There’s a very effective way to test the quality of a Caribbean beach bar: whether you can spend the entire day there.
Because best Caribbean beach bars are more than bars — they’re destinations, the sorts of places where you can arrive early in the day and leave your watch behind.
They’re places that can turn a simple stretch of sand into a pilgrimage spot.
And that’s true of the bars on our list of the best Caribbean beach bars for 2020, a diverse collection of beach hotspots, castaway-style shacks and old-school beach bars from across the Caribbean region.
In other words, this is one very good way to plan your Caribbean travel for next year.
So what are you waiting for?
Le Petibonum, Martinique Martinique’s legendary beach bar just keeps getting better. The Le Carbet bar that turned northwest Martinique into one of the region’s coolest beach destinations continues to innovate, from a standalone rum bar to a full-fledged pizzeria and even a rum shop. This is the essence of why we come to the Caribbean, a place to enjoy Le Carbet’s exotic beauty, drink outstanding rum and cocktails and eat world-class food. It’s still the standard for great beach bars in the Caribbean.
Roxxy Beach, St Maarten Few beach bars have burst on the scene in the Caribbean quite like Roxxy, which opened earlier this year on Simpson Bay in St Maarten and immediately established itself as one of the top beach destinations in the Caribbean. It’s hip, it’s chic, the food is exceptional and the cocktails are hard to match.
SunShine Shack, Anguilla It’s hard to think of a more beautiful beach anywhere in the Caribbean than Rendezvous Bay, and the famous Garvey has cultivated the beach’s hotspot, a tiny beach shack with cocktails and fresh barbecue. Even on a long stretch of beach in a popular destination, you’ll feel like you’re on your own little private island.
Catherine’s Cafe, Antigua Now run by the team from the world-class eatery Sheer Rocks, this legendary beach spot on Pigeon Point Beach is all about joie de vivre on the sand, with exceptional French cuisine and a carefree, Provencal vibe. It’s also the island’s hottest lunch table on Sundays.
Jacqui O’s Love Beach, Antigua The southern coast of Antigua is the destination’s beach bar epicenter, with a row of great bars to choose from, all with striking views of nearby Montserrat. But our favorite is the lovely Jacqui O’s, an elegant beach bar and club with a chill soundtrack and wonderful service. It’s also home to one of the best burgers in Antigua.
Shellona, St Barth This bar gets its name from its setting on Shell Beach, the most exotic coastline on the island. And while St Barth didn’t invent the beach day, you’d be forgiven if you thought so after a trip to Shellona, where a buzzy but relaxed atmosphere marries with superb food by Chef Yiannis Kioroglou. The best part? It’s just a short stroll from downtown Gustavia.
Da Pink Chicken, Cat Island, Bahamas Cat Island is one of the great undiscovered destinations in the wider Caribbean, a brilliantly beautiful island with stunning beaches and unmatched tranquility. And it’s home to Da Pink Chicken, a tiny, old-school blue beach bar that is all about Kalik-filled afternoons where the only interruption is a break to go bonefishing in the flats around the bar. There’s nothing like it.
Soggy Dollar Bar, Jost Van Dyke, BVI White Bay is very much a pilgrimage spot for travelers from around the world, and that’s largely due to the place affectionately called “Soggy,” where the painkillers abound, the sand is impossibly white and the days never seem to end. A true bucket-list beach bar and a must-stop for any Caribbean aficionado.
Cow Wreck Beach Bar, Anegada, BVI Anegada is the frontier of the British Virgin Islands, the most remote stop in the archipelago, but it is always worth the journey, in large part thanks to a surfeit of remarkable beaches, led by C
Lime Out, St John, USVI A beach bar has to be close to the water. But the USVI’s newest bar does it one better — it’s actually in the water. This floating bar off the coast of St John is equal parts beach bar and taco shack, and it’s quickly become a big hit with locals, travelers and passing boats.
Karibuni, St Martin Yes, Pinel Island is back, and the legendary Karibuni is better than ever. Pinel, the little island off the coast of Cul-de-Sac on the French side, has long been a Caribbean beach bar capital thanks to its Ibiza-meets-the-Caribbean vibe, and that’s still very much the case. This is the spot for endless beach days, with delicious cocktails, fresh-caught fish and lobster and a castaway-chic ambience.
Club Tropicana, Bonaire This outpost at the terrific Delfins Beach Resort in Bonaire doesn’t just have a beautiful perch of Bonaire blue coastline, it’s got the Michelin-starred culinary team behind it. The beach bar is curated by the resort’s Brass Boer restaurant, the brainchild of husband-and-wife team Jonnie and Therese Boer, famous for their De Librije restaurant in Holland.
Kontiki Beach, St Martin Orient Beach has long been one of the Caribbean’s biggest party spots, and since the storm it’s made an admirable comeback, led by the beloved Kontiki. Kontiki 2.0 has retained its brand of Caribbean cool, with its mix of Asian-fusion food, a deep house soundtrack and, well, the sheer beauty of Orient Bay.
Papagayo Beach Club, Curacao Curacao has one of the hottest beach scenes in the Caribbean, but somehow it still manages to stay under the radar in this regard. But if you make the journey, the sleek, gorgeous Papagayo is the top spot, a modern, sophisticated, nergetic beach club that’s the essence of what makes Curacao such a cool place to visit.
SALT Plage, St Kitts This ultra-chic bar fashioned out of an old salt warehouse on Whitehouse Bay in St Kitts is a bit unique for bars on this list in that it opens at 4PM, but that’s in large part because it’s home to the island’s most spectacular sunsets, with an outstanding cocktail and high-end spirit selection and terrific food.
Nikki Beach, Barbados The brand famous around the world for its brand of ultra-hip beach clubs has come to Barbados, with a privileged perch at the Port Ferdinand luxury resort. All of the classic Nikki Beach ingredients are here: the design, the music (yes, there’s an in-house saxophonist) and a menu featuring food from all of Nikki Beach’s global locations.
The Naked Fisherman, Saint Lucia The Cap Maison luxury resort is one of Saint Lucia’s best-kept secrets, a boutique hotel set at the very northern tip of the island. And if you make the journey down the cliffs to the beach, you’ll find another closely-guarded secret: the Naked Fishermen, a beach bar seemingly ripped straight out of a movie, with sweeping views (some days, even to Martinique) and a menu of ultra-fresh, authentic Saint Lucian food, with an emphasis on seafood. Don’t miss the lobster lunches.
Coccoloba Bar and Grill, Grand Cayman You can’t talk about anything having to do with Caribbean beaches without including Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach. And while the beach has no shortage of eateries and bars, our favorite is the tucked-away Coccoloba at the Kimpton Seafire resort, a rustic-chic bar with a Mexican street food menu and a surprisingly good list of Caribbean rums.
Pearl Beach, St Barth St Jean beach is in many ways where tourism in St Barth began, and this stretch of white sand beach directly adjacent to the island’s airport has always occupied a special place in the jet-set psyche. And the recently-rebranded Pearl Beach (formerly La Plage) is true to that history, with a low-key, fun, playful atmosphere and a menu of French Caribbean and Mediterranean cuisine. By night, it turns into one of St Barth’s most delectable dinner spots.
23 North Beach Club, Great Exuma, Bahamas Beaches don’t tend to get prettier than the sugar-white sands of Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, so it was always a shame there was never a beach bar here to match it. Now there is. The Grand Isle resort recently launched 23 North, a full-fledged beach destination anchored by a large infinity pool.
Source: Caribbean Journal.