Many Bora Bora restaurants conform to the French Polynesian stereotype. Grass huts, freshly caught catches and ocean views almost come as standard. Which, of course, all adds up to some rather memorable menu perusing moments. But there will come a point in your stay where you’ll be looking for something a little different among those Bora Bora restaurant options. We’ve hand-picked a little of everything for you to try. From budget and basic breakfast cafes to exclusive and intimate hideaways, plus the option to lunch like you never have before…
When the novelty of having your breakfast delivered to your water bungalow via an outrigger canoe wears off, scamper over to the mainland for a breakfast at the Aloe Cafe. A rustic and modest contrast to luxe life in a resort, it’s an ideal mid–holiday palate cleanser to remind you just how amazing Bora Bora’s resorts are. Not that there’s anything lesser about the food at Aloe. The cafe was THE go-to place for croissants, pain au chocolat and a cold, fresh coconut milkshake. Until the St James Patisserie opened its doors. That said, you’ll still have to pitch up early if you want a pastry. Aloe tends to sell out by 10am. Beware the portion sizes though. The American breakfast is a carb heavy plate of croissants, toast, pancake and eggs that comes with juice and a choice of hot drinks.
La Patisserie Francaise by St James
Keen to maintain the gourmet standards set by your hotel, but fancy a change of creme pat? Drop into the welcoming (but eye-shockingly puce) doors of La Patisserie Francaise. Open daily from 6:30am, this chic patisserie offers a decadent way to start the day. Yes, the croissants offer pastry lamination Paul Hollywood can only dream of, but do step outside your cake comfort zone. Their tartelette citron vert merges citrus, meringue and crème d’amande to perfection. So nibble on a Paris brest eclair, munch on macarons or simply work your way through every tart, cake and cream puff you can. You’ll only regret not ordering more when you’re morosely pondering the Greggs cake counter when you fly home.
Picnic on a private motu
You won’t be visiting a Bora Bora restaurant for this once in a lifetime lunch. Instead, you’ll be hopping on a romantic escapade organised by Moana Adventure Tours. Their package is tailored towards anyone on a Bora Bora honeymoon, though any loved up couples can book their skippered cruiser for a day. For €754, you’ll be given a full day tour of the lagoon, a feast of a Polynesian picnic on your own private island and the chance to snorkel with sharks, rays and tropical fish. The price might seem a bit steep for some champagne, grilled fish and salads – but this is all about the location. Tailor the entire day exactly as you’d like it – right down to your picnic ingredients.
Orbzii tip: The high price point for this one might not be to everyone’s taste. But there are other Bora Bora options. Popping a picnic in your sea kayak and paddling out to a secluded spot is just as romantic – and easily done, as the island is surrounded by motus to choose from.
Across the gastronomic globe you’ll find restaurants wielding some celebrity schtick to get you through the door. Some allude to exclusive clientele, others slap up some signed 8x10s on the wall for you to muse over while you tuck in to celeb-approved nosh. This is where we find ourselves during a lunch at Bloody Mary’s. The Polynesian surroundings, yacht club services and idyllic pontoon don’t quite mesh with the Tex Mex menu. And the barefoot dining on the sand floor of the restaurant adds a certain level of ‘spit and sawdust’ to the whole experience. But, it’s a rare find among Bora Bora’s otherwise sleek and sophisticated dining. If you’re craving a burger – and a game of guess the famous face – drop in.
La Villa Mahana
You really need to book your table at Villa Mahana before reading this. Tricky, but this is the kind of forward thinking needed to secure a spot at a restaurant with only 14 covers. The few tables you’ll find at this fine dining nook are cleverly distributed around the villa to add a level of privacy and intimacy to a romantic evening. And candlelit exclusivity isn’t the only reason you’re pulling up a chair here. Chef Damien Rinaldi-Dovio’s menu is a French Polynesian feast for the senses. Guests dream of flying back in for one more serving of his mahi mahi curry but there’s always the temptation to try the lobster risotto, beef tenderloin or indulgent bowl of gnocchi in the richest cream sauce only a classically trained French chef dare serve. Most important of all? Remember to pace yourself enough through the courses to sample Villa Mahana’s chocolate lava cake.
Bora Bora Yacht Club
As a rule, Bora Bora restaurants lean towards fine dining. And while the Bora Bora Yacht Club is no exception to that rule, there’s a distinctly relaxed vibe served alongside the poisson cru. You’ll be dining under the stars – having no doubt enjoyed a sunset cocktail on their water deck. And, while you’ll eat well here, it’s perhaps best to remember the menu prices signal the setting and ambience – rather than the level of gourmet food you’re about to eat. Yes, the yacht club serves up an excellent menu, but it’s not quite ready to catch the eye – or the palate, of a Michelin star judge. That said, where else in the world can you savour a crème brûlée while a sea turtle gracefully swims by?