For years, Anguilla lived in the shadow of its much smaller—though notoriously swankier—neighbor, St. Barts. More recently, Anguilla has made headlines for its upscale resorts, pristine white-sand beaches, and its diverse and delicious culinary scene. The island’s exceptional dining scene was a well-kept secret for years—one that rivaled any in the Caribbean, including St. Barts. Today, the island’s food is as much of a tourism draw as its picturesque stretches of surf and sand.
Anguilla’s upscale dining scene is led by four standout establishments. Veya features a menu made up of an eclectic mix of fusion fare cooked up by New York City transplants. Blanchards, a beachfront restaurant that opened its doors more than two decades ago, specializes in contemporary Caribbean cuisine. Hibernia marries French cuisine with Thai and Japanese flavors; while Straw Hat masterfully transforms comfort food into elegant dishes each night.
The island’s fine-dining restaurants might be attracting most of the attention these days, but Anguilla’s casual eateries are no less spectacular. Leading the way is Scilly Cay Restaurant, a beach bar that serves only four items, barbecued chicken, lobster, crayfish, or fresh-caught fish, and pairs them with a mean rum punch along with other expertly mixed Caribbean libations. What makes Scilly Cay so unique is that it’s set on a tiny coral island with a small sandy beach that is only accessible via a free ferry ride from the village of Island Harbour. To get there, simply walk to the end of the dock in Island Harbour and, as the owners say on the restaurant’s website, “wave like an idiot to the island, we’ll spot you and be there in a jiffy.” Just remember, the restaurant is only open for lunch on Wednesdays and Sundays. For those seeking an equally intimate beach bar experience any day of the week, the Half Shell Beach Bar at the Four Seasons Anguilla is guaranteed to satisfy. The lunch menu includes standout dishes like tarragon-black pepper poached shrimp, spiny lobster rolls, and grilled red snapper with candied plantains.
As one might expect, however, the resort offers a complete range of dining options, including the Sunset Lounge, which specializes in Asian flavors and offers a vast array of sushi dishes; Bamboo Bar & Grill, which serves up Mediterranean flavors; and Coba, the property’s signature fine-dining restaurant, which offers dramatic views of both Barnes Bay and Meads Bay and allows guests to custom-order plates of ceviche.
The Four Seasons Anguilla’s vast array of indulgent food is not limited to only visitors or hotel guests; owners of the resort’s new residences have full access to the resort’s restaurants as well as in-room dining and catering. The various homes—which range in size from cozy, 870-square-foot, one-bedroom retreats to sprawling 9,500-square-foot, five-bedroom villas—are all brand new and are the only resort-managed residences on the island.