Anguilla is an island whose people are dedicated to great eating. From a local neighborhood bar-b-q to "haute cuisine", almost all Anguilla restaurants are bound to please your palate.
Anguilla, of course, is renowned for its 5 Star, super high-end restaurants. After all, they have to keep folks like Robert DeNiro and Paul McCartney coming back, right?
Our family has eaten at every restaurant in Anguilla. Almost all are, indeed, superb. We made two surprising discoveries early on, which endure to this day...
#1) The most expensive eateries ($$$) don't always beat out the non-wallet breaking ones ($).
#2) Our "unknown finds" offer, in some cases, better eating than several of the "tourist-famous" institutions.
And the non-surprising fact...
Anguilla has excellent dining options at all price levels. Let's begin our culinary journey at the top, for which Anguilla is famous...
When it comes to Anguilla's luxury restaurants, there is striking variety in terms of both setting and cuisine.
Five-star beach shacks serving fresh-caught, grilled crayfish and lobster, dripping with secret buttery sauces derived from family recipes, are not to be missed.
The island is home to some of the finest Italian food and French food, as well. Many restaurants blend familiar American flavors with exotic Caribbean cuisine. Some even experiment with Caribbean-Asian fusions. Others are true to their domain, specializing in authentic Caribbean cuisine.
Each year, most restaurants and hotels in Anguilla close from August-November to get ready for the upcoming season. Everyone is hard at work repairing and enhancing. To keep you totally up to date with which restaurants are open during your stay, we update our list of restaurants' closing and re-opening dates each and every year. More on off-season hours.
One of my favorite parts of dining in Anguilla is discovering "the little things" that show great attention to detail and care for the craft. A remarkable East End restaurant has a unique collection of aged Caribbean rums and wine, composed of some of the oldest and most hard to find bottles.
Delivering a five-star experience with five-star ingredients is no easy feat on a small island where everything is imported. Anguilla's restaurateurs pull it off with aplomb.
For instance, one Anguilla restaurant sources only the finest feta from Australia (home to the second largest Greek population in the world - who knew the Greeks in Australia have the best handle on how to make feta?).
Another sources its ice cream from a local individual, whose secret formula has been a family secret for generations.
... and who would have guessed that my Dad's most memorable sushi meal of all time would be had in Anguilla? From London and New York City, to San Francisco and Tokyo, it is here in Anguilla where my Dad and I experienced his "best sushi meal ever."
It is all thanks to Chef Ken Lin, the man who introduced Asian comfort food to Anguilla with his restaurant, Cha Cha San. Today, he introduces Anguilla to a completely different caliber of Asian cuisine.
Kingfish with Black Sea Salt
A brand new menu that is only available in-villa or as an "off-menu," Chef's private dining menu is a display of raw talent and passion for his craft. Chef sources ultra-fresh local fish (think: Wahoo, Kingfish and Snapper) and adds creative twists (think: Himalayan rock salt). The result? A one-of-a-kind sushi experience that you remember forever.
Chef Ken Lin's private dining menu is a must for serious sushi lovers.
More often than not, exploring the full menus at Anguilla's high-end restaurants yields fascinating finds. There are countless treasures in Anguilla's restaurants.
No doubt about it... Anguilla delivers the finest dining in the Caribbean. Its chefs have the gold medals from the "Best of the Caribbean" contests to prove it.
They win for stellar seaside settings, too (more per square mile, by far, than anywhere else)...
We are partial to restaurants that are located beachside, putting you totally at ease with wonderful views and the serene, lulling, rhythmic sound of the sea. Those located inland are virtually guaranteed to offer outstanding dining at lower prices.
Either way, you win! Anguilla restaurants are world-class.
I have divided the island into 3 sections, "The Center," "The East End," and "The West End." Each part of the island is perfectly safe. You can easily rent an Anguilla rental car, drive without worry and be truly spoiled by dining in every corner of this beautiful island.
Many visitors tend to stay in their Anguilla resorts and hotels in the West End of Anguilla, which is a shame. The "real Anguilla" lies in the Center and East End. Explore and enjoy the variety of unique eating experiences. Here we go...
Click the following links to "taste" Anguilla's high-end restaurants in each region.
Veya This is one of Anguilla's most talked about restaurants. With a picturesque tropical tree-house setting, Veya is one of the prettiest restaurants on the island, serving the most innovative dishes for "true foodies"!
da'Vida da'Vida is Anguilla's finest addition to the island's list of luxury restaurants. It has an ambience and a setting that rivals any 5-star restaurant in St. Barts, located on Crocus Bay, a beach more spectacular than any St. Barts setting, and with the warmest hospitality. Do not miss da'Vida for lunch, dinner and tapas.
The Barrel Stay Right on the shores of Sandy Ground, you'll find two Brits who "chucked it all" for this flawless restaurant, the Barrel Stay. Be sure to take the "sunset tip" and have a second helping of the "apple tarte tartin!"
Blue Bar Specializing in gourmet pizzas, Blue Bar serves up savory, perfectly cooked pies (in their imported gas/fire oven) and mouthwatering nightly specials (one special is served every night and varies from night to night) in an elegant atmosphere overlooking scenic Crocus Bay.
Tasty's This Anguilla restaurant is one of the island's best-loved institutions, owned and run by Chef Dale Carty. Open daily (except Thursdays) for breakfast, lunch and dinner since 1999, it just may be our favorite spot for breakfast, and a can't-miss for an authentic Anguilla dinner.
Meze Owned by Carrie and Jerry Bogar of Veya, it is safe to say that these restaurateurs have done it again! This time, with a Mediterranean focus. Gourmet, quality plates for sharing make up the menu and the vibe is distinct with Moroccan-flare.
Palm Grove One of our first discoveries back in 2002 when we started vacationing in Anguilla, Palm Grove is a favorite. A wooden shack on the beach, serving fresh-caught grilled crayfish and hot Johnny cakes, the food and location is hard to beat. The owner, Nat and his son, Theon, make great company, too. My Dad always looks forward to long chats with Nat over a rum punch.
Scilly Cay Scilly Cay upgrades the traditional Anguillian BBQ, transforming it into a luxury experience to remember. Scilly Cay is all about the setting. On an island all its own off of the picturesque fishing harbor, Island Harbour, the shores are shallow, still, sandy and always a clear turquoise blue. Is there anywhere so peaceful?
Hibernia This very high-end, East end Anguilla restaurant has had terrific reviews. And it lived up its reputation with us, too.
20 Knots Laidback luxury at its finest, Zemi Beach House's 20 Knots restaurant brings Latin-Caribbean flavors and a luxurious touch to Shoal Bay East's beachfront for lunch and dinner.
Serenity Located on the corner of Shoal Bay East, Serenity has a desirable location. Serenity serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Gourmet dining at its finest.
Jacala Set on the sandy shores of Meads Bay, Jacala offers an exceptional Anguilla dining experience. Jacques and Alain, who formerly worked at Malliouhana restaurant, have created a project of their own, a true Caribbean-French fusion experience, with personal five-star service. Be sure to try their unique Steak-Frites. Between Montreal and New York, it's one of the best Steak-Frites I have ever had.
Covecastles Restaurant "Genius chef" (as named by Robb Report), Chef Marc Alvarez brings gourmet wood and gas oven and grill and creative and high-end dishes to Covecastles Restaurant. If you are looking for an exclusive yet understated dining experience, look no further.
Tokyo Bay at CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa Tokyo Bay is Anguilla's first and only fully-focused Japanese restaurant, serving sushi, sashimi, teppanyaki and other specialties. The restaurant is located in CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa's Spa building, fully air-conditioned, with a more modern and sleek look. Drawing on what is available locally, the food is mouthwateringly fresh and delicious. Not to be missed, especially for lovers of Japanese cuisine.
Blanchards Probably the most famous of all Anguilla restaurants, due to their books. We ate there on the last night of our first trip to Anguilla. We have recently tried Blanchard's again, and had a phenomenal meal, from the food, to the ambience, to Bob and Melinda's kind hospitality. Their restaurant encapsulates the passion that shines through in their book, A Trip to the Beach.
Mango's A "deluxe beach bar-restaurant" on Barnes Bay. My Dad has been for dinner several times and has great things to say about it. We have also gone as a whole family. Mango's has become a favorite Anguilla restaurant for dinner. Mango's also delivers a five-star lunch experience, highly recommended for those seeking a quieter, more private and calm beach day and lunch.
Trattoria Tramonto Setting eyes on this wonderful west end Anguilla restaurant was love at first sight. Trattoria Tramonto is an upscale beach bar with a relaxed, unpretentious feel. The restaurant wins my vote for "personal favorite" for atmosphere, service, and most of all, food!
Straw Hat My parents were the first to dine at this delectable eatery. This was the only 5 Star restaurant that my dad raved about. Since, Straw Hat has become one of our go-to restaurant for an excellent meal out... from the food, to the seaside setting, to Peter and Anne's company, it's one of our top three favorite restaurants.
Famiglia... An Anguilla Resort Restaurant This classy restaurant was recommended to us by a dear friend and editor of Anguilla Life Magazine, Claire Devener. It is located in CuisinArt Resort's serene setting and delivers quite a meal! The idea is Mediterranean. The restaurant's concept and menu revolves around Mediterranean food and the way you eat when you're in the south of Europe: Share! Note: This restaurant is now called "Mediterraneo." CuisinArt also has a more formal dining restaurant, "Santorini." Also, since "Famiglia" became "Mediterraneo" I have received several emails indicating that the menu has become less varied and more expensive.
Italia at CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa Italia is one of the island's most authentic Italian restaurants. With Chef Biagio having been brought in from Italy, the dining brings you back to the South of Italy. Appetizers, mains, desserts and post-meal drinks, from start to finish, Italia delivers a five-star fine Italian dining experience.
Le Bistro at Santorini Modern and creative, Executive Chef Jasper Schneider is re-defining high-end dining in Anguilla with this luxurious restaurant. Think oysters on the hallf shell topped with a whipped shallot mignonette, open-face foie gras sandwiches. With a fine attention to detail and innovative concepts, Le Bistro delivers a unique upscale dining experience.
Chef's Tasting Menu at Le Bistro at Santorini We put ourselves in Chef Jasper's passionate hands and try Le Bistro's signature Chef's Tasting Menu. An unforgettable meal, it was one of our family's best ever.
CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa's Lobby Bar Director of Food & Beverage, Jonas Treffers has breathed new life into CuisinArt's Lobby Bar cocktail menu. With a focus on using ingredients readily available from CuisinArt's on-site gardens, their new drinks are fun, elegant and utterly refreshing!
The Restaurant at Malliouhana Executive Chef Cupertino Ortiz, formerly of the Viceroy in St. Lucia and the Rosewood in the Bahamas, brings fresh, creative touches to a sophisticated and classic menu at Malliouhana's, The Restaurant at Malliouhana. Matched only in quality by its refined ambiance, it is five-star in every way.
CuisinArt's Beach Bar & Grill The perfect lunch spot right on the sands of Rendezvous Bay! CuisinArt's Beach Bar & Grill is home to the best frozen cocktails on the island and some of the freshest and healthiest cuisine for lunch.
Bamboo Bar & Grill at Four Seasons Anguilla One of Anguilla's most elegant beach bars, Bamboo Bar & Grill at Four Seasons Anguilla blends laid-back with luxury in its upscale beachfront restaurant. Mediterranean cuisine is the order of the day, with vegetarian and gluten free options available. With excellent service, this dining experience is exceptional in every way.
Sunset Lounge at Four Seasons Anguilla Anguilla's "it" bar, Sunset Lounge has long been the place to see and be seen. Chic, with a jaw-dropping sunset view, its Asian cuisine and innovative cocktails complement the setting. With Four Seasons' improvements to the seating and service, Sunset Lounge is one of the island's best for light bites and unparalleled views.
Smokey's Set on wide and clear Cove Bay, with sweeping views of St. Martin, Smokey's is a relaxing spot for lunch. Try the fish sandwich!
Cap Juluca Cap Juluca offers a variety of dining experiences, from Pimms (European and Caribbean fusion), Spice (Asian-Caribbean fusion) and Blue (beachfront restaurant).
De Cuisine Expert restaurateurs Joash Proctor and chef Denise Carr's latest establishment, De Cuisine delivers a unique, gourmet culinary experience from start to end. In an unexpected location in a strip mall on the island's main road, a visit to De Cuisine is well worth worth it for the haute-cuisine and excellent service.
Zara's With Chef Shamash, Zara's delivers one of the happiest, warmest and most unique dining experiences on the island. Zara's is one of Kristin Bourne's favorite restaurants on the island, and it's not hard to see why. The freshest foods, combining amazing flavors, set in a cozy restaurant, it's one that should be top of mind for everyone visiting Anguilla.
Viceroy Anguilla Sunset Lounge Set in Viceroy Anguilla's elegant ambience, The Sunset Lounge's open air concept perfectly complements the lounge's vast views of Barnes Bay. With innovative cocktails, and the best sushi you can get on the island, The Sunset Lounge has become one of our favorite spots for a sunset drink and a light bite to eat.
Viceroy Anguilla Bamboo Bar & Grill A top-notch, high-end lunch spot, Bamboo Bar & Grill at Viceroy Anguilla is an option to consider if you're looking for a "delicious and nutritious" lunch (they have one of our favorite salads!), right on the beach. From bagels and fruit to pizzas and salads, this restaurant is a best bet for breakfast and lunch when you sit spectator to a beautiful view of Meads Bay!
Viceroy Anguilla Half Shell Tucked-away on Barnes Bay, Viceroy Anguilla's tiny Half Shell restaurant is a favorite for many. Right on a breathtaking beach, serving Mediterranean food (some of the best hummus on the island!), and friendly service, Half Shell is a top choice for a quiet, soothing lunch.
Oliver's Our family had an absolutely wonderful meal here. The ambience is relaxed and breezy. When you make reservations, ask for a table by the edge of the terrace. It overlooks Long Beach Bay, with sensational views. And if you are a family of four (or a hungry couple), phone at least four hours ahead of time and order their "Home Style Rock Oven Baked Whole Free-Range Chicken." Stuffed with gingered sweet potatoes, it was absolutely delicious. And the price was the best deal on the menu, too.
AXA Seafood House Anguilla's first seafood-centric restaurant, the aptly named high-end AXA Seafood House is for true lovers of everything seafood. From New Brunswick oysters, to crab cakes, to lobster mac and cheese, to seafood paella, the choices are endless. One visit is certainly not enough!
The Overlook Best combination of vista and great food. Literally out on a ledge, I don't know which is more sensational, the panoramic view or the magnificent meals.
Coté Mer Like Straw Hat, my parents beat us to the Coté Mer rum punch! The restaurant has changed hands to new French owners Stephane and Thomas. They have reinvented the meaning of "Coté Mer," creating a five-star Mediterranean eatery that quickly became one of my parents' favorite spots before becoming a now family wide obsession!
Altamer Hungry for a high-end Anguilla breakfast? Altamer certainly delivers with hospitality, service and delicious food. Try the specialty!
Koal Keel Built in the 1700s, Koal Keel hasn't lost any of its magic! This Anguilla restaurant went through some rough patches, and was closed for a while, but it was restored and is now open for business. It is here, where My family and I experienced the most beautiful (and tasty!) meal on all of Anguilla.
Clubhouse Grill Open for lunch, CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa's Clubhouse Grill services classic clubhouse food in a big, beautiful, breezy setting. Overlooking the rich, green fairways, with the Caribbean Sea and St. Martin in the distance, it makes for the perfect venue for an afternoon cocktail and tasty snack (don't miss the jerk oxtail empanadas!). Update 2016: Clubhouse Grill is now Italia
In case you are wondering, here is our philosophy on Anguilla restaurant reviews. You may approach food and restaurants differently. We'd love to read your Anguilla restaurant experiences.
Do you agree or disagree with our family's opinion? Which restaurants have you tried?
... and don't miss this fun list of "top 7 dishes in Anguilla" by NYC food blogger, Ziggy!
If you have a "favorite" hot dog, crayfish or french fry to add to our "quick list" of top eats in Anguilla, click here to add it to our Anguilla guide to top eats!
And finally, please note that you will find a Facebook comments box at the end of every review. If you are not in the mood to write a full review, please add a comment or two... agree or disagree!