Jennifer Lopez, Robert De Niro and Brad Pitt certainly know a good thing when they see one. They’re all regular visitors to Anguilla – the smallest of the five British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean. While it may just be 16mi (25km) long, there are still enough dreamy beaches, discreetly luxe hotels and straight-from-the-brochure restaurants to make you never want to leave this island paradise.
It’s not kind on the wallet but this impossibly idyllic island restaurant serves the best lobster you’ll ever eat. Head to the jetty in Island Harbour and wave to the island over the water. A boat will zip over to take you to this tiny islet where the restaurant is a handful of wooden huts decked in conch shells. Pick your lobster from the tank on a beach, grab a rum punch then snooze on the beach while it’s cooked for you.
With beaches this beautiful, you don’t want to be wandering far when hunger strikes mid-snorkel. This simple shack serves the perfect al fresco beach menu including salads, burgers, fresh seafood specials, excellent fish curries and particularly good pizzas. If you go on Saturday, there’s live reggae to make you linger longer, too. Look for the yellow beach umbrellas on Shoal Bay and you’ll spot the restaurant nearby.
Anguilla may not be short on fine dining but Ken’s BBQ is still one of the best spots to eat on the island. A roadside grill amongst the street food stalls of Landsome Road, Ken himself barbecues finger-licking pork chops, chicken and ribs smothered in his own homemade sauces. A meal costs less than $10 (£7.29) yet will likely be the one you dream about when you get home.
If you always look at the cocktail menu first, this elegant open-air restaurant is a must-visit. Right by the beach at Sandy Ground, Barrel Stay offers candlelit dining to die for with handmade sushi rolls, blackened salmon, creole lobster and unmissable conch fritters. Skip dessert and dive straight into the cocktail menu afterwards – where the sinfully creamy banana cabana piles in Baileys, Kahlua, rum, banana, cream, cinnamon and nutmeg are all whizzed together in a blender to make one heck of a cocktail.
Celebrating a proposal or marriage or just the fact you’ve been clever enough to head to Anguilla on holiday? This restaurant – set in a treehouse-style building above Sandy Ground – is the only place to do it. Spoil yourself with the five-course tasting menu which features innovative, flavour-packed foods from around the world savoured as a gentle breeze ripples through the restaurant. Eat on the terrace if you can for dinner under the stars.
Only open on Friday and Saturday, B&D’s is a much-loved barbeque shack every local you meet will tell you not to miss. The open tent is next to owner Bernice’s own home in Long Bay and diners get a paper plate loaded with rice, coleslaw, ribs, lobster or chicken to eat on garden chairs nearby. Get there early for the biggest choice and be sure to order the johnnycakes – huge flaky fried bread – to mop up the sauces.
Every A-lister you can think of has dined at Jacala so be sure to book well in advance if you hope to eat here as it only hosts a mere 35 people. Overlooking the icing sugar sand of Meads Bay, the intimate fine dining delight serves impeccable French food with attentive service to match. Try lobster soup or tuna tartare before a fillet mignon so perfect it will melt in your mouth. Honestly, it really is that good.
Shoal Bay East might be one of the best beaches on the island with its Tiffany-turquoise water and powdery bone-white sand, but that’s not all it has going for it. Elodia’s is a simple wooden shack wedged under the palm trees that makes beach dining an art form. Tuck into burgers, barbecue chicken, shrimp and salad washed down with a rum punch chock-full of ice, then settle down for a post-lunch doze on one of the restaurant’s beach loungers.
Only Anguilla could have not one but two tiny islands devoted to dining. Just like Scilly Cay, the tiny sandbank is marooned in the middle of the ocean, around two miles off Sandy Ground beach with jaw-dropping 360-degree sea views. Pick up the shuttle boat from Sandy Ground then spend the day snorkelling, lazing on the sand and listening to reggae – before feasting on the freshest seafood imaginable.
Need a place to stay during your Anguilla stay? Book one of the best hotels or one of the best villas in Anguilla now with Culture Trip. Fill your itinerary by seeing these reasons why you should visit Anguilla.
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