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Sandals Grande Antigua: All About The Food!!

Posted May 26 2014 8:52am

***Disclaimer- I’m going to link to this post on my review of the hotel on trip advisor, so I go into quite a bit of detail about each different restaurant.  I would have loved to read a blog about the restaurants before Kyle and I went to Sandals, so I hope this helps someone!  But if you’re not going to Antigua anytime soon, you can just look at the pictures and scroll right to the bottom :-)

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I had really low expectations for the food at Sandals.  I just assumed that an all-inclusive resort would have lots of really mediocre food.  But, like all my preconceived notions about Sandals, I was wrong about the food! Sandals in Antigua has 11 restaurants and Kyle and I made it to 9 of them.  I hope this post can help out anyone if they are traveling to Sandals in the near future!

As soon as we arrived at Sandals we were greeted with champagne and a plate of little crackers with different toppings.  Some had chicken, one had cheese I think, and one had tuna.  Those little crackers weren’t anything special, but in the main lobby they do have big jars of cookies that are always full.  I had lots of those cookies and they are really good!  The coconut macarons were my favorite- but they were all fresh and yummy :-)

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For our first meal at Sandals we went down by the pool and had pizza at the little pizza restaurant.  It’s a small, outdoor patio with options to order at the counter and take the pizza to-go, or you can sit down and have the pizza there.  Each pizza is personal size, and I could eat the whole thing if I was really hungry, but most times I left one or two pieces.  We ate there 3 times!  Once on our first day- I ordered a pizza with shrimp and pesto- really really good, once for lunch and I got a veggie pizza, and once right before we left for the airport- I got cheese that time.  All good!  If you need a quick lunch to grab and go, the pizza is a great option!

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There are several breakfast options at Sandals Grande Antigua but Kyle and I only tried 2 of them.  Mario’s was my favorite.  They have a great buffet with so many options!  Fresh fruit, omelets made to order, smoked salmon, lots of pastries (Kyle loved the pastries), and normal breakfast items like eggs and bacon.  They also have a coconut yogurt that is amazing so you should definitely get that.

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We also went to Bayside for breakfast which is another buffet.  It’s very similar to Mario’s in terms of food options but you get to eat right on the beach!  The ambiance is so beautiful.  Who doesn’t want to enjoy coffee with the sea breeze blowing softly over your shoulders?

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Also, Bayside has smoothies they make to order at breakfast- I never tried one, but heard they were excellent.

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The only reason we went to Mario’s almost every day was because it was closest to our room and we had to be on the boat to go scuba diving at 8am every day. We thought about going to Eleanor’s for breakfast one day (it’s the fancy restaurant) but nothing on the menu looked as good as what I could get at the buffet, so we opted to go to Mario’s again.  I just loved the variety I could get at Mario’s!

 

Eleanor's

Eleanor’s

 

There aren’t a ton of options for lunch, but luckily the restaurants that do serve lunch are fantastic.  Our first real lunch (the day after pizza) was at Barefoot, a little outdoor restaurant right on the ocean.  Kyle and I had both heard the jerk chicken was outstanding, so we both ordered it- mine with a side salad and his with french fries.

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Definitely get the jerk chicken if you go!  It’s so flavorful, really spicy, and the chicken is perfectly tender!  They smoke the chicken right outside and often the entire dive shop next door would smell like chicken.  The only thing to know about Barefoot is to beware of the birds!  They are waiting to descend upon your plate as soon as you get up from the table :-)

We tried Bayside for lunch one day but didn’t really care for the buffet.  There were so many options, including a made-t0-order pasta bar, but nothing really stood out to us as outstanding so we didn’t go back there for lunch.

There is a small to-go deli which serves lunch and we ate there twice.  I had a chicken caesar wrap one day which was great and Kyle had a burger that he gave good reviews.  The next time we ate there, they were serving chicken roti- a local dish that’s almost a stewed, curry chicken with vegetables that they wrap inside a corn tortilla.  It’s really good- if they serve if you should try it!  I got one with fruit and Kyle had 2!

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One of my favorite places at Sandals Grande Antigua was the Paris Cafe.  They serve coffee drinks, pastries, ice cream, and crepes all day long.

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Kyle and I stopped for lattes a couple of times and I always had a sample of ice cream but never thought it was that great.  The crepes on the other hand are amazing!  They have a toppings bar and you can choose whatever you like to top your crepe- I had nutella, coconut, and slivered almonds.  Soooo good!

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They also always have jars of cookies and I had some alongside my espresso a few times :-)

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For dinner, there are tons of options!  Two of the restaurants at Sandals Grande Antigua require reservations, and we didn’t make any in time, so we never went to those two.  The first, Kimono’s is a Japanese hibachi grill which didn’t appeal to us, so we didn’t worry about missing out on the reservations there.  The second, Eleanor’s is a fancy restaurant but the menu didn’t look amazing to us either.  We heard the lobster is fantastic, and I think that’s what everyone orders at Eleanor’s, but if you don’t care for lobster don’t worry if you don’t make it to Eleanor’s.

For our first dinner we went to OK Corral which is a tex-mex grill right on the beach.  Kyle and I really enjoyed our meal here and came back a second time.

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For appetizers I got cilantro-marinated shrimp which came wrapped in a fried shell and Kyle had pulled pork tacos.

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For the main dish Kyle had the mixed grill twice- steak, sausage, and ribs, with roasted veggies and corn bread.  I had the goat cheese enchiladas with veggies and cornbread first which was okay but my second meal- the chicken fajitas were incredible!

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Another great dinner we had was at Bayside.  They have a great menu with lots of yummy looking seafood dishes.  I ordered mussels and ate all but one or two- there were so many!!

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Kyle had a mouth-watering scallop appetizer and then had surf and turf (steak and shrimp) for dinner.

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We also shared a banana crepe with cinnamon ice cream for dessert and I think we fought over the last bite!

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I mentioned Kimono’s, the hibachi grill was a reservation-only restaurant, but they have a little sushi bar connected to the restaurant than doesn’t require reservations.  I had low expectations for the sushi, but again- I was so so wrong!  The sushi was amazing!  We ate there twice.  You get to sit right up at the sushi bar and watch the chefs make your sushi.

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They even bring you little tastes and specials to try.

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Another night, Sandals had a huge beach front barbecue for everyone.  They shut down all the restaurants and moved everything to the beach.  They had tons of different stations of food and all of it was fantastic.  There was live entertainment, big coconuts to drink from; it was a beautiful evening!

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There is such freedom with the all-inclusive nature of the resort.  We ordered appetizers and entrees at every restaurant, and often went to another restaurant for dessert!  One night we ordered ice cream to-go and sat on these lounge chairs by the fire and watched the waves roll in.  It doesn’t get better than that!!

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The last things to mention are the drinks!  I had multiple fruity drinks every day and it was glorious.  I ordered pina coladas with abandon and tried a new fruity concoction every night.

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I am so impressed by the food at Sandals Grande Antigua!  I think you definitely need to find which restaurants you prefer and go to those.  You don’t have to eat at the fancy ones just because you think you’re supposed to.  And don’t forget to have lots of tropical drinks!  You’re on vacation!

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Questions:

What’s the best meal you’ve had on vacation?

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