The Best on the Island: A Guide to St. Maarten’s Restaurants and Shops

Published: 15th August 2009
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Upon your arrival to St. Maarten, you'll notice the island has a number of restaurants and quaint shops to keep you quite busy during your stay. The task of choosing where exactly to spend your time can be quite overwhelming. To make it all a tad bit easier for you, I've created a guide to some of St. Maarten's top restaurants and shops. Some offer affordable deals and bargains while others focus on beautiful settings and topnotch dining.

Enjoy your stay!

--The Villalady

www.stmaartenvillavacations.com



ST. MAARTEN DINING

It's recommended you make a trip to the St. Maarten restaurants of your choice during the daylight hours. Not only will this make finding the restaurant at night a bit easier, but you'll also get a chance to check out the dining menu and make your reservations.

**Be aware of prices in Euros versus dollars. Prices can be 50% higher when dollars are used in St. Martin French restaurants**



Philipsburg Area:

In Philipsburg, a brand new boardwalk running along the beach has been built. With the new boardwalk came a number of new, exciting restaurants to choose from that definitely makes a trip to Philipsburg worth your time.

Here are some favorites to try:

• Antoine's (on Front Street) has the perfect combination of French food and a beautiful waterfront setting. Be sure to tell Jean Pierre the Villalady sent you.



• Hotel Passangrahan is the perfect place for lunch or dinner. It's a lovely little hotel with a dining room right on the beach. They have affordable dinners and great specials to choose from.



• L'Escargot offers the best in classic French food. It's a favorite of many. Tell Joel the Villalady sent you.



● Talloola Mango has nice lunch food right on the beach in town. Go into a good jewelry store and ask them where to eat. Although chances are they will send you to an Indian restaurant.



Marigot Area:



Everyone has his or her own personal favorite restaurant around Port Royal Marina. Here are a few of our top picks:



• Don Camillo is perfect if you're looking for Italian specialties at their finest. It's pricey, but well worth it. Enzo is the owner.



• Mario's Bistro has excellent food and you must have a reservation beforehand. Average meal prices are $20-35 per main course. Call 00-590-590-87-0636.



Grand Case: The Gourmet Capital of the Island

**Some special notes about Grand Case**



During the high season, Tuesday is Fete Day (feast day) and there is NO parking after 6:00pm in town due to the parade. Parking is outside of town and buses transport you into Grand Case. Once you're there you cannot leave until after 10:00 pm.



There are approximately 20 fabulous restaurants in this little town. They can get pretty pricey, so be sure to check menus before making reservations. A few of our favorites are as follows:



• Spiga is great because it gives you prices in dollars and Euros so you know exactly what to expect.



• Le Pressoir always receives good reviews. Call 00-590-590-87-7662.



• Fish Pot is expensive and a tad bit on the snooty side.



• Bistro Caraibe is located on a busy corner. It offers good food and lobster specials.



• Le Taste de Vin offers a lovely ambiance, but is expensive.



• Auberge Gourmand is not located on the ocean, but has great food.

• Le Cottage is one of the most popular restaurants in Grand Case. Call 00-590-590-29-0330.

• L'Escapade is another very popular St. Martin hotspot.

• California Restaurant has everything from pizza and beer to fine seafood and lamb. The prices are rather affordable, too.

• The "Lolos" are another fun option. Lolos are local ladies who cook in the center of town. They have stalls offering ribs, chicken and many other island specialties at bargain prices.



Rambaud Area

• Loterie Farm is a farm with a restaurant and a path that leads to a small rainforest. We absolutely love the food at Loterie. Hours are Sunday 12-6, closed Monday, and Tuesday thru Saturday 12-9. Keep an eye out for a sign to Pic Paradise and the farm's just a little ways up the road. Don't forget to say the Villalady sent you

Simpson Bay and Maho Area



This area is becoming the hub for dining and fun on the Dutch side of the island. It's a great spot in St. Maarten for affordable dining.



• Lady C has a great St. Maarten dining deal of all you can eat ribs for $11.95. Delicious ribs served on a stationary boat paked near the Simpson Bay Bridge



• Pizza Galley has yummy pizza, but be warned...watch out for the spicy pepperoni.



• Jimbos is a Mexican food hangout for the younger crowd.



• Saratoga delivers fine French food that's excellent, but expensive. Also be aware that service can be spotty.





• Lals is the first restaurant you pass leaving the airport en route to Simpson Bay. They have delicious Indian food. It is a favorite of students. Great price for dirnks too!



• Aldywich is a new Lebanese restaurant on the main drag in Simpson Bay.



• Pineapple Pete is also a favorite and has great Jazz on Tuesday nights.



Maho Area and Cupecoy

It's a fun place to spend an evening or two.

• Cheri's Café is a great place for music, but the food is only mediocre.

• La Rosa offers great Italian food.

• Pizza and Pasta is a small Italian place that has old-fashioned good food.

Atlantis area and Cupecoy

• Temptation is one of the finest on St. Maarten Island and also quite expensive. Great service, presentation and food.

• Rare is next door and a sister restaurant specializing in meat.

• La Gondola has a fine reputation for Italian food.



GROCERY SHOPPING

**Mild warning: Look at food dates to make sure they have not expired**

The following are major markets and should have up to date products:

● Food Express near Maho has most items, some take out food and has great hours.

• Grand Marche is a newer market near the roundabout to Phillipsburg and is where we do all our shopping. They offer a wide range of meats and delicacies. The prices are about 10-20% more than the states. Be sure to try the hot appetizers in the bakery.

• US supermarket is open on Sundays and has good wines and vegetables. It is just on the other side of the Bridge in Sandy Ground.

• Match is a smaller grocery in the Howell Center outside of Marigot.

Lots of local markets are springing up, but they are a bit more expensive than the larger supermarkets. We like Lido and the Food Express at the Maho Hotel, which is open until 10:00 pm. Just remember to check the dates for food freshness.

Bakeries

• Sucriere bakery is located on Airport Road outside of The Simpson Bay Yacht Club. It has an outside dining terrace overlooking the lagoon. Great sandwiches and bread to die for.

Alcohol

Liquor is very inexpensive on St. Maarten and can be purchased in supermarkets or liquor stores.



ST. MAARTEN SHOPS

Once you're full from the wonderful St. Maarten dining experience, it's time for some serious shopping. Most St. Maarten shops are extremely reliable and honest. Be sure to know what you're looking for ahead of time and bargain with the seller.

For info on the best St. Maarten shops and shopping deals, St. Maarten villas and cottages, as well as more insider info from The Villalady, head over to www.stmaartenvillavacations.com


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