Which Restaurant When in Anguilla?
by Terry Haigh
(Seahurst, WA, USA)
da'Vida at Crocus Bay, Anguilla
Straw Hat Restaurant on Mead's Bay, Anguilla
Koal Keel in Lower Valley, Anguilla
Cote Mer, Island Harbour, Anguilla
We are traveling to Anguilla in a large group (Mercedes-Benz dealers) as part of a contest winner. There will be over 65 of us in two groups.
They have given us a selection of Anguilla restaurants that I am listing below. I have read the Blanchards's book. I am curious, but it seems so "touristy," if you know what I mean.
One of your favorites is not listed (Davida) so my question is:
Of these Anguilla restaurants, which would you choose?Blanchard's
Coba at Viceroy
Mango's Seaside Grill
Smokey's at the Cove
Thanks for all you do. I am slowly going through the previous blogs. We will be there March 13th.
What a terrific prize for some hard-working Mercedes dealers. Congratulations to everyone and thank you the kind words, Terry.
When you're on-island, give my parents a ring, I'm sure they'd love to say hello to fans of my site. Heck, I know they're looking around for another 10 year old 4x4. (If you ever move here, don't buy new. The salt is brutal by the sea. Buy "old and tough," as my Dad likes to say.)
But, we are talking about Anguilla restaurants, not cars.
All the above are fine. We have eaten at all of them, except Coba.
Terry, I assume the above restaurants are on the list because they can accommodate 65 people. That would rule out some of our favorite, smaller restaurants, I suppose, like Cote Mer or Jacala.
Please allow me to give you 2 sets of recommendations, the first based on your specific question...SET #1)
From those you offer, I suddenly realized that it's very hard to recommend only ONE to a GROUP. So I will qualify each for you, because each is a good choice that will not disappoint...Blanchard's
Like us, choose for sentimentality, curiosity (they introduced us to the island, too -- we've eaten there, but have yet to return. I mention them at my Best Anguilla Restaurant
.Coba at Viceroy
Big, bold, 5* American, sensational layout on the promontory between Meads and Barnes. Have heard good things, but can't give personal experience.Koal Keel
Very elegant, old-time Anguillian feel. We've eaten here a few times, always excellent food and service. See Koal Keel review.Mango's
More elegant than Smokey's (see next), on Barne's Bay, this strikes me as a nice setting for 65 Mercedes-Benz dealers, although I have no idea why I'd think that. :-) They are also mentioned on Best Anguilla Restaurant
This is one of our parents' August-October favorite. They find it gets too busy in-season and they figure that their business means more during the quiet months (when Smokey's is one of the few to stay open).Veya
Yuki and I have eaten here a few times. We should write it up. It consistently gets top reviews.
Blanchard's, Coba, Koal Keel and Veya are not "on the water." By that, I mean there is no intimate association with the beach, the close view of the water and sound of the waves that we love.
Blanchard's is set far back from the beach and is separated from the beach by a garden and wall. Coba is high and commanding with a magnificent view (get a table by the windows, way above the sea. Koal Keel and Veya are both genuinely inland, but each has its own special ambience to compensate for "no sea."
Anguilla has the best collection of beach bars/shacks/restaurants in the Caribbean. We rarely eat at the inland restaurants because we enjoy the seaside experience so much.
That said, do know that inland restaurants are generally outstanding and try to make up for the disadvantage of "no sea" with other ambience.
You won't go wrong at any of them. I hope I've added enough information so that the right one clicks for you.SET #2)
Our favorite 4 restaurants are, in no particular order of preference...da'VidaTrattoria TramontoCote MerStraw Hat
Click on each for the restaurant's review. Those places should be "must eats" during your stay. They are all very special, "on the beach" restaurants.
Come to think of it, Palm Grove
should also be on that list, for the same reason. And Jacala
would be an elegant 6th. Quite a range, all on the beach.
You may need to divide into 2 groups for Cote Mer
. They cannot handle 65 at one sitting.Breakfast
Be sure to get breads, croissants, etc., from Le Bon Pain
in Island Harbor. Geraud's
(in the West) is very good. For full breakfast, you can't beat Tasty's
(yes, good enough to push us inland ;-) ). We also enjoy Straw Hat's
The following all offer superb lunches...da'Vida
-- at their Bayside Bar & Grill, then go kayaking or sun on the beach all dayTrattoria Tramonto
-- excellent pressed sandwichesJacala
-- eclectic offerings, super french friesCote Mer Sunday BBQ
-- simple, easy, with a Caribbean bandSea Sand
-- on East Shoal Bay, in the Ku facility, run by Dale Carty (Tasty's)
Well, that should be enough for you to chew on (pun intended). Enjoy your Anguilla restaurant experience. The island is unique in many ways, dining being one of its truly sensational points of difference.