Both the Dutch and French sides of St. Maarten/St. Martin offer a wide variety of dining options, and Dutch St. Maarten alone has more than 300 restaurants to choose from. Here are some of the best:
Located on St. Maarten's eastern shore at Dawn Beach, this beachside restaurant serves breakfast and lunch daily. The menu ranges from salads and cold sandwiches (like crabmeat, chicken, tuna or delectable clubs) to grilled specialties such as mahi mahi, shrimp, grilled lobster, burgers, hot dogs, and baby back ribs. During the evening, Mr. Busby's is transformed into an Italian restaurant known as Daniel's By The Sea.
Located at the Atlantis World Casino, Temptation features "Nouveau Caribbean" cuisine served against a waterfall backdrop accompanied by piano music. Menu options include popped black bean crusted sashimi grade tuna, hoisin-lime glazed pork tenderloin, and the "Mc Dino's" tempura apple pie. The restaurant also includes an elegant outdoor bar area.
Rare, also located at the Atlantis World Casino, is one of the most acclaimed steakhouses in St. Maarten and known for its top-quality USDA prime steaks, from 12-oz filet mignons to 28-oz porterhouse steaks. There are a variety of sauces and creative side dishes to choose from, such as chili-garlic fries, truffled mac 'n' cheese, and Vidalia onion rings served with rhubarb ketchup and wasabi hollandaise.
Bamboo Bernies recently moved to the five-star Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino complex at Maho Bay and has been transformed into an ultra-sleek bar/restaurant. The Buddha Lounge serves food and drinks into the early hours of the morning amidst stylish Asian décor. The wine list includes an extensive selection of sake and shakes to compliment world-class sushi prepared by master chefs from New York and Los Angeles.
Located inside the Caravanserai Beach Resort within walking distance of the Maho strip, Bliss combines open-air seating in a tropical setting with exotic plants and private cabanas. The Taste of Bliss menu includes fresh oysters in vodka shot glasses, gilled sirloin, lobster bruschetta and baked salmon. Bliss is also one of St. Maarten's most popular after-hours night spots.
This nautically themed, open-air restaurant is an excellent place to enjoy a relaxed meal overlooking Great Bay in Philipsburg. Serves breakfast, lunch and dinner at a reasonable price, Chesterfield's main fare includes steak and seafood.
The Greenhouse was established in 1986 in Philipsburg and offers a laid back, yet lively atmosphere with an outside terrace, tranquil breezes and a picturesque view of the harbor. Menu options include steak, ribs, lobster and fresh seafood. The Greenhouse recently opened a second location in Simpson Bay, next to the Atrium Resort.
Situated in the center of Philipsburg, the Holland House Beach Hotel's open-air lounge is one of the most stylish spots on the island. Dining options include an inventive selection of light snacks like zucchini soup shooters, salmon and caper bruschetta, and tonka bean crème brûlée. Live music sets the mood for a relaxing meal.
Oualichi Beach Bar & RestaurantLocated on the Philipsburg boardwalk, Oualichi provides fantastic views of incoming cruise ships from its outdoor terrace, and also features a nautically-themed dining room. This popular hangout is well known for its pizza and offers casual fare such as sandwiches and wraps.
This casual beachfront restaurant serves a variety of sandwiches, seafood, beef, pasta, vegetarian entrées, and some of the best ribs on the island. On weekdays, lunch is accompanied by live music, and on Friday evenings guests can enjoy happy hour with a live DJ.