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Jul 16, 2007 05:59 PM

Recommended grocery stores & bakeries in St. Barts?

My husband are traveling to St. Barts for the first time, and though we plan to eat out, we also love beach lunches and midnight snacks. Can anyone recommend a place to buy good ingredients and delicious pastries? Recommendations near to Grand Cul-de-Sac, St. Jean, and Flamands would be especially appreciated.

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  1. You are in luck! Some of the best food in the world is on St. Barth and you will find whatever you want. We are going back down on Thursday --- eighth trip -- sixth in past three years. When are you going?

    Here is the info you actually asked about:

    Grocery Stores: Closest to Grand Cul de Sac: Mono Shop in Marigot
    Closest to St. Jean: Match, across from the airport
    Superette, just to the east of Match in the large
    strip center
    Closest to Flamands: Saint Helene Boulangerie
    You will find that those closest to Cul de Sac and Flamands are not the best -- very limited selection. The closest grocery to Cul de Sac with a decent selection is L'Oasis in Lorient. Match, across from the airport, is the largest and has the best selection. Libre Services AMC in downtown Gustavia also has a large selection. L'Oasis is open from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. 365 days a year. That is good to know because there are a lot of holidays in St. Barth when the others close. Also, the hours of operation at the others are split up during the day and are different on different days.

    There are two good butchers. Le Boucherie St. Jean is near Eden Rock Hotel -- take the road directly across the street from the hotel and look on the left as you go up the road. Specializes in organic meats. The other butcher is at Primantilles, which is located in Les Mangliers, a commercial center behind the Shell Station in St. Jean. It usually has a larger selection of meats than the other one and also has some interesting grocery items.

    Bakeries abound -- there are three Petite Colombe bakeries, in Columbier, Gustavia and Lorient. Also in Gustavia is Boulangerie Choisy. Many of the smaller groceries also carry fresh pastries and breads that they buy from the bakeries.

    There are two places that provide carry-out prepared picnic-like items. Mayas To Go, across from the airport, is the best known and also the priciest. Much better, IMO, is Kiki-e-Mo, which is in St. Jean, but going east it's past Eden Rock Hotel on the right.

    Match carries a huge selection of cheeses and charcuterie and breads. You could make yourself a nice beach lunch just on that.

    You can probably tell that I love that place. Always glad to talk about it and will answer any of your questions. Feel free to ask.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ddavis

      Thanks, ddavis. I was wondering if you'd reply. I've taken notes on some of your other posts re: St. Barths! We're leaving the 31st, to stay through the 7th. All best on your own travels. And check in when you get back, if you discover any other new and wonderful eats! From all signs, I'm guessing this trip won't be the last time we visit St. Barths.

    2. Looks like DDavis has got you covered, and I second lots of the reccs. We were in St. Barth last May and we went to Match by the airport nearly every day! You probably know about this site, but the Insider Guide has obsessively detailed trip reports and information on anything and everything.

      Have fun--and don't miss Saline Beach, really beautiful!

      7 Replies
      1. re: cafecreme

        I spent some time in St. Barts--driving past the salt flats on the way to Saline Beach--the smell was so bad that it made me gag. Quelle horreur!

        1. re: cafecreme

          Yup, Saline Beach is definitely on the itinerary. I've perused the Insider Guide, but haven't checked the trip reports yet. Good idea.

          The hardest thing now is going to be picking the 2 or 3 restaurants for the nights we plan to really splash out. Not a bad problem to have, though. How nice it is to vacation somewhere where good food is abundant. Love that!

          1. re: jbeaux

            Maybe you've already gone, but when we were in St. Barts, THE hot place was Esprit Salines, near Saline beach. We blew a lot of money on dinner there, and it was really good and atmospheric. Also, Keffe Masai (sp?) was another in spot. We stayed at Saline Cottages and the owner, a French guy who knows everyone on the island really urged us to try these places and we weren't disappointed. Basically, this is a small island and you will find everything you need pretty easily. St. Jean beach is nice and calm, but Salines is really beautiful (but no umbrellas)

            1. re: cafecreme

              Before you go to Esprit d' Saline, check to see if it is open. It may be closed for summer. When we were there (July 19-26) I know it was not open for lunch. Le Grain de Sel, right there close to Esprit, was open for lunch and dinner. Le Tamarin, near Saline Beach at the intersection of the road from Saline and the road to Lurin, was open, to our surprise. It's another great place.

              1. re: ddavis

                Hello everyone! We are leaving for our again..fabulous trip over to St Barth's!!! wooo hooo

                I posted on my other site (wink wink ddavis) and want to know some of your top recs for lunch and dinner. My are some of the following in no particular order:

                Maya's (and Maya's to go)
                Pa Cri
                On the Rocks
                Le Gaic
                K'fe Massai
                Le Piment
                Wall House

                I know I am probably missing so many, but that is a start.

                What are your favs and what do you order???

                Thanks so much!!!

                1. re: Angelina

                  The trip was wonderful. The beaches, so beautiful, as promised. And the island was very mellow in off season. We did mostly beach picnics during the day, compliments of Maya's To Go or bread, cheese, etc. we bought at Match. Several evenings we ate at L'Entr'acte. Service was great, and the place was much more lively (seemed like a lot of locals) as compared with the 'bigger name' places that I've heard are great in high season. We also fell in love with Restaurant Saigon, in Gustavia, next door to the new O (which didn't impress us, btw. Felt aloof; too fashionable for its own good). At Saigon we ordered an assortment of dim sum (pretty good), and steamed fish w/ ginger and tamarind that was just so wonderful. And the family that runs the place was really sweet. We also ate lunch at the Sand Bar - Eden Rock (at ddavis' suggestion--thanks, davis!). I ordered the tomato and watermelon soup (cold), which was really refreshing, and their famous sole meuniere--really, really good. So good. My husband ordered an app that had guacamole served with it. It was the best I've ever had -- I think they worked a dash of curry into it. We also tried the Wishing Well, on the road to Flamands Beach. Very low key; great for when you're tired and sandy from the beach. We had conch fritters--hot and tender, with just the right amount of salt--and way too many Liptonics. We also had a low-key dinner of lox baguettes and salad nicoise at Le Creperie in Gustavia on our first night. Even for a casual joint, the bread was so fresh, the lox and goat cheese exactly right. Overall, I was really impressed with the food on St. Barths. We elected not to do many elegant places, preferring the intimate local and family-run shops. And Match always had great 'French-quality' bread and assorted goodies I can't find at home. Final tip: if you're into heat, we stumbled upon Matouk's hot sauce, made with Scotch bonnets. Whoo. Packs a punch, but tasty. Our server at L'Entr'acte knew we loved it and took it upon himself to buy us a few bottles one afternoon, which he presented to us as a gift the next time he saw us. We ultimately bought several bottles ourselves (at Match, of course) and gave them to our equally heat-hungry friends back home.

                  1. re: jbeaux

                    So glad to hear you enjoyed St. Barth! I love the way you went about it. Great low-key places and it sounds like you made some new friends. We agree on O'Corner. We ate there in July and were not impressed. Glad you had good experiences at the other places. I can hardly wait till we go back in January!