When you think of traditional and tasty cuisine, Antigua is sure to spring to mind. Tuck into Creole-style seafood at Papa Zouk Fish ‘n’ Rum bar, or savour homemade banana bread at The Seabreeze Italian Café – in English Harbour. Taste local rum, while warming up next to a beach bonfire, or head to vibrant cocktail bars serving up fruity cocktails with a kick.
There are numerous cafes in Antigua, some in the bustling area of St. Johns, some along the many beaches and bays and others overlooking the various harbours. The O Chill – Dada Wa Cafe, situated on Dockyard Drive (English Harbour) is a particular favourite for those travelling to Antigua. This cafe offers delicious breakfasts and lunches and there is also a beautiful shop selling local artist-made bags, headbands, and jewellery at reasonable
The Seabreeze Italian Cafe, at the Antigua Yacht Club Marina, is definitely worth a visit for a tasty breakfast – offering everything from a full English breakfast, avocado on toast and tasty quesadilla. Or, for something a little sweeter – opt for the delicious breakfast banana bread.
In St. John’s, The Hemingway is an ideal cafe spot to have a drink in, or grab something to eat while shopping. Sit on the cool veranda terrace, overlooking the street and choose from delicious soups, salads, sandwiches and island seafood specialities, including local lobster.
In the evening, enjoy the best Creole Cuisine, fresh Caribbean seafood dishes and a choice of US steaks are even available. After dinner, for those wishing to seek out some thrilling nightlife, there is a casino, thriving bars and a host of other entertainment venues close by.
There are so many amazing beachfront bars in Antigua, each with its own special charm. Venture to Ana’s On The Beach Mediterranean restaurant and lounge, in Dickenson Bay. This bustling bar has striking, pink doors opening you up to chic, contemporary and relaxing décor with dining tables, decks, cabanas and lounge beds to reside in. Plus, the food (as well as the refreshing drinks) here is very highly rated.
Carlisle Bay is also home to a host of inviting beachfront bars; Indigo on the Beach provides a peaceful and informal setting. Open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this beachfront bar offers delicious light and healthy food, including fresh grilled seafood and salads. The Jetty Grill is another popular bar on this beach, where fresh coconuts and beers feature on the drinks menu, alongside light bites and sundowners – served around the fire pit.
The Darkwood Beach Bar (located on Darkwood Beach), also offers a wondrous restaurant and bar; they serve breakfast and lunch daily here, and the bar offers a selection of fresh and fruity alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Cloggy’s is a lively café, located on the second floor of the Antigua Yacht Club Marina Building in English Harbour, offering fabulous views over Falmouth. Indoors, there is a full bar, table seating and a lounge area with low sofas and easy chairs. Plus, the outside gallery also has tables and is a great place to sit and watch the impressive (and incredibly expensive) yachts sailing in and out of the harbour.
The hosts – Vanessa and Ton offer a menu inspired by their Dutch roots and the food is excellent, whether you choose a quick visit at lunchtime or a leisurely meal in the evening, lingering over excellent food and cooled wines. The service is first-rate and the staff are very knowledgeable and happy to offer further information with regard to the various dishes on the menu.
On Sundays, a lovely brunch is served. So, why not come along, enjoy the delectable brunch here and then spend a lazy afternoon at the gallery, chatting with friends? Or, just sit back and watch the world go by.
Dennis Cocktail Bar and Restaurant is a tasty restaurant in Antigua, located right on Ffryes Beach; offering views of St Kitts and Nevis from its deck. The chef, Dennis Thomas, says he learnt everything he knows about cooking from his mum, since she cooked on the coal pot in there home when he was growing up.
The menu here provides a great mix of both local and international dishes. Therefore, you can enjoy local dishes like red snapper, curried goat, spicy prawns and curried conch – among many others. You can also tuck into a deliciously-grilled lobster, garlic shrimps, grilled chicken breast, island grilled steak, grilled pork chops or even a juicy burger.
Every Sunday, Dennis Cocktail Bar & Restaurant offers a Pig Roast; attracting both locals and tourists from across the island. The staff at this tasty eatery are friendly, the service is excellent, the bar is well-stocked, the cocktails are fruitily-delicious and the beers are ice cold – just what you want on a hot, Antiguan, sunny day.
There are some foods that are a must when it comes to eating like a local in Antigua. A typical, local restaurant in Antigua will serve rice, macaroni or pasta, vegetables/salad, a main course (fish, chicken, pork or beef) and a side dish such as macaroni pie, scalloped potatoes or plantains.
The national dishes here are fungi (pronounced foon-gee), and pepper pot – both of which are absolutely delicious, and local drinks are super refreshing – from mauby, sea moss, tamarind juice and mango juice, to coconut water.
Like most Caribbean islands, Antigua excels in seafood – with Conch being one of the local’s favourites. Conch is used in a host of dishes here, from sumptuous curries and tasty fritters, to flavoursome chowders. One of the best places to sample these delicious dishes is at the Copper and Lumber Hotel (at the Friday Night Seafood Buffet), located at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Nelson’s Dockyard.
If you happen to be in the English Harbour area, pop into the typically low-key Antiguan restaurant: Grace Before Meals, serving tasty local dishes at really reasonable prices. Meanwhile, mix with the locals and enjoy a fantastic, traditional meal served by friendly and entertaining staff.
Le Bistro was originally Antigua’s first authentic French restaurant, and has been open for over 30 years now. This elegant restaurant offers an extensive menu, superb service and the tastiest food and cocktails. Patrick, (the chef) creates the most delectable dishes, including blackened salmon with tomato salsa and ginger. Not forgetting the rack of lamb with mint jelly, both served with perfectly cooked and seasoned vegetables.
The desserts are here are also out-of-this-world and a particular favourite seems to be the crepes, served with ice cream and the sweet trolley is extensive, so you will definitely be spoilt for choice.
The ambience of this restaurant is perfect, the service is excellent, the food exquisite and all in which is found in a beautiful setting – with the sound of the ocean in the background.
Papa Zouk Fish ‘n’ Rum Restaurant, is a rustic Creole-style seafood eatery with a laid-back party vibe, located in St. John’s. The Caribbean and Creole-influenced seafood are aplenty on the menu here, in addition to their extensive collection of 250 different rums from all around the world. The restaurant only offers evening meals, so it’s best to make a reservation in advance, to ensure you don’t miss out on getting a table.
Papa Zouk is typically Antiguan inside, with rustic straw lamps, colourful fairy lights, brightly painted bottles, and island music playing in the background, making it a charming and cosy place to dine at. The food on offer here is delicious, especially the bouillabaisse soup for starter, and the famous red snapper for main. ‘Ti Punch’, Papa Zouk’s signature drink is also delicious, and with so many different flavours to choose from, you are bound to find a rum that suits your tastes.
Antigua excels in seafood restaurants; you can find a host of amazing eateries to choose from. Conch is one of Antigua’s most popular types of seafood, and is found inside the spiral shells that wash up on the sandy beaches. Very similar to clams, conch can be prepared in curries, fritters and chowders. One of the best places to try conch is at the Copper and Lumber Hotel’s Friday Night Seafood Buffet, held at the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site – Nelson’s Dockyard.
Another popular seafood restaurant is Jacqui O’s Beach House in Saint Mary’s, located right on the beach – with swaying coconut palms and a beautiful backdrop of the turquoise Caribbean Sea. You can reserve a cabana to relax in and eat your lunch (if you wish), and then spend the rest of the day relaxing.
The cabanas here are private and plush, with beach staff bringing your meals and drinks out to you from the comfort of your cabana. The crab salad, the open king prawn ravioli (in a lobster sauce) and the scallop risotto are particularly popular dishes amongst travellers and locals alike. Plus, the service is impeccable, with the staff being super friendly and helpful.
Sheer Rocks is an amazing restaurant in the Cocobay Resort, nestled into the cliffside on a terrace jutting over the rocks of Ffryes Bay. This fabulous restaurant has pavilions, draped with bougainvillaea, four-poster daybeds and infinity plunge pools, being open daily for a wonderful tapas lunch in the daytime and for delicious evening dinners.
The evening meal menu here is varied, and includes starters including salt baked beetroot, the grouper poke bowl and wahoo crudo, to name a few. The main meals are truly exquisite, too, ranging from lobster, grilled spiced pumpkin and charred mahi-mahi, to seared yellowfin tuna. The desserts are equally as delicious; choose from mango and lime parfait, pineapple tarte Tatin or the bitter chocolate souffle.
The wonderful food, the delicious cocktails, the excellent service, the lush décor, the location and of course – the stunning views here make this restaurant a true treasure when venturing on Antigua holidays.
Street food in Antigua is readily available and is absolutely delicious, providing an authentic experience as well as being one of the easiest ways of saving money. Eat like a local by heading to one of the city’s food markets – try empanadas, delicious little savoury pastries stuffed with potato and topped with guacamole, or tasty tacos stuffed with noodles and vegetables.
The choice of street food in Antigua is enormous, and the food court by the bus station in St. John’s serves up all manner of traditional dishes and snacks for you to enjoy. You can get anything from sandwiches, grilled corn, saltfish cakes, cornmeal, okra dumplings and pepperpot – a vegetable stew with salted meat, often served with fungee, black pineapple, breadfruit, johnny cakes or rellenitos. Rellenitos is a popular dessert in Antigua; providing a little taste of heaven. This dish is made from sweet mashed plantains; stuffed with chocolate, refried beans and cinnamon – deep-fried and dusted with sugar.