42 Place des Lices, St-tropez, 83990
- Recommended for:
- Couples, Families with teenagers, Families with younger children, Seasoned travellers, Singles, Nightlife, No fuss, People watching
Best for Cheap eats - Expert review of Le Sporting
Not long ago, someone asked me where she could eat “well and cheap” in St Tropez. I replied: “You can eat well, you can eat very well but, as far as I know, you can’t eat cheap and well.”
And then I thought again and said: “Except at Le Sporting.” This is one of my very favourite spots in the resort (especially when I’m paying) simply because it isn’t very tropézien at all. On the opposite side of the Place des Lices from the posher places, it’s essentially a pretty standard bar-bistro-brasserie.
In place of bling, glamour and designer lighting effects, it has a proper long bar, tiled floor, tables ascloseasthis and a buzz of local life surging through the place.
In a sense it’s a continuation of the square and street by other means. Correctly in such surroundings, it serves simple good food simply, and at a canter.
And, though it wouldn’t count as fabulously inexpensive anywhere else in France, it really is as near to a budget spot as St Tropez gets.
The menu is weighted towards Italian-influenced bistro fare – so look out for good pasta dishes. The lasagne’s a treat, as is the pasta with squid ... and there’s a very toothsome escalope Milanese, too. With its attendant spaghetti, this is an ample meal in itself.
But you should also consider the dish of the day ('plat du jour') from the blackboard. On my most recent visit there, this was lamb chops with several trimmings.
It came both copious and highly edible. No frills, or decorative flourishes of sauce round the plate – but I can live without those at any time, and especially when I’m paying €12 for what easily constituted my entire dinner.
As indicated above, the place is really a slice of local life, and something of a squeeze. Kids run about, the small tables are pulled back and forth to accompany expanding groups of friends, blokes down beer by the bar, mums nip in for a break and anyone at all ends up on the terrace, watching the world go by – and hailing half of it.
Most of the people inside seem to know most of the people outside.
There are perhaps more touches of décor than in similar bistros elsewhere – the bar’s a bit fancy, there are big posters on the walls – but nothing you’d want to comment on.
There are clearly far more interesting things to talk about and Le Sporting provides a lively setting for high octane conversation at any time. Its heart is absolutely in the right place.
Brisk, informal and friendly.
On the Place des Lices – couldn’t be more central.
The dish of the day – which might well serve as a full meal, notably at lunch-time – is €12. Pasta dishes are a bit more, and the escalope Milanese is around €19. Think around €30-€35 for a full monty of three courses.
More information on Le Sporting:
- Price guide:
- Bar, Brasserie, Restaurant
- French, Italian, Mediterranean
- 42 Place des Lices, St-tropez, 83990
- +33 494 970065
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Opening times:
- Open daily, 8am-2am.
- Accepts Credit Cards:
- Not necessary