10 Best Restaurants near the Cruise Ports in St. Maarten/St. Martin

St. Maarten/St. Martin is often referred to as the "gastronomic capital of the Caribbean," so cruisers are in for a treat. The half French, half Dutch-owned island has heavy influences from both culture, but also offers a number of cuisines from across the globe.

Visitors will find a number of casual cafes and laid-back island bars that serve a combination of Caribbean specialties, American classics, and European cuisine.

Most cruise ship passengers arriving to the island will dock in Phillipsburg, St. Maarten, the Dutch side of the island. This massive port accommodates numerous mega-ships at the same time, and downtown Phillipsburg is an easy walk with loads of shopping opportunities and dining options to choose from.

A handful of vessels opt to dock in Marigot, a quieter side of the island that is owned by the French with several outstanding restaurants that are ideal for a casual breakfast or an elegant and romantic evening out.

The experts at 10Best.com have sorted through the restaurants, cafes, and beach bars on the island and have put together this list of 10 favorites for cruise ship passengers. While most are located near the port in Phillispburg, there are also a couple options in Marigot for passengers arriving on that side of the island.

St. Maarten


Offering incredible views of Great Bay, especially at sunset, this nautical-themed restaurant serves tasty fare all day long. Their breakfast menu is a favorite with locals, and lunch brings on burgers, sandwiches, wraps, and a selection of...  Read More

St. Maarten
Ocean Lounge
Photo courtesy of Holland House


Serving breakfast buffet, a la carte lunch, and two or three-course dinner, the Ocean Lounge at the Holland Hotel has the perfect options for any dining experience. With romantic views overlooking Great Bay Beach, this award-winning restaurant...  Read More



This casual place gets rave reviews for its great vibes, atmosphere, and American-Caribbean fare. This hot spot lunch destination caters to tourists with beach chair rentals, hot sauces for purchase, and rums for sale. Top-notch burgers, curry,...  Read More

St. Maarten


Au Petit Cafe in the heart of Old Street (a secluded street of the bustling Front Street) near Beatrix's Belgian Chocolate Shop and is ideal for lights snacks, smoothies, fresh juices or coffee. Baguettes, salads, pizza, Paninis, omelets, cheese...  Read More

St. Maarten


This contemporary restaurant recently opened on the beach boardwalk and is already becoming a hit among visitors and locals alike. An winning combination of tapas-style appetizers, fresh smoothies, granitas (shaved ice with syrup), Italian...  Read More

St. Maarten
Barefoot Terrace
Photo courtesy of Barefoot Terrace


This colorful, Caribbean restaurant and bar on the boardwalk in Phillipsburg is most definitely a tourist trap (with gratuity included): but a good one! The casual ambiance makes for excellent people watching or a nice break after enjoying the...  Read More



For a true taste of the Rastafarian culture on the island, the Ital Shack serves organic homegrown vegetarian food with plenty of herbs and spices and fresh local juices such as tamarind, oats and lime, ice tea, passion fruit, beets, pineapple,...  Read More

St. Maarten


Located on the boardwalk with excellent views and beach chairs for great people watching, Burger Madness serves up some of the best burgers – anywhere. The owners are extremely outgoing and friendly and the burgers - which include more than 15...  Read More



This cafe is another excellent choice for cruisers coming into port in Marigot, on the French side of Saint Maarten/Saint Martin. Breakfast will start your day off right with flaky croissants, fresh squeezed juices, hot coffee and chocolate,...  Read More

St. Martin


After having trained in Quebec City, Chef Mario Tardif came to St. Martin and opened Mario's Bistro in 1995. The restaurant is still a favorite among travelers, and has informal yet elegant decor and fabulous European fusion cuisine. Mains range...  Read More


Meet Amber Nolan

Originally from upstate New York, this restless traveler has a knack for befriending interesting characters. You can usually find her just about anywhere that has a hammock. Amber's favorite...  More About Amber