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Antigua Restaurants

Antigua Restaurants

Restaurants in Antigua are diverse and the local cuisine has been influenced by the island's history.  In 1200 AD Arawakan speakers paddled to Antigua from Venezuela introducing agriculture to the island.  They brought corn, white fleshed sweet potato, guava, chilli peppers and rum.  They grew black pineapple, the island’s official fruit known to be sweeter and less acidic than other types.  It is so close to their heart it appears on their coat of arms.  The local dishes also have an African influence following colonisation of the islands by the English in 1632 when slaves were brought over.

Flavourful dishes to look out for in restaurants and road-side eateries include saltfish, ducana - a sweet dish made from grated sweet potato, coconut and spices as well as fungee and pepperpot - Antigua's National dish.  The bread-like ball made from cornmeal and okra is served alongside a vegetable or meat stew.  A large proportion of restaurants in Antigua also offer International cuisine and fresh seafood such as mahi-mahi, lobster and red snapper.

Recommendations of restaurants in Antigua based on my personal experiences in English Harbour, Urlings and St Johns...

Restaurants in English Harbour

Catherine's Cafe is a high end French inspired restaurant, located at the end of a stunning stretch of Pigeon Point beach.  Dine under cover on a raised patio area, outside with sand between your toes or from one of their sun loungers.  Catherine's is well known for its pilates brunches and frequent live music.   Food is outstanding and the ambience, chilled. It is a popular venue for a celebratory meal or special occasion. Food choices include fresh blue point oysters with a shallot and red wine vinaigrette, fruits de mer, a charcuterie board and a selection of sandwiches and salads.

Maia is an elegantly casual waterfront restaurant specialising in sushi together with delicious Mediterranean and Asian inspired dishes.  During peak season enjoy live music performances on Friday and Saturday evenings. Food here is outstanding with impeccable presentation. To start, complimentary warm breadsticks and rosemary focaccia are served alongside olive oil and salty tapenade.  Choose a plate from the extensive menu - perhaps the Baltimore crab cakes with mustard dressing, followed by fresh salmon with miso.  While enjoying your meal with a frosted glass of rosé, look out over the harbour with shimmering reflections from super yachts.

La Brasserie d'Antigua is owned and run by a lovely French couple and located in an idyllic harbour-side setting with a collect and return boat service for local waterfront hotels. Expect to arrive as a guest and leave as a friend. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the food is cooked to perfection. Dishes include melt in the mouth croissants for breakfast and croque monsieur for lunch.  At night, the  outstanding fillet steaks with pepper sauce are perhaps the best I've had. 

Live bands perform on Tuesdays and Wednesdays are 2-4-1 pizza night with a daily happy hour for certain drinks from 5-6pm.

Abracadabra is a Italian restaurant with indoor seating and an expansive verandah for dining alfresco.  It has a chilled ambience until midnight when it transforms into a pulsating dance venue.  The food is exceptional.  A complimentary bread basket includes crisp rounds of garlic bread with pots of tapenade and basil butter.  Starters include spiced wahoo marinated in orange and beetroots and a selection of Italian meats and cheeses.  For mains, the creamy risotto flavoured with lemon topped with a carpaccio of lobster comes highly recommended, perhaps finishing the meal with a classic tiramisu.

Risotto, Abracadabra restaurant, Antigua

Pillars Restaurant & Bar

Pillars is the dining venue at Admiral's Inn hotel situated in historic Nelson's Dockyard National Park.  The waterfront restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  It is most picturesque at night when tarpan can be seen swimming and leaping in the sparkling harbour.  An extensive a la carte menu is available each night with the exception of Wednesdays when it is accompanied by a selection of Caribbean dishes.  Indulge in meat plates of steak and ribs or a vegetarian risotto but also, specialising in seafood, you can expect to indulge in dishes such as sesame crusted ahi tuna, pan fried fresh catch of the day and lobster .

Boom Restaurant

Open from 12-6 for snacks or lunch, Boom's elevated position offers a covered alfresco dining experience with a welcome breeze and far reaching views over English Harbour and Nelson's Dockyard.  After a delicious lunch of catch of the day or burgers with truffle and parmesan fries, those with a day pass and residents of Admiral's Inn & Gunpowder Suites can take a refreshing dip in the cool, turquoise-hued infinity pool.  Afterwards, indulge in a relaxing spa treatment at The Powder Room Spa located beneath the restaurant or kick back in one of the loungers or hammocks that frame the pool,

Roquita is part of the well known Rocks Group open for casual breakfasts and lunches. By night, the Spanish inspired tapas restaurant has a cozy dining area with ambient low lighting and tables made from wine barrels furnished with spiky cactus plants. Dishes are tasty and generous in size. They include Iberico ham, smoked chicken thighs, aged manchego and succulent prawns with garlic and paprika. Upstairs is a lively roof top bar serving shots and cocktails with a DJ for those who like to dance after dinner.

Indian Summer

Access the restaurant via a pathway adjacent to a palm tree decorated with a spiral of fairy lights.  Smell the spice blend aromas escaping from the kitchen into the spacious dining area as friendly staff greet you.  Without a reservation expect to wait a while, either at the countertop bar area or perhaps in one of the outdoor courtyards with a favourite drink.  The extensive menu has flavourful, authentic Indian dishes including Goan Fish Curry - fish cooked in a Goan masala coconut sauce, Dal Makhani - a black lentil dish with spices and cream and well known favourites such as lamb korma and chicken tikka masala.  Sundowners are available from 5-7pm daily and recently, Indian Summer began hosting live music on Fridays.  Book a table in advance to avoid disappointment.  Takeaways may be pre-ordered by phone to collect.

Trappas is a 'no frills' restaurant popular with locals and holiday makers.  The ambience is lively with upbeat music and super friendly staff.  Food is always great and reasonably priced too.  It is definitely a restaurant that you will want to return to time and time again.  The menu arrives on a blackboard with dishes including Big Phat Pork Chop served alongside mushrooms and onions, West Indian curries and catch of the day with garlic, lime and caper butter.  Two side dishes are included in the price - choose from salad, coleslaw, mashed potato, vegetables and fries.  If you still have room I recommend the chocolate butter rum cake!  Book in advance to guarantee a table.  

Club Sushi & Steak House

Open 7 days a week for dinner, The Club House is a covered, open air restaurant with the dining area built around palm trees. The atmosphere here is vibrant - loud music with happy staff and a busy bar area. Booking is recommended especially on themed evenings - Wednesdays for quiz nights, Saturdays - all you can eat sushi for EC$110 and Sundays, steak and live music. Sushi fans can order a love boat - the wooden, boat shaped sharing platter is ideal for two people, brimming with edamame, sashimi and maki rolls. Other dishes include a selection of burgers, salmon teriyaki, fish tacos and fresh catch of the day. Food here is of a high standard.

Situated in the middle of a stunning stretch of white sand, Loose Cannon at Galleon beach is a buzzing bar/restaurant with Michellin star chefs, cocktails and bottomless brunches. Weekends can be spent dancing barefoot on the sand to live DJs and for EC$300 on Tuesdays to Thursdays, hire a canopied cabana for the day. The price includes a mezze platter, use of a paddle board, bottle of wine or pitcher of a cocktail. The beach itself is home to a shipwreck with a plethora of marine life and turtle sightings so make sure you bring your snorkel too!  

Note if you are staying in English Harbour, a free half hourly shuttle is available between Loose Cannon and Covent Garden Supermarket from 2pm peak sesason.

Experience Thai cuisine in a part open-air restaurant where the ceiling is decorated with an abundance of colourful umbrellas and a breeze flows throughout the upper level. Watch authentic dishes being prepared from the open kitchen and enjoy dishes such as vegetable spring rolls with sweet chilli sauce, creamy Panaeng curry and Pad Thai Noodles. Save room for one of the delicious desserts. Khao Niew Ai Tim is highly recommended, vanilla ice cream with sticky rice and caramelised pineapple and peanut.

Restaurants in St Johns

The Cove is a fine dining restaurant located high up on a clifftop.  Following a buggy ride to the top, enter a grand reception and descend to a dining area glowing with pencil thin lamps atop tables. Soothing electronic music plays, slightly overpowered periodically by sounds of waves crashing and the evening song of crickets.  Exceptional food is served with a smile.  Complimentary focaccia and carasau are delivered alongside olive oil and balsamic.  After, a delicious arancini ball arrives, compliments of the chef.  The snapper with creamy saffron sauce with baby cubed potatoes is incredible but other dishes to tempt your palate include a duo of lamb with whole grain mustard sauce, five spiced duck breast and chargrilled lobster with pernod garlic butter.

Hemingways is a long-standing restaurant located within an historic wooden building built in the 1800s.  A large sweeping verandah overlooks the bustling streets of Antigua's capital, St. Johns.

Menus are woven with ladies for the ladies and men for the men.  Dishes include curries, conch fritters and creole fish with garlic mash and vegetables.

Casa Roots is a fine dining restaurant on Runaway Bay beachfront.  Enter via an archway of  flowers and enjoy tapas style dishes of tempura plantain and zucchini with a tamarind soy dip & cauliflower hummus with pitta served in coconut shells.  Larger plates include grilled beef rib eye, charred grilled octopus and grilled mahi mahi.   

Waiting staff are very friendly, food is exceptional and views are stunning overlooking the white sands of Runaway Bay.

Restaurants near Urlings

Island Fusion Cafe, Orange Valley

Lobster lovers - you need to check this out.  Island Fusion Cafe has recently moved from English Harbour.  It is now located in a tucked away location, up some steps leading to a sweeping verandah with far reaching views and cool tropical breeze.  Staff are friendly and welcoming.  Sandra still offers diners an extensive menu with daily specials and the coconut curried lobster is exceptional.  Alternatively, if you just want to relax with a drink and snack, try the baked banana bread with honey butter.

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