Le Bateau Ivre

International in Tamatave (Toamasina)

This sprawling beachfront enterprise manages to do everything well. There is a central restaurant and bar, beach bar with BBQ, hamburger bar, pizza oven, 25m swimming pool, and even beach volleyball. Beneath the central big top, you’ll find a diverse mix of clientele, from miner expats to Malagasy families, all there for the excellent food.

It's all charmingly cluttered with statuary, fossils and parasols. The seafood is particularly good, and there are creative drinks and nightly live music. This eclectic mix is not only stimulating, it manages to define a vibe for the whole city that seems entirely appropriate, like a Cotton Club for Tamatave. If you’re only in town one night, spend some time here, although given the options, there is little reason to leave. Very busy on weekends.