One thing that we discovered before our trip was how amazing the cuisine is in St. Martin. Thanks to a guide that my mom bought us, we learned that “On an island that covers only 37 square miles (96 square km), there are more than 400 restaurants.” We used a lot of local magazines to narrow down our restaurant searches, but we also carried Fodor’s Travel guide to St. Martin, St. Barth & Anguilla with us wherever we went (you can check them out online as well). Though we had these great guides, we had quite a few fails. The restaurant industry is highly competitive here, so we showed up at a few restaurants that no longer existed, as well as a restaurant that was closed for the month of June for holiday. Keep this is mind and be willing to stay flexible.
When thinking about reviewing restaurants, I’ve gone back and forth on only talking about my highest recommended restaurants versus telling you about all of the places we went. I decided I’d talk about all of them, because we may have a completely different taste in food than you, and while I may not have had the best experience somewhere, it could sound like a place you’d like to check out. Or you could blindly show up somewhere and have a bad experience that I could’ve saved you from. Either way, I decided to list all the restaurants we ate at to give you a fair picture of our experiences.
- Big Fish –
What I ordered: lobster + shrimp ravioli with rose sauce
This was our first meal on the island and it was only a few minutes away from our villa. The atmosphere is very chic – lots of white and sparkly chandeliers. The food was definitely tasty, but compared to our other meals, this one didn’t stand out in particular. However, the vibes at the restaurant are really great, the service was great and very friendly, and it was a good meal.
- Spiga –
What I ordered: pumpkin + mushroom ravioli in butter sage sauce, chocolate cake
Spiga was Scott and I’s hands down dinner for best meal on the island. It’s located in Grand Case, which is pretty much where you want to go if you want to find a great restaurant. Spiga’s style is very simple and open, and we sat on the porch which was really nice. My meal was absolutely fantastic, as was Scott’s (he got a lobster tail with shrimp on top over a saffron cream sauce pasta). The dessert was also amazing. We chose the dark chocolate mousse. AND they gave us each a limoncello shot with our check, which was the perfect ending. If there’s one restaurant you don’t want to miss, it’s this one.
- Chesterfield’s –
What I ordered: chargrilled grouper
Chesterfield’s is a great more casual choice. There’s a great view of the marina outside, and the windows are open on the sides. The grouper was simple, but really tasty! The portions of the food are HUGE, I was in way over my head here. They also made Scott a cocktail that was a sort of rum punch that he really enjoyed.
- Mr. Busby’s –
What I ordered – mozzarella sticks and fries (withhold your judgment)
Mr. Busby’s is a great little place in the same area as Big Fish. It has pretty much everything under the sun. I just got appetizers because I’d eaten some snacks earlier and wasn’t hungry still, but I still enjoyed it! You can sit right by the beach, which is a really great touch. This is also a great, less expensive, more casual meal, and there’s something on the menu for everyone. They have $1 beers from 11am-6pm, which is a plus. They also had a breakfast menu that looked amazing.
- Bamboo –
What I ordered: vegetable dumplings for appetizer, Bamboo rice noodles, cucumber cooler cocktail
Sadly, Bamboo is at the bottom of the barrel for us. It was highly influenced by the fact that we had driven like 40 minutes to this area of town for a different restaurant. This area of town is by Club Tantra, which is a very popular club, and the night life scene is huge. As mentioned previously, that is not Scott and I’s scene, so this whole area was pretty overwhelming for us. Bamboo is an Asian-fusion restaurant, emphasis on the fusion. I really loved the cucumber cocktail, it was very refreshing and delicious. The dumplings were also good, but I did not enjoy my actual meal. The atmosphere was very stimulating with some club music and dimmed lights. But, if Asian fusion is your thing, then you might want to check it out! Just wasn’t the place for us. Their website gives you a great feel for the vibes you’ll walk into.
- The Greenhouse (Philipsburg location) –
What I ordered: fish tacos, frozen pink lemonade
This is our top pick for casual eating in St. Martin. A lot of people come from their Happy Hour special (happy hour is from 4:30pm-7pm), which is buy 1 drink get 1 free. They also have reduced prices on their appetizers. The frozen pink lemonade was seriously amazing, and was included in the happy hour. Their menu is extensive, I had a hard time narrowing it down, and they span so many different genres. I went with the fish tacos and they were absolutely incredible. Everything you would want in a fish taco – so refreshing and light, but really amazing flavors.
- Zee Best –
What I ordered: the Greenpeace omelet (spinach, goat cheese, onions), croissant, mocha latte, potatoes
This is my top pick for breakfast (I am obsessed with breakfast). As soon as I saw the Greenpeace omelet I knew I had to have it. I LOVE goat cheese, so this was really perfect. The omelet was pretty large and came with toasted French baguette on the side. They also put a basket of pastries on your table that are really inexpensive, and if you want them you can eat as many as you want (they give you pricing when they drop it off). The croissant was amazing from that. I also ordered a side of potatoes because I love potatoes. I was pretty surprised that they came kind of like McDonald’s in the patty type formation, but they weren’t greasy and they were really tasty so I approve.
- Bistro Caribes –
What I ordered: sea bass, chocolate cake
Bistro Caribes is a gourmet French restaurant also located in the Grand Case area. It’s definitely one of the priciest options. We saved this for our last meal, because we wanted to go hard. The sea bass was really delicious – I’m not sure what kind of sauce it was in, but it was really good. Scott got lobster thermidor, and he got to go to the tank with the waitress, pick out his lobster, and then get his picture taken with it. The dessert was really nice, and they gave us a shot of rum with our check. We enjoyed the food, but I think we discovered that we might not be fancy food people. It was delicious, but we felt we could get great food at other places for less money.
- Gio’s –
What I ordered: 1 scoop praline, 1 scoop brownie gelato
Though we didn’t enjoy our time at Bamboo, we did discover Gio’s, which is a gelato shop right next door. We headed here after going to the beach all day and it was fantastic! I don’t normally go for nutty flavors, but the praline was amazing.
- Zee Best Bakery –
What I ordered: turkey and swiss cheese sandwich, croissant
Zee Best also has a smaller bakery that is located near the airport. We went here to grab a quick breakfast, as well as some sandwiches to eat at the airport. Super cute interior and a TON of baked goods. I wish we’d come in here earlier, because it all looked amazing. They had sweet and savory baked goods, as well as paninis and sandwiches for lunch time. The croissants are the exact same as their restaurant, so you know I had to get one.
- Sarafina –
What I ordered: ham + cheese croissant, chocolate muffin
Sarafina is a French bakery located in Marigot. We went here to get some croissants and breakfast foods to keep at our villa. This seemed like the perfect plan until ants discovered our pastries. Bummer. We put them in the fridge and they just weren’t the same. I’d definitely recommend coming here to hang out for breakfast or a snack! Sadly, we didn’t get a full picture of how good their food was because we didn’t get to try it at it’s freshest.