As owner and CEO of Exceptional Villas, I am often asked where is my favourite place in the world to go on vacation? With so many beautiful places in the world, I am unable to limit my answer to just one vacation spot. My answer to this question is always the same; Italy, The Maldives, Barbados and St Barts. As a lover of all things gourmet, I personally think it is hard to beat St Barts which is why I decided to put pen to paper and write about all the best places to eat in St Barts.
The food in St Barts is varied and always exquisite.
The fact that Air France flies in each day from Paris to the neighbouring island of St Martin laden with delicious French goodies as well as sensational French wines and champagnes is a great help. French flair is very evident in much of the cuisine, but some of the top restaurants in St Barths are Italian, Thai and Japanese. Many of St Barts best restaurants cleverly combine influences from all over all over the world.
The other wonderful thing is the fact that there is an abundance of locally caught seafood.
Over the years, I have visited the island many times, and each time I revisit my favourite St Barts Restaurants. I also make sure to visit all of the new restaurants in St Barts.
To do a blog on the best places to eat in St Barts is no easy task however as there are more than 80 restaurants on the island. An incredible number considering the island is tiny and just 8 square miles!
Here are some of…
The Best Places to eat in St Barts
It is a great spot to people watch while enjoying Wahoo sashimi with yuzu and citrus confit or roasted Mahi Mahi filet with a hummus & basil cream sauce.
If you like to party, then go at the weekends and ask for a table inside. The atmosphere is electric, and it is not long before everyone is dancing on the tables to the sounds of one of the best DJ’s on the island.
If you order an extravagant bottle of wine or champagne, this is what might happen!
Top Tip: Ask us to reserve a harbor side table. The views are fabulous. But if you like to party, the place to be is inside in the middle of the fun.
Bartolomeo and The Guanahani
Also located at the Guanahani Hotel is the Indigo on the beach. It is one of my favourite lunch spots on the island.
This is laid back, feet-in-the-sand luxury whilst enjoying delicious bites like Tempura of Prawns, Crab guacamole, crispy bread, fried calamari and Jumbo shrimp, mango & coconut mayonnaise.
Top Tip: Reserve a table closest to the sea. The views are stunning.
Black Ginger Thai Restaurant
The head chef and sous chef both hail from Bangkok where they worked at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, which is also one of the city’s best and oldest 5-star hotels.
They were both trained by Vichit Mukura who is considered to be the world’s best Thai Chef.
The food is exquisite and beautifully prepared with the freshest ingredients and spices.
Some of the highlights include Black Pepper Mahi-Mahi, Sweet and Sour Scallops and shrimp with lemon, ginger and coconut. The décor is chic with an open sky roof and huge dome-shaped lights.
The restaurant is beautifully lit and has a wonderful atmosphere.
Top Tip: If you feel like eating in your St Barts Villas, then Eddy’s to Go where you can get a great takeaway is a great option
But the food is even more sublime. Bonito is overseen by well know executive chef Laurent Cantineaux, and the food is a wonderful fusion of French and South American.
Some of my favourite dishes include the Sautéed Chilean Sea Bass, Grilled Tuna Tataki with Sesame and the Spiny Lobster Risotto.
Bonito is without a doubt one of the St Barts hotspots, and it is not unusual to spot celebrity guests, such as Pippa Middleton who is now married to James Matthews, son of the owner of the famous Eden Rock Hotel. You are also likely to see a clatter of supermodels and film stars.
The last time I had dinner in Bonito, I was lucky enough to be sitting beside Vanessa Redgrave who just happens to be one of my favourite actresses in the world. The décor is like a chic beach house, and there is even a fabulous boutique if you feel like a bit of retail therapy after dinner.
Top Tip: Bonito often has Great DJ every night. Check with our concierge for the best night to book.
The courtyard garden restaurant is strewn with thousands of fairy lights creating a totally magical feel. The food is very affordable and has a French Creole and Asian influence.
Favorite dishes include the sautéed wahoo, plantains and the chocolate cake!
Top tip: Get there after 9 p.m. This is when the locals arrive and the atmosphere becomes electric!
Francois Plantation is an elegant French restaurant, with hints of Provence and the Mediterranean in the gourmet menu.
Delicacies include a beautiful home-made foie gras and langoustes flambé, not to be missed! Open for lunch and dinner in high season, and pre-booking is highly advised.
The restaurant is set in an open-air tropical garden with twinkly lights that give it a lovely romantic yet casual, laid-back feel. L’esprit is located just before Saline beach on the left which is also one of our top 5 beaches in St Barts.
Some of the most delicious items on the menu are the duck spring rolls, roast scallops, lobster ravioli and the braised veal.
Top Tip: Surprisingly good value
If you want to find out more about St Barts read my Ultimate Guide to St Barts.
If you are a pasta lover, the home-made pasta is delicious. Other specialities are the thick veal chops topped with sage and roman style grilled artichokes.
Top Tip: Make some time to have a cocktail at the bar. The atmosphere is lovely.
Le Ti St Barth
If you are in the mood for a party, then Le Ti is the place to come. On arrival, it feels like you are entering a very nice clubby-type restaurant. But the first appearances are quite deceptive. The food is good.
My favourite thing to eat is the Angus Prime Rib.
But the Tuna Tataki and the Mahi Mahi Filet with a Beure Blanc sauce are also good. First is the cabaret show which is quite sexy and wild, then there is a fashion show, and around 11pm is when the real fun begins.
My first time, I was pulled into the dress-up room and came out looking like Britney Spears! Everyone dances on the tables and the atmosphere can be pretty wild.
Top Tip: Expect the unexpected and go with the flow!
This is where you will eat with your feet in the sand, have views to die for of the beautiful sea and St Jean Bach and eat a medley of beautifully prepared and healthy fusion food.
Some of my personal favourite dishes are the Yellowfin Tuna Tataki with Thai Sauce and the locally caught wahoo with Tandoori.
There is a tiny boutique in the restaurant full of treasures including the fabulously trendy Free In St Barth brand which by the way you can get online now. But as a woman who loves fashion, the best bit for me is the fashion show. Beautiful models floating past your table wearing gorgeous clothes whilst drinking ice cold rosé wine and eating delicious Cervices is my idea of heaven!
At night, the restaurant vibe changes quite a bit. There are regular themed nights with DJ’s, fire shows, live artistic pole dancing and entertainment.
Top Tip: The weekend brunch is fabulous, and the Sunday night deluxe barbecue is also great.
It has an excellent & varied menu at great prices. We had shrimp tempura with tomato chutney which was excellent. The service is good, and Le Repaire also offers excellent value.
It is also a good choice for cocktails.
Le Toiny Restaurant
The completely new Le Toiny Hotel has a wonderful culinary treat in store for gourmet lovers. We can go so far to say it is one of the best restaurants on St Barts, which is great acclaim when there are so many fabulous restaurants from which to choose.
The food has inspirations from France and Europe, and head chef Jarad McCarroll oversees the kitchen.
The décor of the restaurant is chic with the use of white and neutral colours and with a view that overlooks the pool and the Bay at Anse d Toiny.
The food is truly delicious, and the service was excellent. We had the fish tartare and the lobster ravioli. Both were amazing.
If you are staying around Gustavia or St Jean, it is well worth the effort of driving the 10 or 15 minutes it takes to get to Le Toiny.
Le Toiny Beach Club
The Le Toiny Beach Club is a hidden gem in St Barts. The restaurant has an extremely quiet spot at the end of Toiny Beach and the only way to access it is by a four-wheeled drive down a very steep hill or by walking along the beach.
It is the polar opposite to the fun and party atmosphere you might find in Nikki Beach.
This restaurant is where you put your feet in the sand, enjoy delicious food in a zen and beautiful atmosphere.
The menu changes regularly so if you are a regular visitor, you will never get bored. Expect to eat refreshing salads, grilled fish and delicious ceviche.
The food at Nikki Beach is also off-the-charts-delicious, and then there is the music, dancing and entertainment. Nikki Beach is also renowned for its themed lunches and dinners. They are always a fun day out.
Top Tip: Sunday lunch is the best time to people watch and if you are on the island in October, make sure to get a seat for the opening party!