Le Select: Cheeseburger in Paradise
For the Jimmy Buffet fans out there, this lil' local joint has become somewhat of a landmark as it is most famous for being the place where Buffet allegedly was inspired to write his famous song about....Cheeseburgers in Paradise!
It's owned by the "unofficial" mayor of St. Barths and attracts both locals and visitors alike.
We stumbled upon it as we were looking to take a shopping break in downtown Gustavia and grab a quick bite and cold beer.
It's a VERY casual atmosphere with their tables and plastic chairs set up all around the little courtyard that sits outside the steaming hot grill. Behind the counter the team cranks out orders and the cook sweats over the grilled burgers and hot dogs in that sweltering, balmy Caribbean afternoon.
The burgers and hot dogs were pretty good and be sure to combine them with an ice cold Caribe beer and Ti Punch.
It's a great place to grab a quick cheap (relatively cheap to the other surrounding restaurants). They accept US dollars and Euros and a lunch for two could run you about $20USD.
A great place to people-watch!
Favorite Dish: The Cheeseburger in Paradise, of course!
La Plage Restaurant at the Tom Beach Hotel: Pleasure to the Eyes and Mouth
What was nice about traveling during the 'low season' is that you could pretty much walk into any of the renowned restaurants on the island without a reservation, and still manage to get a table.
La Plage restaurant at the Tom Beach Hotel had a very cool atmosphere and the night we were there, the local band "Papagayo" performed. They were actually quite good and added a little island flavor to a lot of well-known American hits.
The menu selection was mostly seafood and pasta dishes---that French and Caribbean flair that you saw a lot around the island. The portions were generous so if you decide to order the delicious tuna sashimi salad, don't order the yummy lobster fettucine because you won't be able to finish it!
The restaurant is located inside the very chic Tom Beach Hotel that has its own private beach in Plage St. Jean. After dinner, you can take a stroll and dig your feet in the sand.....
Favorite Dish: Everything we ordered was delish----be sure to check out their creative daily specials!
Nikki Beach (by Day): Be Cool......
Nikki Beach is an institution. All of its international locations are placed strategically in some of the most luxurious jet-setting havens in the world: St. Tropez, Marbella, Marrakesh, Miami.....They're known for their luxuriously hip decor and sophistication.
They say the Nikki Beach in St. Barths happens to be one of the smallest, most exclusive and most "infamous" property in this international 'lifestyle' chain. I can imagine during the high season from December-January, it caters to the infamous celebrity crowd.
Nikki Beach actually owns 3 properties on the island---the beachside "Nikki Beach" which is where we spent most of our days, lounging on their beds with our cool drinks and munchies before dipping in that warm, tame blue water----and 2 other locations in downtown Gustavia: Casa Nikki which is their nighttime club, and The Strand, which is their ultra-chic restaurant and champagne bar with what they call, "The Sexiest View on the Island."
The Strand was actually closed for renovations during the time we were there, but I often heard rave reviews about it.
Favorite Dish: During the day, Nikki Beach has a DJ playing and offers a full menu with their delectable sushi items and great appetizers. Their mojitos were a little on the 'too sweet' side for my tastes, but they have a full bar and can mix any type of cocktail you want.
Their wait staff all were extremely friendly and even offered to serve your cocktails out in the water while you swim!
Note: It's $50USD to rent the beachside bed all day
Nikki Beach (by Night): Still Cool.....
Nikki Beach slightly shifts gears when the sun sets and what you experience during the day with the casual flip flops, and lounging on the bed turns into a bit more elegant atmosphere.
In the evenings, you can still dine on the beach, but you're seated on a table and having dinner by candlelight with the waves quietly crashing beside you.
They often have "theme nights" at the restaurant and we happened to be there during Brazilian night where their chef was on the grill dishing up some delectable slabs of BBQ'd meats.
They have an excellent wine selection and their fresh fish and pastas were wonderful.
Favorite Dish: We enjoyed the Cuba Libres! ;-)
Nikki Beach: Beach Lunch
Favorite Dish: Have you heard of the famous Nikki Beach?? Check out the website~there are five locations in the world~Marbella, St. Tropez, St. Barth, Puerto Vallarta and Miami Beach. Miami has the teepees on the beach. So cool! Here on St. Barth there were rows of beds on the beach. Okay, now about the food, haha. I had the amazing assortment of sushi rolls you see in the picture. Check out what it is served on. I also tried my very first mojito here~what a great drink, with fresh mint leaves packed into the glass!
La Mandala: My Birthday Dinner!
I remember the pool IN the restaurant. It is decorated in a Balinese style, and wooden Buddhas and paintings dominate the decor. It was my birthday the day we arrived, and I have a nice memory of dessert arriving with a blowtorch in it, with fireworks shooting up off of the chocolate tart it was in!
Le Ti St. Barth: Funky Decor...with a Modeling Show
Favorite Dish: This restaurant has a reputation of diners dancing on the tables. No, I am not kidding! Wait till you hear this: while you are having dinner, there is a modeling show going on around you. Yes, I am completely serious! The changing decor currently featured pink faux fur covered tables, silver streamers dangling from the ceiling, and walls painted in strong colors of royal blue and red.
My memory of the food here was the excellent steak tartare appetizer. I had lobster ravioli, while my husband once again could not resist the Cote du Boeuf.
K'fe Massai: Meeting New Friends!
Favorite Dish: Well, guess what, after the foie gras, we went to have our actual dinner. Can you believe it? And I did not gain a pound on this trip~ I don't know how that was possible. We had seafood kebabs and grilled vegetable salad at this very hip restuarant. We were eating light, hahahha!!
L'Ananas: Foie Gras
Favorite Dish: Okay, get ready for this, all you goose liver lovers!! This restaurant had the most amazing foie gras. No, not pate, but actual sauteed goose liver, surrounded by soft peeled grapes. Did food ever bring tears to your eyes?? This will, it's so good!!
Do Brazil: Lunch with a View!
Favorite Dish: I realize I keep talking about the view in these food tips, but it is just so beautiful! This restaurant is just above Shell Beach, where sunbathers are stretched out right on top of the crushed shells. This is where the bed on the beach is in my intro picture. There was a photo shoot while we were having lunch, which I desperately tried to get into. Look for me on the Travel Channel!
Okay, now back to the real reason for this tip: the food. Open up this picture and you will see: fried goat cheese, what else??? That was not my entree, however. I had a very delicious seared red tuna on a bed of mango chunks. Sweet sauces were dotted all around my plate.
BBQ: Best Cote du Boeuf!
Favorite Dish: Love the tapas here. in fact, you could come here just for drinks and tapas if you're not in the mood to have a full entree. You won't leave hungry, believe me. If, however, you are hungry, order the Cote du Boeuf . I don't know if I am describing it correctly, but it's like slices of prime rib. Be prepared~~you will be served a lot of beef!
La Route des Boucaniers: Harborside Lunch
Favorite Dish: Another beautiful setting, in the port with a view of the boats. This time I had the goat cheese salad, and it was amazing. They were 3 or 4 croquettes of almond crusted chunks of cheese over a bed of greens. I have to say it was the best goat cheese. Can you tell I like cheese??
Le Rivage: Huge,Great Salads!
Favorite Dish: Having just landed on St. Barth's, we were ready for a real lunch! This restaurant is known for its salads, so I ordered the Salad du Rivage. How does blue cheese, apples and walnuts sound?? It was a great combination. My husband ordered the goat cheese salad~~fantastic. Oh, and let me paint this picture for you: listening to the gentle waves as you have your lunch at a beachside table. I knew this was going to be a great vacation!
La Plage at Tom Beach: Afternoon Pina Colada
Oh....I love this place!! There are wooden sofa benches with colorful plush cushions, cocktail and dining tables right on the beach, in the sand . Very laid-back, except when the airplane whizzes by you right over the water. The windsurfers don't stand a chance, and you have to hold onto your drink!!