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  • Writer's pictureJude

Solo dining in Antigua

Updated: Feb 10

solo dining in Antigua at Maia at South Point
Table for one please!

Hello everyone, this post is about my first terrible experience of solo dining in Antigua, some solo dining tips for you and 5 recommended restaurants for eating alone in Antigua.

My terrible solo dining experience

I first dined alone overseas in Antigua a few years ago. The restaurant at the high end, all-inclusive resort was filled with couples and honeymooners and I was the only person dining solo. My former self worried that I stood out like a sore thumb. I was anxious about walking in, lacked confidence and felt incredibly embarrassed. A medley of thoughts penetrated my mind... everybody feels sorry for me, they wonder why I am here on my own, why would I want to come away by myself?, she probably doesn't have any friends, she must be really lonely... As I was led to a table in the centre of the restaurant, I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. I felt as if everyone was looking at me. The waiter asked if I wished to wait for my partner before ordering which didn't help. Instead of appreciating that I was having dinner in a fancy restaurant in the Caribbean, I bolted down my food as if in a fast food restaurant and left. I couldn't get out fast enough.

Warri Pier, restaurant on stilts in the Caribbean Sea, Antigua

How to improve a solo dining experience

For me, every negative situation is a time for reflection. I pondered on how I could have a better experience the next day. So I arrived at 6:30pm when the restaurant was less busy instead of at the peak time of 8pm. Head held high I asked for a table for one to eliminate questions as to where my partner was. I asked for a table by the water's edge rather than in the middle of the restaurant so I didn't feel that all eyes were on me. It worked. Once I stopped focussing on myself I noticed that some couples were looking at mobile phones, others deep in conversation, probably most people hadn't even noticed me. I relaxed and looked out over the Caribbean sea, just me, my thoughts, good food and a glass of wine. This time I spaced out my meal and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

View over English Harbour while dining alone

Benefits of a date night for one

I now think of dining alone as a real treat, as if I am taking myself on a special date. There are other benefits too. I can be selfish about where to dine, how long I stay and who I chat to. The more I do it, the more confident I become. The last time I went on holiday to Antigua, I chose a room only option so I could explore the local nightlife and try a different restaurant each night. Thoughts about eating quickly are long gone. Instead I take time to browse menus, ask questions, discover new dishes and really savour the food. Most of all, I take in the ambience and feel blessed to be in Antigua overlooking sparkling water with scenery that some people only dream about. I have learnt to love my own company and dining alone.

View from my table at Island Fusion Cafe

Solo dining tips

  • Be confident when asking for your table for one as if you do it all the time. Hopefully you will after a good first experience.

  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes - not something you have to fiddle with such as a skirt that keeps riding up or shoes with heels so high you twist your ankle as you walk in. Walk with confidence to your table.

  • Window seats are best. If you can pre-book ask for a table seated around the edge of the restaurant or by a window so you have a view. Avoid being seated in the middle of the restaurant where you may feel centre of attention.

  • If you prefer to strike up conversations with people then ask for a counter-top table if there is one. The seats are often located around an area used for food or drink preparation which can be fun to watch and offers a chance to speak to bar staff or other solo diners.

  • Dine at a less busy time such as 6:30 pm or 9 pm. There will be a greater chance of snapping up your preferred type of seating area with fewer diners around.

  • Ask reception staff for recommendations of places where they think you may have a good experience dining alone.

  • Take a book so you can relax and space out your meal and don't have to treat it like a fast food venue.

5 recommended restaurants in Antigua for dining solo

For seafood...

The Caribbean offers a good choice of local fresh fish including lobster, mahi mahi and snapper. Lobster season is from July through to the end of April. Restrictions are in place to strop trading and consumption during May and June, the breeding months for spiny lobster.

Island Fusion Cafe

Island Fusion Cafe is a European/Afro Caribbean restaurant located at Orange Valley. The lobster curry is out of this world. Thick chunks of succulent lobster in a mildly spiced, creamy sauce served with a good helping of crisp salad and fluffy rice and peas. Dining can be alfresco on a wooden verandah with a wonderful breeze and tables are nicely set apart.

Lobster curry from Island Fusion Cafe

For steak

La Brasserie d'Antigua, English Harbour

A delightful family run, French restaurant that I return to each visit. I can honestly say the fillet steak was the best I have eaten. Incredibly well cooked, tender meat topped with peppercorns and a pepper sauce alongside golden fries. The venue provides a complimentary return boat service from Nelson's Dockyard which is a lovely way to travel to dinner. The owners always greet you with a warm welcome and are genuinely interested in how you are and what you have been doing.

Fillet steak with pepper sauce and fries from La Brasserie d'Antigua

For a casual lunch...

Boom, English Harbour

Perhaps a burger, salad or something fishy but the delectable parmesan truffle fries are a must. The casual open air restaurant is located beside a turquoise infinity pool that appears to melt into English Harbour. Eat in the open-air restaurant or poolside from your lounger. Afterwards take a dip, settle in a hammock or even partake in a little pamper session at The Powder Room Spa underneath.

Truffle parmesan fries from Boom Restaurant, English Harbour

For sushi

This is a great place to come for lunch or dinner. The venue has live music on Friday and Saturday nights and there's a cool counter-top bar to perch at for a pre-dinner drink. Watch cocktails being made as well as the delicate sushi preparation before being seated at a pre-booked waterside table where you can expect to see twinkling lights off the water and stars above. Choose from Asian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes including sushi, Small tables are spread quite far apart, ideal for solo dining.

crab cakes with mustard aioli and mango chutney from Maia at South Point, Antigua

For Italian

Abracadabra, English Harbour

A large restaurant with a buzzy atmosphere serving up authentic Italian dishes. The lime and mascarpone risotto topped with carpaccio of lobster is highly recommended. Staff appear to whizz between tables as if on rollerblades they move so fast. There are plenty of small tables and again, not too close together. Later it turns into a popular nightclub.

lime and mascarpone risotto with lobster carpaccio from Abracadabra, Antigua

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