While the island is imbued with a relaxed informality, it is, after all, French, and therefore takes its dining seriously. The emphasis is on a rotational satisfaction of palates and whims between ocean dips rather than a strident three square breakfast-lunch-dinner delineation. Start the day off with a classic pâtisserie and café au lait before moving into a veritable repast of fresh fish, unexpected flavors, grazing plates, sancerre and rosé… always sancerre and rosé!
Brunch du Toiny at Le Gaïac
Hotel Le Toiny | +590 590 27-8888
If you are lucky enough to be on the island for Sunday brunch, the petit déjeuner à volonté at Hotel Le Toiny is a can’t-miss St. Barth tradition. Perched high above the Toiny bay, both the restaurant and the hotel are exercises in understated elegance, their focus on an intimate, event to remember. Delight in eclectic French fare – this is so not your grandpa’s buffet – and spend the remaining afternoon lounging poolside.
Rue du Roi Oscar II | 05 90 27 58 40
Arrive early for the best pain au chocolat you’ve ever tasted – the kindly Monsieur Choisy is often out of stock by 9 AM at his tiny Gustavia bakery.
Le Cabane & Le Case
Baie des Flamands | +590 590 27-6181
Whether you choose to dine in the pristine dining room at La Case or in the sand at La Cabane, a masterful culinary experience awaits. Plus, can you beat being able to wander from table to lounge chair within 10 seconds of finishing your uncannily good BBQ ribs? We think not.
Grande Saline | +590 590 27-7212
A tropical oasis beneath the shade of a towering tamarind tree, this Saline staple has seen its share of changes over the years. We’re happy to report that it’s back and better than ever in its latest incarnation, a return to its French-Caribbean roots.
Rue du Roi Oscar II | +590 590 52-0202
It’s hard to think of a more pleasant surprise than this warm little authentic Italian pizzeria, though where the magnificent L’Isola is involved, you know it’s going to be good. Gather ‘round a communal table with your group and sample thin-crust creations alongside vinos by glass.
Plage de Public | +590 590 27-7573
So essential is dinner at Maya Gurley’s eponymous little Creole wonderland that it requires more than a single visit. The waterfront dining room on an unlikely stretch of Plage de Public is beloved for its no-fail approach to cuisine: the freshest fish and ingredients shine when prepared simply. Savor the flourless chocolate cake along with the familial atmosphere beneath an impossibly silent, starry sky — it’s a night you’ll long remember.
Rue du Roi Oscar II | +590 590 51-0005
We still get swoon-y when we think about our last meal at this bastion of Italian gentility. Rivaling our best Amalfi Coast meals, the service is done with a flourish and the classic dishes are always a welcome change-up. This is a unique St. Barth destination.
On The Rocks
Baie de Saint Jean | +590 590 29-7999
You’d be hard pressed to find a better backdrop for scenic drinks than Jean George’s al fresco restaurant floating above the waters of Saint-Jean at the Eden Rock hotel. Order up a signature Raspberry Lychee Bellini or Kumquat Mojito and breathe this special spot in.
Pointe Milou | +590 590 27-9771
The Gather girls aren’t particularly skilled club hoppers, which we’re sure comes as a surprise to no one. But ‘when in Rome’ is the saying and ‘what happens at Carole’s Places…’ is the cornerstone of St. Barth nightlife. The scene at raucous burlesque party Le Ti is by now the stuff of legend. With cocktails as outrageous as the rollicking revelers, you’re always in for a fun night here.