While spending our tropical honeymoon on the island of Bora Bora, Mark and I did some heavy research, finding the best restaurants, dishes, and cuisine favorites on the island. Working closely with our hotel concierge, we dinned at a few restaurants that were too spectacular not to share with you! I honestly think we enjoyed the absolute best bites in Bora Bora and I loved every fork-full of it.
Whenever Mark and I travel, we love experiencing new cultures through their cuisine. To truly experience a country, you need to eat their food! Each dish tells a story about how that country came to be, how the region is changing, and honors local tradition. For Bora Bora, I would say the food on the island is a mix of the three. The French Polynesian cuisine is a combination of traditional French cuisine, Hawaiian flavors, with an Asian flare. We left our resort almost every night by boat, heading into town to enjoy the best local restaurants in Bora Bora. Although it was quite a journey to leave the resort for dinner, it was absolutely the best way to experience the best bites in Bora Bora and was totally worth the trek.
Bora Bora's Cuisine Influences
The fingerprints of France are not only found in the island's spoken language, but also in the food. The only grocery store on the island was full of French favorites, like fresh baguettes, cheese varieties, and endless wine choices. Many of the island's restaurants proudly served items using classic French cooking techniques, sauces, and ingredients. I can't even tell you how many times we had duck and foie gras, all delicately cooked to perfection!
Surrounded by ocean, the best bites in Bora Bora include a seafood heavy cuisine. Mahi mahi is one of the most popular and abundant fish in the Bora Bora waters, and it was proudly served at every restaurant. One of the most classic Bora Bora dishes is mahi mahi served in a creamy vanilla sauce - the vanilla is grown on an island close to Bora Bora. The tropical seafood and locally grown vanilla beans were found sprinkled all over the menus, each dish deliciously unique.
5 Best Bites in Bora Bora
1. La Villa Mahana, Bora Bora
Located in a quaint house, this fine dining restaurant is the ultimate restaurant with the best bites in Bora Bora. Depending on the time of year, you could be put on a 3 month waiting list for a reservation - but it's worth the wait! La Villa Mahana has only 7 tables, which made the space feel so cozy and romantic. It came highly recommended as the perfect honeymoon dinner location, and I have to tell you, it was one of the best restaurants we have ever dined.
What to order: Epicurean Experience - Honeymoon Special. We loved the the wine pairing with this delicious five course menu. Menu items included raw shrimp salad with caviar, king rock lobster and black tiger prawn risotto with champagne sauce, and chocolate cake with vanilla cream.
2. La Matira Beach, Bora Bora
Not only was this our second favorite restaurant in Bora Bora, this was also the only restaurant we dinned at twice! We just loved it so much. This beach front restaurant has views of the white sand and gorgeous blue water, with open patio seating, a sushi bar, and open-air beachy vibe. I still dream of the fresh sushi, caught right from the Bora Bora water.
What to order: Chef's Maki Special and the mahi mahi in vanilla cream sauce.
3. Bloody Mary's, Bora Bora
To be completely honest, I was afraid Bloody Mary's would be really touristy. And while they do sell t-shirts and is a celebrity hotspot (to prove it, they have a wall dedicated to famous patrons), I was blown away by this place! To order, you step up to their fresh fish bar where you pick out your seafood by pointing to what catches your eye. The daily changing menu is based on the fresh catch of the day. I also fell in love with the sand floor and ultra island interior.
What to order: Whatever is the freshest catch! We all know we have the best bites in Bora Bora when the fish is the freshest - and it's alway fresh! We couldn't get enough of the grilled parrot fish and coconut cake with coconut ice cream.
4. St. James, Bora Bora
With a gorgeous deck overlooking the water, this open air restaurant has a stunning French style menu. St. James has gorgeous plating that reminds me of a modern New York City restaurant. We were enchanted by their Romantic Menu, which had some of the best island and French fusion items.
What to order: Tuna tartare, ocean prawn salad, and passion fruit cheese cake. We also ordered the mahi mahi in vanilla cream sauce, which was completely different than La Matira Beach's version of the same Bora Bora staple.
5. Poisson Cru - A Classic Bora Bora Dish
As a sushi lover, I was so excited to try this classic dish. Raw mahi mahi tossed in a citrus juice and coconut milk is like the hawaiian poke mixed with ceviche. This dish was served at our resort, and it was so delicious! The fresh fish bathed in coconut milk, with the zest of lemon, and fresh island grown vanilla bean hitting my palate. It's a must try to truly enjoy the island flavors and taste the best bites in Bora Bora!
These best bites in Bora Bora are a must if you are visiting the island! Work closely with your hotel concierge to book your reservations - but don't forget to plan ahead for La Villa Mahana. Remember they only have 7 tables in this ultra romantic romantic restaurant!
If you can't get enough of the Bora Bora island life, check out my other posts about our stay in an over water bungalow, and private beach villa!