A Culinary Tour of Antigua

Antigua has forever been famous for its 365 breathtaking beaches and true tropical charm, but let’s not let that eclipse the fact that this slice of paradise is making a name for itself as the culinary cornerstone of the Caribbean.

We circumnavigated the 108 miles costal route around the island to bring you Antigua’s best waterfront restaurants.

Catherine’s Cafe, English Harbour

We begin our gastronomic orbit at the southern peninsular of Antigua. And where better to start than Catherine’s Café, a French inspired icon of the island, perfectly nestled in the nook of Pigeon Point beach.

Welcomed by a live band and a prime spot on the beach, we know we’re off to a great start. A generous serving of caviar-covered crème fraiche blinis is washed down with ice-cold flutes of Ruinart (well it would be rude not to).

Onto the Fruits de Mer platter which is almost too tasty to share and stacked high with fresh scallop ceviche, mussels, oysters, lobster, shrimp, clams and all your other favourite crustaceans.

For mains, we opted for Catherine’s catch of the day, a wise choice indeed, being that today is Mahi Mahi day. Our fish came in burnished bronze flawless flakes of perfection and was partnered with corn ribs drenched in garlic butter accompanied by lip-smacking, super sticky honey-glazed blistered plantain. Tender Madeira braised lamb shank, speared with rosemary and perched next to perfect pommes frites, drops dutifully off the bone. 

The only way to round off this otherworldly offering is with the Sour Cherry Baked Alaska, filled with pistachio ice cream, dusted with brown sugar and worth every calorie. 

A time was had! But when your dinner table is a sunbed and the dress code is ‘bikini’, Catherine’s is impossible not to enjoy.



Sheer Rocks, Bolans Village

Venturing west, our next stop is a cliffy climb to the Mediterranean inspired Sheer Rocks restaurant, near Ffryes Beach.

As we huff and puff our way up the steep bougainvillea draped steps, nothing prepares us for what is in store. Built into a cliff face, Sheer Rocks truly is a sight to behold with the view stretching out as far afield as neighbouring island, Montserrat. In such a spectacular location it’s hard to focus on the food but somehow we manage.  There’s a strong emphasis on local farmers and fisherman and the delicious local produce is served up here wherever possible.

The Sheer Rocks ‘lunch rock pool experience’ includes welcome cocktail, tapas, a cabana and your own rock pool, just in case you fancy a dip, mid mezze. The ‘tapas journey’ begins with a light and citrusy Yellowfin Tuna Tartare, delicately beer battered Lobster and Shrimp with a twang of pickled cabbage. The Buffalo Burrata is a creamy lump of oozy deliciousness and Chicken Croquettes provide perfectly seasoned spheres of flavor.

Our Spicy Lamb Meatballs have just the right amount of tingle. The Miso-baked Aubergine complements glazed sticky pork, bathed in green papaya. And the salted caramel custard tart is a sticky symphony of sweet and savoury. Our chosen cocktails were Sheer On The Rocks – grenadine, cranberry and passion fruit vodka and of course an Old Fashion Rum Punch laced with nutmeg and cinnamon for a traditional taste.

Pick the right time of day and your food will come with a complimentary sunset, glistening off the Caribbean Sea. 



Wild Tamarind, Bolans Village

Staying west we visit luxury resort, Tamarind Hills, home to its namesake restaurant, Wild Tamarind.  After a soak in the aquarium level plunge pools we are understandably famished. Chef Antoine Poitevin’s menu is a smorgasbord of Antiguan and international flavours.

A Teepee bed, sat on a blissful stretch of beach, serves as our dining table today. The timbale of lobster sits atop a glorious stack of wobbly chipotle mayo, pico de gallo, avocado and passion fruit. Despite its lip-numbing powers, we polish off our eight-piece ultimate jerk wings platter in as many minutes. 

There’s still room for a gargantuan slab of succulent prime Angus beef with traditional sides of Johnny Cakes (fried dumplings) and rice and peas. 

Amidst a spirited dessert debate, the allure of Pineapple Carpaccio and classic Antiguan Bread pudding proves too irresistible to resist. Wisdom prevails and we decide to indulge in both, equally epic, and add a dollop of passion fruit sorbet for good measure.



The Tree House, Fort James

Next, northwest to one of Antigua’s newest offerings, The Tree House Beach Club in Fort James. With a farm-and-sea-to-table approach the Tree House is a fresh take on the island’s gastronomic guise and is committed to utilizing locally sourced ingredients and embracing eco-conscious practices. You immediately feel a sense of zen in the rustic chic timbered settings, reminiscent of Soho Farmhouse jaunt.

The Tree House’s experimental approach includes activities alongside your lunch. For those that want to get involved there’s dominos, steel pan bands, yoga, zumba and volleyball but also, there’s no pressure for those who prefer a far more relaxing affair. A highly potent Tree House bush tea cocktail was the best way to wash down our delicious trio of barbecue, jerk and peri peri chicken. We feasted on Fungee (a stalwart of Antiguan cuisine made from cornmeal and okra and perfect for soaking up sauce) and Lobster Mac n Cheese. Then there’s a hearty Pepperpot stew, another Antiguan signature dish, packed with beef brisket, okra, pumpkin, spinach and aubergine. Too stuffed for afters, we kept it short and sweet with a cute cocktail ice-lolly.


Casa Roots, Dickenson Bay

At Casa Roots, Sylvain Hervochon, brings a taste of Brittany and some French flair to the north west coast. Hervochon takes pride of place as owner and head chef alongside his wife and son at this family run restaurant with an unwavering dedication to crafting culinary delights.  A longstanding relationship with the Antiguan culture and a passion for seasonal local produce is reflected in the traditional beachfront design and the French-Caribbean fusion of flavours.

We start with a delicious Lobster salad dressed in mango yuzu, flanked with generous chunks of creamy avocado. Next up, moreish Caribbean fish tacos garnished with tangy pickled onions and flavourful house guacamole. Pork spring rolls appear in golden pastry parcels and fried sweet potato dumplings showcase the versatility of local ingredients. Award for best dessert goes to Casa Roots’ decadent Sticky Date and Banana pudding served with a cacophony of coconut ice cream and pineapple confit.

After dinner it’s a seven second stroll over to a sun lounger and an ice cold Carib on one of the best stretches of beach on the island.



Cecilia’s High Point Cafe, Dutchman Bay

Now for lunch at one of the most sought after tables in Antigua. Cecilia’s veranda upscale eatery sits on the sea’s edge with front row ocean views.

Muslin drapes billow in the north-easterly breeze and the walls are lined with local art and Helmut Newton prints. It’s the epitome of island sophistication. The cuisine is a mélange of Swedish, Italian and Mediterranean fare. Our host, former supermodel, Cecilia Nord, effortlessly glides through the restaurant greeting guests and recommending specials. The vibe is Bond girl at the beach.

We begin with an aperitif, a vesper martini – shaken not stirred, of course. A velvety linguine Vongole is nothing short of sublime and a delicately seasoned flaky Blackened snapper does a delightful dance with tangy pineapple salsa. A few scoops of Artisanal Rum and Raisin ice cream and a chilled 2022 Figuiere rosé make the perfect finalé.



Rokuni, Half Moon Bay

Our penultimate stop takes us east of Antigua up the winding roads to Asian-inspired cliff-top restaurant, Rokuni.

We’re greeted by breathtaking views, a live DJ, amazing staff and a complimentary cocktail – You know you’re off to a good start when the toughest choice of the day is choosing between the Soursop or the Avocado Colada (Rokuni’s sublime signature takes on the classic Pina Colada).

An infinity pool overlooking the beautiful east vista of the island sets stage for an unforgettable afternoon. We opted for the Omakase Feast, a must-try when dining here. Omaske is a Japanese phrase, which, loosely translates to, ‘I’ll leave it up to you’. And that we do! Entrusting our chef to bless us with a curated selection of the their finest creations.

Our first ‘blessings’ are an array of dim sum, each delicate parcel bursting with flavour. Then on to Crispy Sushi Rice, a tasty twist on a classic, followed by a fragrant Lobster Crab Tom Yum. Kimchi fries make a playful take on a beloved snack and the Pork Belly Bao provide melt in the mouth meat housed in a pillowy steamed bun. We cool off in the pool between courses with a glass of Ti Balth, a crisp and light rose from the Pays d’Oc region setting us up nicely for the next course.

The smoky and spicy flavours of Togarashi and Charcoal Soy Oyster prove as palate pleasers. There’s some new style sashimi for sushi lovers and Crispy Duck Pancakes for the traditionalists.

Sweet tooths will love the Green Tea Crème Brûlée; a perfect balance of creamy custard and earthy matcha, and the Milk Ice cream with pistachio melts over a marvellous mound of Miso Chocolate Fondant. Did we mention the infinity pool? And the DJ? And the Coladas? Rokuni is the ultimate sensory journey for those seeking an adventure for the taste buds and the soul.



Colibri, English Harbour

And where better to end than where we began, south of the island.  And Colibri seems a fitting swan song.  Set in a traditional Caribbean cottage in English Harbour, Colibri’s buzzy restaurant of packed diners overflows into a lovely little oasis set in their private garden. 

French Creole cuisine is lovingly prepared in this family owned bistro. Owner, Didier Deleau and his wife, Leah are kind enough to talk us through the dishes on their daily-changing menu. And a cabana bar is on hand to make sure our glasses are never empty.

A fish-lovers feast ensues with the Guadeloupe saltfish fritters cooked to perfection. A heart warming aged-rum infused Lobster Bisque is a packed with a boozy punch, brings warmth and depth to a French classic. The Wahoo a la Tahitienne comes beautifully balanced braise of coconut milk, lime juice and chives. 

The piece de resistance comes in the form of the Moules Gratinees. Sighs of delight are the only thing to break the silence as we dig into these breadcrumbed, open-face, plump, juicy black mussels, drowning in parsley chilli butter. You’ll need an extra order of bread to soak every last drop.

We cap off our evening, and our trip, in theatrical style with a coconut crepe suzette for some fitting flambéed drama.



Antigua, thank you for leaving such a lasting impression on our hearts (and our waistlines)!