Glamorous and French, St. Barts is known as much for its high society as it is for gorgeous Caribbean beaches. Like many beach vacation spots, it can be hard to find great food unless you know where to look. Here, six fantastic St. Barts restaurants.
On the Rocks at Eden Rock
You’ll need a reservation for the dining room at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s intimate French-Creole restaurant on a rocky perch above St. Jean Bay, but many of the items on his ever-changing menu are also served at the bar. At sunset, the whole room lights up for a romantic climax unparalleled on the island. You could be stuck here alone with your cranky old mother-in-law and still find it oddly moving. Sample dish: local mahimahi with sweet onion puree, green beans and pistachios.
Restaurant Le Gaïac
The restaurant at Hôtel Toiny has one of the most dramatic overlooks on the island, with a popular surf break far below. Sit by the infinity pool and watch surfers ride waves with athletic acumen while you eat spaghetti with black truffles—a dish prepared tableside in a giant wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
If you are looking to join the trend of dancing on tables during brunch, there are a surprising amount of beachside options on St. Barts. DJs will blast “Eye of the Tiger” while waiters—clad in superhero costumes—ceremoniously serve jeroboams of rosé. However, only this outpost of Miami’s Nikki Beach has the kind of amazingly fresh sushi that suitably matches the high price tags.
This is a local favorite and—after 30 years of operation—an institution. The restaurant sits on Gustavia Harbor, with views of the enormous yachts and towering sailboats of its clientele. Maya and Randy Gurley change their menu daily, with simple dishes created around the local catch of wahoo, red snapper and yellowfin tuna. The house-special sorbet is always a tropical flavor like mango, coconut or passion fruit.
The people who brought quality Italian dining to St. Barts in 2008 with L’Isola have recently opened this hip and casual annex. Offering Roman-style pizza and a lengthy Italian wine list, it’s a budget option when you’re shopping the fashion boutiques of downtown Gustavia. On Sundays, it becomes quite popular since many other restaurants are closed.
This oft-overlooked white tablecloth spot has surprisingly manageable prices and some of the best steaks on the island. Those who prefer fish can watch the daily catch roast on a giant rotisserie flanking the dining room, then have it filleted at the table. The restaurant also honors the tried-and-true tradition of a dessert cart: The red berry Napoleons and lemon meringue tarts are among the popular options.