Did you know that the Caribbean island of Anguilla is famous for its food scene? As one travel expert noted, it has “dozens of restaurants available within the island’s 33 square miles… the foodiest of foodies would be perfectly content” experiencing. And while it sounds like “dozens” of restaurants may make it fairly easy for you to decide where to dine during a day of exploring the island, you need to understand that Anguilla’s dozens of restaurants are broken out into scores of categories. Just consider that there are:
- Beach BBQ shacks
- Romantic Restaurants
- Beachfront Eateries
- Family Restaurants
- Local Favorites
- Breakfast Spots
- Lunch Spots
- Small Plate Spots
- Burger and Beer Joints, and more…
Naturally, there are also luxurious spots like the eateries of the Four Seasons’ resort property. That leaves most travelers with an overabundance of choices. To help you with this, we’ve identified a few of the “must try” spots in each of the categories above, and listed them below.
Beach BBQ Stands and Shacks
Beach BBQ shacks will have to include B&D’s barbecue. As the experts at Travel & Leisure said of the shack, on “an island with dozens of roadside grill stands, this local standout is known for its smoky pork ribs to go.”
Others recommend Sunshine Shack as an island favorite close to the sands of Rendezvous Bay and offering lobster, snapper, ribs or chicken alongside favorite side dishes. The shack offers up free use of beach chairs and towels so you can take your feast to the beach. Ken’s Pork is not a beachfront shack but is a popular spot for BBQ in the Valley area of the island. Specializing in ribs, it also roasts chickens and typically features a long line waiting for their combination platters with some rice and peas alongside garlic bread. BBQ Grill is another shack with some of the delicious sliced pork, and it features a lemon and lime rub that most describe as unforgettable.
If it is a romantic meal you need to enjoy during your stay, there are lost of seaside choices. The best for couples would include the French meals available from Jacala, the Italian specialties from Dolce Vita, or the traditional Caribbean fare available at Straw Hat. One of the most famous for romantic dining is Mango’s Restaurant, which is a famous open air eatery offering the very best in local seafood right along the waterfront.
Waterfront Lunches and Dinners
While a beachfront meal is usually romantic if enjoyed with a beloved, there are also a lot of oceanfront restaurants in Anguilla that are well-suited to any sort of traveler. They include the Shoal Bay West restaurant known as Trattoria Tramonto, which emphasizes gourmet Italian dishes and a great cellar. The seafood restaurant Da Vida along Crocus Bay offers a mahi salad that many describe as unforgettable, and Tropicial Sunset is another Shoal Bay East restaurant tucked along the sands and offering traditional island dishes. You may also want to pay a visit to Ocean Echo along Meads Bay where five-star dining is the order of the day and where their chefs specialize in Caribbean dishes with a European flair.
Traveling to foreign lands with kids is always a bit of a gamble, and many kids seek comfort in familiar foods. Because of that, the following restaurants in Anguilla may be a good choice for those traveling with younger kids. Blanchard’s Beach Shack has a great environment, and a kid-friendly menu that includes burgers, hot dogs, nachos, tacos and more. In Sandy Ground, the Sandbar is directly on the beach and allows kids to play and run freely while adults dine. When it comes time to tucking into a meal, they offer shareable platters with lots of kid-friendly favorites. Artisan Pizza ticks all of the boxes because it allows to-go orders as well as in-house dining at the Island Harbour location. Pizza is a classic and this thin-crust version has all of the toppings that a kid crave.
We’ve already touched on a few of the local beach shacks that islanders frequent, but if you want someplace that is authentic and preferred by people who live on Anguilla year round, it is like that E’s Oven is for you. They specialize in West Indian cuisine and Creole classics, and their chef relies on the same recipes and methods that his mother used (as head chef) for years before. A low-key and casual spot, it is likely to become a new favorite. Sharky’s is also another local favorite and housed in the chef’s front yard!
While a visit to Anguilla may mean making breakfast in the kitchen of your luxury villa each day, you will want to visit a few of the island’s breakfast gems. They include Village Bakehouse offering island-themed pastries. There is also Tasty’s with its traditional breakfast menu, and the Straw Hat Restaurant with its beachfront setting and hearty breakfast options.
Lunches, Beers & Burgers
If you are eager for a quick bite or good lunch the Ferry Boat Inn is a popular choice along with Roy’s Bayside Grill. Both offer a nice array of beers from which to choose (on tap and in cans or bottles) and both also specialize in traditional “pub” fare like burgers and fries. You’ll find memorable lunch items like “handhelds” (sandwiches) and salads, too.
There are options for small plates at Sandbar and Blanchard’s (both already mentioned), and most experienced travelers to Anguilla would say that an evening meal at KoalKeel is an absolute essential. As the Travel and Leisure experts explained, it is a “limestone cottage built in the 18th century by Dutch sugarcane planters. Chef Gwendolyn Smith’s menu includes crayfish ravioli, pigeon-pea soup, lamb medallions with pumpkin gratin, and—for a sweet finale—the rum truffle tower.” If that doesn’t get you booking a table, little else will.
Whether in Anguilla for a long weekend or lengthier visit, you’ll find more than enough to enjoy at meal time, and we hope you give some of our recommendations a try.