Where and What to Eat in Sint Maarten (and How Much to Pay for It)

One thing that’s common among the islands of the Caribbean is their celebration, and respect for food, allowing a diverse market to thrive wherever you go. Sint Maarten’s diverse background is no stranger to rich food culture, offering a diverse palate for its international audience.
Where and What to Eat in Sint Maarten
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You can sample authentic Caribbean, South and East Asian, to Mediterranean cuisine that is prepared and served in a way that gives respect to their origin cultures. When in Sint Maarten, you will have your mouth exploding the same way your travel lust will be satisfied.

What Food Is Sint Maarten Known for?

With the combination of the Dutch, French, and Caribbean culinary styles and staples, Dutch Sint Maarten and the opposing French side of Saint Martin, boasts some of the best and famous dishes in the region. From fried goods, soups, to grilled meat, Sint Maarten virtually has everything to offer your palate.

Among the many popular dishes, the most sought-after dish is Sint Maarten’s national dish Conch and Dumplings. Seasoned with various herbs and spices, local conch – a large sea snail is then pounded and pressure cooked until it is soft, together with dumplings. The trademark gravy is the thick sauce that oozes as they are cooked.

Other notable dishes include the famous Callalou Soup, originally from Saint Martin, the island’s French side, which is a hearty soup with a thick consistency full of greens, thyme, hot peppers, with pork as the base ingredient. Codfish Fritters is a Caribbean staple, using codfish also called salt fish, sauteed, mixed with herbs like thyme, together with tomato, onion, celery, and green pepper.

And of course, when it comes to grilled food, Sint Maarten Spare Ribs is a tourist favorite. Grilled to a “fall-off-the-bone” tender, lathered in a special sauce that comes differently from each barbeque shack called “lolo”.

What Is the National Dish of Sint Maarten?

Conch and Dumplings is one of Sint Maarten’s national dishes and the most famous, this must-have dish is hot and spicy and delivers a true taste of the Caribbean. The dish is made up of conch, a large sea snail seasoned with several herbs and spices, served with light and fluffy dumplings often made with cornmeal, depending on the recipe.

Another one of Sint Maarten’s national dishes is the Callaloo. This hearty soup is made teeming with fresh greens such as kale, spinach, and, with the main ingredient, callaloo, a spinach-like vegetable. Depending on the recipe, variations could include pork, onions, okra, or lady’s fingers. The soup is usually characterized with a thick soup, seasoned with thyme, and peppers.

Is Food Expensive in Sint Maarten?

The Dutch Caribbean is known for being some of the priciest places to visit in the region, especially Aruba. While it applies to Sint Maarten as well, it doesn’t have to be costly, if you know how to go around the costs on the island.

An inexpensive meal can cost anywhere between 3 to 9 USD for breakfast, 11 to 16 USF for lunch, and 12 to 20 USD for dinner. However, if you want to splurge on luxury dining, a fancy dinner can set you back to 50 to 75 USD.

But, if you want to spend for even cheaper prices, you can always cook your own food, given that your accommodation includes a full kitchen. Should you decide to cook your own food, a dozen eggs can cost 1 to 3 USD, chicken breasts, 6 to 8 USD, fruits and vegetables can cost 3 to 6 USD.

Sint Maarten is pricier for the region, as well as the French side of Saint Martin. But, with experience, proper prior research, and good budgeting, you can always turn your budget around and maximize your hard-earned Caribbean vacation money.

How Much Does Food Cost in Sint Maarten?

An inexpensive meal can cost anywhere between 3 to 9 USD for breakfast, 11 to 16 USD for lunch, and 12 to 20 USD for dinner. However, if you want to splurge on luxury dining, a fancy dinner can set you back to 50 to 75 USD.

But, if you want to spend for even cheaper prices, you can always cook your own food, given that your accommodation includes a full kitchen. Should you decide to cook your own food, a dozen eggs can cost 1 to 3 USD, chicken breasts, 6 to 8 USD, fruits and vegetables can cost 3 to 6 USD.

How Many Restaurants Are in St Maarten?

With only a total landmass of 37 square miles or 96 square kilometers, combining both the Dutch and the French sides, there are more than 400 restaurants and food places all over the island. Thanks to the rich fusion of Caribbean/creole, French and Dutch styles of culinary style, the island has made plenty of staples, and famous dishes served in a plethora of restaurants, cafes, and bars that dot either side of the island.

What Are the Best Restaurants in Sint Maarten

The cultural and culinary combination of French, Dutch, and Caribbean-Creole has generated a microculture within the island that develops and celebrates this rich mix of cuisine in the form of some of the best restaurants on the island. From quirky concepts to incredible vistas these restaurants have been touted as some of the best of Sint Maarten.

First, is the Saratoga offering some of the best cuisines in Sint Maarten, coupled with incredible vistas and a quirky combination of other cultures from Asia, Europe, and the US. The popular dishes you may find worth tasting are the veal chops, grilled chicken, fuck, and even venison. With the island’s love for seafood, fresh fish is also served cooked in various ways.

Rare, a US-style steakhouse in the Atlantis Casino serves premium certified Angus beef, grilled to perfection, or at least according to your likings, best served with sides that are just unique, such as polenta fries, spaetzle with pesto, wasabi mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus with sesame-balsamic vinaigrette, and many more.

If you want intimacy served alongside Indian cuisine, then you can head down to Shiv Sagar, where the spices from South Asia will overwhelm your senses. You’ll find a rich menu with traditional favorites with chicken, seafood, and various fresh vegetables. If you’re looking for something farfetched, and out of the ordinary, try Shiv Sagar.

With the kitchen managed by the same chef that oversees the Atlantis World Casino, Chef Dino Jagtiani focuses on Nouveau Caribbean cooking at Temptation. Serving food that is as unheard of as the quirks of the island like the Seared Foie Gras with melted peanut butter and homemade port wine-fig jelly, and the Butternut Squash Bisque.

Thanks to Sint Maarten’s mixed identity, and affinity for all things exotic, the island has produced many of the best and unusual dishes on this side of the Caribbean. If you have a palate as curious as your feet then trying out these places in Sint Maarten will be worth it.

Best Breakfast in Sint Maarten

Found in Sint Maarten’s Simpson Bay, by the name itself, Zee Best Breakfast and Lunch offers some of the best breakfast menus on the island, well-known among tourists and locals alike. From Dutch and French pastries to classic American staples.

Breakfast starts as early as 7:30 a.m. already serving fresh juices and mimosas. Spice up your morning with a variety of scrumptious crêpes to choose from or their signature egg dishes. The breakfast place also has a wide selection of coffees and teas perfect for your favorite freshly baked pastries.

Best Lunch in Sint Maarten

Tucked in Porto Cupecoy, a Mediterranean-inspired village in Sint Maarten, Rendez-Vous Lounge, prides itself on its French and Italian cuisine, serving Tuna tartar, handmade pasta, and homemade thin crust pizza, that seems to be the patrons’ favorites, not to mention the tourists who already sampled their Mediterranean cooking.

You can also enjoy the gorgeous view of the Porto Cupecoy overlooking the Simpson Bay Lagoon, with their open-terrace cafe, letting the cool island breeze through. Rendez-Vous is open 7 days a week from 8 in the morning to 10 PM in the evening, with happy hours from 5 to 7 PM.

Another notable lunchroom is the Ocean Lounge, situated in Holland House Bar & Restaurant, fronting the ocean looking out to the Great Bay. You can wine and dine with their upscale menu, wine selections, that best caters to the well-heeled, or even the well-budgeted.

Best Seafood in Sint Maarten

It has to be said, Ocean Lounge also offers the best seafood in Sint Maarten. Their famous seafood menu is complemented with the ambiance that shows even just a fraction of the beauty of the island, as the restaurant looks out to the Great Bay. The seafood menu in the Ocean Lounge is best served at lunch and dinner.

Best Pizza in Sint Maarten

With a plethora of places serving pizzas, it’s hard to point which ones are the best, with reviews that can be too trusting, or too meticulous, all you can do is trust the ratings. However, Pizza&Co Sint Maarten, along Simpson Bay is one of the best, if not the best-reviewed pizza place in Sint Maarten.

Best Sushi in Sint Maarten

Located in Maho Village, inside the Casino Royale, Alina Sushi is one of the top-rated, and most recommended Sushi and authentic Japanese restaurants in Sint Maarten. Their dishes are made with fresh ingredients and are prepared in a way that stays true to the Japanese way. They serve seasonal specials that are perfectly paired with the restaurant’s always-changing menu.

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