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Fueled by young French chefs and hotel dining rooms that keep ratcheting up the excellence quotient, the St. Barts dining scene is superb. It's also really, really expensive, and prized tables are often booked along with hotel reservations in high season. But the island is not just about five-star hotel dining. You can eat very well at the many casual beachfront, hilltop, and harbor-side restaurants. Many of the island's most popular spots offer an affordable and filling lunchtime plat du jour (daily special) for 10€ to 12€. Note: Entrée is the French term for appetizer; plat means main course. Restaurants offering plats du jour include La Marine and the Wall House in Gustavia, and The Hideaway in St-Jean.

Virtually all the restaurants on St. Barts include a 15% service charge (service compris).

Traiteurs: Gourmet Food to Go -- St. Barts can be so expensive that many visitors often go the epicurean takeout route at one of the gourmet traiteurs on the island. These traiteurs go way beyone the classic French picnic fare of bread, cheese, and a bottle of wine: This is highfalutin' grub, or at the very least an incredibly tasty takeout repast, perfect for a midday beach picnic or a candlelit dinner on your hotel balcony or villa terrace. La Rôtisserie -- which has two stores: Gustavia (rue du Roi Oscar II; tel. 590/27-63-13) and St-Jean (tel. 590/29-75-69) -- is a boulangerie, patisserie, bakery, and more, selling wine, mustard, pâté, herbs, caviar, chocolate, and exotic oils and vinegars, as well as takeout plats du jour from pâtés to pissaladière (onion tart); the Gustavia store is open daily 7am to 7pm; the St-Jean location is open from 6am to 8pm. Also in St-Jean are two more highly recommended traiteurs. Maya's To Go (tel. 590/29-83-70), across from the airport, is operated by the famed island restaurateurs and offers such takeout specialties as sesame chicken noodles, wahoo ceviche, tuna tataki, meatloaf sandwiches, and more. It's open Tuesday to Sunday 7am to 7pm. American-born I. B. Charneau named Kiki-é Mo (tel. 590/27-90-65; www.kikiemo.com) after sons Keefer and Marlon. It channels the Italian salumerias of her Short Hills, New Jersey, childhood with pizzas, pastas, and panini -- and great espresso; it's open 9am to 10pm. La Route des Boucaniers, the harborside restaurant in Gustavia, will also do delicious French/Creole takeout meals (tel. 590/27-73-00). And if you want to stock up on basic supplies and groceries, St. Barts has a number of grocery stores with excellent selections of imported French delicacies, good wines, and excellent snacks. The Super-U supermarket (which recently replaced the old Match) is located directly across from the airport; it's open on Sundays.

 

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.