Best seafood in St. Maarten / St. Martin
For people who love seafood, SXM is clearly one of the best places on the planet. We would guess that the vast majority of island restaurants offers seafood in one form or another — definitely check the menus of your favorite places closely, and check out our Restaurant of the Week selections below.
We'll mention a few places here, in no special order:
- Big Fish in Oyster Pond (on the road to Oyster Bay Beach Resort) not only has several varieties of succulent seafood on its menu (along with other traditional and highly creative fare other than seafood), it also has sushi and sashimi among its many popular appetizers. Huge selection of main courses and a wonderful bar, too. Bright, upbeat, contemporary ambiance. Not only that, their chef is Wendell Laurence, the two-time winner of SXM's prestigious Crystal Pineapple Award who was just also named Chef of the Year in St. Maarten. Let's just say at Big Fish your taste buds are in for a great night!
- Canoa, also in Oyster Pond, blends contemporary European flavors with the Caribbean's best, offering a unique spectrum of flavors and textures that are a great palate pleasure. Although their menu includes dining for all tastes, seafood is a key part of it and it is flat out divine. Tell host Don that we sent you. Canoa, Big Fish, Daniel's, and Infinity at Oyster Bay (reviewed here last year) are four great selections in the growing Culinary Village at Oyster Pond / Dawn Beach -- all clustered in the same area.
- SkipJacks in Simpson Bay, one of the largest restaurants on the island with a large deck on the lagoon, though it has beef and more, specializes in seafood. Definitely try their lobster offerings, which are big sellers. They even offer cold water lobster flown in from Maine, for those who prefer it to the spiny Caribbean version, also sold at SkipJacks in quantity every night.
- Pineapple Pete is known for its lobster Thermidor. During high season, you can see a conga line of wait staff members coming out of the kitchen with this major house specialty.
- Daniel's by the Sea on Dawn beach has a spectacular setting in gazebos under palm trees literally on the beach. Caressed by tradewinds, it has been one of our top choices for years for seafood and, like both SkipJacks and Pineapple Pete, has been a consistent winner of our Everything SXM Award of Excellence. You can select your lobster right from their lobster tank. We also love their salmon, though we always order it without the spices/flavorings they usually add. When they have Snook, it's also well worth getting — it's a delicious local whitefish.
- Spiga in Grand Case (see story #16) invariably has some kind of seafood special. On our last visit a few weeks ago, it was seabass which was wonderfully prepared — thin, tender, and luscious. Of course, if you're a carnivore, their filet mignon has long been one of the best on the island — we do love it.
- IZI Ristorante Italiano in Simpson Bay also has frequent seafood specials — and the quality of their salmon, on the menu every night, is among the best you'll find on the island and is one of the things we have most often here. They have great Italian dining all around in an upbeat, lively atmosphere. They just finished an extensive remodeling that has the place looking better than ever.
- Vesna Taverna in Simpson Bay, about 120 yards North of the Simpson Bay drawbridge, has mussels and salmon fillets from Nova Scotia arriving late every week. Nobody does it better. Luscious food, lively place, and heavenly desserts. If you have not yet been to Vesna, it's time you went.
- Toppers in Simpson Bay is known for meatloaf, brisket, and their lobster -- which is delicious. So are the brisket and meatloaf if you're not in a seafood mood. Highly informal... the focus is on the food, pure and simple.
- Although co-owner Sam Runza passed away early this year, his cousin Tony and Tony's daughter Alexia are doing a great job running Cugini, the classic Sicilian restaurant in Simpson Bay. Not only do they have many of your favorites, they also have multiple seafood selections with frequent specials, plus hand tossed pizza and calzone. Last year, even though it wasn't on the menu, we ordered chicken parm calzone and loved it. You'll find several seafood items on the menu and most likely more among nightly specials. In season, this restaurant will be having entertainment as well.