HOME > Chowhound > Latin America & Caribbean >


BEST of St. Maarten?

What are the TOP SPOTS to eat in the gourmet capital of the Caribbean? Thanks

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Most of the gourmet restaurants on the island are in Grand Case which is on the French side. Everyone has their favorites. The ones that get the best reviews are:
    Le Cottage
    Mario's Bistro, in Sandy Ground
    La Vie en Rose, in Marigot
    La Gondola, on the Dutch side near Cupecoy
    Of course there are many more. There are also many, many other great restaurants on the Dutch side many on the Dutch side, just not gourmet.

    1. i think it's been a few yrs since my last post... but since st.maarten/st.martin is near and dear to my heart i felt compelled to reply. i've been to the island several times and will be going again next week and tend to dine mostly at grand case, due to its proximity to orient beach, where i stay. with that said, here is my (lengthy) 2 cents of places to eat:

      my top 2 picks in grand case without a doubt are spiga and le pressoir.

      spiga- very highly recommend. one of my absolute favorites. and one of the rare restaurants on the french side that match 1:1 currency, which is more common to the dutch side. need to make reservations if u decide to go.

      le pressoir- spiga was always my fav grand case restaurant, but this is way up there also.

      other grand case restaurants worth checking out: l'hibiscus, tastevin, and los calmos cafe not so much for top spot dining although food is not bad but def great spot for drinks.

      i've yet to go to mario's located in sandy ground but hope to remember to make a reservation this time around. it's supposed to be phenomenal and here u will def need a reservation made well in advance.

      if u need other not so top spot recs, i'll be glad to give some suggestions. have a great time in st.maarten/st.martin!

      4 Replies
      1. re: lotsanivanh

        Thanks for your reply. We're going toward the end of June and also staying in Orient Bay. Let me know where you end up eating and your reviews when you get back. THANKS

        1. re: sockster

          i'll be more than happy to post when i return. i'll be heading out on tues for a week. i've yet to have a dissappointing meal in st.martin, which leads me to believe one of two things: i have good taste when it comes to food and/or st.martin really is the culinary mecca of the caribbean. u will love orient bay; it is absolutely beautiful and since u will be there off peak season it'll be all the more peaceful. ok, i'll be getting back to u in a couple of weeks...

        2. re: lotsanivanh

          Thanks for the inof. Have you ever tried: La Cigale, Le Santal, Sol e Luna, L'Hibiscus, Le Cottage, La Vie en Rose? Also, have you ever stayed at La Samanna?

          1. re: gjrubino

            of the places u listed i have been to l'hibiscus and le cottage, and both very good. attached photo is of a shrimp creole kebab at l'hibiscus. and no i have never stayed at la samanna. from what i've been told it's overrated. i prefer staying in orient bay because i love the beach there and it's close proximity to grand case.

        3. I go to St. Martin at least 2 times a year and have never had a bad meal. We always stay at L'Esplanade so we can walk down the hill to the restaurants in Grand Case.
          My favorites are
          Le cottage
          L'Auberge Du Gormand

          Friars Bay lolo is excellent
          In Marigot:

          Bistro Nu and Tropicana - both for lunch

          Have had some very good meals on the Dutch Side at Temptation and Rare but would never stay on the Dutch side.

          Have a great time!!

          4 Replies
          1. re: ccmurieta

            is there a local food that shouldnt be missed, I am going in august for my birthday and staying at the sonesta maho (group trip) thanks!

            1. re: bythebayov

              There is no "national dish" in St. Martin as there is in say the DR or Puerto Rico. I would say the lolos are the closest you will get to "local" food and serious opinion as to who does what best.

              1. re: ccmurieta

                The locals in St.Maarten would consider Fish and Fungi ,some would call it Polenta, as a real local dish. Anything BBQ is also high on what would be consider local.

                1. re: rbusby

                  Here now...don't miss LOLO #6 in Grand Case...Sky's the Limit is our # 2, but the ribs and food at #6 are wonderful!! ($22 for two including four beers)!!

          2. CALMOS Cafe for lunch today. Excellent beach food/service. Fantastic coconut pie for dessert...don't miss it!!

            1. Tried Taitu last night. Authentic creole cuisine. Food was very good, but for a French based restaurant, too many American tricks. Like a in dollars menu, which was preprinted and doesn'r reflect the daily exchange rate. Like not offering everyone every special, thinking the "Americians won't eat it", so why offer it. Frankly, with food this good, and a nice atmosphere to boot, GET REAL....offer one menu to everyone, in Euro, with whatever conversion rate you want to offer. Makes it better, less confusing, and will drawer more people...

              5 Replies
              1. re: sockster

                Just booked a trip in March looking for any current recommendations.

                1. re: ilysen

                  ON the French side: Yvette's. It's in a house in Quartiers Orleans and serves real authentic Creole cuisine. Mario's Le Cottage, La Vie en Rose among others.
                  On the Dutch side: Izzi, Pineapple Pete, La Gondola, Skipjack's, Greenhouse, among others. Some of these are very casual and relatively inexpensive and some are upscale with prices to match.

                  1. re: ajs42548

                    i was surprised to get an email notification today that this thread received some responses. the last time i posted was on this thread and didn't know chowhound sends email notifications. well, we just returned from st.martin today. would've been yesterday had our flight not been cancelled. here's a list of some of my favorites in no particular order:

                    mario's, le cottage, le ti provencal, yvette's, poulet d'orleans, calmos cafe, le pressoir, spiga, karakter (a must, very cool beach bar with live music on thursdays and fridays.. closed on tuesdays), treetop lounge at loterie farm, dinghy dock, buccaneer beach bar, mark's place...

                    i have loads of recommendations. we own in st.martin so we frequent the island and have lots of info that may be helpful.

                  2. re: ilysen

                    We are here now: My top three: Le Ti Provincal, L Estinaet (amazing food), LOLOS (the one in the right rear, is the best imho, and the best priced...and is right on the beach.

                    1. re: sockster

                      I agree with sockster that the best Lolo is the one behind Sky's the Limit overlooking the water. We just came back from 9 days in St. Martin and had great ribs and whole fish at that Lolo- we tried Sky's the Limit and the adjacent Lolo which are good but the waterfront one has better food, and you get a great view.
                      My other recommendation is Claude's mini club on wednesday or Saturday evening-reserve in advance. On those nights the club has a buffet including all the caribbean lobster you can eat, all the wine you can drink and great music. We go once each year and love it.

                2. I'd recommend:

                  L'Auberge Du Gormand - super nummy
                  Calmos Beach Bar - my #1 fave
                  Waikiki Orient Beach - awesome for people watching
                  Le Cottage - solid good food and great service
                  Sky's the Limit Lolo - very tasty and affordable
                  Le Ti Coin Creole - so underrated

                  Would not recommend:
                  L'Pressoir (too stuffy)
                  Sunset Cafe (great the first time but only so so the second) OK for dessert and drinks

                  BTW, not sure if they still do it regularly but Waikiki has their 'dancing girls' come out and dance on the customer's tables - here's a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFCd2X...

                  Best place to stay - Grand Case Beach Club (but not if you like to party)