Wherever the French go, fine food and wine are sure to follow, and French Polynesia is no exception. You will get good food everywhere here, but these are a few of the best places to sample fine fare.
- Le Coco's (Tahiti): On Tahiti's west coast, you'll have a fine view of Moorea from the patio at Le Coco's, specializing in light nouvelle cuisine.
- Le Lotus (Tahiti): The most romantic setting of any French Polynesian restaurant is in this overwater dining room at the InterContinental Resort Tahiti. The food is gourmet French and the service highly efficient and unobtrusive, but even if they weren't, the view of Moorea on a moonlit night would still make an evening here special.
- Restaurant Pink Coconut (Tahiti): Also with a spectacular view of Moorea from Marina Taina, the Pink Coconut is my favorite place for a romantic lunch.
- Le Royal Tahitien Restaurant (Tahiti): The food is very good and moderately priced at Hotel Le Royal Tahitien's dining room, which occupies a 1937 vintage building beside the black-sand beach in the Pirae suburb.
- Le Belvédère (Tahiti): The fondue isn't worth writing home about, but the spectacular view of Papeete and Moorea from high in the hills above the city is worth a postcard.
- L'O a la Bouche (Tahiti): Downtown Papeete's best fare is this stylish bistro emphasizing fusion cooking and fine wines.
- Les Roulottes (Tahiti): Dining in a parking lot is far from romantic, but the meal wagons on the Papeete waterfront after dark are the best food value in French Polynesia. The carnival-like scene itself is worth seeing.
- Le Mahogany (Moorea): After 30 years at the former Hotel Bali Hai, Chef François Courtien now works his magic at Le Mahogany, one of the best food values on Moorea.
- Le Mayflower (Moorea): Mainly locals in the know frequent this roadside restaurant, Moorea's best. The sauces are delightfully light, as are the prices for such good food.
- Painapo (Pineapple) Beach (Moorea): This beachside pavilion is my favorite place for an authentic Sunday buffet of traditional Tahitian food. It's one of French Polynesia's best values, too.
- Bloody Mary's Restaurant & Bar (Bora Bora): A fun evening at French Polynesia's most famous restaurant is a must-do when on Bora Bora. That's because Bloody Mary's provides the most unique and charming dining experience in the islands. Come early for a drink at the friendly bar, and then pick your fresh seafood from atop a huge tray of ice. After eating heavy French fare elsewhere for a few days, the sauceless fish from the grill will seem downright refreshing.
- La Villa Mahana (Bora Bora): Corsican chef Damien Rinaldi Dovio also provides relief from traditional French sauces at his romantic little restaurant, where he uses "exotic" spices to enliven fresh fish and beef dishes.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.