St. Barths Restaurants
Rue Lubin Brin
Gustavia , St. Barths
Tel: 590 590 27 96 96
Chef Laurent Cantineaux, formerly of Daniel in New York, took over this space in 2009 and transformed what once looked like a Pirates of the Caribbean–themed bar into an crisp, understated restaurant. The blue and white plush banquettes and throw pillows mimicking the feel of the island's toniest beach villas are somewhat overshadowed by the stunning 180-degree view over Gustavia harbor. But the real star is the Latin American menu (the chef spent a decade in Venezuela) with nine varieties of ceviche, tartare, and tiradito. If you can't decide, opt for a degustation plate with samples of four different varieties. Cantineaux also draws on his background with Boulud through French classics with a twist, like sautéed foie gras scallops with citrus, beet, and tamarind sauce.—Cathay Che
Open Tuesdays through Sundays 5:30 pm to 1 am. Closed September and October.
Tel: 590 590 29 06 66
This three-story open-air eatery, co-owned by restaurateur Boubou and tennis-star/pop-singer Yannick Noah, sits on Gustavia's Shell Beach and makes for great people watching (take your pick of the people inside the restaurant or lounging in the sand). Boubou is a local personality who is often found sitting down at his guests' tables, sharing the island gossip. The fresh fruit drinks are a treat, and the nominally Brazilian cuisine, which includes moquequa, a fish stew, is decent, if a bit of an afterthought. Come for the sunset to really catch Do Brazil at its best.
Closed September and October.
Maya's to Go is the favorite of takeout connoisseurs (after all, it's across from the airport), selling the same impeccably fresh lobster, sushi, and flaky croissants as its big-sister restaurant (Les Galleries du Commerce, St. Jean; 590-590-29-83-70; www.st-barths.com/mayas-to-go). Stock up on Orangina, stuffed baguettes, pâté, mustards, and caviar at La Rôtisserie, a premier gourmet patisserie/deli with a second shop in St. Jean (Rue du Roi Oscar II, Gustavia; 590-590-27-63-13). Two markets, Match (across from the airport in St. Jean; 590-590-27-68-16) and AMC (Quai du République, Gustavia; 590-590-27-60-09), offer large selections of meats, cheese, pâté, and bread.
Tel: 590 590 29 76 78
Another of the island's themed restaurants, this time invoking the deep reds of the African plains with tribal sculptures, a low-lit safari lodge–style interior, and a small terrace and garden sufficiently steeped in foliage to mask the fact that the restaurant is actually in the middle of a car park by the Oasis shopping center. The old-world feel is only skin-deep: The fixed-price menu, supplemented by a board of daily specials, is French-international, and the food is actually rather good. The foie gras special comes highly recommended.
Open daily for dinner.
Anse de Grande Saline
Tel: 590 590 52 46 10
Chef Jean-Charles Guy, formerly of Maya's, wows diners with large portions of his signature dishes—Vietnamese-style crispy snapper, caramel sautéed chicken, vegetable tempura, and fish of the day—at this hot, hot, hot beachside Mediterranean. Ask for a terrace table overlooking the water.
Closed June through late October. Closed Tuesdays otherwise.
Rue du roi Oscar II
Gustavia , St. Barths
Tel: 590 590 51 00 05
An authentic taste of Italy on St. Barths? That's what you can expect from this spacious restaurant and bar at the top of Gustavia. Owner Fabrizio Bianconi has imported the cherished classics to the island—bresaola with arugula, prosciutto, scampi penne, and lobster spaghetti. Risotto, a surprisingly popular dish on this tropical island, comes with langoustines and baby artichokes or mussels, clams, shrimp, and calamari. And of course, there's an extensive antipasto selection (try the Parma prosciutto with black mission figs and the fritto misto). When Bianconi himself is on island in high season, he's the quintessential Italian host, sincere in wanting to please and happy to chat up tables of people he's just met, and may let it slip that he's got plans to turn the back of the restaurant into St. Barths's first members-only club.—Cathay Che
Open daily 6:30 to 11 pm.
Anse des Flamands
Tel: 590 590 27 63 61
The setting is casual, but it's tough to land a table at this popular Hotel Baie des Anges eatery. Owner Anne Ange is renowned for her fresh spiny lobsters, plucked from the tanks and served up simply.
Closed September. Closed Tuesdays from May through August.
Rue Jeanne d'Arc
Tel: 590 590 27 68 91
A relative newbie to the cluster of restaurants at Gustavia harbor, La Marine shares its premises, and owners, with the adjacent Yacht Club. Decked out like an old ship's galley, the restaurant's breezy interior is a fine place to while away the sleepy midday hours in Gustavia. The menu is predominantly seafood, and best stick to what they make best—fish. Mussel enthusiasts should aim for a Thursday or Friday outing in time for the weekly special, moules de bouchot de Bretagne.
Closed September through mid-October, as well as Sunday lunch and all day Monday.
Le Carré d'Or
Gustavia , St. Barths
Tel: 590 590 52 46 11
Squeezed between Cartier and Hermès in Gustavia's Carré d'Or shopping pavilion, this Greek restaurant is known less for its tasty tzatziki, grilled fish, and calamari than as the place to gather at day's end for espresso or drinks. Umbrella-shaded tables line the center's courtyard, where you can make friends with the locals who stop in for a glass of rosé or those who just promenade past to see the scene. This is the best way to score invites to villa parties or find out which club is likely to be the most happening that night. Plus, you won't have to go far if you need something new to wear.—Cathay Che
Open daily noon to midnight.
Hotel Le Toiny
Anse de Toiny
Tel: 800 932 3222 (toll-free)
Tel: 590 590 27 88 88
If creative French cuisine is your thing, Le Gaïac will be one of your best meals on St. Barths. Former sous-chef Stéphane Mazières has stepped up to the plate at this classic Relais & Châteaux restaurant and reinvented Le Gaïac's menu. Of course there are classical French ingredients like lobster, foie gras, and truffles throughout, but the island touchesa Caribbean lobster here, some passion fruit and mango thereare our favorites. Sunday brunch offers the best spread $65 can buy on the island, and diners can enjoy the fabulous sweep of the Anse de Toiny that sadly disappears into darkness after nightfall. As part of the Hòtel Le Toiny, the decor is staunchly tasteful, as is the staff's classic composure.
Open daily for breakfast 7:30 to 10:30 am, for lunch noon to 2:30 pm, and for dinner 7 to 10 pm. Closed September and October.
Follow the locals (and in-the-know regulars) for fabulous food at a quarter of the typical price. Make sure to stop at Eddy's in Gustavia for tuna sushi, green papaya salad, and rum punches (590-590-27-54-17). Andy's Hideaway in St. Jean is a must for thin-crust pizzas, fish cooked over hot stones, and a bottomless carafe of vanilla rum passed around at the end of every meal (590-590-27-63-62; www.hideaway.tv). Le Piment in St. Jean is a sweet lunch spot for tuna tartare salad; it recently added a bar and an outside deck (Route de Salane; 590-590-27-53-88). And when you crave an all-beef patty, Jojo Burger in Lorient is the place to get it (Lorient; 590-590-27-50-33). The Coffee Shop in St. Jean is where to score a better-than-Starbucks fix (Les Jardins de St. Jean; 590-590-29-89-44).
Anse de Public
Tel: 590 590 27 75 73
This St. Barths must showcases the eclectic cooking of owner Randy Gurley's Caribbean-born wife, Maya. The ever-changing menu relies on ultrafresh ingredients and includes such specialties as Creole cucumber salad and traditional West Indian orange cake.
Closed Sundays and September through mid-October.
Grand Cul de Sac
Tel: 590 590 29 83 00
You can't do much better in terms of overall experience than the restaurant at Le Sereno. It's set on the beach in the quiet bay of Grand Cul de Sac, and a few tables are in the sand. There's an extensive fish menu, but the recommended course is the catch of the day, prepared exactly as you like it. An authentic French bouillabaisse, made with fish imported from the Mediterranean, is served up on Fridays, although for the outrageous €60 price tag, you might prefer to stick to the local stuff.
Closed September and most of October.