A guide to food and drink in Antigua
Though Antigua‘s foodie scene has expanded to include a number of European, American and even Asian flavours – think shawarma and kebabs – the majority of venues across the island serve up local dishes. Antiguan restaurants come in all shapes and sizes, though you’re likely to stay as close to the waterfront as possible during your Antigua holidays. Just because you’re eating doesn’t mean you have to skimp on the views.
Worldly wine at C&C Wine Bar, St John's
There’s a lot more than just wine at C&C. You can dine light with starter plates of coconut shrimp and salt cod cakes or go big with platters of lasagne or seared tuna salad.
The wine is definitely worth naming the restaurant after though, as the bottles originate from around the island and all the way to South Africa. As for the setting, C&C is tucked away in a quiet pavilion amid St John’s downtown area. Things get more than a little lively on the weekend, when karaoke is introduced.
Endless elegance at Sheer Rock's, Saint Mary's
The name of this restaurant sort of gives it away – as you might have guessed, it’s nestled along the waterfront above some, yes, sheer rocks. It has all the makings of an incredible island retreat, with sea-facing cabanas, sunbeds and a little plunge pool from which you can sip a cocktail before moving onto your main course. That’s where the gourmet aspect comes in, with dishes like seafood stew and a selection of tapas. It’s even worth just popping in for cocktails and a prime view of the sunset.
Takeaways from Roti King, St John's
Roti King might be a little hole in the wall, but that’s often where some of the best and most authentic food can come from in a holiday destination. The menu here is pretty basic, but what they do, they do well. On offer are a range of roti options – including conch roti – plus takeaway bites like burgers, hot dogs and chips. A variety of curries are also available to order, plus local fruit juice and beer, along with the Antiguan speciality sea moss drink.
Meat heaven at Flatties Flame Grill, English Harbour
Carnivores will find nirvana at Flatties Flame Grill, where meat reigns supreme. And we’re not just talking one type of meat – this grill serves a variety of meats by the barrel-full.
With flavours hailing from Portugal and South Africa, Flatties offers everything from ribs to lobster, biltong to mussels, plus chicken and sausages all seasoned to perfection. What’s more is, they make all of their seasonings and sauces in house, so the fare has a real home-cooked feel and taste to it. This is only added to by the seating arrangements – at Flatties, you’ll be stationed at wooden benches out front with your fellow carnivores.
Exploring Antigua's delicacies
Antiguan fare follows other Caribbean islands in that the cuisine is heavy on seafood, grains and spices. If you want variety during your Caribbean holiday, look no further than the island’s huge array of fresh fruit drinks. Here, you can expect everything from coconut milk to raspberry, mango, tamarind or hibiscus juice.
The national dish of Antigua is fungie – pronounced foon-jee – which is a kind of dumpling made from polenta. Other dishes you’re likely to come across are saltfish and a sweet potato and coconut dumpling called ducana, along with plates from Antigua’s Caribbean neighbours like jerk chicken and roti.
Scaled-back gourmet at Catherine's Cafe Place, English Harbour
Catherine’s Cafe is quite literally right on the waterfront, with tables wedged into the sand. It might give off vibes of a laid-back beach shack, but looks can be deceiving.
This tiny spot actually offers some of the freshest and most gourmet bites on the island. The food is consistently prepared to a crazy level of excellence, with dishes like steak tartare and lobster risotto on the menu. It’s enough to give any casual lunch that extra dash of sophistication.