St. Barthélemy Restaurants

Dining on St. Barth compares favorably to almost anywhere in the world. Varied and exquisite cuisine, a French flair in the decor, sensational wine, and attentive service make for a wonderful epicurean experience in almost any of the more than 80 restaurants. On most menus, freshly caught local seafood mingles on the plate with top-quality provisions that arrive regularly from Paris. Interesting selections on the Cartes de Vins are no surprise, but don’t miss the sophisticated cocktails whipped up by island bartenders. They are worlds away from cliché Caribbean rum punches with paper umbrellas. The signature drink of St. Barth is called "’ti punch," a rum concoction similar to a Brazilian caipirinha. It’s also fun to sit at a bar and ask the attractive bartender for his or her own signature cocktail.

Most restaurants offer a chalkboard of daily specials, usually a good bet. But even the pickiest eaters will find something on every menu. Some level of compliance will be paid to dietary restrictions, especially if explained in French; just be aware that French people generally let the chef work his or her magic. Vegetarians will find many options on every menu. Expect meals to be costly, but you can dine superbly and somewhat economically if you limit pricey cocktails, watch wine selections, share appetizers or desserts, and pick up snacks and picnics from one of the well-stocked markets. Or you can follow the locals to small crêperies, cafés, sandwich shops, and pizzerias in the main shopping areas. Lunch is usually less costly than dinner. Ti creux means "snack" or "small bite."

Lavish publications feature restaurant menus and contacts. Ask at your hotel or look on the racks at the airport. Reservations are strongly recommended and, in high season, essential. Lots of restaurants now accept reservations on their website or by email. Check social media. Except during the Christmas–New Year's season it's not usually necessary to book far in advance. A day's—or even a few hours'—notice is usually sufficient. At the end of the meal, as in France, you must request the bill. Until you do, you can feel free to linger at the table and enjoy the complimentary vanilla rum that's likely to appear.

Check restaurant bills carefully. A service compris (service charge) is always added by law, but you should leave the server 5% to 10% extra in cash. You'll usually come out ahead if you charge restaurant meals on a credit card in euros instead of paying with American currency, as your credit card might offer a better exchange rate than the restaurant (unless your credit card charges a conversion surcharge). Many restaurants serve locally caught langouste (lobster); priced by weight, it's usually the most expensive item on a menu and, depending on its size and the restaurant, will range in price from $40 to $60.

What to Wear: A bathing suit and gauzy top or shift is acceptable at beachside lunch spots, but not really in Gustavia. Jackets are never required and are rarely worn by men, but most people do dress fashionably for dinner. St. Barth is for fashionistas; women wear whatever is hip, current, and sexy. You can't go wrong in a tank dress or a sexy top with white jeans, high sandals, and flashy accessories. The sky is the limit for high fashion at nightclubs and lounges in high season, when you might (correctly) think everyone in sight is a model. Leave some space in your suitcase; you can buy the perfect outfit here on the island. Nice shorts (not beachy ones) at the dinner table may label a man américain, but many locals have adopted the habit, and nobody cares much. Wear them with a pastel shirt to really fit in (never tucked in). Pack a light sweater or shawl for the occasional breezy night.

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  • 1. La Case de L'Isle

    $$$$

    You can't top the view or the service at this waterfront restaurant at the renowned Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France, and at night there...Read More

  • 2. Sand Bar Eden Rock

    $$$$

    Eden Rock hotel is legendary; this laid-back beach restaurant is just one more reason to love it. Lunch time is lively but relaxed with a...Read More

  • 3. Shellona

    $$$$

    The sounds of Ibiza and Mykonos, in the form of live bands and DJs, fill the air at Shellona as patrons chill with a cocktail...Read More

  • 4. Beach House St. Barth

    $$$

    Rosewood Le Guanahani's open-air restaurant serves fresh Mediterranean-Caribbean fare, family-style. After lunch, sunbathe on the lounge deck with a cocktail. Wines are chosen by the...Read More

  • 5. Fish Corner

    $$$$

    This comfy, intimate spot, noted for its lobster tank, serves mostly local fish with Caribbean flair. You’ll have a hard time deciding between the fish...Read More

  • 6. L'Isoletta

    $$$$

    This casual Roman-style pizzeria run by the popular L'Isola restaurant is a lively, chic lounge-style gastropub serving delicious thin-crust pizzas by the slice or the...Read More

  • 7. La Langouste

    $$$

    This small but friendly beachside restaurant in the pool courtyard of Hôtel Baie des Anges lives up to its name by serving fresh-grilled local lobster—and...Read More

  • 8. La Petite Colombe

    $

    If you’re in Colombier (or Lorient, where there's a second location) pop into La Petite for pastries, bread, and baguettes that are the stuff of...Read More

  • 9. La Plage

    $$$$ | International

    Dining in St. Barth–style is spot-on at this eatery in Le Tom Beach Hôtel, a prime place to watch people and the action on St. Jean Beach. Passion...Read More

  • 10. Le Palace

    $$$ | Caribbean

    Tucked into a tropical garden, this popular restaurant, also known as Pipiri Palace, is famous for its barbecued ribs, beef fillet, and rack...Read More

  • 11. Le Repaire

    $$$

    Overlooking the harbor, this friendly classic French brasserie is busy from its 7 am opening to its late-night closing. The flexible hours are great if...Read More

  • 12. Le Toiny

    $$$$

    Hôtel Le Toiny's dramatic cliffside dining porch showcases nature and gastronomy in equal parts. The food is notable for its innovation and extraordinary presentation, and...Read More

  • 13. Restaurant La Santa Fé

    $$$$

    Perched at the top of the Lurin hills on the way to Gouverneur Beach, this relaxed and scenic restaurant serves panoramic views with both lunch...Read More

  • 14. Dõ Brazil

    $$$

    In addition to lunch and dinner, this restaurant on Shell Beach has live music for sundown cocktail hour Thursday–Saturday as well as top DJs spinning...Read More

  • 15. L'Ardoise

    $$

    Sit at a shaded communal table at this lively, modern gastropub/wine bar in St-Jean's Villa Creole shopping enclave any time of the day. Come for...Read More

  • 16. La Gloriette

    $$

    Everyone has a great time eating a beachside lunch at shady picnic tables under coccoloba trees. Those who remember the original creole restaurant here will...Read More

  • 17. Le Carré

    $$$

    Franck Mathevet, the esteemed Burgundy-born chef formerly of Wall House, situated this attractive and lively outdoor restaurant in the center of Le Carré d'Or, Gustavia's...Read More

  • 18. PaCrì

    $$$$

    Recently moved to the Taïwana Hotel, this popular St. Barth restaurant serves huge portions of house-made pasta, wood-oven pizza (at lunch only), and authentic Italian...Read More

  • 19. Restaurant des Pêcheurs

    $$$$

    From fresh, morning beachside brioche to a final evening drink in the sexy lounge, you can dine all day in this soaring thatch pavilion that...Read More

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