A palette of flavors makes an art of fine dining.


The capital of St. Maarten is known for its duty-free boutiques, but eclectic eateries also tempt tourists and locals alike. Many restaurants and bars line the popular Boardwalk, which runs alongside the town on the seaside. It is here you will encounter Ocean Lounge at Holland House Beach Hotel. Its sophisticated beachfront dining is complemented by a varied menu influenced by the flavors of Europe and the Caribbean. Get started with the tasty breakfast buffet, follow up with an a la carte lunch and round out the day with tastes of the old and new worlds.

Emilio’s restaurant takes its moniker — “Dine with history” — seriously. The atmosphere in this restored boiler house at Rockland Estate is one of tranquility, with cool breezes sweeping through its windows and doors. The menu of nouveau Caribbean flavors is the creation of Chef Sydney Prescod, who has a penchant for unexpected flavor combinations like white chocolate mashed potatoes and breadfruit balls.

Sheer Bar & Restaurant is one of Philipsburg’s hidden gems. The romantic enclave serves up a sophisticated blend of Caribbean and European gastronomic styles. Satisfy your craving with potato-wrapped lobster tail with crisp mixed vegetables in lobster sauce, or salmon with sautéed spinach, radish and sweet corn salsa. Sheer’s walk-in cellar, built into the ruins of a 19th-century wall, holds 1,000 bottles of wines, including old and contemporary vintages.

If casual suits your style, try Coffee Lounge on Front Street. Open for breakfast and lunch, it boasts an extensive sandwich menu with specialties such as a tandoori chicken sandwich. Fresh pastries are always readily available, and there is a wide selection of flavored coffees, frappés and teas.

Taloula Mango’s Caribbean Cafe is another Boardwalk institution. The cuisine is built on Caribbean flavors with an American twist, from juicy burgers to grilled steaks to blackened mahi-mahi.


Foodies will not be disappointed when visiting the bustling Cole Bay and Simpson stretch. Restaurants, cafés and bars rim the Caribbean’s largest inland lagoon — Simpson Bay Lagoon — and places in between. Flavors from every corner of the world can be found here.

You can travel to Thailand without ever leaving the island at Avantika, which specializes in authentic Thai cuisine, from fragrant red and green curries to inventive rice dishes. You’ll enjoy culinary invention along with a chuckle at The Meat Balls & Wine Shop. Specialty meatballs come in American, Cajun, Creole and Italian flavors. Wash your selection down with a fine wine.

You also can feed your appetite for flavor and fun at Buccaneer Beach Bar, a lively spot for music whose menu features sumptuous fire-grilled burgers, hot dogs, oven-baked pizzas and steaks. Live music also complements the menu offerings at Karakter Beach Bar & Restaurant. Dine with your toes in the sand or kissed by the waves.

Curried shrimp soup and other delights keep diners coming back to La Vista’s The Hideaway restaurant. Frenchy Ludo’s also has carved out a name for itself with an inventive French-
inspired menu. The focus is on French Fusion cuisine — complex flavors in simple, yet sophisticated dishes.

Sale & Pepe, a Sicilian family-style restaurant, brings together homemade pasta with mouthwatering sauces, cheeses, meats and fresh seafood. Dishes are made from fresh fish and a variety of other seafood mixed with directly imported Sicilian products and Caribbean ingredients.

In a Caribbean-style cottage, Topper’s Restaurant & Bar serves up ambience with its menu of international options. Add some zest to your meal with a shot of Topper’s Gourmet Rhum. You’ll find a delightful ambience as well at Beirut restaurant, which satisfies with a range of Lebanese classics and other Middle Eastern–style specialties. Romance is also on the menu at The Boon at Mary’s Boon, where dining is enhanced by candles under the stars, a moonlit sea and the gentle sway of the waves.