Scilly Cay, Anguilla

Anguilla: Best Beaches for Lunchtime Lazing

7 Days of Beachy Lunches in Anguilla

At the Frangipani, we’re fortunate that we’re smack-dab in the middle of gorgeous Meads Bay. It’s easy enough to spend an entire week lazing under a palapa here, but for those looking to get out and explore you’ll want to pick your beaches wisely if you’re not toting your own beach chairs.  The same goes for villa renters on the island that often times don’t have easy beach access from their front door. Unlike some other islands where you’re likely to see a sea of beach towels strewn around the beach, that’s an incredibly rare sight here.

There are a number of wonderful restaurants in Anguilla that provide beach chairs for guests that dine and drink with them, and for many guests to the island (and locals for that matter!) this ends up providing an excellent opportunity to see and enjoy a range of beaches during a getaway. If you have 7 days in Anguilla, here are a selection of great lunch spots that provide wonderful dining, beach chairs and a great atmosphere.

Da ‘Vida | Crocus Bay

da Vida, Anguilla

1da ‘Vida is just edged out slightly by Straw Hat as my favorite lunch spot on the island. In my opinion, it really is one of the best spots for great food, great value + awesome beach service. Their chairs aren’t rickety plastic chairs that you’ll find many places (not that there’s anything wrong with those); these are super plush, comfy loungers that deserve poolside status at a luxury resort. Lunch is divine, service is generally attentive and quick, and you’ll have the added benefit of being a short boat ride or kayak away from Little Bay if you want to head over and take a peek. Musts include the seafood wrap or mahi salad + a frozen mojito.

$15 – $20 for lunch + $10 each for cocktails

The Sunshine Shack | Rendezvous Bay

Sunshine Shack, Rendezvous Bay

2Garvey, the owner and operator at the Sunshine Shack, is nearly reason enough to head to Rendezvous Bay. A personal friend of ours (he bartended our wedding!), his charming personality and wicked blender skills keep you coming back for more. He’s done something pretty great at the Sunshine Shack and for that reason it’s often a go-to when we have friends and family in town. A simple white shack on the middle of Rendezvous Bay (look for the rasta handprints on the shack!), he grills up chicken, ribs and fish and keeps the coolers of beer headed your way for a cool down. He’ll set you up with a chair and a table, and you can easily laze the day away here. Alongside of Meads Bay, Rendezvous is a personal favorite of mine – a gorgeous long stretch of beach that’s relatively undeveloped. If you want a sweet concoction, try Garvey’s BBC (Bailey’s Banana Colada) – it’s my grandma’s personal favorite, and she’d never lead you astray.

$18 – $25 for lunch, drinks from $8+

Blanchard’s Beach Shack | Meads Bay

Blanchard's Beach Shack, ANguilla

3 Blanchard’s Beach Shack is arguably the most kid-friendly place on the entire island when it comes to lunch. Serving up burgers, street tacos, sandwiches and frozen yogurt (+ root beer floats!), kids and adults have a hard time resisting at least one lunch – and maybe a dinner! – at the shack. Their menu is huge by most lunch standards and everyone’s nearly guaranteed to find something that hits the spot. Enjoy lunch under umbrellas or head down the beach to use their beach chairs for the day. Vegetarians: their house-made veggie burger and their goat cheese salad are both great options!

$8 – $15 for lunch

Straw Hat | Meads Bay

Straw Hat Anguilla

4People think I’m biased when I say this, but Straw Hat is my favorite lunch on the island.  My order is the same every time I eat there (Greek salad, no onions, dressing on the side), and I leave each time raving about it like I’ve never tasted it before. Besides the food which I genuinely think is the best value for the experience and quality, there’s the beach. You’re plopped right in the middle of Meads Bay and get to laze away with refreshing cocktails on the sand (try the ‘Cool Me Off’) . Everything about Straw Hat is excellent – service, food, location, and general atmosphere. A++. Other musts: their spicy fish sandwich is fabulous, and their tuna flatbread is a must all day, every day (it’s my favorite appetizer on the island).

$15 – $25 for lunch, $9+ for cocktails

Smokey’s | Cove Bay

Smokey's, Cove Bay

5Smokey’s was always a Saturday lunch spot in my mind. With live music by the Musical Brothers, beachfront location, beach chairs at your disposal, and a great value lunch, it’s a tough spot to beat. That being said, this isn’t only a Saturday lunch spot, and in fact if you prefer to find tranquility away from the crowds, go on any day but Saturday for the best chance of a relaxing day on the beach. There’s a volleyball net that’s generally set up, cornhole boards if you want to get a game going, and beach chairs for lounging. If you’re ordering a rum punch, opt for their ‘special rum punch’ for an extra kick. For meat eaters, their burgers get thumbs up from guests (I can’t attest).

$10 – $20 for lunch, $8+ for cocktails

Trattoria Tramonto | Shoal Bay West

Trattoria Tramonto

6I visited Trattoria a few weeks back and found myself utterly impressed. It had been so long since I’d been out that way that I had simply forgotten how stunning the scene is: a beautiful view of St. Martin in the distance, chairs perfectly set on the beach with umbrellas, and a breezy open air space for lunchtime dining. I’m not one for pasta at lunchtime, but their grilled vegetarian sandwich hits the spot for something delectable on the beach.

$15 – $25 for lunch, $8+ for cocktails

Off-Island Cays | Scilly Cay, Prickly Pear + Sandy Island

Scilly Cay, Anguilla

7For a truly memorable experience, there’s nothing like jetting off to one of Anguilla’s off-island cays for a desert island escape. Scilly Cay, Prickly Pear and Sandy Island all offer lunch options on tiny spits of sand that make you feel like you’ve stumbled into a postcard. Everyone has their favorite for one reason or another, and my personal favorite is Scilly Cay (followed by Prickly Pear and then Sandy Island). All of the islands offer beach chairs (I believe Sandy Island’s are at a cost) for lazing away in the sun. Scilly Cay’s food, while expensive, is extraordinarily good, and their rum punches are dangerously strong  – beware, they sneak up on you! Lunch at Prickly Pear is surprisingly affordable for the experience, and they also serve up wonderfully delicious frozen cocktails for $6 – $8 each (the mango colada is absurdly good). Sandy Island offers some good off-the-beach snorkeling for those looking to work off their lunch with a swim!

Scilly Cay: $40 – $75 for lunch, $5 rum punch {open Wednesdays and Sundays only; live music on Sundays}
Prickly Pear: $15 – $25 for lunch, $5 – $10 for cocktails
Sandy Island: $20 – $30 for lunch, $8+ for cocktails


What lunch spots are your favorite on Anguilla? Any great beachy lunch locales that I’m leaving off this list?

xo from Anguilla,

Shannon Kircher, The Wanderlust Effect

More about Shannon Kircher

Shannon Kircher is the founder and editor of The Wanderlust Effect, formerly The Traveling Scholar. Founded in 2009, she has continued to document her international escapes as an expat in Europe and the Caribbean. She is a former resident of London and San Francisco and now calls the island of Anguilla home. In addition to The Wanderlust Effect, Shannon is the Director of Marketing for the Frangipani Beach Resort and is on the Board of Directors of the Omololu International School in Anguilla.

  • EllenLV

    Nice post Shannon, permission to repost on TA please

    • Of course, Ellen! Thank you for asking – hopefully it’ll be useful for other visitors to the island!

      • Mdn

        HI all, We are returning to Anguilla! Last time we swam with the dolphins, off of a cruise from St Martin.
        This time off of a cruise again- April 8th. We will be docked in St.Martin from 8-5PM. Want to go back to Anguilla- albeit only for several hrs. again. Can you suggest transportation….ferry and taxi? Back to Beautiful Shoals Bay? Are there lounge chairs to be rented on Shoals Bay? Somewhere to get lunch? Is it still desolate? Thanks for the good advice-friends.
        Regards
        MDN

        • Hi Mdn,

          You’ll definitely have time to pop over again, and may be interested in seeing a different beach if you’ve already seen Shoal Bay. You may like Meads Bay, which is a stunner, and can eat at Straw Hat or Blanchard’s Beach Shack and get a chair for the afternoon. Alternatively, a great spot for lunch and beach time is da’ Vida at Crocus Bay. You can even take a little boat to Little Bay from there to experience it — it’s gorgeous ($10 – $15 for the boat ride). I hope that helps!

          • Mdn

            Hi Shannon,
            Thanks for the info. How would you suggest we get from the cruise pier in St Martin, to the beaches suggested in Anguilla.
            Thanks again.

          • Hi Mdn,

            You have a few options: public ferry, private ferry or fly. The private ferries (GB Express, Calypso, Funtime, etc.) leave from the airport on the Dutch side at designated times; the public ferry leaves from Marigot on the French side every 45 minutes. The public ferry is much more cost-effective and probably makes more sense for you guys, all things considered. Cab to the terminal and go from there!

  • Cara Manley Turner

    Wonderful post, we are looking forward to our upcoming trip. We will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary and staying at Frangipani. Do you have any recommendations for a massage or another way we should spend that day?

    • Ohhh, exciting! Looking forward to seeing you! If you guys want to get out on the water, we offer guests a beach hopping boat trip which is a total blast! If you want something more traditional, we can get you in touch with the team at Tradition Sailing (www.tradition-sailing.com/) for a 1/2 day cruise on a traditional sail boat! Either of those are a really memorable addition to your day… and massages are always a good idea! For a special dinner, our go-tos are Veya, Dolce Vita or Straw Hat! 🙂

      • Cara Manley Turner

        Thank you for the wonderful suggestions Shannon! Counting down the days until we are back in AXA!

  • Bruce Ferguson

    We can’t wait to come back and visit all of the places you listed. Couldn’t agree more with your selections and your reviews! See you in a few weeks!

    • Hi Bruce,

      See you in a few weeks! The sun is shining and there are plenty of beach bars waiting for you and the fam! 🙂