There are countless reasons to travel to the Caribbean. But on cold winter afternoons, one image manages to slide into our imaginations more frequently: a cold rum punch at the edge of the Caribbean Sea.
Beach bars just call to so many frequent travelers to the Caribbean, conjuring up dreams of toes-in-the-sand cocktails, endless afternoons bobbing in the ocean and just-caught fish.
While it’s no easy feat to choose the best beach bars in the Caribbean, we’ve whittled down hundreds of bars into our preferred 25 for 2023, offering up a diverse selection of everything from gourmet eateries on the sand to tiny rib-and-rum shacks.
What’s your favorite beach bar in the Caribbean? Let us know your favorite at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maho Crossroads, St John There is no beach bar in the Caribbean quite like this one, set on what is easily one of the most beautiful beaches anywhere in the region: Maho Bay in St John. This low-footprint bar has become a new Caribbean beach bar Mecca, with its beloved CocoMaho and its fabulous beach bar on Maho’s sugar-white sands.
Le Petibonum, Martinique No beach bar in the Caribbean can match this Le Carbet institution’s food and mixology, all under the expert stewardship of legendary Chef Guy Ferdinand. Whether you want to take a ti’ punch journey across the island’s rhum blanc agricole or want some fresh L’espadon with peppercorn sauce after a quick swim, this is a can’t miss spot.
Loose Mongoose, Tortola The bar behind the renaissance of Trellis Bay, the new-look Loose Mongoose is home to one of the best rum selections in the BVI, in a beautiful, sleek thatched-roof design. The food is outstanding and the cocktails are even better.
Cow Wreck Beach Bar, Anegada If you love the British Virgin Islands, you really love Anegada, the far-off island at the edge of the archipelago that has two major specialties: beaches and lobster. And that’s exactly what you find at this venerable Anegada outpost, home to a picture-perfect beach and unforgettable cocktails, none more so than the Cow Killer drink.
Reggae Beach Bar, St Kitts Cockleshell Bay is St Kitts’ marvelous beach bar capital, and it’s anchored by this uber-popular spot famous for its rum punch, its coladas and terrific seafood (we particularly love the mahi fingers).
Roxxy Beach, St Maarten When it opened in Simpson Bay back in 2019, it was a major infusion of energy into the Dutch side of the island. Now, it’s become a signature beach bar and lounge, with an unrivaled DJ-led ambience day and night and gourmet-quality food that marries French Riviera and Asian flavors.
Sunshine’s, Nevis It begins with the Killer Bee and it ends with, well, just make sure you watch how many Killer Bees you drink. The eponymous Sunshine runs this beloved Pinneys Beach bar with an immaculate attention to detail — and arguably the best rum punch in the Caribbean. (At least we think so).
Catherine’s Cafe, Antigua Antigua’s capital of barefoot-chic cool is the sister eatery to the world-class Sheer Rocks restaurant. This French Caribbean-style eatery has one of the island’s best wine lists, a buzzing brunch, and a plum perch on Pigeon Point Beach.
Sandbar, Anguilla Anguilla’s newest beach bar is a new level of culinary-focused beach bar for an island that’s filled with great ones. The brainchild of Veya founders Carrie and Jerry Bogar, it’s an upscale but down-to-earth bar and lounge that’s right at home in the famous beach bar neighborhood of Sandy Ground.
Nobu Barbuda, Barbuda One of the Caribbean’s sexiest jet-set spots, Nobu Barbuda is the sort of spot where celebrities pop in on helicopters for the day. And there’s a reason for that: it’s seriously good. The sushi is what you’d expect from a Nobu, and the setting is remarkable, sleek and cool on the heart of Barbuda’s classic, immaculate, blindingly white sand.
John Moore Bar, Barbados Barbados’ “rum shops” are the stuff of legend, where you choose your flask of local rum at the bar, pick your mixer of choice (or, if it’s Mount Gay XO, take it neat) and head to your table. The setting for this historic bar on the West Coast is pristine and serene, an oasis of genteel beach beauty that’s unmistakably Bajan.
Tranquil Turtle Beach Bar, Green Turtle Cay A short boat ride from Great Abaco, Green Turtle Cay is one of those postcard-worthy little destinations that’s beloved by boaters and island collectors, and the Tranquil Turtle is at the center of it. This spot at the Bluff House hotel is famous for its eponymous Tranquil Turtle cocktail, perched on a lovely stretch of Abaconian beach with gentle waves and easy afternoons.
Naked Fisherman, Saint Lucia Saint Lucia’s greatest beach bar has simply superb food, located in a cove at the foot of the luxe Cap Maison resort. And while the food is elevated, the ambience is as relaxed and breezy as it gets. We love the fish, either the daily catch or the spectacular fish and chips. But there’s something for everyone, from New York Strip to Kobe burgers.
Juanillo Grill and Beach Club, Cap Cana, Dominican Republic Juanillo Beach isn’t quite as quiet as it was a decade ago, thanks to a wave of new all-inclusive development, but this terrific beach spot persists, a tiny oasis of Punta Cana cool with great fish, even better ceviche and some seriously good burgers.
Da Pink Chicken, Cat Island, The Bahamas Hidden away on serene Cat Island, this tiny bar in the Flamingo Hills development is an ultra-chill spot for Long Beach days and cold Kaliks.
Gyp Sea, St Barth St Barth’s hottest new beach spot is a fresh addition to the island’s original jet-set destination, St Jean Beach. It calls itself a “bohemian beach club,” and that’s precisely the vibe: think rum-focused cocktails, great DJs and privileged lounge chairs perfect for people watching.
Chat n Chill, Stocking Island, The Bahamas This place could practically write a scientific treatise on the perfect beach bar: fresh food, cold beer, crystal-clear water. Everything here starts with the almost unimaginable beauty of Exuma’s Stocking Island (just offshore from George Town) and the marvelous hospitality of owners Kenneth and Kwanza Bowe.
Club Tropicana, Bonaire This sizzling Bonaire bar is adjacent to the number one restaurant in the Caribbean, the Brass Boer — and shares its kitchen. That means you can join a great rum (and cocktail) selection with inspired, high-level tapas, all in a beautiful setting at the edge of Bonaire’s magnificent turquoise water. Even better? Behind the bar is a magnesium pool with swim-up access.
Soggy Dollar Bar, BVI When a beach bar’s name simply becomes one word, you know it’s a legend. And that’s what “Soggy” has been for decades, the original, unrivaled hotspot in Jost Van Dyke’s White Bay. The painkillers are better than ever and, soon, the bar will relaunch its popular on-site boutique hotel.
Nipper’s Beach Bar and Grill Abaco Another bucket-list spot in the Abaco’s, the rebuilt Nippers is an unmissable beach bar on the lovely little island of Great Guana Cay. The multi-leveled beachside bar, now describing itself as Nipper’s 2.0, is as great as ever.
Kaibo, Grand Cayman While Seven Mile Beach deservedly gets much attention, take a drive over to Cayman Kai and you’ll see a totally different side of Grand Cayman. It’s quiet, it’s tranquil and it’s home to some rarefied spots, led by the fabulous Kaibo — a mini village with a coffee shop, a fine-dining eatery and an outstanding beach bar and restaurant. We love the Frojitos, but the menu extends to everything from mudslides to Kai Mai Tais to a great wine selection.
Hemingways, Turks and Caicos Beach lovers know all about The Sands resort in Turks and Caicos, Grace Bay Beach’s capital of chill. Right at the beach is the signature Hemingways, famous for its conch (the conch trio is a marvel) and its broad, excellent selection of seafood in a stunning setting that gets even better during the evening.
Half Moon Beach Restaurant, Jamaica No, it’s not the Half Moon you’re probably familiar with. This is a hidden-away beach just off the highway to Negril, and it’s actually two bars in one: the Half Moon Beach Bar and, depending on the tide and the schedule, the famous Calico Jack’s Pirate Island bar, accessed by a very short boat ride.
SunShine Shack, Anguilla Rendezvous Bay is so pretty it’s almost surreal, with its sparkling white sand and breathtaking views of the green hills of Saint Martin. And then there’s the famous Garvey’s Sunshine Shack, a lovably little shack with flowing cocktails, some of the best ribs in Anguilla, and always-welcome beach chairs.
The Landing Beach Bar, St Croix This is definitely a food-forward beach bar, with a diverse selection of sharable bites, sandwiches and salads (and amazing onion rings), and outstanding cocktails from painkillers to the lovely (and perilous) Cruzan Confusion.