Life in Saint Tropez really is painted blue. I noted to my friend that the kids clothes seemed brighter in the Mediterranean sun. Perhaps, I wondered, if this is where they shoot the laundry ads, with the kids in the impossibly true orange and white tennis dresses, juxtaposed against the verdant green hills and sparkling, cloudless sky.
There are some quite famous restaurants in the Port of Saint Tropez. Some of these are famous due more to their location on the port or their loyal and sort of famous (in some circles) clientele, that doe to the actual meal.
But if you ask for recommendations and venture through town and up to Gassin, the twinkly little fairy book village above Saint Tropez proper, you can actually have an amazing meal. And please, bring your kids. We didn’t go to a single restaurant where children weren’t sitting with their families enjoying an, albeit, late dinner.
Here are my favorites:
Salama, was without a doubt the digestive highlight of our trip. It is a Moroccan restaurant hidden down an alley in Saint Tropez. The restaurant is tucked away from the main drag, and the main seating area is a garden with a pergola of grapes acting as your ceiling. Beautiful Moroccan lanterns dangle from the vines as good looking male waiters dressed in black bring you one amazing course after the next.
We started with the “entree divers.” This came with a bit of everything and every morsel was so delicious that the food was gone within three minutes. We washed this lovely appetizer plate that had spreads of eggplant, lentils and some fried delicacies with their special non-alchoholic Salama. This is a fresh squeezed lemonade mint with a touch of basil. So delicious.
We ordered the main meal together, to share. We selected the beef meatball tijine, the chicken tijine, and the lamb and prune tijine. We also ordered chicken skewers, vegetable cows cows and beef meatball cous cous.
It was all delectable. Every bite lingered on the tongue, filling us with the scent and taste of a place far away. Occasionally my son was distracted because I wanted pictures of the handsome waiters and was too embarrassed to do so myself so gave him the job as he had the best view.
If you are in Saint Tropez and only get to choose one restaurant make it Salama. One of my favorite places in the world. Great food, happy service and happy customers in a beautiful garden setting.
Auberges des Maures is another quaint restaurant tucked right off of the Rue D’Allard. Some complain that service can be a but feisty because the owner runs a tight ship. I can see how some might say this and I definitely felt like they wanted us there on time (unusual in France). The food however was amazing. We chose a loup (sea bass) from a beautiful tray they brought us and allowed the owners to select our sides: pommel de terries, legumes and du pain. Their specialties are all the bar-b-que. I felt that allowing them to select our dishes meant we would have the best specials of the house.
Banh Hoi is a little Thai fusion restaurant hidden on a secret alley. Their spring rolls and dumplings were amazing. We had the green curry and red curry with sticky rice as our mains and they were the best curries I have had since I lived in New Zealand. A great choice and be sure to stop in the amazing sailing shop next door after dinner.
Key West is actually a beach club by day but they start serving dinner at eight pm. This place is a Godsend for families with small kids. The adults can relax with their aperitifs and entrees while the little ones muck around on the beach right in front of the restaurant. We had a lovely time. The mozzarella tomato salad (fried mozzarella) was delicious and the Gambas Risotto was as well. Take your time and linger. The moon rising up from the Mediterannean is one of the most beautiful sights you can enjoy over dinner.
Le Pescadou if the hustle and bustle of Saint Tropez has gotten to you perhaps a quiet evening in Gassin is the thing for you. There are several restaurants in Gasin and all have outdoor seating looking out over the mountains and sea. Le Pescadou served traditional French fare. The baked mussels and mozzarella tomato salad were excellent.
Le Tigrr if it is a scene you are looking for this is the place for you. Set in the roof of the the Hotel Hermitage the tables enjoy the ocean breeze and provide an amazing view of the city of Saint Tropez. A dj sets up at 9PM and you can enjoy cocktails and food until the wee hours of the morning. Just be sure to report to mom if she is your sitter for the evening.