One of the best experiences often gained through travel is the opportunity to embrace local cuisine; whether dining with the locals, eating street food or enjoying the most elegant of beach front locations. Home to three of the top Caribbean chef’s of 2014, Anguilla, a small Island in the east of the Caribbean is renowned for its BBQ, Jerk, Crayfish and Lobster.
It’s quite an impossible task to create a “ Top 5” or “The best in Anguilla” due to the quality being so high across the Island, so our advice on where to eat in Anguilla … Eat at as many of these places as you can- Not one of them will disappoint and you will leave each with a different memory!
Sandy Ground is an area located on the west of Island, renowned for being a foodie hub combined with it’s laid back beachfront nightlife. Home to an unmissable classic Italian restaurant named Dolce Vita with the ethos of laid back luxe, no frills- just good food and friendly service. The Crayfish Penne was exceptional. Afterwards make sure to walk to the local beach bars, Elvis’s and Dad’s- great live music, killer rum punch and a great beach vibe…. a great opening to the foodie scene of Anguilla.
During your time in Anguilla a day at Smokey’s at the cove needs to be high on your list.. Famous for their BBQ ribs and Lobster in a beach front location with live music, friendly faces and white sand between your toes. Enjoy the complementary sun loungers and swim in the clear waters of Cove Bay after your lunch to really enjoy the Smokey’s experience!
For a unique Island experience take a short boat ride to either Scilly Cay or Sandy Island.
Scilly Cay is a small coral Island at the eastern tip of Anguilla reached by catching the ferry from Island Harbour. Make a day out of your trip and spend the day here swimming in the sea before enjoying a choice of one of the following; chicken, lobster, crayfish and fish.. Can’t choose?! The chef’s will happily make you up a platter to be washed down with a glass of their infamous rum punch! Conde Nast Traveller called Scilly Cay “the ultimate beach bar” If you’re heading to Anguilla, you have to stop by here.
Another great Island beach bar is Sandy Island; A quick ferry ride from Sandy Ground. On arrival you will be greeted by a remote, colourful rustic shack bar on a big sand Island where laid back service and fantastic food go hand in hand. Drunken coconut shrimp and crispy grouper with ribs were my choice but for a group I’d recommend their Combo’s.
Tropic Breeze’s owner Jo, always says that by venturing inland in the Caribbean you get a good dose of culture and this couldn’t be more true of our next foodie recommendation Tasty’s. Run by a local chef cooking with typical Anguillian flavours; Authentic curried goat, jerk tuna, coconut curry lobster all available for very reasonable prices. A real locals spot!
Down a long, windy and bumpy road at Savannah Bay, on the east coast of Anguilla, you will find Palm Grove. A single beach shack on a natural and quiet beach. A secret spot completely worth the adventure of getting there. With a variety of simple yet fantastic food on offer including Johnny cakes, lobster, rice and peas and crayfish. Make a day of it- take your snorkelling gear and a towel.
Da Vida’s is situated on Crocus Bay Beach on the west coast of the Island, as the only static property in the cove it makes Da Vida’s a unique and beautiful destination surrounded by the lapping waves and white shores. Da Vida’s is made up of their two signature restaurants; The Bayside grill is situated on the beach and serves a variety of casual yet divine food such as grilled mahi mahi with rice and peas. The Bayside Grill offers complementary sun loungers to those dining with them – and beach service is encouraged! For those who like to be active hire a kayak and get exploring.
Da Vida’s itself is a charming and classy, open fronted setting offering beach front views. The cuisine offers some of the Island’s finest dining and I can imagine this place being a great option for a special occasion. Early evening tapas ( a fusion between Caribbean and Asian) while watching the sunset before dinner would go down a treat here.
On Sunday’s Da Vida’s is the place to be.. a great atmosphere forms as the beach grill gets going and live music is performed by Omari Banks.
With head chef Alain Laurent, named as one of the top 25 chef’s in the Caribbean in 2014, Jacala has become a place for destination dining. An open air, beach front restaurant serving a great selection of food including the Cray fish risotto, which was light, delicious and one of the biggest highlights of my trip. Even more one of the chefs will prepare steak carpaccio at the table for you to enjoy which added a great personal touch.. Dinner is rounded off with complementary flavoured rum, my recommendation is with the chilli and vanilla!
The Straw Hat restaurant is located next to Frangipani, so close that guests of frangipani can eat here and bill it to your home. Make sure you try the goat curry sliders and pork belly- great local food- you’ll need a big appetite, the portions are huge!
CuisineArt has five restaurants, one of which being Tokyo bay, the only Japanese restaurant on the Island. The prepping starts from 9 am and all the food is served with flare in a contemporary setting. Definitely worth a visit when you are looking for something modern and different.
Cap Juluca is home to Blue’s beachfront bistro where I enjoyed the best tuna tartare I have ever had! Stunning sea views, simple elegance and beautiful food. For something a little different on selected evening’s they offer a Caribbean buffet with music by Omari Banks.
Anguilla is a beautiful Island filled with hidden foodie gems… get exploring. You won’t regret it!