Bora Bora

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Most visitors dine at their resorts, but two freestanding favorites are La Villa Mahana for superb French-influenced gourmet cuisine and Bloody Mary’s for decent (though pricey) grilled fish and a jovial communal ambience. You’re in French Polynesia, so expect a good wine list, but otherwise keep things simple – the island is not known for its cuisine. Poisson cru, raw fish marinated in lime juice and coconut milk, is Bora Bora’s signature dish. Dinner is usually served from 6:30-9pm.

Top Restaurants in Bora Bora

Bloody Mary's

Sure, it’s touristy, but this sand-floored institution has splendid lagoon views and serves tasty grilled seafood (try the teriyaki wahoo) and steaks under a thatched roof. The bar is perfect for a beer (or a Blood Mary), but, like the restaurant, it closes at 9pm. The place is also open for lunch, serving primarily burgers and fish ‘n chips.

Povai Bay, Bora Bora, 011-689-67-72-86, www.boraboraisland.com/bloodymarys
Tags: moderate | seafood | views

La Villa Mahana

If you can score one the seven tables at the best restaurant on the island, you’ll rhapsodize over the refined, Tahitian-accented French cuisine of Chef Damien Rinaldi Dovio, formerly of L’Orangerie in L.A. The ahi tuna marinated in vanilla oil is sublime. Reserve at least three months in advance.

BP 941 Amanahune, Bora Bora, 011-689-67-50-63, www.villamahana.com
Tags: seafood | expensive | notable chef | french fusion

Lagoon

Jean-Georges Vongerichten operates this Asian fusion hot spot at the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort. Arrive early to enjoy a Jean-Georges-designed cocktail, such as a Ginger Margarita, as the sun sets over the lagoon and Mount Otemanu. Menu highlights include rice cracker crusted tuna and grilled mahi mahi with white sesame vinaigrette. Carnivores will also be happy as beef, veal, and duck are typically on the menu.

Motu Ome'e, St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, Bora Bora, 011-689-60-78-88, www.stregis.com/borabora
Tags: seafood | expensive | notable chef | views | asian fusion

Motu Picnic

One of Bora Bora’s most authentic and memorable dining options is a picnic on a secluded motu. This can be arranged privately for just a couple or as part of a half- or full-day group lagoon excursion that can also include snorkeling and shark and stingray feeding. Most resorts offer motu picnics on their activities roster, but ask if they work with entertaining Marona Atiu of Lagoon Service (lagoonservice@gmail.com), who prepares a delicious lunch of poisson cru, grilled fish, coconut bread, and more on his delightful private motu.

Bora Bora, 011-689-75-69-57
Tags: romance | expensive | views

Roulotte Matira

Literally translated as “restaurant on wheels,” this casual roadside stand near Matira Point (a variation on “les roulottes” that gather en masse each night on the harbor in Papeete) serves up everything from tasty crepes to stir-fry, beginning just before sunset.

Matira Point, Bora Bora,
Tags: budget | takeout

Snack Matira

Snack Matira offers pizzas, burgers, omelets, grilled fish, and sandwiches in a humble, beachfront shack overlooking the dazzling sand and lagoon. It’s the perfect way to satisfy your afternoon hunger – and interact with locals – after a rigorous morning spent lounging on the beach.

Matira Point, Bora Bora,
Tags: budget | views | waterfront | takeout

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