Simple and authentic“, that are the defining words of Le Club 55. Yet, this is also the best and long lasting place in St Tropez to have a delicious lunch on the beach. Since 1955, the Club 55 (Cinquante-Cinq, hence the name), has been the mecca of the rich and famous. For over 50 years, almost every famous person lunched at this restaurant or hanged out by its bar. From the French icon Brigitte Bardot to the British Kate Moss, Madonna or Jay-Z with Beyoncé – you can see in flesh any of the stars at Le Club 55.
Plump Vegetables at Club 55
I go to St Tropez a number of times every year and each time I have lunch at Le Club 55 – I know, I am the lucky one. The location and ceaseless popularity of this beach restaurant allows for higher than usual prices as without wine one can spend between €50 and €100 for a two-course Mediterranean meal at the rustic yet chic restaurant.
Lively ambiance at Club 55
Le Club 55 has an unforgettable atmosphere. Skirting the Mediterranean shores, beside St Tropez, its location was destined for success. There are many beach restaurants that die as time passes in South of France, but not Le Cinquante-Cinq! Here, the guests is welcomed as a friend, casually, without any hypocrisy or snobbery as it often can happen at some of its neighbouring establishments. And that is perhaps why everyone loves it so much. Over the years it became an institution that keeps its promises. One can wear a celebrity outfit (large sunglasses, jewellery and hat on) or a linen kaftan with flip-flops and still fit in. During the peak season, resident jazz band swings around with a giant contrabass singing for a birthday table on one side, and later entertaining the always active bar scene.
Famous stars show up often at Club 55
The food is ultra fresh, and local ingredients are served without pretensions. Baked mediterranean fish, pike-headed artichoke or a horse meat burger? Do not translate the later as I did as Hamburger à cheval is not made of horse meat, but Hamburger à cheval is made of beef and fried egg on the top. Not a horse in it. The name comes from its look, the eggs are sitting on the flat minced beef  like a rider on a horseback.
The menu is all in French, so it is wise to either learn some food words ahead (there is a menu, that never changes, and daily specials; I will include the standard menu items with their French names for you) or ask the stuff, which is normally very helpful.
You can order very simple dishes, some of them ideal for the beach dieters – Carottes Râpées – Greated carrots will not add many calories to your daily total. Southern staples such as Salade NiçoiseAnchoiade (anchovies, olive oil, garlic) or Panier de Crudités – a huge basket of fresh vegetables, hard-boiled eggs and a delicious mayonnaise-based sauce to dip in – are always a great start. The vegetable basket is ideal for sharing, as you can see below on the picture it is large.
Vegetable cruditèe at Club 55
My favourites include the Salade de Pampelonne (Tomatoes, fresh goat cheese, creamy rich sauce and fresh mint), Artichaut Vinaigrette, (huge cooked artichoke, that you peel, leaf by leaf until you reach the meaty heart and carve it out to savour with a yellowish mouth-watering mayonnaise sauce), Epi de Mais (grilled corn knob with melting butter – simple but exquisite, although pricy for such an uncomplicated dish) and Feuilleté de Ramatuelle – which is a quiche-like savoury style pie with cheese, eggs and tomatoes starter.
As a main course, the choice is again diverse. Seafood like Grilled prawns (Gambas Grillèes), various fish, Veal Milanese (Escalope Milanaise), Beef Filet (Fillet Grillé) or Burger with fried egg (Hamburger à cheval) are all excellent. The fish is fresh and often great for sharing. My friend tried the Hamburger à cheval and loved its juicy and succulent flare in a freshly baked bun. At that time erroneously thinking that he was eating a horse burger – he was quite excited about it. For regulars the daily specials are interesting as one can get bored with the same food every time.
Fruits, cakes, homemade ice cream and sorbets charge you up with sugar fuel. In particular the Strawberry tart (look below at the picture and I guarantee you will not resist) is heavenly and quite light for a cake, making it a perfect treat, before you strip into your bikini or Vilebrequin shorts.
Strawberry cake at Club 55
The bon vivant atmosphere seduces for a bottle or two of something racy. The wine list does not strip your pocket as there are many local roses and white wines for a reasonable price to be chosen from. I like the Domaine Ramatuelle, Chateau de Pampelonne and Les Bouis roses next to the more known provençal domains from the list. Sangria, mojitos and other cocktails are a compulsory items on the beach bar list.
Chateau Pampelone rose
 Daily from April till November for lunch 1-4pm. There are two seatings in the high season. Reservation is incremental at least a couple of days prior your visit.
 43 Boulevard Patch, 83350 Ramatuelle, France
+ 33 4 94 55 55 55