Night view of restaurant Emilio’s and its art gallery and wine cellar

Savor the Flavors

Innovative offerings star your epicurean adventure in St. Maarten/St. Martin.


St. Maarten/St. Martin is not just a vacation spot to rejuvenate body and mind.


This half-Dutch, half-French island is the gateway to a world of flavors sure to please your palate. With hundreds of restaurants featuring melting-pot menus and innovative entrees, St. Maarten/St. Martin lives up to its reputation as the “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean.”


Across 37 square miles of rolling emerald hills and sun-kissed sandy shores, restaurants, cafés and bars reflect the cultural tastes of the settlers who have come here from around the world.


French food is ubiquitous — the best this side of the Champs-Élysées — and artisanal Dutch cheeses are savory delights. Also delicious are dishes influenced by the cuisines of such diverse nations as Germany, Philippines, Japan, Italy, China, Suriname, Jamaica, Thailand, Peru and the Middle East. There’s also sushi, barbecue, American comfort classics and more. And fine restaurants carry an extensive assortment of wines and Champagne to complement their culinary offerings.


At Emilio’s in Dutch Cul de Sac, for instance, you can start by sampling from a mouthwatering selection of tapas, including charred Spanish octopus. Then move on to a succulent entree like seared sea scallops with leek-butternut risotto.


Vegetarian food has always been an option at eateries across the island. This is largely a reflection of the island’s sizable Indian population. Those on a gluten-free or vegan diet also eat well at a large number of restaurants.


Most chefs are accommodating with food substitutions and pride themselves in working only with the freshest ingredients, flown in or purchased at Le Grand Marche/Carrefour Market, the island’s largest supermarkets, and at Fayad’s Fruits & Vegetables. They have mastered their culinary craft at top culinary institutes in Europe and the United States, and honed their skills in some of the world’s finest restaurants.


When it comes to standout global cuisine, this island doesn’t disappoint. On the following pages, we take you on a tour of some of the best dining experiences.