St. Martin (also known as St. Maarten or Sint Maarten) may be a small island, but it is a foodie paradise. In fact, this island has a surprisingly high concentration of fine restaurants per square mile. And because the island is half Dutch and half French, you'll see influences from both cultures, as well as from the Caribbean.
But St. Martin isn't just about its upscale gourmet restaurants. It is also known for its lolos, which are small, open-air food stalls. While they may not be fancy in appearance, these small St Maarten restaurants serve up generous portions of delicious, authentic island fare at reasonable prices. Be sure to make at least one trip to a lolo during your time on the island.
The one drawback of visiting St. Martin? There are so many excellent restaurants, you might have trouble choosing where to eat in St Martin. So, to help you determine which restaurants and lolos should make your cut, check out this curated list of some of the best restaurants in St Martin.
Insider tip: Reservations are highly recommended at this popular small restaurant.
Ambiance: Charming, intimate and romantic
What we love: The restaurant has a knowledgeable Sommelier who will help you select the perfect wine to complement your meal.
Overview: L'Auberge Gourmande is located in one of the oldest Creole cottages on St. Martin, which gives this restaurant a lovely old-world charm. The food here is classic French. Think roasted rack of lamb and Dover Sole Meuniere.
L'Auberge Gourmande also offers delicious options for vegetarians, such as phyllo pastry stuffed with seasonal vegetables. The restaurant is known not just for its talented chef, but also for its impeccable service.
Location: French side. Address: 89 Boulevard de Grand Case. Phone: 590-590-87-7337
Insider tip: Try the Sunday brunch at Emilio's, offering traditional breakfast favorites such as waffles, scrambled eggs and seasonal fruits, as well as numerous lunch options. Even better? You can also choose from local dishes such as saltfish, Johnny cakes and reggae sweet potatoes. Bringing kids? The children's brunch costs less than half the price of adults.
Ambiance: Rustic elegance. Emilio's is located in an 18th-century sugar cane boiling house and still boasts the structure's study and picturesque stone walls
What we love: Emilio's wine list is extensive, offering numerous options to pair with this restaurant's creative dishes.
Overview: This restaurant specializes in elevated Caribbean and International fusion cuisine. A prime example is Emilio's aromatic West Indian Seafood Stew with octopus and baby clams. Other popular menu items include snapper en papilotte and a grilled rack of lamb.
Emilio's has earned several awards. For instance, USA Today's readers voted Emilio's as number five on the publication's list of the top ten best restaurants in the Caribbean. In addition, it has been rated in the top 10 of all restaurants worldwide by TripAdvisor users.
Location: Dutch side. Emilio’s is located at the bottom of the brand new Rainforest Adventure Park in Dutch Cul de Sac. Address: 59, L.B. Scott Road. Phone: 721-522-1848
Insider tip: Ask for a table on the wraparound porch for the best views of Orient Bay.
Ambiance: Romantic and intimate
What we love: Sol e Luna's awesome three-course lunches, which include a starter, a main course and a dessert.
Overview: Sol e Luna serves French classics with generous nods to the Caribbean. Some of the irresistible items you'll find on its menu include pan-fried foie gras, roasted duck, and linguini with clams. In addition, Sol e Luna's setting is lovely and reminiscent of a tropical garden.
Location: Orient Bay, French side. Address: 61, Mont Vernon. Phone: 0590-29-08-56
Insider tip: Time your meal or a pre-dinner cocktail so that you can watch the sun setting gracefully over the beautiful blue sea.
Ambiance: A fun fusion of Boho chic and beachy glamour
What we love: The restaurant occasionally hosts fashion shows for a little added brilliance with your dinner.
Overview: Barranco has a lot to offer guests — gorgeous views, eye-catching decor, creative Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, and a fun vibe. Best bets for your dining pleasure include the fresh fish dishes and the restaurant's famous risotto. Dishes are artfully plated, and Barranco's service is attentive.
Location: French Side, Address: 70 Bd de Grande Case, Phone: 590 690 77 09 17
Insider tip: This restaurant has a Lobster Party special on Fridays and a Surf and Turf special on Mondays.
Ambiance: Relaxed tropical chic
What we love: Astrolabe has several options for vegetarians and vegans, as well as a kid's special.
Overview: This restaurant serves inventive, modern French cuisine. For instance, its menu includes Mediterranean sea bass with champagne and citrus butter sauce entrée. Or a beef tenderloin carpaccio appetizer. Astrolabe’s signature dish includes its creamy lobster bisque with foie gras ravioli. Dine by the pool or under the gently swaying fronds in the restaurant’s lovely garden.
Location: Orient Bay, French side. Address: In the Esmeralda Resort. Phone: 590 590 87 11 20
Insider tip: Altro offers a three-course prix fixe dinner that is very well-priced for a gourmet meal.
Ambiance: Upscale casual
What we love: The French bread is crusty and warm, and the pastas are fresh
Overview: Altro serves up Italian, French and Mediterranean cuisine with interesting modern twists. For example, its menu might include a shiitake mushroom risotto with creamy morel sauce or a Middle Eastern-influenced roasted eggplant and chickpea salad with hummus.
Location: Porto Cupecoy, Dutch Side. Address: In Cupecoy Plaza. Phone: 721 545 36 95 06
Insider tip: You can choose your own lobster from the restaurant's tank (and get your picture taken with it, if you so choose).
Ambiance: Modern, yet cozy and welcoming
What we love: Service is friendly and attentive, and the chances are high that you'll be greeted by the brothers who own the restaurant, Thibault and Amaury Meziere.
Overview: Bistrot Caraibes serves classic French gourmet cuisine. One of the most highly recommended dishes is the lobster thermidor. Other popular options include the grilled rack of lamb, French onion soup and the escargot.
Location: Grand Case, French Side. Address: 81, Boulevard de Grand Case 97150. Phone: 590 590 290 829
Insider tip: If you eat lunch or breakfast at the Rainbow Cafe, you can rent chairs and hang out on their beach afterward.
Ambiance: Fun, carefree, Boho-chic
What we love: The Rainbow Cafe now has an award-winning pâtisserie chef whipping up their delicious desserts — the perfect ending for your meal.
Overview: You'll find a little bit of everything on the Rainbow Cafe's menu, which features French, Caribbean and Asian cuisine, as well as tapas. Breakfast, sunset drinks, and dinner are available in the rooftop lounge, while lunch is served in the beachfront restaurant. On the lunch menu, you'll find an interesting mix of dishes, ranging from an upscale burger to a braised and seared octopus to poke bowls.
Location: Grand Case, French side. Address: Boulevard de Grand Case #176. Phone: 590 690 888 444
Insider tip: You'll want to save room for this restaurant's delicious desserts, which might include homemade ice cream or a pineapple carpaccio marinated in saffron.
Ambiance: Romantic, upscale but beachy vibe
What we love: Enjoy one of St. Martin's spectacular sunsets while dining on Le Shambala's terrace, which overlooks the sea.
Overview: Le Shambala Gourmet Restaurant is located in a small boutique hotel of the same name. It serves up modern Caribbean cuisine, with an emphasis on seafood. Think of a casserole dish of lobster or fish cooked in banana leaf. But it's not all seafood here. The restaurant also serves other dishes, including roasted duck and rack of lamb.
Location: Grand Case, French side. 28 Bd.de Grand Case, Phone: 590 590 29-17-09
Insider tip: Reservations required. Also, the restaurant is closed on Sundays.
Ambiance: Romantic, tropical chic
What we love: La Cigale's stunning, Instagram-worthy desserts.
Overview: Life doesn't get much better than enjoying the flavors of Provence while gazing over the beautiful blue Caribbean Sea. This is the joy you'll experience at La Cigale. The views of the Nettle Bay lagoon are lovely and the gourmet food is artfully plated.
Location: French side. Address: 101 Laguna Beach, Baie Nettle, Phone: 590 590 87 90 23
Insider tip: Sundays are this beach club's busiest day, so either come to party or, if you'd prefer a quieter atmosphere, choose another day for your visit.
Ambiance: Classy, but with a chill beach vibe
What we love: There is a kids menu available if you have little ones in tow.
Overview: Dining at Kontiki Beach isn't just a treat for your taste buds, but also for your eyes. The view of Orient Bay is stunning. And the restaurant serves cuisine it describes as "refined international gourmet." Kontiki Beach is at the Hotel La Plantation, which was voted one of the best hotels in the Caribbean.
Location: Orient beach, French Side. Parc de La Baie Orientale. Phone: 590 690 47 86 54.
Insider tip: Call for a reservation, especially during the high season.
Ambiance: Peaceful. Tropical elegance with a Cote d'Azur vibe
What we love: Anse Marcel Beach offers cabanas if you're interested in a more private dining experience.
Overview: Anse Marcel Beach offers beautiful food that perfectly complements the gorgeous views of the turquoise blue seas and sugar-white sands. The restaurant offers modern and creative French, Mediterranean and Caribbean dishes that vary, depending on what is fresh and available that day. So, for example, you're likely to find grilled fish and seafood, as well as elevated sandwiches and salads.
Location: Anse Marcel Bay, French side. 26 Rue de Lonvilliers, Anse Marcel Beach. Phone: 590 690 26 38 50
Insider tip: On Sundays, live music or a DJ gives the restaurant a classy party atmosphere.
Ambiance: Friendly, welcoming, beachy bistro chic
What we love: Spectacular views of the sea .
Overview: The Sun Beach Clubber is an upscale French bistro transported to the sands of Orient Beach. Here, you'll find creative dishes that are artfully plated, with a slight emphasis on seafood. In addition, service is friendly and the staff strives to make guests feel welcome.
Location: Orient Bay, French side. Plage D'orient Bay, Orient Bay 97150. Phone: 590 690 71 66 90.
Insider tip: Check out this restaurant's website for its specials. For example, there is a discount on lobster dinners on Friday nights.
Ambiance: Refined beach chic, romantic, especially at night
What we love: The Sunset Cafe offers beautiful views of the bay.
Overview: Sunset Cafe serves up modern Caribbean and French cuisine with an emphasis on seafood. Some of the delectable dishes you can choose from include a Creole Mahi Mahi served with rice or a Jerk chicken stew. Sunset Cafe also offers sandwiches, salads and hamburgers for those in search of something lighter.
Location: Grand Case, French side. Address: 21 Rue de Petite Plage. Phone: 590 590 87 51 87
Sky's the Limit has been a part of St. Martin's culinary scene for about 20 years. It’s one of the best lolos on the island. Located on the French side and offers delectable local delights, including garlic conch, grilled marlin, shrimp curry, ribs and Johnny cakes. Portions are generous and the service is friendly.
Location: Grand Case, French side. Address: Bd de Grande Case, Grand-Case. Phone: 590 590 51 01 49
If you want to eat where the locals dine, take a ride over to Yvette's Restaurant. Here, you'll be able to chow down on large portions of island favorites. These include fried plantains, saltfish cake, stuffed crab back, stew pork chops, oxtails, and curry coconut chicken. Yvette's Restaurant is located in a private house on the French side.
Location: Grand Case, French side. Address: Rue de Gumme Cellen, Quartier D'Orléans. Phone: 721-524-6946.
Thanks to celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who praised this restaurant's food, Rosemary's has become one of the best-known lolos on St. Martin. Located in Marigot on the French side, this eatery offers excellent local fare, including red snapper, curry goat, Creole conch and garlic shrimp with plenty of sides.
Location: Marigot, French side. Address: Rue F. Eboué, Water Front, Marigot. Phone: 590 690 88 07 54
The Original Fat Boy BBQ Jimmy's serves up generous portions of authentic Sint. Maarten fare. The locals even voted this casual eatery as having the Best BBQ on the island in 2019. So, what can you try at this local favorite? How about grilled pigtail, stew conch or crab callaloo, as well as freshly made Johnny cakes. And the prices here are very reasonable.
Location: Philipsburg, Dutch side. Address: Pond Fill 36 Ring Road, Philipsburg. Phone: 721-587-2937
This Dutch Side restaurant serves more than just ribs (although those are awesome!). Captain's Rib Shack also offers seafood and numerous local favorites, including saltfish accra, grilled pigtails and jerk wings. Make sure to check out this lolo's specials, including all you can eat ribs on Thursdays.
Location: Kim Sha Beach, Dutch side. Address: Kim Sha Beach, Simpson Bay. Phone: 721-554-4781
Bateau Lavoir is located in the center of Marigot and offers delicious favorites, including snapper, stuffed crab. The cheerful and colorful exterior will beckon you in to dine, and the friendly service and tasty food will make you glad you did.
Location: Marigot, French side. Address: 2 rue Victor Maurasse, Marigot. Phone: 590 690 47 53 23.
Enoch's Place is a favorite with the locals for breakfast and lunch (it's closed for dinner). The portions are generous and the dishes are authentic and delicious. Some of the restaurant's offerings that you'll want to try include saltfish, goat curry, garlic shrimp, and fried red snapper served with rice and plantains.
Location: Marigot, French side. Address: Marigot Market, Marigot. Phone: 590-590-29-29-88
At La Villa Restaurant, you'll dine by candlelight in an elegant yet welcoming setting. The French cuisine served here is the perfect choice for a romantic night out. In addition, La Villa Restaurant's wait staff and the owners are always working hard to ensure that your evening is as perfect as the chef's masterful dishes, which includes such classics as duck foie gras and frog legs.
Location: Grand Case, French side. Address: 93 Boulevard de Grande Case. Phone: 590 690 50 12 04
This restaurant's setting is a true treat for the senses. The aromas are tantalizing, and the setting is stunning, with romantic candles, chandeliers, beautiful Moroccan decor and a lovely garden. Then there is the restaurant's delicious food, which includes a variety of couscous dishes and tajines.
Location: Marigot, French side. Address: 169 Rue de Hollande, Marigot. Phone: 590 590 27 54 48
Located in Orient Bay, this restaurant serves French food with a focus on fresh fish and the best available local produce. Examples of some of the dishes you might find include veal medallions with camembert cream or shrimp and risotto. You can choose to dine by candlelight outdoors or enjoy eating indoors in a setting that somehow manages to be both cozy and stylish at the same time.
Location: Orient Bay, French side. Address: Place d'Orient Baie Orientale. Phone: 590 690 52 04 41
Spiga serves homemade pastas in a lovely Caribbean Creole-style building. Although located in Grand Case, this restaurant is set away from the noise and crowds of the mid-village, making it an excellent choice for a romantic meal. Spiga prides itself on serving high-quality and fresh ingredients, including local fruits and spices.
Location: Grand Case, French side. Address: Rte de l'Espérance, Grand-Case. Phone: 590 590 52 47 83
Beautiful and chic, Le Cottage serves artistically plated French food, including such classics as escargot and filet with béarnaise sauce. These stunning dishes are sure to wow any dinner date. In addition, the restaurant's sommelier is on hand every night to help you pair your meal with one of its many excellent wines.
Location: Grand Case, French side. Address: Le Cottage, Grand Case. Phone: 590 690 62 26 86
Located directly on Maho Beach in Dutch St Martin, this restaurant sits just to the south of the main runway of the Princess Juliana International airport. As a result, it’s a fun place to dine and to sip on cocktails while watching the planes landing and taking off over the sea. The Sunset Beach Bar serves up sandwiches, pizza, burgers and barbecue. Phone: 721-545-2084
This stylish and upscale restaurant is located in the Oyster Bay Beach Resort and serves Caribbean Fusion cuisine. Although the focus is on seafood, this restaurant also has numerous other options, including vegetarian. Phone: 721-543-6288.
Little nautical-themed gem is located in Philipsburg and boasts views of Great Bay Beach and the marina. Chesterfields is known for its seafood but also serves steaks, sandwiches and burgers. Phone: 721-542-3484.
This high-quality Thai food restaurant is located on the Dutch side. It has outside terrace dining in addition to indoor seating. Phone: 721-584-1444.
Located on Simpson Bay Beach, this restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. During the day, chairs and umbrellas are included with your food and drink, so that you can enjoy the beautiful beach after your meal. At night, Karakter ramps up its game a notch, serving high-quality cuisine, including lobster tails and rack of lamb. Phone: 721-523-9983.
This Grand Case restaurant is a fun and casual place where you can enjoy live music with your meal. The cuisine includes dishes with American, French and Caribbean influences. Phone: 590 590 29 27 93
A lovely restaurant located on the beach in Orient Bay. It features stunning views, delicious food and excellent cocktails. It is only open from 11: 00 a.m. to 5: 00 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Phone: 721 522 4615
Homemade pastas and pizzas in a romantic, yet casual setting. Located in Simpson Bay. Phone: 590 690 39 84 61.
Located in the Maho Plaza, Le Moulin Fou is considered one of the best French restaurants on the island. In addition to French food, Le Moulin Fou also has sushi and a tank where you can pick out your very own fresh lobster. This restaurant offers both indoor (air-conditioned) and outdoor seating. Phone: 721-545-5777.