Montserrat’s national dish is goat water, a thick goat meat stew served with crusty bread rolls. However, diners can sample many more standard entrees at most local restaurants. Fish and chicken options far outnumber red meat on most menus and commonly served drinks include homemade ginger beer, sorrel and a variety of juices made from Montserrat’s exotic tropical fruits. Most restaurants are only open during the day and have a very casual dress code.
Bars and Pubbing in Montserrat
The best way to sample Montserrat’s bar and nightlife scene is to join one of the island’s lively rum shop tours. Comfortable vans travel around the island's many small snack bars, rum shops and other watering holes. Visitors can taste local food and play darts and dominoes alongside the regulars, many of whom extend the party outdoors on Friday nights. Montserrat bars have no official closing time.
The Bar of the Stars from Montserrat’s legendary Air Studios is now displayed at Soca Cabana (Little Bay, Montserrat), one of Little Bay’s hottest seaside nightspots. Live Caribbean bands perform regularly at the turquoise, mint and whitewashed beachfront bar, but the busiest times are karaoke Saturdays and party Sundays. Another popular Little Bay watering hole is the Good Life Restaurant and Nightclub, whose hillside setting hosts many special events throughout the year.
Montserrat’s favorite dance club is Club Paradise (Hilltop, Fogarty Hill), where DJs spin the latest techno and soca hits beneath a 1970s disco ball and fog machine. A mural of Montserrat landscapes encircles the bar, while the outdoor patio provides a welcome breeze. The Royal Palm Club (Woodlands, Montserrat) provides a more relaxing atmosphere in a plantation lounge filled with antiques and a wine bar.
Dining and Cuisine in Montserrat
The best place in Montserrat to satisfy Chinese food cravings is ANFA Restaurant and Bar (St John’s, Main Road). Although takeout orders are 80 percent of the food sold at this small restaurant, the interior boasts a bar and television. JJ’s Cuisine (St John’s Main Road), another popular St John’s restaurant, serves more conventional Caribbean fare such as seafood and an energy punch made from rum, grated sweet potato and Frangelica liqueur.
Tina’s Restaurant (Brades, Main Road) was established by a displaced southern Montserrat resident inside a picturesque green and white house five minutes from the ferry terminal. The menu includes lobster salads and the local catch of the day. Another popular Brades restaurant serving Caribbean fare, Oriole Café (Farara Plaza, Brades), is conveniently located next to Montserrat’s Tourist Board office and boasts an outdoor patio overlooking Little Bay.
Olveston offers more secluded dining experiences at Gourmet Gardens (Olveston, Montserrat), which belongs to the old Olveston Estate. Visitors can eat on the patio overlooking the garden and Montserrat’s first airport or inside the classic gingerbread house. Sunday brunches are especially scrumptious. The nearby Olveston House (Olveston, Montserrat) combines traditional Sunday British roasts and high tea with Caribbean barbecue.