Dining Out & Night Life

A special experience in Antigua & Barbuda

The restaurant culture and night life is a large part of the whole holiday experience wherever you go and Antigua is no exception.  For sailors, the main destinations are the marina areas of English Harbour, Falmouth and Jolly Harbour and there is plenty of activity in all these areas for both those seeking late night entertainment or a quiet  dinner on the waterfront.

Price, style, distinctiveness and ambiance will vary greatly from local fare to nouvelle cuisine and everything in between including local vegetarian food.  It is easy to eat  and drink well in Antigua and it need not be costly particularly with the local brew, rum, being, measure for measure, the same price as soft drinks.  Most bars have a Happy Hour where prices are cheaper. In line with anywhere in the world drinks in restaurants tend to be more expensive.

Overlooking Nelson’s Dockyard  from Antigua Slipway is Paparazzi, an Italian themed restaurant but with a broader menu which remains open for much of the summer season. The Paparazzi Group have now expanded their activities to both the Antigua Yacht Club and Galleon Beach. Well known in the Dockyard is the Copper & Lumber Store Hotel & Restaurant, now doing a speciality lobster and  fish supper on the dockside lawn on Friday nights all year round.  Perhaps the most iconic restaurant in the whole of Antigua and a jewel in English Harbour is the Admiral’s Inn with its outdoor waterfront terrace and Pillars’ restaurant overlooking the Dockyard’s 18th century stone pillars. The stunning setting is the perfect spot to enjoy evening cocktails,  lunch in the cool breeze or  an intimate dinner while watching the moonrise.

Dining out & night life

Well known in the Dockyard is the Copper & Lumber Store Hotel & Restaurant, now doing a speciality lobster and  fish supper on the dockside lawn on Friday nights all year round.  It is also a great place for traditional English breakfast. Perhaps the most iconic restaurant in the whole of Antigua and a jewel in English Harbour is the Admiral’s Inn with its outdoor waterfront terrace and Pillars’ restaurant overlooking the Dockyard’s 18th century stone pillars. The stunning setting is the perfect spot to enjoy evening cocktails, lunch in the cool breeze or an intimate dinner while watching the moonrise.

Opened in 2014 as an extension of The Admiral’s Inn, Boom, a restaurant located across the water at the Gunpowder suites and situated alongside the spectacular infinity-edged pool which overlooks the Dockyard, is open daily during the season from 11am until 6pm for lunch and cocktails. 

Also in the Dockyard and on the water’s edge is the Galley Bar, open for breakfast and lunch during the season and occasionally during the summer.  On the other side of the Dockyard is the Hot Hot Hot Spot Cafe serving breakfasts, snacks, lunches and occasional evening dinners sometimes accompanied by guitar players and crooners.  Take-away pies, cakes and snacks can be purchased from the Dockyard Bakery in the early morning and up until lunchtime.

Across the water on the opposite side of the harbour is the Inn on English Harbour has a beach bar/restaurant on Galleon Beach which is open to the public as well as hotel guests as is the formal terrace restaurant set on the hillside overlooking English Harbour and Nelson’s Dockyard.  Also on the other side of the water and located at Antigua Slipway is Paparazzi, an Italian themed restaurant  which remains open for much of the summer season.

Dining out and night life

Shirley Heights Lookout restaurant and bar is famed for its all year round Sunday and Thursday live bands and the sunset viewable from the cliff edge.  Visit for the steel bands and sunset and, if the mood takes you, sip the rum punch and stay on for the various local live bands which play on until ten.

Just outside the Dockyard is Abracadabra’s, English Harbour’s long established early evening restaurant and late night hot spot.  Adjacent are the Drop Inn, an early evening favourite, and the Rasta Shak.  Nearby are Pirate’s Pizza, an eat-in or take-away/delivery pizza parlour.  A little further from the Dockyard are Grace Before Meals, famous for its rotis and the Cap Horn which is two restaurants, one serving  pizzas and sizzlers, the other a fine dining restaurant.  A little further is one of Antigua’s most popular restaurants, Trappas, full almost every night and booking is recommended. On the opposite side of the road, Lime is a pub/bar serving occasional snacks and  holds regular music session evenings. Newly opened and already successful is the south African style restaurant, Flatties, next to the long established Jackie’s Quick Stop, best known for her bacon and egg English breakfasts.

On the corner of Falmouth Harbour is LIFE which remains open for most of the summer and has become a popular bar/restaurant. At the Antigua yacht Club are Barbie’s, on the ground floor, a colourful full dining restaurant with a bar and, on the first floor, Club Sushi with its large deck overlooking Falmouth Harbour, open all year with only brief summer breaks. Cloggys is now at the Antigua Yacht Club Marina and, for those with more modest tastes, below are Sea Breeze and Skullduggery.  

Past the Antigua Yacht Club and on the way to Pigeon Beach is South Point’s restaurant inspired by Asian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines.  Located on Pigeon Beach is the very popular Catherine’s Café Plage, an up market, French run restaurant.  However, if relaxing beside the beach is more your style then Bumpkins, also located right on the beach at Pigeon Point, is the place to chill out.

Back on the main road, opposite Falmouth Harbour Marina is the minuscule Rum Ba Ba.  You need to book as it only seats about a dozen or so and is very popular. The upstairs Waterfront Bar is next with a view over Falmouth Harbour. Opposite with a mixture of local, French and Italian cuisine is Rite Ya, a restaurant which can be accessed by both land and sea.

Just past Falmouth Harbour Marine is La Mia Cucina, accessible by water and road with a large car park and just a few yards further is The Academy Cafe also with parking and accessible by boat.  Around the corner is Famous Mauros, a family friendly restaurant and a favourite with the yachties.  He claims to produce the best pizzas on the island.  For those seeking fresh English bread (rather than the sweet American bread found on most of the island) then Famous Mauros is the place to go. Round loaves and French sticks, oven hot, can be found from 7 am in season alongside plain and chocolate filled croissants.

The Catamaran Marina, off Falmouth Main Road, is host to both Cambusa, an Italian restaurant and bar which includes yacht catering.  On the other side of the Catamaran Hotel is the Captain’s Table serving pan-European food in a quiet waterfront setting, open year round. Opposite the marina is Sweet T’s, a burger bar with a fantastic selection of ice creams.  Just a little further along the road is the newly opened and already popular, Papas, owned and run by the proprietors of Trappas.  It has a pool and a beach and is open a limited number of lunch times and evenings.

By road or by sea around the west side of the island brings you to the Carlisle Bay resort which has two restaurants, East serves a selection of Eastern dishes and Indigo serves pan-European food. Travelling on towards Jolly Harbour, Turners Beach Restaurant serves the best rum punch on the island and nearby OJs is open 7 days a week. Almost adjacent is Jacqui O’s and a little further up the road is Sheer Rocks, nestling on the cliffs over the Caribbean sea. In the same area is the informal Dennis’s bar and restaurant.

Jolly Harbour is a modern development which combines holiday resorts, a marina, supermarket, shopping centre and restaurants. Adjacent to a swimming pool is the Crow’s Nest and inside the complex  are Acropolis Greek Taverna, Melini’s and Midway.   Jolly Harbour’s only beach front restaurant is Castaways located on the South Finger. With a dock immediately outside, Al Portos allows you to sail your yacht to the door. In the golf club is the Italian restaurant, Il Giardino. Just outside the complex and overlooking Jolly Harbour is  Sugar Ridge with the casual Sugar Club restaurant on the lower level offering indoor dining plus outdoor under covered verandas.  On the hilltop is  the more formal Carmichaels where the infinity pool blends into the magnificent Caribbean shore line.

Dickenson Bay has numerous restaurants including the unique Warri Pier.  According to The Times of London, beach front Coconut Grove is ‘A Real Caribbean Restaurant’. Ana’s on the Beach is Mediterranean style  with a touch of the Caribbean. If you crave fish and chips, then look for Chippy Antigua who parks his fish & chip van in the area on Wednesday and Friday evenings or the fish & chip double decker ‘bus at Jolly Harbour.  There are a hoard more restaurants in this area.  For more information check the Eat! Antigua app on GooglePlay or the Apple Store.

St John’s is a mine of small and large bars and restaurants from the famous such as Hemingway’s to Shamaroonies Irish Pub.  St. John’s night life is mainly for the young where you need to like your music loud but a wander around the capital during the day can produce some good lunch time venues.   If you are coming by boat to St. John’s you can tie up free of charge for a few hours (see our Marinas Section).  In the old dock area the Commissioners Grill is a popular daytime and evening restaurant and bar. One advantage of St. John’s is that there is so much going on in a relatively small place and you can reach everywhere on foot.  Live local bands regularly play at a variety of venues.  Nestled amongst the old buildings of Redcliffe Quay, Big Banana is a popular bar/restaurant and, for the ‘chilled’ atmosphere, try C & C Wine Bar or Café Napoleon. A wander around Redcliffe Quay will produce quite a variety of places to eat and drink. Next door, Heritage Quay, favourite of the cruise ship tourists, has several bars and restaurants central of which is the B-Hive.  On the fringes of the city is the Larder.  High above the entrance to St John’s Harbour, with first class views, lies Russell’s bar and seafood restaurant.

Outside of town Le Bistro, at Hodges Bay, is worth a visit and claims to be Antigua’s most authentic French restaurant.  Also in Hodges Bay is the 200 seat Waterfront Restaurant which has mooring facilities for yachts and an extensive wine list.  In Runaway Bay are La Bussola, the Lobster Pot, Sandhaven and the Rush Night Club. Millers by the Sea can be found just down the road.  Travelling east you will encounter Cecilia’s and Tides restaurants at Dutchman’s Bay. Whilst in Dutchman’s Bay and if you care to take a ferry ride, just over the water is the Jumby Bay resort.  Mainly a  private residential estate and up market holiday resort, the restaurant is open to visitors with a reservation.  Yachts can anchor off-shore.  Also close to the airport with anchoring facilities at Shell Beach Marina is the Runway 10 restaurant which services the FBO and private jets.

Situated within the manicured grounds of the airport is the Antigua Athletic Club’s Vitality Kitchen & Bar. If travelling First or Business class relax in comfort before your flight in the airport’s VIP lounge.  Others can pay a fee to enter.

Battered by Atlantic waves Antigua’s rugged east coast has a few restaurants in the sheltered bays.  Located at the Nonsuch Bay Resort, an up market residential and holiday area  and close to the yachtsman’s favourite, Green Island, is The Bay with a jetty where dinghies can land.  Views across the restaurant’s infinity pool to Nonsuch Bay are complimentary to the fine cuisine and service. Nearby is a long time favourite, Harmony Hall, a small boutique hotel and art gallery set in an old sugar mill with a Mediterranean menu including fresh seafood and pasta.

On the way back to English Harbour, at Marmora Bay, the Hideout Restaurant and Art Gallery is one of the areas best restaurants with high quality cuisine. If you have an urge to help many of the islands stray dogs, you can leave a donation to the local animal charity, PAAWS.  Nearby, the St. James Club, mainly caters to its resort guests but its  restaurants are open to visitors but you need to book and check the dress code.

Something you will notice about Antigua is the number of small roadside bars and restaurants, too numerous to mention, many of them excellent value for money.  Some are set up in the early evening and taken down when the food runs out. Stop and try one.  Occasionally you will come across some interesting offerings.  During Antigua Sailing Week food vendors set themselves up outside Nelson’s Dockyard and a meal with drinks can be had for just a few dollars.

There are many more restaurants than listed here and most have  websites. With a little research you can find in all different parts of the island exactly the style, venue, price and cuisine to suit your taste.  Most restaurants on the island are listed on the the Eat! Antigua app available at GooglePlay or the Apple Store.

A lasting memory is the view from the Shirley Heights Lookout bar and restaurant over English Harbour. From 4 pm the sweet pulsating rhythms of the steel band accompany mouth-watering smells of the barbecue and one or two too many rum punches. Spectacular sunsets are standard party fare and the much talked about green flash really can be seen but you have to be there at sunset to see it.

Dining out and night life
Dining out and night life
A lasting memory of Antigua & Barbuda is the sunset view from the Shirley Heights Lookout bar and restaurant and the lights of English Harbour by night.

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