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-   -   Is dining out expensive in St.Martin? (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/is-dining-out-expensive-in-st-martin-244881/)

JAN Jul 31st, 2002 03:40 PM

Is dining out expensive in St.Martin?
 
We will be traveling to Saint Martin in Sept and are not doing an all inclusive - are the meals expensive at the various restaurants or can you get good food for reasonable prices (ie $12-15/person)? Are there any good buffets? Any suggestions you can give would be appreciated. Thanks!

John T. in NC Jul 31st, 2002 04:09 PM

The French restaurants are overrated (L'Alabama) and expensive. But the most expensive aspect is when you get mugged coming out of the restaurants by the scum loiterers (as my wife & I were mugged at knifepoint in Grand Case last April). Super experience. <BR><BR>As for buffets is St Martin, none that we saw, but maybe at some of the hotels???<BR><BR>Be careful! It's not a safe island.

Statia Jul 31st, 2002 05:29 PM

Yes, dining can be affordable, or it can be expensive...depending on where you go and what you prefer. What area are you staying in and I can give you some recommendations since I go to SXM quite frequently.<BR><BR>Will you have a kitchenette in your room? Also, will you have a car?<BR><BR>As for the previous posters remarks, yes, SXM does have crime, as do a lot of places in the world now. However, if you are careful and watch yourself, you shouldn't have a problem. Just do as you would in any major city. I've gone to SXM almost monthly for over nine years and have yet to have an incident (knock on wood).<BR><BR>Sorry to hear about your incident John T.....I'm sure that had to be very frightening.<BR><BR><BR>

Chas Jul 31st, 2002 05:49 PM

Jan,<BR><BR>You can find all price ranges to choose from on the island. The $12 range may be a little tougher, but the $15 dollar end is not unreasonable. You could include more local fare places like Y'Vettes and Poulet L'Orleans on the French side. You can also mix in Americanized fare some night at a place like Peg Leg Pub on the Dutch side.<BR><BR>They are things to keep in mind like Statia pointed out. Besides cooking, you can balance a $20.00 meal with a very good $10 meal from a local roadside grill or the Lolo's in Grand Case. Depending on your daily routine, you might substitute a late lunch 3:30 to 4:00 as the dinner in one of the places along Orient Beach (Kon-Tiki the top choice for that). Also keep in mind that many of the restaurants include the 15% charge in the price (check the menu) so that becomes an $18 dollar meal.<BR><BR>Also contrary to John's post not all French restaurants are overrated, in fact most aren't. No matter how many times you return, you could never try them all. L'Alabama is not overated. I agree that it would be above your stated price range, but we always make a reservation before we get to the island.<BR><BR>Also as far as Grand Case, we have probably eaten there a good 25 times. We have never had a problem. Try Bistro Caribes as well.<BR><BR>Two other boards to check. WWW.TRAVELTALKONLINE.COM and WWW.GOBEACH.COM. Gobeach also includes a section where people have posted reviews on restaurants.

jan Jul 31st, 2002 05:57 PM

Thank you both for your response.<BR><BR>[email protected] we will be staying at Maho resort - no kitchenette and we will be renting a car. What are some places you would recommend?? Should we take the day trip to St. Barts?<BR>Thanks!!! Janet NYC

Tim Jul 31st, 2002 05:57 PM

Dont make assumptions about the island just because of your experiance.<BR>Its not an unsafe island and has extremely good restuarants.

Statia Jul 31st, 2002 06:57 PM

Jan,<BR><BR>The advice that Chas gave is right on target. I always recommend the lolos in Grand Case for affordable local fare, as well as some of the others that he mentioned.<BR><BR>The only things that I can add, as far as your immediate area, is Cheri's Cafe (American), Top Carrot (health food), Turtle Pier (American), Rics Place (sports bar/restaurant) and Lynnette's (local).....the last four are in Simpson Bay, which is very close to you. I will add, though, that I wasn't terribly pleased with Ric's when I last went there. <BR><BR>Eating at the restaurants at Maho will be more on the expensive side, at least from my past experience, but they might have a snack bar area that serves less expensive food.<BR><BR>And, of course, there's always the standby's such as Burger King and Pizza Hut for those "off nights."<BR><BR>Also, a great place for breakfast is Zee Best in Marigot, along with the many bakeries you'll find in SXM.<BR><BR>I'm sure you'll also get a lot of other suggestions on this site. And, if I think of more I'll report back...it's getting late here.<BR><BR>Oh, regarding the day trip...sure, St. Barth's, Anguilla and Saba are all wonderful for day trips. I'd recommend the ferry for Anguilla (out of Marigot), and a short flight on WinAir for St. Barth's or Saba.<BR><BR>Have fun and let us know if you have any more questions!<BR>

Chas Aug 1st, 2002 01:36 AM

Jan,<BR><BR>Also forgot to mention as a buffet, the Pricess casino in Port de Plaisance is supposed to be excellant. We have never been there, but have heard this from others. This info is a little dated, so someone else may have a more updated review of it.<BR><BR>Also, from what we understand, there is no obligation to gamble to take part in the buffet.


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