Dining Out & Night Life

A special experience in Antigua & Barbuda

There are specialist magazines and ‘phone apps which will give you a comprehensive guide to the island restaurants and eateries including a new table booking service app, TripService.me available from the App Store, Google Play and on-line. 

It is easy to eat and drink well and it need not be costly.  Most bars have a Happy Hour (or two) where prices are cheaper. In line with anywhere in the world, drinks with meals are more expensive but cheaper when standing at the bar without the service charge. We try to provide a few pointers where to find a variety of different foods although one problem with printing a few months before the season starts is the number of new venture restaurants which pop up and some of last year’s new ventures which have disappeared.

Many of the restaurants around English Harbour and Falmouth close for part or all of the summer and most that are open limit their days and/or hours.

Well known in the Dockyard is the Copper & Lumber Store Hotel & Restaurant, now doing a speciality 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.  Boom, a restaurant located across the water at the Gunpowder suites and part of the Admiral’s Inn complex, is situated alongside a spectacular infinity-edged pool which overlooks the Dockyard. Open daily during the season from 11am until 6pm for lunch and cocktails, it is accessed both by road and by water taxi. 

Dining out & night life

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 an Italian restaurant, Incanto and a French restaurant, La Brasserie, having opened in late 2017.

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.

Outside the Dockyard is Abracadabra’s, English Harbour’s long established early evening restaurant and, later, a night club, adjacent is the Rasta Shak bar.  New  last season was another Italian restaurant, Ticchio with Pirate’s Pizza nearby, an eat-in or take-away/delivery pizza parlour and a little further 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. 

Also in this location is one of Antigua’s most popular restaurants, Trappas, full almost every night and well patronised by locals and sailors. Booking is recommended. On the opposite side of the road, Lime is a pub/bar only open in season, holding regular music session evenings and serving occasional snacks. Adjacent is the successful South African style restaurant, Flatties, next to that is 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 moving into the old Mad Mongoose premises is Paparazzi, formerly at Slipway. The bar, separately owned, is now called Goose Mon. Mange Tout is another new addition, located in Temo Sports and already attraction a good lunchtime following.  Barbie’s, a colourful full dining restaurant and bar occupies the ground floor of Antigua Yacht Club with the Club House, on the first floor with its large deck overlooking Falmouth Harbour, open all year with only brief summer breaks. Cloggys is at the Antigua Yacht Club Marina and, for those with more modest tastes, below are Sea Breeze and Skullduggery whose coffee-martinis are legendary

Dining out and night life

Past the Antigua Yacht Club and on the way to Pigeon Beach is South Point’s restaurant inspired by Middle Eastern  Asian and Mediterranean 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.

Another new venture for 2018 was Roti Sue, opposite Falmouth Harbour Marina and the Waterfront Bar is next with a view over Falmouth Harbour.  Nearby, with a mixture of local, French and Italian cuisine is Sun Ya, a restaurant which can be accessed by both land and sea.  Also accessible by water and road with a large car park. Island Fusion is now located at the National Sailing Academy restaurant and stays open through summer.  Around the corner is Famous Mauros, a family friendly pizza restaurant and a favourite with the yachties.  During the season, fresh bread and croissants are available in the mornings.

On the corner of Falmouth Harbour is LIFE which remains open for most of the summer and moving into the old Mad Mongoose premises is Paparazzi, formerly at Slipway. Barbie’s, a colourful full dining restaurant and bar occupies the ground floor of Antigua Yacht Club with Club Sushi on the first floor with its large deck overlooking Falmouth Harbour, open all year with only brief summer breaks. Cloggys is at the Antigua Yacht Club Marina and, for those with more modest tastes, below are Sea Breeze and Skullduggery. 

The Catamaran Marina, off Falmouth Main Road, is host to both Cambusa, an Italian restaurant only open in the season and 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 along the road is Papas,  run by the proprietors of Trappas, it has a pool and a beach and is open lunch times and evenings with reduced days in summer. It can also be rached by dinghy either onto the beach or the adjacent dock.

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. Nearer to Jolly Harbour, Turners Beach Restaurant serves the best rum punch on the island.  Recently opened and next door to the long established OJs is the beachfront London bus bar and restaurant known as The Rum  Bus. Almost adjacent is Jacqui O’s, a year round restaurant serving high quality food 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 but some come and go with such regularity that it is hard to keep track. More permanent and adjacent to a swimming pool is the Crow’s Nest and inside the complex are Acropolis Greek Taverna, Melini’s newly opened Flatties.  Jolly Harbour’s only beach front restaurant is Castaways located on the South Finger. With its own dock, Al Portos allows you to sail your yacht to the door. Just outside the complex and overlooking Jolly Harbour is Sugar Ridge with the casual Sugar Club restaurant on the lower level offering indoor and outdoor dining.  On the hilltop is the more formal Carmichaels where the infinity pool blends into the Caribbean shore line.

St John’s is a mine of small and large bars and restaurants and 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). 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. A wander around Redcliffe Quay will produce quite a variety of places to eat and drink and, in next door, Heritage Quay, favourite of the cruise ship tourists, there are several bars and restaurants.  On the fringes of the city in the new shopping malls are quite a selection of new restaurants and cafes serving everything from Indian to English food.   High above the entrance to St John’s Harbour with views across the city and harbour lies Russell’s bar and seafood restaurant.

Dickenson Bay has numerous bars and restaurants including the unique Warri Pier and 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 TripService.me app available from the App Store, Google Play and on-line. 

Outside of town Le Bistro, at Hodges Bay, is worth a visit as Antigua’s most authentic French restaurant. Travelling east you will encounter Cecilia’s and La Bussola restaurants at Dutchman’s Bay.  Just over the water is the Jumby Bay resort, an up market holiday resort, the restaurant is open to visitors with a reservation.  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 for dinghies.  Views across the restaurant’s infinity pool to Nonsuch Bay are complimentary to the fine cuisine and service.

Something you will notice about Antigua is the number of small roadside bars and restaurants, 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 Sailing Week food vendors set themselves up outside Nelson’s Dockyard and a meal with drinks can be had for just a few dollars.

On the way back to English Harbour, at Marmora Bay the St. James Club, mainly caters to its resort guests but its restaurants are open to visitors with advance booking. Check the dress code.
On the corner of the road to the St. James’s Club in the premises formerly  The Hideout restaurant is the newly opened Jackson’s Bar & Restaurant, already a big favourite of the ex-pat community especially on a Friday night.

There are many more restaurants than listed here and many have their own  websites. Most restaurants on the island are listed on the TripService.me app available from the App Store, Google Play and on-line. 

A lasting memory is the view from the Shirley Heights Lookout bar and restaurant over English Harbour. From 4 pm the pulsating rhythms of the steel band accompany mouth-watering smells of the barbecue and a few too many rum punches. Spectacular sunsets are standard 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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