Food in St. Martin

French and Creole cuisine dominates the world class cuisine

Photo credit: © Rita Jayaraman |

Food in St. Martin

The cuisine of Saint Martin and Sint Maarten is famous for it's skilled chefs and fine cuisine, attracting food connoisseurs from around the world to sample the French and Creole cooking popular on the island. Travelers to the island can choose the type of dining atmosphere they want, from posh and choreographed to relaxed and unpretentious.


St. Martin and Sint Maarten have dining options catering to diners on any budget who are seeking any type of food. Vacationers who have come to St. Martin to splash on fine dining will find an assortment of French and Italian restaurants that have extensive wine lists and food imported from Europe and the United States prepared using both traditional and inventive herbs, spices, and sauces. Travelers who tend to shy away from the pomp and show of fine dining will be glad to know that there also French brasseries and other international style bistros where the food is exceptional, the prices lower, and the pace relaxed.

For vacationers on the go or on a budget, there are the island barbecue shacks, known as lolos, and a number of fast food restaurants to select from. Travelers choosing this option for their dining will find that they can eat for under $10(USD) for their meal. Moderate priced restaurants can range from $10(USD) to $15(USD) from $26(USD) to $35(USD). The finest restaurants on the island will surge above $35(USD) but will buy a dining experience to rival any in the Caribbean.


With over 400 restaurants on the tiny island, it is hard to say where the highest concentration of restaurants are located, though one area in particular stands out: Grand Case in French St. Martin.  By some estimations, this is actually where the highest concentration of fine dining is located in the whole of the Caribbean.  Grand Case's many restaurants tend to focus on French, Creole, and Italian cuisine, though there are a few beach side grills that offer American-style burgers, a pizza place, and an elegant tapas eatery.  Elsewhere throughout the island visitors will have better luck finding a wider variety of offerings.  Learn about the island's culinary styles and proper restaurant etiquette by visiting the corresponding St. Martin Culinary Styles and St. Martin Restaurants pages. 

It is also important to note that while some of St. Martin/St. Maarten's hotels do have restaurants on site, in order to experience the wonderful culinary array of offerings that the island has to offer, venturing off property is necessary.  To find out which restaurants are located nearby your potential hotel, visit our complete listing of hotels on the island (A to Z: Hotels in Detail) where you will not only find detailed descriptions of the hotels and their on-site restaurants, but the closest restaurants to each lodging option as well.  You may also search hotels with restaurants on property by visiting the Best Hotels for Dining Options page.

Culinary Styles


The French culture is so prevalent in St. Martin/St. Maarten that even the Dutch side of the island is over-saturated with French cuisine.  Traditional French culinary items such as pastries, escargot, and foie gras are all available throughout the island, which makes it easy for vacationers who have always dreamed of traveling to France for traditional dishes to take a shorter, more tropical vacation and still enjoy these popular dishes.  The fun part about St. Martin/St. Maarten, however, is the fact that Creole spices have infiltrated French dishes, and in some restaurants serve to create fusion dishes that vacationers just can't get enough of.


As one might expect, French wines make for excellent pairings with many of the fine meals served in St. Martin/St. Maarten.  Rum is another well-liked option, but you cannot leave St. Martin/St. Maarten without sampling some of the locally made guavaberry liqueur.

Diners in St. Martin and Sint Maarten can find a variety of European, Asian, American and other foods for affordable and extravagant prices. Try a variety of cuisines during your stay to get a taste of all that the island has to offer.


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