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.
If you interested in finding out the best villa Antigua has to offer check out our luxury villas in Antigua
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.
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.
Read about the top things to do in Antigua
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.
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 best on the 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.
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!
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.
10. Our Other Top Favourite Restaurants
JOLLY HARBOUR AREA
The Fox House
This newly opened “farm-to-table restaurant” offers authentic Caribbean Creole Cuisine. Founded by Lady Fox herself who has a wealth of experience in the service industry alongside a local culinary team who is versed in creating flavourful dishes.
Valley Road, St Mary’s. Tel.+1 268-720-9856
Authentic Italian food in the heart of Jolly Harbour. Located in the commercial complex overlooking the Marina. Enjoy daily made pasta and bread, Italian style pizza, seafood and a great selection of Italian wine and beer.
Jolly Harbour, Commercial Complex, Saint John’s. Tel.+1 268-785-7321
Cavells Cook Shop
This roadside simple shack is not to be missed. it’s the perfect pit-stop for fantastic Caribbean fare. Offering delicious local style lunches Monday to Friday until 3pm and Saturday’s they serve great seafood options until 6pm. The menu offers great fried chicken, fired and steamed fish, curried conch. The food is simple but fantastic!
Valley Road, Crabbe Hill Village, St Mary’s. Tel.+1 268-783-0384
Dennis Cocktail Bar & Restaurant
Located just below the peak of a hill between Ffryes and Jolly beaches. Spectacular views with excellent home-cooking by chef Deniis Thomas. Local fare and international dishes, featuring excellent seafood.
Ffryes Beach, Saint Mary. Tel.+1 268-462-6740
Miracles Bar & Restaurant
Located a few minute’s walk from Jolly Harbour, on the main road directly opposite Sugar Ridge resort. Enjoy Fish & Chips in a 1959 London Double Decker Bus, washed down with a Rum Punch.
Valley Rd, West Coast Village, Opposite Sugar Ridge Hotel, adjacent to Jolly Harbour. Tel.+1 268-776-0098
Your Caribbean experience would not be complete without visiting a casual beach shack and Sandra’s Beach Shop, Bar and Grill is just that. Serving locals and visitors for over 20 years. They host karaoke some nights and live music on others.
Jolly Beach South Finger. Tel.+1 268-720-7709
FALMOUTH, ENGLISH HARBOUR & NELSON’S DOCKYARD
Incanto Restaurant and Lounge bar located by the dock, has a wonderful atmosphere. Enjoy a meal prepared by one of their Italian chefs, using the islands fresh ingredients, all among the sea breeze and wonderful view.
Antigua English Harbour. Tel.+1 268-789-4531
Located outside the entrance to Nelson’s Dockyard. Offering a Southern Italian menu specialising in Suckling Pig prepared the traditional Sardinian way. For party people, stick around for the night club.
Dockyard Drive, English Harbour. Tel.+1 268-460-2701
Located near the middle of English Harbour. Offering Italian home-style cuisine, boasting a menu with the freshest, highest quality ingredients and a selection of fine wines from around the world.
Corner of Dockyard Drive, English Harbour. Tel.+1 268-720-3201
Located in the heart of English Harbour, offering a diverse, casual menu with Calamari, Mussels, Home-made hummus, West Indian Curry, Grouper Fillet or Angus Steak.
Dockyard Drive, English Harbour. Tel.+1 268-562-3534
This wonderful restaurant creates an innovative menu of a fusion of French and Mexican dishes. Fresh and local produce is turned into spectacular dishes by ChefsAntione, Kevin and Lou! The setting is chic and the ambiance is enhanced by the lapping waves of English Harbour.
Dockyard Drive, English Harbour. Tel.+1 268-770-7769
Cambusa Gusto Italiano
Located in Catamaran Marina in the heart of Falmouth Harbour. This restaurant has a show kitchen, where you will see the Chefs prepare ancient Italian dishes, featuring local meat, fish and vegetables which travel ‘zero miles’. The place to enjoy fresh cocktails and fine food from an incredible organic menu.
Rodes Lane, Falmouth 85118. Tel.+1 268-562-2226
Cecilia’s Highpoint Cafe
Located on the water’s edge at Dutchman’s Bay with fabulous ocean views. Offering multi cultural dining with delicious bistro style food. Daily specials & fresh seafood dishes.
Texaco Dock Rd, Saint George. Tel.+1 268-562-7070
Nestled between the beach and a tranquil garden, in a romantic, elegantly casual and relaxing setting, Casa Roots offering French and West Indian cuisine. Dedicated to using seasonal local produce.
Barrymore apartments, Runaway Bay, St John’s. Tel.+1 268-722-2000
Carlisle Bay Restaurants
Located in Carlisle Bay, the resort offers fine-dining in many guises. Featuring 4 wonderful restaurants: Indigo on The Beach (seafood, salads, pasta); East (Japanese, Thai & Indonesian); Ottimo (Italian, casual dining, wood-burning pizza oven); The Jetty Grill (grilled meats, fresh seafood)
Sir Andy Roberts Drive, Saint Mary’s. Tel.+1 268-562-2218
C&C Wine House
Located in the heart of St. John’s. A casual, but sophisticated wine bar offering a delicious varied menu. Pastas, salads, burgers wings, coconut shrimps. I was lucky to dine there on a Saturday night on a recent trip to Antigua Fun and great food. Superb wine list.
Redcliffe Quay, 5 minute walk from Cruise Ship Port, St John’s. Tel.+1 268-460-7025
Located on a tree-shaded side street in the northern part of St John’s. The high-energy rum-shack is a local institution famous for its Antigua-style bouillabaisse and fresh fish. With crazy murals,
Christmas lights, madras table cloths, straw lamps and a nautical decor, you’ll feel the Creole vibe.
Hilda Davis Drive, St, Johns. Tel.+1 268-46-6044
Beach & Limes
A family operated bistro-bar along the beach. It’s an informal, stylish beach bar which is committed to the culinary culture of the island with music to match!
Fort James Beach, St, Johns. Tel.+1 268-732-9534
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: [email protected]
About Linda Browne
Linda is the General Manager 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.