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 my firm favorites in alphabetical order!
Located directly overlooking the Harbor in St Barts, Bagatelle is very chic with influences of the sophisticated south of France brassiere.
It is a great spot to people watch whilst enjoying Wahoo sashimi with yuzu and citrus confit or roasted Mahi Mahi filet with a hummus & basil cream sauce.
Top Tip: Ask us to reserve a harbor side table. The views are fabulous.
Bartolomeo and The Guanahani
This wonderful St Barth Restaurant is located in the grounds on the 5-star Guanahani hotel. Bartolomeo is their fine dining restaurant. The cuisine is a wonderful blend of the local Caribbean and Mediterranean influences.
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
Black Ginger is one of the newest restaurants in St Barts and is already a firm favourite. It is the only Thai Restaurant in St Barth, and it is a great one. 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
Bonito is not only one of the best restaurants in St Barths it is also one of my firm favourites and one I will visit every time I am in St Barts. It is located in an elevated position overlooking Gustavia Harbor, and consequently, the views of Gustavia are sublime. But the food is even more sublime. Bonito is overseen by well know executive chef Laurent Cantineauz, 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 fabulous live music. Check with our concierge for the best night to book.
Whilst Eddy’s doesn’t have a harbourside location in Gustavia; it still manages to be one of the most romantic restaurants on the island. 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!
L’Esprit is another one of my personal favourite restaurants. It is owned and run by Jean-Claude Dufour and his wife. Jean-Claude who ran the kitchen at the Eden Rock is also one of the most talented chefs on the island. 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
L’Isola is considered to be one of the best if not the best restaurant in St Barts. It is fine Italian dining with an island twist located on the hillside in Gustavia. Whilst it doesn’t have a sea or harbour location, that is soon forgotten with the warm welcome, fabulous food and amazing atmosphere. The head chef is from Rome and almost all the staff hail from one part of Italy or other. Our waiter was from Naples.
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.
La Plage Restaurant in St Barts is probably my all-time favourite. It is located directly on St Jean Beach and is part of The Tom Beach Hotel. I love it for both lunch and dinner and have even been for breakfast! Each is quite a different experience.
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.
Nikki Beach is the place to see and be seen in St Barts. Having tried many of the Nikki Beach restaurants around the world, for me the one in St Barts is by far and away the best. Much of it is to do with the location. This world-famous beach club is located on one of the most pristine and beautiful stretches of beach in the world. It is right beside The Eden Rock Hotel and has its own almost private little cove. The water is crystal clear and beautiful turquoise.
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!
Sante Fe is located on one of the highest points of St Barts in an area called Lurin (on the way to Gouverneur Beach) which is why the views are absolutely incredible. On a clear day, you can see as far as St Kitts, St Eustatius and Saba. Sante Fe is one of the more traditional style restaurants in St Barts.
It has a sense of history and is not as trendy as some of the newer St Barts Restaurants, but it is still one of my personal favourites. I especially love going for lunch to enjoy the view. But lunch or dinner, the food is always wonderful, and the atmosphere is always romantic.
The food is a blend of traditional French and Creole cuisines.
Expect to enjoy the freshest of Dover sole, spicy ocean hot pot and grilled spiny lobster straight out of the tank in the restaurant.
Top Tip: If you are going at night, take a taxi home. The road is dark, steep and narrow!
Tamarin is one of the most romantic of St Barts Restaurants. It is set in a beautiful tropical garden full of lily ponds and sweet-smelling flowers. The restaurant is located on the right side of the road on the way to Saline Beach. A beautiful tamarind tree is located at the entrance and is reputed to be over 200 years old.
The menu is very varied with everything from Pan-fried foie gras to pan-seared tuna with a satay sauce and sautéed mahi-mahi, vegetables, veggie pepper and chickpea butter.
Top Tip: Go at night time when the gardens are beautifully lit and very romantic.
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!
St Barts has some of the best restaurants in the world. I have heard people comment over the years about how expensive it can be. There are a few fine dining restaurants with some eye-watering prices, but generally, most of the restaurants are well priced and offer really good value.
The fusion of influences from all over the world, make it a very interesting place to enjoy some amazing gourmet experience.
We love to hear from our readers so please do let us know what you think the best places to eat in St Barts are, and we will be delighted to check them out next time we visit St Barths.
Contact Alexandra Baradi for more information.