The Best Bars on Anguilla, Caribbean

Try some of the best rum varieties at the stylish Rhum Room on Anguilla
Try some of the best rum varieties at the stylish Rhum Room on Anguilla | Courtesy of Rhum Room
Photo of Siobhan Grogan
11 August 2021

It may have only 15,000 residents, but every night’s a party on idyllic Anguilla. Popular with yachters, honeymooners and A-listers, the British Overseas Territory has a staggering 33 pinch-yourself beaches, a sprinkling of understated chic hotels and more than its fair share of lively bars where the music’s loud and the rum never runs out. Here are the places to head for a night out in paradise.

Bankie Banx’s Dune Preserve

Bar, Caribbean, $$$
Map View
The Dune Reserve bar on the Island of Anguilla owned by Bankie Banx Home of the famouse moon splash music festival
© Slim Plantagenate / Alamy Stock Photo

Expecting a quiet Sunday afternoon drink? There’s no chance at this Anguillan institution owned by the island’s very own reggae star Bankie Banx. Voted the coolest bar in the Caribbean, this wooden hideaway built of driftwood on the sand at Rendezvous Bay is all about great rum punch and even better live music, sometimes performed by Bankie himself. Go on Sunday for the legendary buffet and music into the night.

Half Shell Beach Bar

Bar, Cocktails
Map View
Half Shell Beach Bar
Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla / Expedia.com

There are just 30 seats at this chic beach bar at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences, so you can’t help but feel a little smug if you land one. The open-air wooden deck looks out onto one of the most dazzling beaches on the island, at Barnes Bay, so this is the place for a very long lunch that rolls into dinner as you work your way through the delicious frozen-cocktail list.

Johnno’s Beach Stop

Bar, Cocktails, $$$
Map View
Johnnos on Road Bay in Sandy Ground on the caribbean island of Anguilla in the British West Indies. Image shot 04/2008. Exact date unknown.
© James Schwabel / Alamy Stock Photo

Roll straight in off the sand to while away a lazy afternoon on the wooden deck at the original beach bar on the island. Cocktails are a specialty, but you won’t go hungry with mountainous portions of grilled lobster or whole steamed snapper to soak up the fruit-packed daiquiris. There’s live music at the weekend, but the bar is especially renowned for its jazz sessions every Sunday afternoon.

Elvis’ Beach Bar

Bar, Mexican, $$$
Map View

There’s no need for a dance floor at this late-night beach bar in Sandy Ground. Once the sun sets, the sand becomes the place to party as live bands play until the early hours. There’s a big screen for watching sports, a Mexican-inspired menu serving great tacos, lively full-moon parties and a 16ft (5m) boat serving as the bar. If Elvis himself is in the building, he might even whip up his signature rum punch for you.

Sandy Island

Bar, Cocktails
Map View

Jump on the shuttle boat that leaves every hour from Sandy Ground beach to head 2mi (3.2km) out into the ocean to this tiny, picturesque sandbank for drinks you won’t forget. You can pop by for a lobster lunch, but service is so laid-back, you might as well make a day of it. Go on a Sunday for live steel drums and all-day DJ sets plus whatever cocktails the friendly bar staff chooses to whip up especially for you.

Uncle Ernie’s

Bar, Restaurant, Caribbean
Map View
Anguilla, Shoal Bay, Uncle Ernies Beach Bar
© david sanger photography / Alamy Stock Photo

If you’ve already blown the budget getting out to Anguilla, you can still live the high life at Uncle Ernie’s on Shoal Bay. This family-operated bar and restaurant has been a popular spot since 1984 and is still going strong, serving a signature conch stew, a delicious guava colada and the cheapest beer on the island. Just be sure to bring cash, as the bar doesn’t accept credit cards.

Palm Grove Barbeque Grill

Restaurant, Bar, Caribbean
Map View
the Palm Grove Bar and grill at Junk Hole on the Island of Anguilla
© Slim Plantagenate / Alamy Stock Photo

Often known as Nat’s Place, this simple corrugated tin shack on stilts in Savannah Bay is more remote than the busier beaches but worth the effort to get there. Tear yourself away from the blinding white sand to head inside and meet Nat himself, who serves up grilled crayfish, spicy chicken and the perfect fries. As one of the very few bars without music on the island, you’ll want to stay a while with a cold beer and listen to the sound of the waves as you sup.

Rhum Room

Bar, Caribbean
Map View
Zemi Beach House
Courtesy of Zemi Beach House / Expedia.com

It’s not difficult to find rum on Anguilla if you’re partial to a drop, but real devotees should make a beeline for this sophisticated rum bar at Zemi Beach House on Shoal Bay. Surprisingly, this isn’t a beachside shack but a moodily lit private club-style bar with leather and velvet chairs, a refined air and a humidor for cigar fans. The expert rummelier (a sommelier for rum) can talk you through over 100 varieties of small-batch rum and lead a tasting through some of the best.

These recommendations were updated on August 11, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh. This article is an updated version of a story created by Siobhan Grogan

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