Antigua W.I. Restaurants


We have been taking our family now to Antigua for just on 25 years and so much do we like it that we have actually got a small home there on the northwest coast of the Island. Up until the last few years the one (and pretty much only) thing we did not like about the Island was the fact that there was not really a great range of good restaurants in which to eat. There were one or two that were quite superb and still are amongst the best in the Caribbean. However, after that, not a lot. Now it has all changed and there are three that deserve highlighting, each one providing a good reason to visit this Island Paradise.


Cafe Bambula

Cafe Bambula is a delightful courtyard cafe restaurant in the heart of bustling St. John’s offering a daily changing menu and a top notch drinks list including plenty of good wines by the glass. Cafe Bambula is really a lunchtime place with lunchtimes often lasting well into the afternoon and early evening! Lunchtime cooking is generally the responsibility of Daphne who is unbelievably good. Her tarragon roasted chicken is a dish I still remember till this day. Only the best ingredients are used featuring plenty of local fish and shellfish. Everything is cooked fresh and to order so sometimes things take a while, but it never seems to matter at Bambula. Cafe Bambula is open daily for lunch (except Sunday) and once a week on a Friday night for dinner, and advance booking is a must for the cooking as either co-owner Hugh or guest chef Julian (proprietor of the much missed Julian’s in St. John’s and Julian’s Al Fresco in Dickenson Bay).




Cecilia’s High Point Cafe has been going a couple of years now and has become an absolute magnet for locals and expats in the know. A few intrepid tourists make it there, and are well rewarded for their journey. Cecilia’s is located in Dutchman’s Cove which is directly opposite the landing stage for the Jumby Bay ferry. We see quite a few refugees from Jumby Bay cuisine in Cecilia’s, and that is saying something! Cecilia’s is open five days a week for lunch and just one day a week (Monday’s for dinner) so to get a dinner reservation is tough, but well worth it. Former international model Cecilia welcomes you to the veranda of her charming home which she has created into her cafe. On a recent visit I enjoyed a simple, but superb appetiser of warm lentil salad with red beets topped with creamy goats cheese. This was followed by hot home smoked salmon with an inspired cream dill sauce, garden peas served in a nest of lettuce and saute potatoes. Simple, but terrific. The menu changes daily for lunch and weekly for dinner. The short wine list is impressive and not too badly priced. Locals will tell you that Cecilia’s is expensive, but I really do not think it is.

Catherine’s Cafe

Catherine’s Cafe has been doing good business on the dockside of English Harbour in the south of the Island now for about ten years. The biggest difference is that Catherine herself moved on a couple of years ago, and the new owners have done what many would have thought the impossible, and make Catherine’s Cafe far, far better than ever it was. Catherine’s is open in the season for lunch and dinner, but really the meal that everybody goes to at Catherine’s is Sunday lunch. The setting is beyond compare, and now the quality and range on the menu match the surroundings. The last time we all started with an absolutely immaculate warm poached Lobster salad on a bed of beautifully dressed leaves. To follow I enjoyed a fabulous slow cooked leg of lamb, whilst my wife enjoyed a perfectly prepared French roast beef, and our friend had the trio of fish which included snapper, king fish, and jumbo shrimp. Catherine’s has a great wine list although most regulars do not stray too far from the ubiquitous rose in the blue bottle the ‘Clos Beylesse’. At the same time as improving everything the new owners of Catherine’s have also made the bills a lot more bearable. A visit to Antigua is not complete without a visit to Catherine’s Cafe.