Anguilla Dining

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Anguilla Dining
Anguilla's culinary reputation is known throughout the Caribbean, with fine-dining giants like CuisinArt, barefoot hangouts like Elvis' Beach Bar, food trucks that pop up all over the island, and a barbecue culture that reveres local pit masters.
By Flash Parker, AFAR Ambassador
Photo by Flash Parker
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    Traditional Caribbean Cuisine
    At Jacala, grilled lobster and Scrub Island crayfish are menu staples, and brilliantly represent Anguilla's culinary heritage. Hungry's Food Van has the ultimate grab-and-go taste of Anguilla in its hearty seafood soups, including one version made with lobster. Straw Hat sits on one of the country's most pristine beaches at Meads Bay, and offers a menu with Anguillan favorites (like grilled crayfish with rice and peas) as well as other creative Caribbean dishes.
    Photo by Flash Parker
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    Weekend Food Stalls and Pop-Ups
    Sleepy Anguilla comes to life on the weekends, with a number of pop-ups and food trucks catering to those who are out and about. Many stalls open at the People’s Market (a great place to buy fresh produce) near the school library; pig-tail soup, goat water, roti, jerk chicken, and other island delicacies are fired up on the ubiquitous oil-drum grills. Look for Hungry’s, a food truck that parks near the post office on weekends. Ken's BBQ is a sure bet for the island's best ribs (as well as other grilled meats), served with sides of fries and garlic bread.
    Photo by Flash Parker
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    The Finest Dining
    Anguilla's upscale culinary scene is remarkable. From beachside gourmet restaurants like Straw Hat, serving Anguillan grilled crayfish in style near the shore, to Veya, featuring chef Carrie Bogar's Mediterranean-inflected "cuisine of the sun," this tiny island provides big choices. If you're craving French grub that's full of flavor, Jacala doesn't disappoint, with options ranging from filet mignon to lobster-stuffed chicken breast.   

    Photo by Flash Parker
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    Dinner and Live Music
    The pub grub at the Pumphouse, in the Old Salt Factory, is tremendous—the nachos make a great sharing plate—and live music shakes the walls just about every night. Elvis' Beach Bar at Sandy Ground serves lunch and dinner, with lively Caribbean and reggae acts most evenings and the occasional jazz set on weekends; it now also includes a Mexican menu. Dune Preserve, hidden away on Rendezvous Bay next to CuisinArt, is the stomping ground for reggae legend Bankie Banx; the stage and the bar are repurposed from old boats, and there's both a barbecue shack and a restaurant dishing up traditional island fare on the premises.
    Photo by Flash Parker
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    Seafood Favorites
    Anguilla's seafood is magnificent, and many chefs—such as those at Straw Hat—pride themselves on plating up traditional favorites like grilled fish and peas, fish-and-chips, blackened-lobster salad, and shrimp tacos. Jacala's open-air restaurant is the quintessential seaside eatery: no frills, just down-to-earth grub like local crayfish from the grill, or conch chowder. Veya presents tough choices to guests—grilled lobster with a passion-fruit-mustard sauce, or Vietnamese-style crispy calamari?—while Hungry's Food Van will surprise you with its lobster soup.
    Photo by Flash Parker
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    Roadside Eats
    Seconds after arriving in Anguilla, you'll zip past your first roadside barbecue shack; before you know it, you'll be shoulder to shoulder with locals, sinking your teeth into smoky oil-drum chicken, pork, or lobster. Ken's BBQ in The Valley is always lively, but particularly on weekends, when it sends out food late into the night. B&D's BBQ has become a favorite among visiting celebrities, while Momo's, a little out of the way in Rendezvous Bay, serves fantastic chicken and ribs.
    Photo by Flash Parker
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    Rustic and Chill Beachside Eats
    Head to Meads Bay and find a seat at Straw Hat, an unpretentious beach-fronted restaurant known for its creative island cuisine, sweeping views, and chilled-out atmosphere. Order grilled crayfish and a cold beverage, and settle in by the sea. Jacala is another blissfully relaxing spot on Meads Bay. In Sandy Ground, the Pumphouse has surprisingly tasty dishes, from pastas to seafood, with equally tempting cold drinks. Kick off your shoes as you wander down to the shoreline by Dune Preserve on Rendezvous Bay, and get a couple of plates to share; the fish fingers and fried shrimp are delicious starters, while the curried goat and onion rings are presented as a hearty and humble island classic.
    Photo by Chris Caldicott/age fotostock