With 33 amazing beaches, Anguilla is an island where one can really work up an appetite and thirst. For vacationers who gravitate toward the label of “foodie,” Anguilla is a proper slice of paradise.
The range of dining options found on this 16-mile-long Caribbean retreat is nearly endless. You’ll find 5-star oceanfront dining, custom meals by private chefs, eclectic cafes, roadside BBQ stands, food vans, bakeries, and some of the best beach bars in the world. During a stay on Anguilla, you can sample international cuisine one night, authentic local fare another, and then round it all out with a romantic gourmet dinner on the beach. Let’s see what makes the most northern of the Leeward Islands the Caribbean’s undisputed capital of cuisine.
Anguilla’s best in breakfast
Locals and vacationers alike will tell you that French bakery Le Bon Pain is the best way to start your morning. From their Café au Lait to their quiche and fresh croissants, this street-side café, located in Anguilla’s Island Harbour area, is a can’t-miss breakfast winner.
Sit at Le Bon long enough, and you’ll notice a slew of customers ordering their delicious whole-baguette sandwiches to bring back to their hotel for lunch. The occasional chicken or rooster flitting by and clucking a chorus of “see you tomorrow” adds to the ambiance.
Since 1999, breakfast-goers have flocked to Tasty’s restaurant in Anguilla’s South Hill district. The breakfast menu features American, Caribbean, and French fare. Many breakfast customers go for a taste of France with Tasty’s Grand Marnier French Toast, but if you’re in a more savory, New York state of mind, you can’t go wrong with Tasty’s Eggs Benedict.
Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel is one of Anguilla’s longest-running hotel success stories. One reason for their legion of admirers is the breakfast buffet at onsite restaurant Cip’s by Cipriani. Your morning windfall begins with a parade of pastries, fresh juices, fruit, smoothies, and Johnny Cakes, a popular Anguillian baked good. And while at most breakfast buffets, the food is the star, the main event at Cap Juluca just might be the ocean views.
Best restaurants for lunch with a view
Anguilla has the most beautiful beaches in the world, and there are restaurants aplenty that take advantage of the island’s stunning scenery. Straw Hat Restaurant on Meads Bay Beach is all about the view of the strikingly turquoise ocean. Since 1996, Straw Hat owners Peter and Anne Parles have been serving up great food, great drinks, and that incredible scenery. Depending on the time of year you’re visiting Anguilla, your noontime gaze from your table toward the Caribbean Sea may include a mega-yacht stationed on the calm water, a dolphin frolicking in the distance, or a rainbow showing off after a brief Anguilla shower. As for your lunch choice, a wise selection would be a trio of blackened shrimp, mahi-mahi, and lobster tacos.
Sunshine Shack owner/bartender/chef Garvey Lake does business on an almost-too-beautiful-to-be-real stretch of white sand on Rendezvous Bay Beach. The expanse of beach is enormous, the views of neighboring St. Maarten are amazing, and the atmosphere is all-around unforgettable. The beach is ideal for a walk if you want to get in some cardio before you eat. After your stroll, enjoy Sunshine’s Caribbean fare, including chicken, ribs, snapper, and lobster. If you want something completely different to quench your thirst, ask for the “BBC,” a Banana Bailey’s Colada.
Anguillian dinners that are winners
For a truly unique setting, consider Veya Restaurant’s treehouse-style surroundings and visuals. The fun begins as soon as you enter through their lush garden and walk under a wooden arbor. Veya’s signature starter, a shrimp cigar, bursts with Moroccan spices, tomato chermoula, and apricot jam. Thanks to its incredible Caribbean flavors, the jerk tuna with poached pineapple, plantain chips, and red pepper is another favorite.
Some Anguilla vacationers choose to stay in the multitude of private houses, villas (such as Patsy’s Seaside Villa or Shoal Bay Villas), suites, or condos available on the island. A great way to make the most of these accommodations is to hire Private Chef Tyrone Hughes for a day or even the week. Chef Hughes offers 10 menus to choose from, with each including at least three courses. His “Anguilla Way” menu begins with local pumpkin and ginger soup, followed by an entrée of pan-seared blackened mahi-mahi or snapper with sweet potato mash and assorted vegetables flavored with tarragon, mango, and tomato salsa. Dessert features cinnamon and nutmeg pineapple, along with coconut ice cream.
If a craving for authentic island barbecue strikes you during your Anguilla trip, head over to B & D’s BBQ in Long Bay Village. This second-generation, open-air restaurant serves up mouth-watering barbecue chicken, lamb, lobster, fish, and ribs. Some say the secret to their success is mastery of the coal kiln for cooking. Others might say that it’s their Johnny Cake and plantains. But most would probably agree that B & D’s welcoming atmosphere has a lot to do with it, too.
This is just a sampling of Anguilla’s top dining experiences. What’s truly amazing is that on an island that’s tip-to-tip shorter than most work commutes, you’ll find a thriving culture of local cuisine alongside restaurants that draw on flavors from every corner of the globe, with new dining concepts opening frequently. Anguilla’s reputation as the Caribbean capital of cuisine is certainly well-deserved.