St. Maarten / St. Martin Restaurants,
and More (including all dining)
This Page Heavily Updated
PRINT THIS PAGE AND TAKE IT ON YOUR TRIP (see copyright,
USE IT AS A GUIDE TO RECOMMENDED RESTAURANTS IN ST. MAARTEN
AND ST. MARTIN
ALSO USE OUR ST MAARTEN / ST MARTIN DINING DISCOUNT VOUCHERS ON OUR MEMBERS-ONLY "SECRET" WEBSITE
GET MANY MORE DISCOUNTS ACROSS SXM IF YOU'RE
A JMB WEBSITE SUPPORTERS MEMBER
RESTAURANT RECOMMENDATION LINKS
owner Jeff Berger, in a rare moment away from his computer or St. Maarten's
beaches & restaurants.
- No restaurant can get listed or recommended here
by paying us, ever. If we like restaurants, they get listed. If we don't,
they don't. If a restaurant slips in quality, off it goes. We list preferred
restaurants here, not all restaurants (the island has about 400.) That has
been our policy since 1995 when this site was launched.
- Check this page frequently; it is updated often -- just updated in January, 2015.
- If you're a JMB Website Supporters member, you'll find many dining
coupons for free wine, beer, and many dining discounts in the Member
Benefits List/Welcome Letter at
the "Secret" Website for members only. At the writing we have about 220
discounts and benefits, many of them dining discounts. If you're not a member, click the
"page curl," top right, for info.
- This page represents the personal opinions of its
writers. Some other perfectly good restaurants may not be listed simply
because we don't prefer them. We also do not normally bad-mouth restaurants;
those that we don't like we usually don't mention at all.
Intro to the Culinary Side of SXM:
Of all the tropical islands in the world, none is known for its culinary
expertise like St. Maarten / St. Martin. The island is a magnet for innovative
and creative chefs who offer world class quality, ambiance, and service.
This delightfully half-Dutch, half-French island has over four hundred
restaurants offering a kaleidoscopic array of cuisines from the world over
-- French, American, Caribbean, Tapas, Japanese, Creole, Chinese, Indian,
African, Greek, Macedonian, vegetarian, steak houses, seafood havens, and many more. There are
beach bars, casual dining places, great burger joints, gourmet dining at
reasonable prices, and some gourmet dining at "rich and famous" pricing.
Regardless of whether you choose St. Maarten Dutch Side restaurants, St.
Martin French Side restaurants, Grand Case restaurants, Cupecoy restaurants
at Starz Casino (formerly Atlantis), Philipsburg restaurants, Simpson Bay restaurants, or
Dawn Beach restaurants, you'll quickly get the point: great dining abounds
on St. Maarten and St. Martin.
There was a time when most of the island's most renowned
restaurants were in Grand Case, on the northwest coast of French St. Martin.
They are still there and they're as incredible as ever, but during the last
several years they've been getting huge competition from the Dutch Side,
particularly in the Cupecoy and Simpson Bay areas, and from Dawn Beach / Oyster
Pond. In fact, some of the top chefs / restaurant owners from Grand Case have now moved to Simpson Bay or Cupecoy (in some cases abandoning Marina Royale in Marigot). You'll still want to have dinners in Grand
Case, but plan to explore Dutch Side restaurants as well. You will not be
This page is constantly updated, so bookmark us
and come back soon. You may find us dining at the next table -- so please say
hi. And *ALWAYS* tell the restaurateur you read about them on our
site. This page was very heavily updated 1/27/2015.
Remember: If you're a JMB Website Supporters member, you're
entitled to reduced-cost access to buy-one, get-one
free dinners or other benefits at many St. Maarten and St. Martin
Restaurants. See the Benefits Master Index in our all-new "secret
site" for details. If you're curious about JMB Website Supporters,
click for info. There are now about 220 benefits, many of them
If you've never been to St.
Maarten, prepare to get hungry...
...and, if you're thinking about getting engaged or married in
St. Maarten, you'll be especially interested in our information about that,
later in this section... Phone numbers are here as well.
This Restaurant Revue is mainly focused on places for great
dinners, but dinners aren't all you'll have so let's look at breakfasts first...
Get a map when you arrive (there are free ones showing
main roads available at the airport and most hotels) or pick up one of Michal
Kasprowski's heavily detailed SXM road maps. Michal's map is 34 x 40 and printed
on heavy paper suitable for framing. It not only includes all island roads, it
also has hiking trails and the island's best diving spots. You can get one
before you leave home -- just allow a few weeks; you will soon be able to order it directly from Michael using a discount code exclusively for our JMB members.
Caribbean Ground Rules:
Reservations: It is unfair to make reservations
and not show up. If you can't go, be considerate and cancel.
About your bill: In the Caribbean, it's
considered bad manners for wait staff to present a bill without being asked.
When you're ready, ask; otherwise you'll just wait.
Service Charges usually are not tips.
They are often shared by the whole staff. Tips are always appreciated by your
Note: August, September, and October are the
quietest tourism months in St. Maarten/St. Martin. Some restaurants are closed
for several weeks that time of year. Call for reservations and to be sure the
restaurant is open when you visit; early evening is the best time to do call.
Our top choices for breakfasts:
Mr. Busby's Beach Bar on Dawn Beach in Oyster Pond,
immediately next door to Oyster Bay Beach Resort, is our favorite place for
breakfast on the entire island. The daytime view, for breakfast and lunch, is
spectacular. At dinner, the ambiance becomes more intimate and romantic, as
Busby's morphs into "Daniel's By The Sea," the reincarnation of the "Da Livio"
restaurant which Busby's owner Daniel Jurczenko ran for 10 years. Mr. Busby's
serves breakfast and lunch, then at night, Daniel's serves truly fine dinners --
mostly Italian but also fresh lobster. They are multi-year winners of our
prestigious Award of Excellence from Everything St. Maarten, our highest recommendation. Make sure they're
on your list for all three meals. Outstanding. (Busby's poached eggs are
Vesna Taverna in Simpson Bay, roughly 120 yards north of the drawbridge near Palapa Marina, has outstanding American breakfasts and even fresh, full-size, homemade bagels. You can get them with lox and cream cheese, too.
Check out Sucriere in the next section
(breakfast croissants, excellent pastry) and Sarafina on the Margot waterfront; see next section.
Zee Best in both Simpson Bay and Princess Port
de Plaisance Resort (Dutch Side, Union Road, between Cole Bay and Marigot) also
has very good breakfasts.
But enough about breakfasts. SXM is a restaurant Mecca, and
we're here to tell you LOTS about them. But first...
This Emergency Medical Evacuation Membership Plan
is Highly Recommended by Jeff -- Check It Out:
Best Pizzas: Pizza Pasta
(much more below), at the end of the little road between Casino Royale and
Cheri's in the Maho district, opens for lunch and dinner and is wonderful. They
have fantastic Italian dinners and great prices. Domino's is quite good too; on
Tuesday's you get a "two for" deal on bigger pizzas. Read on about Pizza Pasta.
(Use free Valet Parking at Casino Royale. We suggest you avoid parking in
nearby, dimly lit Mullet Bay.) We also love the thin-crust offerings at
Island Pizza in Dawn Beach, part of Mr. Busby's Beach Bar.
Tremendous variety of luscious thin-crust pizzas available from late morning
through the evening. Great stuff -- ask for their spicy oil! Both places offer discounts to JMB members; see the Secret Site. And Cugini in Simpson Bay between FedEx and the Carousel has outstanding thin-crust pizza and amazing calzones.
Best Pastry: Go to the little
Sucriere pastry restaurant near FedEx in Simpson Bay. Sucriere is a
good place for French Bread and lots of reasonably priced pastry. They are also
located in Marigot on the waterfront. But the best place on the island is Sarafina between the two roundabouts on the Marigot waterfront. Totally amazing and always packed. Open early / closes early.
Best Ice Cream: Buy it in the markets --
Etna, unimaginably creamy and delicious. The "cafe" flavor is
the best, we think. Another choice: go to the Carousel in Simpson Bay (huge
round blue and white building near Pineapple Pete's). Italian Gelato, some of
which is sugar free . . . and the island's only working Carousel. The Carousel starts offering discounts to JMB members during winter, 2015.
Lunch & Dinner . . .
A LITTLE REPEATED ADVICE... PRINT THIS ENTIRE PAGE and take
it with you to the restaurants we've recommended for some dining you'll never
Remember that our JMB Website Supporters
members get discounts at restaurants across the island. Click
"Low Fares / Island Wide Discounts" below the masthead for details.
If you're already a member,
go here and see the Benefits Master Index to find our expanding list of dozens of restaurant and other discounts.
Lunches are everywhere, like breakfasts . . .our favorites
Mr. Busby's Beach Bar in Oyster Pond, Dutch Side; huge
variety, fresh & delicious, responsive staff, amazing location (steps from
the beach; beach chairs and umbrellas available.) Definitely bring your
Pizza Pasta in Maho; use the free valet
parking next door at Casino Royale. Great food, great consistency, big
portions, reasonable prices. Tell them you are Jeff Berger / Everything SXM site readers.
Vesna Taverna in Simpson Bay is a great place for lunch -- super service from Sally and a great selection of lunches plus even some Greek food.
Papagayo inside Club Orient at the southern
end of Orient Beach has great lunches too. Clothing optional.
About Dinner Reservations:
Many SXM restaurants are small, only 8-10 tables, and some are smaller than
that. Reservations are essential in high season and advisable in low season.
If you can't go once you've made a reservation, please cancel it -- you'll be doing the right thing and helping the restaurant
accommodate others who CAN go.
If you're thinking about getting married in St. Maarten,
click here. Jean Rich is the most experienced, well-respected planner
of St. Maarten destination weddings.
Dinners . . .
IZI Ristorante Italiano, owned by David Foini, is a unique restaurant concept on SXM. It's upbeat, bright, and energetic,
and most pasta is home-made. It's a place with around 400 possible
dinner choices: you pick your pasta, protein, and sauce from their choices, plus
appetizer and dessert. The gnocchi is outstanding and we also love the salmon.
Ask for the shrimp bruschetta -- it was Ilene's suggestion last year and is now
a frequent special appetizer of the day, which you can order regular, spicy, or
flamethrower-spicy as Ilene gets it. (Ask Marco, the much accomplished chef who
is GM here.) Also try the amazing all-new flatbread appetizers -- very creative & delicious. On our last trip to the island we visited IZI more frequently than
any other restaurant. One of their dessert choices is the island's own
ultra-creamy Etna ice cream. Wonderful restaurant. [JMB Members: See the Member
Benefits list at
www.everythingsxm.com/secret for something special for members only from
Le Pressoir is easily the best French restaurant on the island.
Built inside a 150 year-old home in Grand Case, French Side, this is truly fine
dining. The understated but beautiful Caribbean decor and soft music bring
instant relaxation . . . and then your senses take over as you see the exquisite
presentation, savor the amazing aromas, and enjoy those delightful flavors. Some
of the things Le Pressoir offers are available exclusively there . . . like a
certain type of fish from Franck and Melanie's native Brittany; ask about it.
No matter what you order, you won't be disappointed. After
dinner, the only thing you'll crave is a repeat visit. We've been there on
successive nights and seen some of the same folks. "We couldn't go anywhere else
after a meal here," one couple from the Midwest told us. It's that good. Mention
us when you visit. [JMB Members: See the Benefits Master Index at
for something special for members only from Le Pressoir.]
Spiga is around the corner from Grand Case Beach Club and just
off the far Northern end of Boulevard de Grand Case, French Side. Owned by Lara
and Ciro Russo; Lara is the daughter of Livio, founder and retired former owner
of Da Livio on Front Street, Philipsburg.
Lara and Ciro's extensive culinary experience shows in their
preparation. Spiga is also quite extraordinary -- in our opinion, one
of the island's top restaurants. Reservations are a must in season. Located in a rebuilt early 1900s Creole-style
building, Spiga has an extensive menu of elegantly prepared, delicious entrees.
Try their Lobster Bisque. Our son-in-law, for many years a
Southern California restaurateur, described it as "the best I've ever tasted." And it only gets better from there -- we love it.
Their lobster ravioli and their pumpkin ravioli are
irresistible. See the menu
here. Keep trying different things -- the menu has grown in recent years
and includes a LOT of
home runs. Their website shows you many of their exceptional entrees plus lots
of pictures. Spiga is a must. Save room for dessert.
Please say hello to Lara and Ciro for us.... Spiga is generally
closed from mid-October until early November. The Euro is the French Side
currency; you do best paying cash at most
Grand Case restaurants. At this writing it's one-to-one, Euros to dollars, at
you pay by cash...quite a deal.
Many of you may remember Da Livio in
Philipsburg, run very capably for 10 years by Daniel Jurczenko. Daniel a number
of years ago moved the entire Da Livio staff to Dawn Beach and took over
Mr. Busby's Beach Bar. Result: a tremendous selection of
breakfasts and lunches at the beach all day . . . and a quick metamorphosis of the same Dawn beach restaurant at night to
Daniel's By The Sea, where the seasoned Da Livio
staff provides impeccable service while delivering great steaks, seafood, and
fine Italian dining in the Da Livio tradition.
The Busby's / Daniel's menu is one of the most extensive on the
island . . . steaks, seafood, fine Italian entrees, and great desserts. (The homemade apple pie will remind you of Grandma's.) Meanwhile, you
can get a full breakfast all morning, and a super lineup of lunches mid-day.
Make it a point to go to Dawn beach and check out Mr. Busby's / Daniel's, next
door to Oyster Bay Beach Resort and about a half mile north of the Westin Dawn
Beach. You will not be disappointed. [JMB Members: See the Member Benefits list
for something special from Busby's, Daniel's, and Island Pizza -- separate offers from each are now available.]
Mr. Busby's / Daniel's By The Sea is just steps from the beach,
offer dining under the palms:
Canoa Restaurant in Oyster Pond is beyond amazing. Offering international food with a Caribbean lilt, they are renowned for many things but their signature dish is their plantain appetizer -- just order it. Lots of great seafood, meet, and poultry dishes plus vegetarian entrees as well. And Canoa like so many others offers discounts to our JMB Website Supporters members; see the Benefits Master Index on the Secret Website.
Vesna Taverna in Simpson Bay is the island's only American - French - Greek restaurant. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Closed for dinner Monday & Tuesday. Great breakfasts, super lunches, and amazing dinners. Everything is flown in fresh several times a week -- even the salmon which comes straight from Atlantic Canada. Amazing mussels (esp. Friday) and amazing steaks. Saturday night is Greek not and it is a total feast; Vesna is Greek & Macedonian and an absolute delight. Home-made desserts are decadently delicious and sell out fast so come early and enjoy them. Wonderful place... and don't forget Yannick's home-made peach rum after dinner. Vesna also offers discounts to JMB members; see the Secret Site for details (members only get the discounts.)
Sushiitto at Princess Port de Plaisance Casino (outside and to the left of the main entrance) has the best sushi on the island and it is priced reasonably, a rarity on SXM. Owned by Pierre Ferland, the "Pete" of Pineapple Pete Restaurant. We love it (we're sushi addicts). They're introducing discounts for JMB members late in January or early February of 2015.Do it if you like Japanese, you will not be disappointed.
Lal's Indian Cuisine "Curry in a Hurry" behind Le Gourmet Marche on Airport Road, Simpson Bay, is wonderful. Totally relaxed atmosphere, low prices, and really great food. We love the chicken korma, butter chicken (named for its tenderness --there isn't any butter in it), chicken tikka, naan, and lots more. Many vegetarian entrees.
Top Carrot vegetarian cuisine in Simpson Bay at the Yacht Club also offers some non-vegetarian lunches, but as always is predominantly vegetarian and the best on the island.
Cugini (pronounced koo-jeanie) Restaurant in Simpson Bay between the Carousel and Fedex just moved to the Dutch Side from Marina Royale in Marigot and is doing a huge business there. Plenty of parking but this 120-seat restaurant often has people waiting and is soon to offer valet parking as well. Totally unique relaxed trattoria concept has large-screen movies (many Italian and others), live entertainment by a talented young singer, and a casual atmosphere. Right on the water. An authentic Venetian Gondola (with a second one coming) is out back -- owned separately, it does champagne and chocolate cruises. (Both Cugini and the Gondola offer discounts to JMB members, going live during winter 2015.) Cugini's menu features thin-crust authentic Italian pizzas made right near the restaurant entrance plus lots more -- fish, beef, eggplant, calzones and much more. Delicious desserts too. Highly recommended; seek out co-owners Sam Runza and Tony (cousins), and tell them you heard of them on our site.
The Stone Restaurant is located on the Marina Plaza at Simpson Bay Resort. Park in the gated parking off Billy Folly Road; just tell the guard
you're going to Stone. Walk into the Marina building, bear left, and take the
elevator down to the first floor. Then take the stairs to the waterfront shops;
Stone is at your right. (The Marina building is beyond the newer Marina
Seafood, meat, and vegetarian entrees are cooked and presented on polished
stone tablets that rest on wood -- all outdoors on the water over a simple rain-free canopy, or in a non-smoking, air-conditioned dining
room, one of few on the island. We've thoroughly enjoyed their salmon, yellowfin
tuna, and steak entrees.
Johann Roebert is in charge here; he has been on the island for years and is
a former private chef on megayachts. Congenial, experienced staff and great
food. The Stone is a must. [JMB Members: See the Benefits Master Index at
for something special for JMB members only from The Stone.]
Temptation is globally renowned chef Dino Jagtiani's fine-dining restaurant at Starz
Casino, formerly Atlantis, near Cupecoy beach. Dino is a multiple award-winning grad of the CIA, Culinary Institute of
America. Elegant presentation, true
gourmet dining, and top quality are the hallmarks of everything Dino does. The
restaurants' ambiance reminds us of high-class Manhattan bistros: the food is
great and the atmosphere is chic / elegant. Do try Temptation and tell Dino or Asha we
recommended it to you. Again, see the Secret Site Benefits Master Index for discounts.
Taloula Mango's Caribbean Cafe on the boardwalk in
downtown Philipsburg is a must stop either when you're shopping in town around
lunchtime or for a dinner on the beach. Philipsburg has undergone a renaissance
in the last few years and the St. Rose "Arcade" (not an arcade at all in the U.
S. sense) is a prime reason. Taloula's is a beautiful piece of architecture, and
is the prime tenant in the "arcade" along with small shops. It's near the center
of town, convenient to shoppers, not far from center-of-town public parking, and
it's also an easy stop for cruise passengers.
Taloula Mango's offers sandwiches, seafood, beef, and pasta, and
has vegetarian entrees. They also have great drinks -- definitely put it on your
list. Frequently Taloula's has live entertainment. Say hi to owners Norm and Su for
Pineapple Pete's in Simpson Bay is big, loud, busy, a bit noisy
when there's a band playing, and it's not to be missed! The food on their huge
menu is fabulous and they do the unimaginable: provide outstanding service no
matter how busy they are. (Pretty incredible.) You'll see their lobster thermidor (their most popular
entree, we think) marching on platters in a conga line from their kitchen.
You'd expect slow service in a restaurant this busy but you will be impressed by
Pete's. Fabulous place, one of our favorites. Ask for "head pineapple" Pierre by
name and tell him we sent you. [JMB Members: See the Benefits Master Index
for something special for members only from Pineapple Pete.]
Jimbo's Mesquite Grill at the Yacht Club, Simpson Bay, is
another long-time favorite. Though it promotes itself as Mexican, it's much more
than that and offers something for everyone. Great salads, grilled specials, and
lots more. The ambiance is about as Caribbean as you can get: in fact we
suggested it to a friend in Hollywood who has been working on a St. Maarten
oriented film production. Check it out, bring your camera, and most important of
all -- come hungry. Tell Jimbo we sent you. [JMB Members: See the Benefits Master Index at
www.everythingsxm.com/secret for something special for members only from
Many more restaurant reports are in
& St. Martin Weekly News (see the top of this page to subscribe, free). More
restaurants are below, too, so please read on.
HERE FOR DOZENS OF RESTAURANT DISCOUNTS --
they're all part of your JMB Website Supporters membership.
Parking: In Philipsburg, park in the lot behind the
straw market that's behind the historic courthouse, not on Front Street. There is no parking
Trattoria "Pizza Pasta".... Tucked deep in the alley
between Casino Royale and Cheri's is one of the island's many Italian
restaurants, Pizza Pasta Trattoria Italiana, which is our
favorite homestyle Italian restaurant.
A smallish, unpretentious restaurant, Pizza Pasta fills up
early. Owners Ilde and Dario Figarolo moved to St. Kitts several years ago and
turned the reins over to their daughter Selena, who does an extraordinary job.
The atmosphere is casual, the place is spotless, attractive art is now on
the walls where kids drawings used to be, service is fast, and the food is plentiful
and piping hot, as it should be. It's a must. Great food!
On every visit we go to Pizza Pasta five or six times, and it
never fails to satisfy.
We tend to choose both Melanzane Parmigiani, Eggplant
Parm (we opted for the vegetarian sauce), and Spaghetti
Bolognese, spaghetti with meatballs, which is so delightful it reminded
me of "Carrie" Fargnoli, a friend of my parents who, when I was a kid, made her
own pasta (long before it was chic) and the most delicious meatballs.... We also
love Pizza Pasta's Chicken & Eggplant Parmigiani. The salads,
soups, and of course the incredible, melt-in-your-mouth thin-crust pizza are all
top-notch. Prices are very reasonable.
Make reservations, come early or wait - but the wait is worth
it. Make SURE you put Trattoria Pizza Pasta next to Casino Royale in Maho on
your list. Phone: 1-721-545-4034. Mention Jeff Berger's SXM
website! (Updated 1/2015.)
One of the liveliest spots on the island is Cheri's Cafe in
the Maho district. Cheri's has sandwiches at both lunch and dinner and a large
menu of traditional dinner selections. There's nightly entertainment and dancing
into the wee hours. If you just want to sit at the bar, slowly sip on a Pina
Colada and people-watch; nobody will hassle you.
Don't forget the nightly street vendors (LOLOs) in both
Grand Case (Talk of the Town) and Marigot. They'll grill lobster and
chicken over an open flame for you... Treat yourself to it at least once.
You'd need a good couple of weeks at least to sample some of the best Grand
Case restaurants: Le Pressoir, Spiga, L'Auberge Gourmande, and Il Nettuno are all very fine
Subscribe free to our
St. Maarten and St. Martin Weekly News
(see link, left) for reviews every week of many fine SXM restaurants.
Roundup of St. Martin / St. Maarten Restaurant
Here's a quick list of several websites we did for SXM
Restaurants and other businesses of note. If YOUR business could use a website,
http://www.websitesthatwork.info and contact us. (JMB Communications is
Massachusetts-based and most of our clients are in the US.) Mention Jeff
Berger's St. Maarten Website when you visit these and other restaurants
mentioned on this page.
These are in no special order: