One of the best things about St. Barts is the quality and variety of the food. This is true not only in numerous local restaurants, but in many local homes and villas as well, due to the unusually wide range of foodstuffs available at local grocery stores, and due to the quality of local catering services. Shopping for food in St. Barts can be a delightful social pastime in itself.
In St Barth, the glittering jewel of the French West Indies, gastronomy is a way of life, far beyond simply “eating to live.” This passion for fine dining pushes chefs to be creatively inspired, and every plate, like the art of every table, is thoughtfully prepared. In St Barth, you’ll find numerous restaurants in many of island’s neighborhoods where you can enjoy everything from an early morning breakfast to a late night supper. The menus offer a myriad of culinary styles, from fresh and light to more traditional French cuisine.
While on the island, you are sure to find the perfect wines to complete your menu, from a simple meal to a lavish dinner party. It is extremely interesting to visit the various wine shops and get advice from the experts. Each shop has its own special vintages from renowned chateaux, as well as some of the best years for certain wines, so be sure to take advantage of oenological knowledge.
Graduates of the best hotel schools in France, many of the chefs in Saint Barth are experts at classic French cuisine, updated with a contemporary twist and international accents. As a result, each restaurant is known for the originality of its chef and his or her specialties, often included on the menu or as daily suggestions based on market availability and the arrival of fresh products.
It would be unthinkable to not taste Creole cuisine while on an island situated right in the heart of the Caribbean archipelago. In St Barth, there are several restaurants that offer traditional Creole dishes such as stuffed crab, fish or blood sausage, “cristophine,” a local squash prepared with codfish, and of course the popular “accras,” small, deep-fried codfish fritters. The waters around St Barth provide Caribbean lobsters which are delicious grilled or in a casserole with sauce. Certain restaurants have tanks where you can actually pick the lobster you want before the chef prepares it especially for you.
The largest supermarkets and grocery stores on the island are found in Gustavia and St Jean, but several other neighborhoods have small grocers with well-stocked shelves where you can find most of the products you need for your stay. The best time to get fresh fish is early in the morning at the fish market near the entry to Gustavia along the waterfront.
Not in the mood to leave your villa? In St Barth, it is easy to find a chef who will cook wonderful meals for you at home. You can also visit one of the gourmet take-out shops on the island and choose from pre-prepared foods that are equally delicious to eat there or take home for a casual meal.