The food in Saint Tropez ranges from the truly spectacular to the spectacularly over-priced. There are, however, a few places where you can get good honest food for less than the Greek deficit, but you have to know your way around. And if you have no deficit to worry about at all, then you have plenty of gourmet restaurants to choose from.
There are two beautiful restaurants set in old Provencal houses in the pretty lanes of Saint Tropez.
L'Auberge des Maures is the oldest restaurant in Saint Tropez and has been serving up sensational Provencal food since before the Second World War broke out. Picasso and Charlie Chaplin are just two of the famous clientele who have eaten from its kitchen. Dine on fresh fish baked with lemon and herbs and beef stews rich with red wine and rosemary. The stone walls, thick wooden beams and grape vines just complements this food to perfection. The obvious criticism is that traditional Provencal food is not normally this expensive, but this restaurant has the history and ambiance to pull it off with distinction.
Au Caprice des Deux is another old favourite for locals and visitors alike, with a wonderful selection of Provencal and Southern French food. This place gets very crowded, and its convivial atmosphere is very enjoyable; it doesn’t stand on pretension, with chunky wine and water glasses and the food coming out on thick white plates. The food here looks less like it’s there to be photographed and more like it’s to be enjoyed, and we mean that as a compliment: this is delicious, honest French cooking (with somewhat dishonest prices but, hey, it’s Saint Tropez!).
For a truffle fest and a brief respite from the Saint Tropez summertime bling, head to Bistro a la Truffe, a cozy and popular bistro run by famous TV chef Bruno de Lorgues. Take a table among the exposed brick walls that are festooned with old black and white photos, and tuck into a wonderful meal of fresh creamy pasta, roasted meats and grilled lobster - all topped and infused with the earthy smell of truffles that fills the room. You’ll pay somewhat for the privilege, but not as much as you’d expect for a meal so wonderfully abundant in truffle magic.
La Table du Marche is another St Tropez institution; this restaurant may be called a ‘simple bistro’, but with meals like lobster gratin and scrambled eggs with sea urchin on the menu, it’s not surprising that chef Christophe Leroy is considered one of the area’s most well-loved and enterprising chefs. This gorgeous little bistro and tearoom is a welcoming place, especially if you’re considering indulging in the chocolate spring rolls with spicy caramel sauce.
Brasserie des Arts is a very popular and trendy brasserie that serves up decent food for fairly reasonable prices. It’s got a terrace outside on the bustling Place du Lices that affords some of the best people watching on earth, and the atmosphere really ramps up as the afternoon goes on. By night-time there’s a real party going on, with music until 2am.
For another unpretentious eatery popular with locals and tourists alike, head to Le Sporting; a brasserie that is not much different than so many other good local cafes across France. The furniture is old, children run about, the fish is fresh, the burgers are good, the food is hearty and flavoursome… and the prices are very good for Saint Tropez, with daily specials for about 15 euro. Try the burger with fois gras and morel sauce. This is real French cooking in that it is loved by the masses and, unless you like your tablecloths white and your cutlery in solid silver, the chances are excellent that you’ll like it too.