find reggae music and a bar down on the beach below with a lovely sunset view.


7. Catherine’s Café

Catherine’s Café must be one of the best restaurants Antigua has!

The restaurant is an open-air beach house located on Pigeon Beach, close to Carlisle Bay Resort. Here you can enjoy a wonderful beachfront setting with harbour views, specializing in French cuisine and delicate wines. It is one of the most popular place to eat in Antigua and it has excellent reviews too.

My Top Tip: Enjoy the Wednesday evening Jazz and try the Lobster Risotto and Tarte Tatin – simply delicious!

Photo of the dining area at Catherine's cafe in Antigua

Catherine’s Cafe in Antigua


8. Hemingways

Located in Redcliffe Quay in the heart of St Johns you will find the wonderful Hemingways restaurant, one of Antigua’s finest restaurants. Set on the first floor of a creole house in St John’s this picturesque building offers a local style dining experience.

The chef will prepare lovely creole cuisine and fresh seafood dishes. Steak is also available. This is a busy spot and guests can choose to dine indoors or out on the veranda, overlooking the street.

My Top Tip: Dine outside and enjoy this perfect spot for lunch or dinner, while watching the world go by.


9. Al Portos Italian Restaurant

If you love Italian as much as I do, then a visit to Al Portos Italian restaurant should be on your list. Located in Jolly Harbour, this excellent Antigua restaurant boasts great views of the bustling marina.  Located on the water’s edge, Al Porto is all about great, simple, freshly prepared pizzas and homemade pasta served in stylish contemporary surroundings.

My Top Tip: Enjoy live music on Monday nights, and Tuesdays are “two for one” pizza nights.

Italian Food from Al Porto's

Fine Italian Fare from Al Porto’s


Conclusion

Antigua has some of the best restaurants in the Caribbean.

No matter what the occasion you will find a restaurant to suit all tastes and budgets too. We would love to hear about your favourite restaurants in Antigua. Leave us a comment to tell us about your top picks that we might have missed, and we would be delighted to check them out on our next trip to the island.

Contact Linda Browne for more information.

Email:  linda@exceptionalvillas.com

 

About Linda Browne

Linda is the Marketing and Sales Executive for Exceptional Villas and has an in-depth knowledge of the travel industry. Linda's qualifications are in the area of business, marketing and tourism. Linda travels for much of the year inspecting all of our luxury villas; the majority of her time is spent in the Caribbean and Europe.

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