A palette of flavors makes an art of fine dining.

Fare With Flair Dining Tips Article Visit St Maarten


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.


Ocean Lounge

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

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.


Coffee Lounge

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

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.



Creating a memorable culinary experience.

Emilio’s restaurant, which opened in 2017, is housed in a 17th-century boiler house on Rockland Estate that’s named after Emilio Wilson, who once owned the former plantation.


Norman and Su Wathey, who also own Taloula Mango’s Caribbean Cafe in Philipsburg, restored the structure and converted it into a restaurant. “We wanted to create more than a restaurant,” says Norman. “The history that is here needed to be honored and preserved.”


When you dine at Emilio’s, you’re getting a taste of history along with gourmet fare. Menu items include the Emilio Wilson Plate, a combo of coal pot–fried snapper, johnnycake, rice and beans, and coleslaw.


There’s also the Big Mamie, a burger in honor of Wilson’s grandmother, who toiled as a slave on the plantation her grandson later bought.


Along with Executive Chef Sydney Prescod, the Watheys have been instrumental in attracting guest chefs with ancestral links to the island for exclusive one-night-only dinners.


“These nights have brought so many of us together,” says Norman. “We realized that passion for food, good food, has always been a part of us.”


The Watheys consider Emilio’s their “magnum opus.” They’re always adding to the artifacts found throughout the dining space, and they have restored the original root cellar and transformed it into a wine cellar and private dining room.


Award-winning bartender Daza Baez oversees the restaurant’s extensive wine and spirits collection.


“We are a family here,” Norman says. “Our St. Maarten roots are strong and getting stronger.


When you come to visit us, we want you to walk away feeling, and not just knowing, our history. That is why our tagline is ‘Emilio’s … Dine with history.’”


This fine-dining establishment has become a must-visit culinary spot for locals and visitors alike.


In fact, Emilio’s won the SHTA Crystal Pineapple Award for Restaurant of the Year 2019.



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.


Balls & Wine

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.


Buccaneer Beach Bar

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.


Karakter Beach Bar & Restaurant

Live music also complements the menu offerings at Karakter Beach Bar & Restaurant. Dine with your toes in the sand or kissed by the waves.


The Hideaway

Curried shrimp soup and other delights keep diners coming back to La Vista’s The Hideaway restaurant.


Frenchy Ludo’s

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

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.


Topper’s Restaurant & Bar

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.


The Boon

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.


Palapa Grill

Palapa Grill, meanwhile, features flavors of the Caribbean with premium cuts of the finest beef. In addition to superbly grilled steaks and local fare, the restaurant offers vegan and vegetarian options along with handcrafted cocktails.


Lee’s Roadside Grill & Bar

Barbecued lobster, chicken and ribs star the menu at Lee’s Roadside Grill & Bar, which is back in a new location in Pelican.


SkipJack’s Seafood Grill, Bar & Fish Market

Or dive deep at SkipJack’s Seafood Grill, Bar & Fish Market, which features Maine and Caribbean lobsters and other seafood dishes.



Snoopy’s Bar & Grill

In the mood to chill? Savor the food and the sound of lapping waves at Snoopy’s Bar & Grill. Come for Happy Hour and stay for the live music.


Top Carrot Restaurant

For fresh fruit juices and a large array of healthy, flavorful offerings, head to Top Carrot restaurant. The cozy café offers an abundance of homemade dishes and eclectic daily specials. Vegans will find lots of options here, and everyone will enjoy the large array of great finds in the gift shop.



Gigi’s Organic Food & Drinks

Healthy food offerings also are the staple at Gigi’s Organic Food & Drinks in Simpson Bay. The food is made from organic ingredients and tastes great.



Coffee Lounge

For an amazing selection of coffee, frappés and pastries, visit Coffee Lounge. Here, you’ll find tasty and innovative options for both breakfast and lunch in a relaxed and cozy atmosphere.


Zee Best

Zee Best, meanwhile, features some of “zee” best pastries on the island. Enjoy freshly prepared artisanal French pastries, mouthwatering crepes, omelets, coffee, juices and more for breakfast and then transition to lunch with savory crepes and other delectables.



Sample local beers and tap into the culture of St. Maarten / St. Martin.

Nothing says local like a handcrafted beer. In St. Maarten / St. Martin two microbreweries — Caribbean Brewing Company and Pelikaan Brewery — are serving up a thirst-quenching taste of the island.


Caribbean Brewing Company

At Caribbean Brewing Company, launched last year, beers are made fresh with the finest hops, malts and other natural ingredients. The organic beers are unfiltered, unpasteurized and without corn syrup or preservatives. All beers are brewed and bottled on-site at the brewery in Pointe Blanche.

Inspiration for the brewery’s five beers is derived from the island’s rich history and culture. A “rich, clean taste” characterizes the company’s flagship San Martin Premium Beer. Dutch Blonde evokes The Netherlands with a splash of Caribbean sweetness.


Caribbean Brewing describes its SXM Light as crisp and refreshing, “just like a St. Maarten vacation.” Flavored with pale malts, Pirate’s Edition is the island’s only India Pale Ale, and 1863 represents the latitude and longitude of the island.


The brewery is open for tours that take visitors through the beer-making process, from milling of ingredients to brewing and bottling.


Sample all the brews at the end of the tours (or even before) during an all-you-can-drink session in the brewery’s Tap Room.


Pelikaan Brewery

Pelikaan Brewery also taps into island culture. The brown pelican, in fact, is the national bird of St. Maarten. The Cole Bay brewery got its start in 2017 in a small kitchen in Pelikaan Hill.


With distinctive flavors and a strong mouth feel, the brews are named for significant island places and events.


Soualiga, a blonde beer with mango, recalls the Carib name for the island. Pic Paradis is named for the highest point on the island.


Mullet Bay is linked to the famed beach of the same name, and Irma is a beer crafted after the devastation of Hurricane Irma in 2017. Rounding up the five is Mont Careta, another blonde beer.


The beers from both microbreweries can be found in supermarkets, pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels throughout the island.


Topper’s Rhum

The local spirit captures the essence of a St. Maarten vacation.


Wouldn’t it be great if you could bottle that perfect day of sun and fun on a beach in St. Maarten / St. Martin? Take home the next best thing. Acclaimed for its scents and range of flavors, locally distilled Topper’s Rhum will take you back to those beaches even on a chilly winter day.


Bottled and packaged in Cole Bay, one of the island’s oldest neighborhoods, the premium spirit is gluten-free and crafted from natural ingredients with no preservatives.


The family-owned and -operated distillery has strong roots on the island. Rum crafters Topper and wife Melanie Daboul loved to make flavored rums for family and friends.


They decided to take their creations public when they opened the popular Topper’s Restaurant & Bar.


Offering rum at the restaurant proved to be a winning move and in 2008, aided by Melanie’s extensive background in graphic design, the couple launched the Topper’s Rhum brand.


The rum-making operations moved out of the kitchen and into Topper’s Rhum Distillery in 2012. The move was made possible with the help of South Carolina friends and partners Mike and Thelma King.


Since then, Topper’s Rhum has won more than 25 international awards. Topper’s Mocha Mama Rhum was selected as one of Wine Enthusiast magazine’s Top 100 Spirits for 2019.


Topper’s also won first place in USA Today’s 10 Best Rum Distilleries in the Caribbean.


Melanie has created more than 100 flavors in addition to the signature formula.


Some rums began as flavors developed for commercial markets, some were seasonal or holiday blends, and others came about through experimentations and interesting ideas.


Ninety-minute tours are available daily at the distillery, where you can learn more about the Topper’s story and distillation process.


Guests can also learn how to properly “nose and taste” rum in the barrel-aging room and enjoy samplings of six signature rums and rum cake.


Topper’s uses only new American white oak barrels to age their rums and soon will launch its Topper’s Premium Vodka.


Also on the calendar is the launch of Topper’s sister brand, Sea Spot Rum. With every purchase of Sea Spot Rum, 10 percent of profits will be donated to supporting service, guide and shelter dog organizations.


Rum and merchandise purchases at the distillery will support St. Maarten’s local rescue and dog organizations.


Topper’s Rhum is exported to seven countries, and to more than 24 of the 50 states in the United States. It is considered the official rum of the Dutch Army.



Port de Plaisance is a multifaceted place worth exploring for its dining and entertainment options. Here you’ll discover great food and plenty of entertainment venues, including Princess Port de Plaisance Resort and Casino.


Table games and slot machines will keep you busy at Princess Casino.


Port de Plaisance is also home to one of the island’s top mega-yacht marinas, Yacht Club Port de Plaisance. This is a popular rendezvous for the professionally crewed yachts that migrate to St. Maarten as their strategic winter base within the Lesser Antilles.


This locale is also the home of The Country Club at Port de Plaisance, which includes the spa, gym, hair salon, tennis courts and a pool.


Mélange International Grill

Mélange International Grill should be on every food connoisseur’s dining list. This contemporary tabletop grill restaurant has a menu inspired by international flavors.


Great for a date or for entertaining a group, the grill has the right ingredients for good conversation as diners cook together and add the finishing touches to their meals right at the table.


It’s similar to the Korean barbecue concept.


Mandarin Pan Asian

Mandarin Pan Asian restaurant also offers an adventure in eating. Here, a fusion of flavors entices diners to try a variety of taste-tempting menu items. You’ll find not just one or two types of cuisines, but several.


Choose from the flavors of China (including dim sum), Thailand and Japan (sushi and ramen bowls).


Restaurants such as these two in Port de Plaisance are the reason St. Maarten / St. Martin has maintained its claim as the “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean.”


The chefs and staff at these establishments are committed to delivering the best service and quality to ensure diners have an unforgettable experience.


Mélange and Mandarin

A memorable dining experience awaits.

Among the various restaurants St. Maarten has to offer within its dining scene, two hidden gems await you at Port de Plaisance: Mélange International Grill and Mandarin sushi and Pan Asian restaurant. Located right next to the entrance of Princess Casino, these restaurants are sure to provide a memorable experience.


A must-visit restaurant in St. Maarten with a live barbecue grill in the middle of every table, Mélange International Grill is the perfect place for you to show off your barbecue skills with an all-you-can-eat-style service of succulent meats, seafood and sides, accompanied by tasty appetizers and fresh salads.


A concept similar to a Brazilian churrascaria, they also feature an a la carte menu with light fare, mouthwatering steak and fish.


Mandarin Sushi & Pan Asian Restaurant has everything to satisfy your Asian craving. From sushi to stir-fry in the wok, they feature a full-fledged Pan Asian menu, including Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and the not-to-be-missed ramen noodle bowls.


With an option of air-conditioned and outside seating, this restaurant is sure to satisfy every palate.


Enjoy free valet parking, nightly entertainment at the Princess Casino and free shuttle service for groups of six or more.


Both restaurants are great for families, groups and couples. Kids’ menu items and allergy-friendly options are available.


Carrefour Market

One of the best places to spot top chefs on the island is among the aisles of Carrefour Market, the largest supermarket chain in St. Maarten.


Carrefour Market is synonymous with comfort and offers its customers an ultimate shopping experience. They stock a huge range of fresh, knowledgeably sourced groceries from around the world.


The produce is fresh and replenished throughout the week and even includes organic fruits and vegetables. The dairy section is arguably the best on the island.


They carry a huge range of wines, spirits, aperitifs and mixers to choose from and have the finest snacks. One can purchase duty-free liquors in singles or bulk.


Carrefour Market has two major outlets with 40,000 square feet each, one located on Bush Road and the other in Cole Bay.


With the preface of Carrefour Express, the chain has expanded further with two more locations in Porto Cupecoy and Jordan Village, allowing accessibility to their customers around that area.



Whether you are on the Dutch side or just across the border on the French side, you are never far from a huge assortment of quality products, ample parking, a hygienic and shopper-friendly ambience and prompt assistance in every aisle.




Hot spots here feature a variety of cuisines, from traditional burgers and fries to fusion and international fare.


Delight your palate with fresh sushi, homemade pasta and French-inspired delicacies. Discover international and local delicacies at Carrefour Market in Cupecoy and other island locations. And here as well are popular nightlife venues.


Maho Village

You’ll find authentic Italian food in Maho Village at two of the island’s longtime eateries: La Rosa Too and Nonna Rosa Pizzeria Trattoria.


La Rosa Too prides itself on Italian entrees with a Caribbean touch: conch au gratin, spicy fisherman’s soup, osso buco, veal Milanese and more. At Nonna Rosa, handcrafted pizzas are sure to please even the pickiest eater.


Rendez-Vouz Lounge

Rendez-Vous Lounge serves French and Italian cuisine in the Mediterranean village–style Porto Cupecoy.


The restaurant offers diners flavor-packed menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a long list of cocktails and other drinks to enjoy while sitting on the edge of the plaza looking out to Simpson Bay Lagoon.


Little Beirut

With a large choice of authentic dishes, Little Beirut brings delicious Lebanese cuisine to Cupecoy. You’ll find many hookah flavors that can be enjoyed after dinner or while lounging.


Alina Restaurant

Alina restaurant above Casino Royale has built its menu on traditional Japanese flavors infused with a bit of the Caribbean.


Taco Macho

Attention is closely paid to presenting dishes that will wow and awaken the palate. If you’re hankering for Mexican and Colombian fare — savory beef, enchiladas, tacos and more — head for Taco Macho.


Sunset Beach Bar

Or add a bit of adrenalin to your entree. You’ll enjoy the offerings at Sunset Beach Bar, along with the thrill of seeing jets land and take off at neighboring Princess Juliana International Airport.



Between the Dutch and French sides of the island, Oyster Bay is home to international eateries offering a variety of tempting cuisines. You’ll find several restaurants on the water serving fresh seafood and other delicious options.


The Infinity Restaurant

The Infinity Restaurant at Oyster Bay Beach Resort combines Italian and international flavors with local flair. This multifaceted restaurant is perfect for a romantic evening or family outing.


Spectacular ocean views and the distant twinkle of lights from St. Barths add an unforgettable twist to the dining experience.


Big Fish Seafood Grill & Hurricane Bar

Big Fish Seafood Grill & Hurricane Bar has reopened, and Chef Leslie Martina is back in the kitchen. This restaurant is all about seafood. Its Asian/Caribbean–inspired menu focuses on fresh daily catches and inventive dishes to tease mind and the palate.



Is your mouth starting to water? That’s an easy one to remedy in St. Maarten / St. Martin. Take a seat and give your taste buds a treat in the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean.


Come to the Party!

Nightlife on St. Maarten / St. Martin is vibrant and diverse.

After the sun goes down, it’s party time in St. Maarten / St. Martin — and you’re invited to join the fun. You can enjoy everything from hip-swaying reggae to the pulsating beat of electronic house music at live-music bars and nightclubs.


First-class DJs and international artists are on hand to make your night out an exceptional one. Dance the night away, book a limo with Paradise Tourism or let the good times roll at a red-hot casino.


The Red Piano

Live-music lovers need to look no further than The Red Piano in Pelican Key. Chart-topping hits and classics stream from the piano every night. Ask the pianist for a favorite tune any night of the week or join the “congregation” on Monday nights for the soul-touching music of the house band, Church on Monday.


Holland house Beach Hotel

In Philipsburg, Holland House Beach Hotel is a spot for live and DJ music, especially on Friday evenings. The sounds of jazz and soft rock fill the air from the open-area Ocean Lounge all the way across the Boardwalk and onto Great Bay Beach.


Topper’s Restaurant & Bar

Topper’s Restaurant & Bar is the place to make your own music. The popular eatery is a favorite spot for singers of all ranges — those who deserve a record deal and others who should keep the notes confined to their showers. No matter where you fall on the scale, this is the spot for fun!


Soggy Dollar Bar

Soggy Dollar Bar in Simpson Bay started out as a hot spot for yacht crew members. Now, it’s a popular outdoor party destination. Friday nights are epic, as are the specialty parties that call to the daring and curious. The DJs spin chart-toppers and classic dance favorites to keep the party going into the next morning.


What’s more, the island “Happy Hour” often lasts longer than 60 minutes. The usual time for the drinks to pour at special rates is around 4 p.m. Most restaurants and bars add their own twist to Happy Hour by coupling drinks with tapas and entertainment.


Lady Luck

Remember also to court Lady Luck at one of the many casinos on the Dutch side. Try your hand at poker or roulette. Or risk it all at the penny slot machine if you are feeling that big payday coming on.


Casino Royale

At Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa you’ll find Casino Royale, which boasts over 21,000 square feet of gaming and entertainment options — the largest on the island. In addition to al fresco restaurants, there are highly rated restaurants, outdoor bars and lounges where you can grab a few cocktails after dinner and have a great time at Maho Village.


Don’t miss the mini-street party nightly in front of the casino and then head to the theater for an energetic stage show.


With two nations and more than 116 nationalities on this tiny island, it’s no wonder that St. Maarten / St. Martin has gained a following as the party capital of the Caribbean. If you’re ready to party, this island is ready for you!