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 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. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. Dreams

    $$$ | Eclectic

    Visit this lively beach club for the day, relaxing and dining on sushi, tapas, great salads, pizza, and French specialties. Visit after dark...Read More

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Rainbow

    $$ | International

    Rainbow's beachfront deck with a front-row seat (or lounge chair) on Grand Case beach is a good bet for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The eclectic...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. Vesna Taverna and Bagel House

    $ | Sandwiches

    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

  • 13. 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

  • 14. La Belle Epoque

    $$ | Eclectic

    This brasserie at the Marigot marina is a favorite among locals. Whether for a drink or a meal, it's a great spot for boat- and people-watching...Read More

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