Even though St Maarten is a very small country, perhaps the most interesting thing about the food here is that you can sample some the world’s best cuisine, from France, the Netherlands, Italy, India, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Of course, it would be impossible for the restaurants to not offer typical Caribbean food, and since St Maarten is a country on an island, fresh fish and seafood are always on the menu. There are many options to suit all budgets, and restaurants in St Maarten always leave diners satisfied with the quality of food served. Away from the formal restaurants, you could try grabbing a meal at one of the lolos. These venues are local food stalls at roadsides selling delicious barbecued meats and fish, which are served with spicy Caribbean sauces.
Bars and Pubbing in St Maarten
St Maarten has a great atmosphere, but limited nightlife. For better options, you may want to head over to Grand Case on the French side of the island. But in St Maarten you can try Tantra Nightclub & Sanctuary (1 Rhine Road, Maho Bay), located at the Sonesta Resort & Casino. This is a true nightclub in that sense that things do not really get going until about 1:00 a.m., although the action continues until at least 6:00 a.m. If you go to French St Martin, you can try Boo Boo Jam (Baie Orientale, St Martin) or La Noche (Grand Case, St Martin), which both play modern electronic music.
Simpson Bay has a cluster of bars, such as Bliss (Caravansernal Resort, Simpson Bay), which has a roof-top lounge to enjoy a drink until late into the night. Behind Atrium Beach resort you will find Bucaneer Bar (10 Billy Folly Road, Simpson Bay), a friendly place where you can relax over a ‘BBC’ cocktail (Bailey’s banana colada).
St Maarten also has several casinos for anyone feeling lucky. Philipsburg has the most, for example Diamond Casino (1 Front Street, Philipsburg), which has 250 slot machines, roulette, and card tables. Coliseum and Beach Plaza Casino offer similar experiences; both are located at Front Street in Philipsburg. If in Maho Bay, you can try Casino Royale (1 Rhine Road, Maho).
Dining and Cuisine in St Maarten
For the biggest choice of restaurants in St Maarten, you should head to Philipsburg. A popular restaurant here serving typical Caribbean food is Chesterfield’s (Great Bay Marina, Philipsburg), which specializes in seafood dishes. Ocean Lounge (43 Front Street, Philipsburg) offers fresh fish and seafood dishes, matched by a great view over the marina.
For French cuisine, the best in town is usually considered to be Antoine (119 Front Street, Philipsburg), which is famous for dishes such as lobster thermidor (lobster cooked with cream and Swiss cheese), or you could try L’Escargot (96 Front Street, Philipsburg), which provides entertainment by way of a cabaret show on Friday nights.
Maho Beach and Simpson Bay also provide a cluster of restaurants. Big Fish (14 Emerald Merrit Road, Maho Beach) provides fresh seafood dishes cooked with Caribbean flavorings, such as coconut milk and local spices. The Boathouse (74 Airport Road, Simpson Bay) and Pineapple Pete (56 Welfare Rd., Simpson Bay) are seafood restaurants in the Simpson Bay area. Around both Maho and Simpson Bay you will also find Italian, French, and Asian dining options.