Eating out: Restaurants on Antigua

I'm not the gourmet type of person, and a vegetarian on top of that. I'll try to disperse some useful information here but many of you may have different opinions - feel free to share them with me.

Fast Food

The only fast food chain present on Antigua is Kentucky Fried Chicken. They have two branches, one in "downtown" St. John's (on the corner of Thames and High street) and one on Fort Road just north of the city. The latter is a drive-in; the former is often crowded, especially during lunchtime. A reader pointed out that he also spotted a Subway branch while on vacation in early 2006.


Mid East Fast Food (large)
An excellent fast food place is Mid East Fast Food on Newgate Street, just a few yards from the cathedral. They have vegetarian Falafel sandwiches and other good stuff (chicken and lamb). Pricing is very reasonsable. Don't be deterred by the somewhat downtrodden exterior, I had lunch there over 20 times and was never disappointed (nor sick). It's also very nice to buy something "to go" and then sit on somebody's grave in the cathedral's churchyard. Nice view, plus everybody does it. There are a number of Chinese Fast Food places along Church Street but I never tried one of them. A reader told me that he found the food to be excellent and the amounts copious, a full menu for about EC$&nbps;7.

Pizza


 A "small" pizza at
 Big Banana (large)
One of my favourite restaurants on Antigua is the Big Banana Pizza place. Their main restaurant is on Redcliffe Street (Redcliffe Quay), and they also have a branch at the airport. The menu differs slightly. In the city branch, they offer a "slice of pizza", a "10 inch", a "small", a "medium" and a "large" pizza. The "small" is enough for the hungriest individual - for a standard lunch break, you're better of with a 10 inch or maybe even a slice. They also have lots of other foods, including good salads, reasonable pasta and sandwich dishes, and excellent Lime Squash (the local lemonade flavour). It can become quite noisy here, especially if a cruise ship has just released 1000+ people at the nearby pier. The airport branch has air conditioning and not much more charme than the average airport restaurant; the city branch offers outside seating under a tent roof. They also do deliveries, but don't hold your breath!

There's also a pizza place at the eastern end of St. Mary's street, where the pizza is quite ok but rather expensive.

A third pizza place is located in English Harbour, on the right hand side just after passing the Marina (going in the direction of Nelson's dockyard). It's not too comfortable but the pizza is good.

And last but not least there's "Paris Pizza", a Pizzeria and Steakhouse located in the North of the Island. Leave St. John's by Fort Road and go North until the road bends to the right and goes uphill (ca. 1710'N); follow the road a bit further, and you'll find Paris Pizza on the left hand side. The seating is quite nice (with a little pond inside), the prices are not exactly cheap but the food is very good.

Local Cuisine

In St. John's especially, there are a huge number of local restaurants which often offer only a few standard dishes and mainly serve lunches. Chicken and rice is very popular, but often you can also ask them to prepare something (being a vegetarian, I often asked for rice and mixed vegetables, and was seldom disappointed). One of those is Claudia's Place on Long Street (between Church Lane and Cross Street). There's a vegetarian restaurant called Natural Nyams on Cross Street (between St Mary's and Redcliffe), offering rasta food mixed with a healthy dose of ideologies (rasta, Christian, and other). It is worth a visit, but it's a breakfast and lunch place only.

There's also the Commissioner Grill on the harbour end of St Mary's or Redcliffe Street (not sure). They have limited outside seating, and if you're inside, make sure not to sit beneath one of the huge fans ;-)

Others

Hemingway's near Redcliffe Quay offers very nice first floor outside seating (with a view of the large cruise ships and the tourists emerging from them...) and reasonably priced light food (salads, burgers, sandwiches).

Chutney's is an Indian/Caribbean restaurant in the medium price range, on the right hand sinde of Fort Road when leaving St. John's.


Amigos (large)
If you want to sip a Margherita or munch your Tacos while watching the sunset, there's no better place than the Mexican Amigos at Runaway Bay, not far from the casino. (Well, it's more Texan than Mexican but they do try.) - Not far away from that there's also the Lobster Pot, but I can't say anything about that because I never went there.

Dinner at the Coconut Grove was excellent, while a colleague of mine found the breakfast buffet a bit "boring". The hotel lies on the road leading East from Dickenson Bay (the same road that also leads to Paris Pizza and Putters).

The Home Restaurant is on the northern outskirts of St. John's and offers local as well as international cooking; it is owned by a German-Antiguan couple, it's a little on the expensive side, and they have their own web site at www.thehomerestaurant.com.

If someone else pays

There are a few restaurants on Antigua where you probably want to avoid two things: (a) to turn up there in shorts and sandals, and (b) to pick up the tab. I have only tasted two of them, although if you hear somebody talking about places like "Coco's" or "Catherine's", they probably fall into this category as well. If you are there during any type of "season", booking a table may be advisable.


 Julian's (large)
First, there's Le Bistro, a French restaurant in the North of the island. There are road signs almost everywhere; the restaurant is located just off the main road between the airport and the village of Cedar Grove, near Jabberwock Beach. It's a nice setting and the food is good.

Then, there's Julian's, where the English chef makes you forget anything you may have heard about the British way of cooking. The restaurant is located in St. John's, on the corner of Church Street and Corn Alley. Seating is available indoors and outdoors, plus there's a nice cocktail bar above the restaurant (see the Nightlife page). [Julian's is currently closed.]

Last Not Least

Be sure to read my Nightlife page, as some places listed there also offer food.

From my experience, all restaurants in the city of St. John's tend to close for Sunday, while the ones further afield are often open. Many are not open all year round (the South, especially, tends to dry out during hurricane season).

Here's a map with some of the places mentioned.


  Frederik Ramm, 2006-03-09