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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. Izi Ristorante Italiano

    $$$ | Italian

    The former chef of La Gondola serves up huge, sharable portions of more than 400 dishes in this popular, cheerful, centrally located space....Read More

  • 10. L'Escargot

    $$$ | French

    The wraparound veranda, the bunches of grapes hanging from the chandeliers, and the Toulouse Lautrec–style murals add to the colorful atmosphere...Read More

  • 11. La Table d'Antoine

    $$$ | French

    Settle in here for an evening of attentive, friendly service and hearty French-country food with a side dish of lively people-watching. The...Read More

  • 12. Le Chanteclair

    $$$ | French

    The menu at Le Chanteclair changes daily, according to what is market fresh. There are lots of salads and vegetarian starters, as well as French...Read More

  • 13. Le Cottage

    $$$ | French

    Inventive French cuisine is prepared with a light touch and presented with flair, and perhaps a bit of humor, here. There are lots of themed...Read More

  • 14. Le Tastevin

    $$$$ | French

    In the heart of Grand Case and on everyone's list of favorites, this attractive wood-beam room has been attractively redecorated and modernized...Read More

  • 15. Ocean Lounge

    $$$$ | Eclectic

    An airy modern veranda perched on the Philipsburg boardwalk gives a distinct South Beach vibe. You'll want to linger over fresh fish and steaks...Read More

  • 16. 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

  • 17. Tropicana

    $$$ | French

    This bustling bistro at the Marina Port La Royale is busy all day long, thanks to a varied menu, (relatively) reasonable prices, and friendly...Read More

  • 18. 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

  • 19. La Gondola

    $$$ | Italian

    Under new management, but still in the hands of chef Matteo Puccini, the kitchen rolls out the dough for the dozens of pasta dishes on the...Read More

  • 20. Le Ti Provençale

    $$$ | French

    Its always a good idea to follow the French locals for the best food in St. Martin. Chef Hervé Sageot has won the gold medal as chef of the...Read More

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