St. Tropez Restaurants
Quartier La Rouillère
Tel: 33 4 94 79 24 95
This is what makes the village of Ramatuelle magical: dining under the ancient olive and pine trees in the yard of an old farmhouse surrounded by vineyards. The atmosphere captures the relaxed, rural vibe that made the South of France so appealing in the first place. The menu changes daily, but you're likely to find vegetable terrine, roast lamb, and pears poached in red wine with homemade madeleines.
Open daily 7:30 to 10 pm, April through October.
9 Quai Jean Jaurès
Tel: 33 4 94 97 00 63
The shrewd owners of this very popular seafood joint, opened in 2005, know visitors dream of the innocent days when Brigitte Bardot wandered about town in bare feet. Hence the sand floor and the black-and-white photos of everyone's favorite sex-kitten-turned-animal-activist. Beyond the nostalgia, the food's delicious: The fish soup is so potent that the taste of the Mediterranean will stick with you for the rest of your life; giant grilled shrimp are so fresh they pop when you bite them.
Open daily noon to 1 am.
12 Rue du Petit Saint-Jean
Tel: 33 4 94 97 36 29
Tucked away behind Hôtel La Ponche and the Place de l'Ormeau, this small Vietnamese/Thai restaurant is the ideal break from all that Provençal aïoli and bouillabaisse. Settle into the red-and-black decor and sample carefully prepared dishes such as Thai fish soup with lemongrass and coconut milk, shrimp and mango salad, ravioli stuffed with pork and mushrooms, and grilled chicken with satay sauce. Choose a local rosé to accompany your meal, and don't miss the cinnamon-scented apple beignets for dessert.
Closed mid-October through March.
Quai Jean Jaurès
Tel: 33 4 94 97 03 87
A happy exception to the rule that all of St. Trop's portside restaurants exist to feed tourists badly, Le Girelier is big with the yachting crowd and ideal for a light lunch or an (almost) reasonably priced seafood supper. Begin with the soupe au pistou (vegetable soup with a dollop of basil-and-garlic puree), or the fish soup. Then tuck into a grilled lobster, shrimp sautéed with pastis (anise-flavored liqueur), or tuna tartare. The cheerful dining room is done up in a maritime theme, and service is prompt and friendly.
Open noon to 12:30 am, March through October.
Tour du Portalet
Tel: 33 4 94 97 29 00
Michelin recently and mysteriously snatched away one of Leï Mouscardins's two stars—and the locals aren't pleased. Granted, the too-too fabulous crowd here spends as much time looking around the loud, social dining room as actually tasting the food. But they might have a point: Skilled and imaginative, Breton chef Laurent Tarridec remains the best person cooking in St. Tropez. His brandade (whipped potato and salt cod) cooked in a mason jar remains a local classic; foie gras with figs is grande bouffe excess in the best Gallic tradition. The other dish not to miss—besides the side orders of gossip and backstabbing—is locally caught rouget (red mullet) served on a bed of spelt and dosed with musky Moroccan argan oil. Drink locally—maybe a nice Cassis or a Bellet—to avoid a ruinous tab, then lean back and join in: "Can you believe she wore that dress?"
Open daily 7 to 11 pm.
Route des Plages
Tel: 33 4 94 97 17 22
Ambitious, media-savvy chef Christophe Leroy is St. Tropez's culinary mascot, and he knows his clientele right down to their artfully painted toenails. Leroy's fans want a sexy, romantic setting with great lighting, a low-key lounge sound track, a smattering of famous faces, smiling service from cute waiters and waitresses, and tasty but uncomplicated food—all served under the stars in Ramatuelle. Leroy changes his prix-fixe menu regularly but usually includes vichysoisse with truffles, pasta with clams and mussels in a basil-garlic sauce, lobster salad with ginger, and veal chop with chanterelles. The regulars wash it down with a locally produced Château Minuty rosé and finish things up with the chilled peach salad spiked with lavender flowers.
Avenue du Maréchal Foch
Tel: 33 4 94 56 68 20
The Hôtel Byblos has two restaurants, but this is the one everyone in town flocks to (the other is B Bar & Lounge, which serves soups, salads, burgers, and grilled fish poolside and is good for lunch). Conceived by globe-trotting gastronaut Alain Ducasse and designed by the talented Patrick Jouin, this place pulls in a very hip crowd that pecks at the French-glossed Asian-Mediterranean fusion cooking while perched on stools at high counters or lounging at tables in the courtyard. Considering the generally indifferent attitude toward dining around St. Tropez, the sophisticated kitchen manages to provoke appetites with a menu that includes spicy ceviche, shrimp-stuffed pot stickers with ginger-tomato sauce, grilled tuna with stir-fried vegetables, Moroccan tagines, and a chocolate pizza for dessert. It's a very popular choice for a late-night meal before heading to Les Caves du Roy.
Open daily 8 pm to 12:30 am July and August; Thursdays through Mondays mid-April through June and September through mid-October.