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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. Chesterfield's

    $$ | Caribbean

    Both locals and tourists seem to love this restaurant at Great Bay Marina. Seafood is the main focus, but steaks, burgers, pasta, and poultry...Read More

  • 5. Enoch's Place

    $$ | Caribbean

    Enoch's lolo-style creole cooking is a Marigot must. Specialties include garlic shrimp, fresh lobster, and rice and beans like your St. Martin...Read More

  • 6. La Source

    $$ | Contemporary

    Somewhat hidden behind the boutiques in Marina Port La Royale (look near Vilebrequin), this tiny "healthy" restaurant features a French seasonal...Read More

  • 7. Le Bateau Ivre

    $$$ | Mediterranean

    In the middle of the plaza in the newish Porto Cupecoy Marina complex, this place is a good choice for an easy lunch thanks to big salads, American...Read More

  • 8. Ma Ti' Beach

    $$$ | French

    On the road to Marigot, this casual beach bar has better-than-average food and great views across the turquoise water to Anguilla. You can always...Read More

  • 9. Pineapple Pete

    $$ | Seafood

    This popular, casual, and fun (if touristy) place is well located and has a game room with seven pool tables, four dart boards, an arcade, and...Read More

  • 10. Tai Chi

    $$$ | Asian

    Thai-fusion dishes are served with flashy cocktails at the end of the Orient Bay Plaza on the way from the beach. There are lots of choices...Read More

  • 11. Taloula Mango's

    $$ | Eclectic

    Ribs and burgers are the specialty at this casual beachfront restaurant, but the jerk chicken and thin-crust pizza, not to mention a few vegetarian...Read More

  • 12. Trattoria Italiana

    $$ | Italian

    Tucked behind Casino Royale, this no-frills Italian eatery is extremely popular with locals. The menu includes favorites like penne Bolognese...Read More

  • 13. Vesna Taverna and Bagel House

    $ | Deli

    Centrally located near the Simpson Bay Bridge, this casual eatery is open all day long, with tasty but healthy options like smoothies, bagel...Read More

  • 14. Yvette's Restaurant

    $$ | Caribbean

    Follow the locals to Yvette's restaurant, in a private house, for the island's best creole-Cajun cooking. All the St. Maarten favorites are...Read More

  • 15. Zee Best

    $ | Café

    This friendly bistro serves one of the best breakfasts on the island. There's a huge selection of fresh-baked pastries—try the almond croissants...Read More

  • 16. Ciao

    $ | Italian

    The former Los Gauchos has received an extreme menu makeover, even though the decor is pretty much the same. Instead of Argentine steaks, expect...Read More

  • 17. Le Ti' Sucrier

    $$ | Eclectic

    Turn off an inauspicious stretch of road toward Simpson Bay, and you'll find yourself at this friendly beachfront restaurant that is a favorite...Read More

  • 18. Les Boucaniers

    $$ | Caribbean

    Dine here, and you can enjoy good creole and French food and still wriggle your toes in the sand. The creole "assortment" offers a mini-culinary...Read More

  • 19. Shiv Sagar

    $$ | Indian

    The colors of India—notably yellow and green—enliven this second-floor restaurant in Philipsburg. What it lacks in decor it more than makes...Read More

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