Food at  1919 at the Vanderbilt Condado, Puerto Rico, Caribbean

1919 at the Vanderbilt Condado

Mingle with the locals at the bar of this historic hotel. The Vanderbilt’s flagship restaurant, 1919, occupies what was the setting for society weddings, balls and major events for generations of San Juan’s elite. After back-to-back Michelin-starred culinary projects that also earned him the title Chef de l’Avenir (Chef of the Future) by the International Academy of Gastronomy, Juan Jose Cuevas returned to Puerto Rico to be executive chef at 1919.

Dishes are avant-garde adaptations of traditional preparations (Puerto Rican phrases are sometimes in quotes to indicate variation) or global cuisine mainstays like Tuna Sashimi. Menu descriptions are minimal but flavors are big; choose pre-fixe or à la carte for both lunch and dinner. Reservations are highly recommended.

Food at Aqua Pazza, Harbour Island, Caribbean


This restaurant on a marina outside of town is unpretentious and laid-back. The Italian-inspired seafood menu is very good, and the restaurant, on the island’s southwestern coast, is a nice spot for watching the sunset.

Amis St. Barth's

Yellow fin tartare, smoked wahoo, Burgundy escargots, mahi mahi and the daily local catch may be on the menu at this sophisticated restaurant at Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa, with comfortably chic banquette seating, open walls and pretty views of the cove. The crisp white color scheme and high beamed ceiling are punctuated with an enormous handblown blue glass sculpture from France that hangs over the room, echoing the surrounding sea (and pieces throughout the property). When we were there last, the soundtrack at dinner was a little aggressive (who knew there was a dance mix version of Michael McDonald’s “Ride like the wind?”), but a new chef—Vincent Gomis and his wife, sous chef Marie Cécile Gomis-Alexandre—have introduced a Chef's Table and Experience Tables for those looking for something extra special. For lunch, on-trend salads with quinoa and kale, poke bowls and sandwiches can be ordered at Amis Plage. The kids’ menu includes Nuggets Poulet, Poisson du jour, steak haché and a scoop of glacé or sorbet. The staff is attentive and friendly, though things can get busy quickly, so order early to avoid a rush.

Exterior View - Apsara, St. Lucia, Caribbean


A bit of history: after slavery on St. Lucia was outlawed in 1838, thousands of indentured workers were brought over from India, and many eventually settled here. Apsara, the candlelit beachside restaurant at the Anse Chastanet resort, reflects this diversity, with a menu that’s primarily Indian with local influences. Most of the meat and breads are prepared in a tandoor oven. Dessert might include tandoori-baked pineapple and masala coffee mousse. The easiest way to get to the restaurant (it’s open to non-guests) is by water taxi. Reservations are recommended.

Food at Arthur's Bakery, Harbour Island, Caribbean

Arthur’s Bakery

Owned by Harbour Island transplant Robert Arthur, this bakery is where locals come for breakfast. Arthur’s signatures include jalapeño loaf, frozen Key lime pie, lattes, pineapple muffins, lobster sandwiches and banana nut bread.

Outdoor Lounge at Atelier, Havana, Caribbean


Located in a residential area just down the street from a primary school, Atelier could be mistaken for a well-kept villa. (In fact, a Cuban senator formerly lived here.) The foyer features antique furniture on which artifacts such as an antique typewriter, ceramic bird lamps and adding machines are artfully juxtaposed with vibrant modern paintings.

In the airy dining room and back terraces diners choose their meals from daily menus written on ration cards, which—considering that they often feature duck and lobster—can seem like a political statement. While the offerings change daily, delicious seafood and meat with exotic twists are always in the cards6. With cool lounge areas on the terraces, there is a hip factor to Atelier that signals it is one of the new breed of paladares.

Editors' Picks
Dinning Area at Baci, Turks & Caicos, Caribbean


This low-key Italian eatery overlooks the Turtle Cove Marina and draws both tourists and locals. Take-out is also available.

Facade at Bagatelle, St. Barth's, Caribbean


Manhattan’s Bagatelle landed in Gustavia harbor in 2011 and has since become a mainstay of the St. Barth’s nightlife scene. Surprising critics, the food is downright good, while the crowd is exactly what you’d expect – good looking, fun loving and definitely not price sensitive. There are a few outdoor tables on the small terrace overlooking the harbor, which are ideal for couples in search of a quieter evening. To be a part of the DJ-fueled revelry, however, come with a group and sit indoors. Get friendly enough with your neighbors, and you may even score an invite back to the yacht afterwards. Note: Most diners can be found wearing white.

Exterior View - Bahamas Coffee Roasters, Harbour Island, Caribbean

Bahamas Coffee Roasters

Although it only opened in 2013, Bahamas Coffee Roasters quickly became an island institution. For starters, the coffee is seriously good. Owner Kirk Aulin sources his beans from 36 different farms around the world and then roasts them himself (he is the only roaster in the Bahamas). Spend the morning in his shop and you will see a steady flow of regulars, along with the occasional celebrity. (When I was there, Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones was at the next table). Newcomers to the island love Kirk because he knows everyone, will happily share his tips on the top fishing guides or best restaurants, and will remember your name the next time you come in. You’ll feel like an old friend in no time. Stick around for lunch and order one of the gourmet sandwiches. Top pick: the organic chicken served on grilled ciabatta with roasted garlic mayo, Brie, sliced pear, fig jam and a pile of fresh arugula. It’s sublime.

Food at  Bay Bistro, Turks & Caicos, Caribbean - Courtesy Paradise Photography

Bay Bistro

Special occasions at this restaurant near The Palms are the specialty at this beachfront restaurant that boasts incredible views. Head over for barbecues and full moon pig roasts and spend the evening by a bonfire.

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Baz Bar

Cocktails. Sushi. Tapas. Music. That’s what you will get at this unassuming hot spot by the harbor in Gustavia. Settle in at the bar or at a table for a cocktail (an Aperol Spritz or a Zombie made with Goslings), sample the delicious ceviches and catch the scene—and the live music on Saturdays. Baz Bar is a great place to go for lunch and/or dinner before the scene at Bagatelle next door gets going.

Food at Bella Luna, Turks & Caicos, Caribbean

Bella Luna

For a break from seafood, head to Bella Luna for a classic Italian meal. The family-friendly spot in Providenciales has two dining areas: the more casual Pizzeria and the more formal Ristorante, located upstairs on a covered patio. No matter where you decide to eat, the authentic Italian food is a pleasant surprise on this Caribbean island.

Bar at Big Crow, Toronto, Canada

Big Chef Steakhouse

Big Chef Steakhouse, located in the Rodney Bay area, offers a menu that offers typical steakhouse fare, which may well be a welcome change after many meals of fish and rice. There’s live music and the hostess might just end up singing at the end of the night.


Food at Bili, Vieques, Caribbean


For casual local cuisine, Bili offers delicious island food at a reasonable price. Eva Bolivar, former private chef to a Puerto Rican governor prepares the authentic food in this Mediterranean-style tapas restaurant.

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Black Ginger

You may not have come to St. Barth’s expecting to eat Thai food, but you won’t be disappointed here. The vibe is chic and sleek with minimalist black and red furniture and accents and a tropical outdoor courtyard. On the menu, to eat in or take out (next door): dishes like papaya and mango salad, marinated fresh fish with lemongrass, Massaman curry with coconut milk, and an array of stir fry and vegetarian options.



Book ahead if you want a table at Blanchard’s, one of Anguilla’s mainstay restaurants. Opened in 1994 by Bob and Melinda Blanchard, this charming spot serves excellent food in a romantic setting. Set back from Meads Bay and built in a traditional West Indian style, the dining room opens onto a beautiful garden with a babbling fountain and soft lights. White tablecloths, candles and the soft crashing of the waves complete the sophisticated island vibe. The owners, who previously produced a line of gourmet salad dressings, relocated from Vermont to pursue their fantasy of life in the Caribbean. Melinda mans the kitchen and Bob, a wine enthusiast, acts as sommelier and maitre’d. Blanchard’s menu features fresh seafood with Caribbean and Asian influences such as crispy mahi mahi with coconut, lime and ginger, roasted Anguilla lobster and spicy jerk chicken with grilled cinnamon-rum bananas.

Editors' Picks

Blanchard's Beach Shack

For a laid back dining experience, head next door to Blanchard’s to the beachside eatery that serves casual lunch fare (like fish tacos and pulled pork sandwiches). There is open picnic seating directly on Meads Bay Beach.

Exterior View - Blue Bar, Island, Caribbean

Blue Bar

This beachfront restaurant has been one of the prettiest spots for lunch on the island for years. Set on the dunes with a view of the pink sands and turquoise waters, the restaurant has a menu that’s a mix of typical Bahamian and international lunch favorites (stone crab claws and coconut crusted shrimp, as well as thin-crust pizza, wraps and burgers).

Dinning Area at Bonito, St. Barth's, Caribbean


Locals and regular visitors alike agree that Bonito has become one of the island’s best dinner destinations, so book your reservation in advance. It may be a little hard to find, but the open-air restaurant, tucked into the hillside overlooking the twinkling lights and red rooftops of Gustavia harbor, can’t be beat, and the Peruvian-inspired French food is also excellent. Reserve a table on the balcony and be sure to try the ceviche and tiradito menus—the options for seafood here are extensive. Conveniently, there's also a Lolita Jaca outpost for a quick pre- or post-dinner shopping fix.

Editors' Picks
Dinning Area ta Boudreau, St. Lucia, Caribbean


Situated in an open two-story dining room on a wooden deck overlooking Marigot Bay, the main restaurant at the Discovery resort has one of the island’s prettiest settings. The chef likes to experiment with Caribbean-inspired dishes, many made with organic ingredients from St. Lucia’s farms and plantations. A nice touch is the “local cuisine menu,” a nightly prix fixe that showcases Caribbean cooking in dishes like breadfruit-crusted shrimp with pickled papaya and mango salad, rabbit served with sweet potato and plantain and a tropical fruit gratin. The rest of the menu has a more classic Continental slant, but is heavy on fresh seafood.


Bar at Café Laurent, Havana, Caribbean

Café Laurent

On the top floor of a modern apartment building in the Vedado, Café Laurent can be spotted from the street below by the orange awning on its rooftop terrace. You can ride an antiquated elevator or hike the five flights of stairs to reach the apartment that has been converted into a stylish restaurant. Décor is eclectic but breezy: in the main dining room one wall is papered with the yellowed pages of old magazines and another is painted with circles like bubbles floating up the wall.

The best seats are at tables that are set out on the terrace and offer city views. The menu features starters like octopus, ceviche, gazpacho and asparagus with Serrano ham and main courses as grilled lobster and parrillada de Mariscos, as well as a fantastic fried chicken salad.

Editors' Picks
Food at Caicos Bakery, Turks & Caicos, Caribbean

Caicos Bakery

While this tiny French bakery can barely accommodate ten people, its glass display holds a bounty of pastries, including various types of croissants, tarts, quiches, éclairs, sausage rolls, pizzas, beignets and baguettes. The establishment is a local favorite so show up early to avoid a long line and/or your favorite treat being sold out.

Food at Caicos Café, Turks & Caicos, Caribbean

Caicos Café

Seafood and homemade pasta are the specialties at this casual eatery near Regent Village. Try the lobster linguine fra diavolo and a troccoli pasta with sundried tomatoes, black olives and capers.

View from The Restaurant at Malliouhana, Anguilla, Caribbean

Celeste at Malliouhana

Malliouhana has always had a food and wine focus, and after its extensive renovation in 2014, the hotel hired chef Cupertino Ortiz to continue the culinary tradition at its main restaurant. The seasonal menu highlights Anguilla’s sea-to-table culinary past while giving classic dishes a contemporary twist, and there is an extensive wine selection with a focus on Napa varietals. The menu is simple and fresh with such options as homemade pappardelle with braised short ribs, burrata with local greens and whole grilled snapper.

The food is the main attraction, but the view is a close second. Malliouhana’s al fresco restaurant is perched out over a cliff like the prow of a boat, affording diners sweeping views over Meads Bay and the ocean beyond. The space and décor of the restaurant is ship-like as well, with simple, whitewashed columns, ropes strung along the ceiling and blue-and-white-striped pillows throughout. Start with a cocktail in the bar while watching the sun set, then find a table in the restaurant where you can hear the waves crash into the rocks below.

Editors' Picks
Dinning Area at Champers Wine Bar & Restaurant, Barbados, Caribbean

Champers Wine Bar & Restaurant

One of the top restaurants in Barbados, Champers is proof that the south’s dining scene is catching up to that in St. James. The building is a former private home and first floor’s outdoor terrace is just feet above the shoreline, while the elegant upstairs room gives the feeling of floating above the Caribbean. The contemporary Caribbean dishes include grilled dolphin (the fish, not the mammal), scallops served in a red Thai curry sauce and the Parmesan-crusted barracuda, the most popular item on the menu.

Dinning Area at Chateau Mygo, St. Lucia, Caribbean

Chateau Mygo

This restaurant, at the Marigot Bay Resort and Marina is a great place for lunch. The covered-dock location is casual, with colorful tablecloths, stuffed toy parrots hanging from the ceiling, strings of tiny lights and quirky signs with messages like “The Queen does not Cook.” Ignore the Caesar salads and burgers—clearly for the less intrepid—and order from the short but tasty selection of Indian-Creole fare. Fish rôti, the West Indian version of a burrito with a tortilla-like wrap made from chickpea flour, comes with potatoes, eggplant and snapper in curry-coconut sauce.

Chez Shack

Famous for its weekly barbeque night with a steel band, Chez Shack restaurant is located off the beaten bath in Vieques’ tropical hills. Owner Duffy (the original proprietor of Duffy’s in Esperanza) serves a variety of chicken, beef, and seafood, but the menu changes often. Reservations are highly recommended.


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