St. Martin and St. Maarten Restaurants

Although most people come to St. Maarten/St. Martin for sun and fun, they leave praising the cuisine. On an island that covers only 37 square miles (96 square km), there are more than 400 restaurants from which to choose. You can sample the best dishes from France, Thailand, Italy, Vietnam, India, Japan, and, of course, the Cari
Although most people come to St. Maarten/St. Martin for sun and fun, they leave praising the cuisine. On an island that covers only 37 square miles (96 square km), there are more than 400 restaurants from which to choose. You can sample the best dishes from France, Thai
Although most people come to St. Maarten/St. Martin for sun and fun, they leave praising the cuisine. On an island that

Although most people come to St. Maarten/St. Martin for sun and fun, they leave praising the cuisine. On an island that covers only 37 square miles (96 square km), there are more than 400 restaurants from which to choose. You can sample the best dishes from France, Thailand, Italy, Vietnam, India, Japan, and, of course, the Caribbean.

Many of the best restaurants are in Grand Case (on the French side), but you should not limit your culinary adventures to that village. Great dining thrives throughout the island, from the bistros of Marigot to the hopping restaurants of Cupecoy to the low-key eateries of Simpson Bay. Whether you enjoy dining on fine china in one of the upscale restaurants or off a paper plate at the island's many lolos (roadside barbecue stands), St. Maarten/St. Martin's culinary options are sure to appeal to every palate. Loyalists on both "sides" will cheerfully try to steer you to their own favorites, and it’s common to cite high euro prices to deter exploration, but quite a few restaurants still offer a one-to-one exchange rate between dollars and euros if you use cash, and main-course portions are often large enough to be shared.

During high season, it's essential to make reservations, and making them a month in advance is advisable for some of the best places. Dutch-side restaurants sometimes include a 15% service charge, so check your bill before tipping. On the French side, service is always included, but it is customary to leave 5% to 10% extra in cash for the server. Don’t count on leaving tips on your credit card—it's customary to tip in cash. A taxi is probably the easiest solution to the parking problems in Grand Case, Marigot, and Philipsburg. Grand Case has two lots—each costs $4—at each end of the main boulevard, but they're often packed by 8 pm.

What to Wear: Although appropriate dining attire ranges from swimsuits to sport jackets, casual dress is usually appropriate throughout restaurants on the island. For men, a jacket and khakis or jeans will take you anywhere; for women, dressy pants, a skirt, or even fancy shorts are usually acceptable. Jeans are fine in the less formal eateries.

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  • 1. Anse Marcel Beach

    $$$ | French

    Beachside calm with a side order of chic is on the menu at this lovely and private cove restaurant/beach club, good for a beach day, a sunset...Read More

  • 2. Bacchus

    $$ | French

    If you want to lunch with the savviest locals, you have to scrape yourself off the beach and head into an industrial park outside Grand Case...Read More

  • 3. Bamboo

    $$$ | Asian

    This hip mainstay on the top level of the Maho central shopping area features red lacquer walls, lounging tables, Indonesian art, a first-rate...Read More

  • 4. Big Fish

    $$$ | Eclectic

    Big Fish offers big portions of fresh-caught fish, sushi, and upscale steaks served in a modern, Miami Beach atmosphere. The service is friendly...Read More

  • 5. Cynthia's Talk of the Town

    $$ | Caribbean

    Although St. Martin is known for upscale dining, each town has its barbecue stands, called lolos —even Grand Case. Locals flock to the half...Read More

  • 6. Friar's Bay Beach Café

    $$ | French

    There is a sophisticated vibe at this quiet, rather elegant beach club that may make you feel as if you're on a private beach. You can rent...Read More

  • 7. Hidden Forest Café

    $$ | Caribbean

    Schedule your trip to Loterie Farm to take in lunch or dinner in lovely tree-house pavilions with a safari vibe the hip clientele can appreciate...Read More

  • 8. Karakter Beach Lounge

    $$ | Eclectic

    This funky and charming modern beach bar, right behind the airport, serves up fun, great music, relaxation, and a lot of style. The vibe is...Read More

  • 9. L'Astrolabe

    $$$ | French

    Chef Maxime Orea gets raves for his modern interpretations of classic French cuisine served around the pool at this cozy, relaxed restaurant...Read More

  • La Cigale

    10. La Cigale

    $$$$ | French

    On the edge of Baie Nettlé, this restaurant has wonderful views of the lagoon from its dining room and open-air patio, but the charm comes from...Read More

    La Cigale
  • 11. Le Marrakech

    $$ | Moroccan

    Some 20 years ago, the charming owners renovated this historic St. Martin case. After several other restaurant ventures, they returned to...Read More

  • 12. Le Pressoir

    $$$$ | French

    This restaurant in a carefully restored West Indian house painted in brilliant reds and blues has charm to spare. The name comes from the historic...Read More

  • 13. Le Sand

    $$$$ | French

    A stylish, upscale St. Barth vibe and beachfront location make this a great choice. Relax on the terrace for cocktails and snacks, or park yourself...Read More

  • 14. Le Ti Bouchon

    $$$ | French

    This tiny restaurant, close to Anse Marcel hotels, captures the spirit of Lyon, the capital of French gastronomy, where casual small restaurants...Read More

  • 15. Mezza Luna

    $$$ | Italian

    Under the shady pergolas at Mezza Luna you can sit with your feet in the sand any time of day and enjoy gorgeous beach views. Everything (including...Read More

  • 16. Temptation

    $$$$ | Eclectic

    Temptation's Chef Dino Jagtiani trained at the Culinary Institute of America, and his dishes combine spices and ingredients that provide a full...Read More

  • 17. Top Carrot

    $ | Vegetarian

    Open from 7:30 am to 6 pm, this friendly café and juice bar is a popular healthy breakfast and lunch stop. It features fresh and tasty vegetarian...Read More

  • 18. Antoine by the Sea

    $$$$ | French

    Owner Jean Pierre Pomarico greets guests and ushers them into this comfy seaside restaurant. Low-key, blue-accented decor, white bamboo chairs...Read More

  • 19. Au Petit Café

    $ | Café

    There are only a small number of tables (both indoor and out) at this tiny bistro in the quaint shopping arcade just off Front Street. Stop...Read More

  • 20. Bistro Nu

    $$$ | French

    It's hard to top the authentic French comfort food and reasonable prices you can find at this intimate restaurant tucked in a Marigot alley...Read More

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