From succulent seafood and garlicky escargot to local johnnycakes and creative cocktails, Grand Case is the culinary capital of the Caribbean!
This former fishing village is on the French side of Saint Martin.
Tucked along the island’s west coast, it’s known for its long golden curve of beach (Grand Case Beach), stunning sea views, see-and-be-seen beach clubs and world-class French restaurants.
During our two stays in Grand Case, we made it our mission to sample the dishes at the best restaurants.
And we weren’t disappointed. The food in Grand Case is one of the reasons we fell in love with the place!
Best restaurants in Grand Case, St. Martin
You’re in for an epicurean treat when you visit the island of St. Martin (also known as Saint Martin).
That’s partly because it’s a dual-nation Caribbean island.
French St. Martin occupies the northern half of the island, and Dutch St. Maarten (aka Sint Maarten and Saint Maarten) is on the southern Dutch side. So the food reflects both French and Dutch influences, as well as Creole influences.
But Grand Case takes the prize for its gourmet restaurants. Indeed, dining at one of the French restaurants in Grand Case is one of the best things to do in St. Martin!
Many restaurants occupy old Creole houses strung along the main street, Grand Case Boulevard (Boulevard de Grand Case).
Come evening time, you see scores of people wandering along this restaurant row, checking out the menus as they try to decide where to eat that night or other nights of their trip.
If you’re wondering where to eat in St. Martin, be sure you plan to dine at one or more of the following 10 amazing Grand Case restaurants!
You’ll want to make reservations in high season. Credit cards are accepted at upscale restaurants.
Okay, let’s go find out what all the culinary fuss is about!
1) Le Pressoir
This is white-tablecloth, fine French dining with a Caribbean touch. The foie gras is made with rum (instead of cognac, the way it’s done in France), then topped with a coconut-and-pineapple garnish.
Order the egg parfait as a starter. Because we’re talking food heaven!
We drool just remembering the barely poached egg, parmesan cheese and potato foam over a base of foie gras, asparagus and porcini mushrooms, all sprinkled with grated truffle.
Dishes are artfully presented too – garnished with pansy petals and other edible flowers.
Matching the quality of the food experience is the service, which is impeccable.
So, make reservations – and savor one of the best French dining experiences ever! Le Pressoir will tease your taste buds and expand your palate.
It’s one of the best restaurants in St. Martin, period.
Le Pressoir: +590-690-52-7595
2) L’Auberge Gourmande
L’Auberge Gourmande is the place to try frogs legs, smothered with a garlic cream sauce. The thick and cheesy French onion soup is a meal in itself. The lightly sautéed Dover sole meunière hits the spot too.
Actually, it doesn’t matter what you order here in this typical old Creole house.
We pretty well guarantee you’ll be blown away by the dishes at this charming spot! It’s another one of our favorite restaurants in Grand Case.
L’Auberge Gourmand is also a great restaurant for wine connoisseurs and cocktail lovers.
Its wine cellar is huge – it boasts one of the biggest wine cellars and alcohol selections on the island.
Enjoy an artisanal cocktail or a marvelous merlot while sitting out on the restaurant’s front terrace overlooking Grand Case Boulevard. You’ll have a front row seat for watching the world go by as you sip.
Yes, for fine French cuisine, be sure to also put L’Auberge Gourmande on your list.
L’Auberge Gourmande: +590-590-87-7737
It’s become a Grand Case institution.
Since it opened in 2002, Spiga has been delighting diners with its homemade pasta, fresh seafood and the highest quality of ingredients sourced from Italy, the US and local producers.
Not sure what to choose?
We recommend the lobster-and-mascarpone stuffed ravioli with saffron cream sauce. The tuna and salmon tartare with avocado is also delicious.
And as you’re in the Caribbean, where the seafood is oh-so-fresh, you can’t go wrong with the grilled octopus and shrimp or the pesto-crusted salmon.
Treat yourself to a trip to Spiga for a delicious and unforgettable meal that won’t break the bank.
You’d be silly not to eat here. (We ate dinner here twice in one week.)
4) La Villa Restaurant
In the heart of Grand Case, diners flock to La Villa Restaurant for its fun and friendly atmosphere – and its food, of course!
It also happens to be one of the best restaurants on St. Martin for families for upscale dining. While it has a great menu for adults, it also has a special menu catering to kids.
La Villa serves up a variety of French-Caribbean dishes, made using fresh and local ingredients.
Try the signature lobster or John Dory fillets as a main course if you’re in the mood for fresh seafood.
Craving traditional French gastronomy? The French onion soup, escargot (snails) in garlic butter and pan-seared foie gras will get your tastebuds buzzing.
For dessert, La Villa’s irresistible profiteroles and chocolate lava cakes will put the kids in sweet heaven.
La Villa Restaurant: +590-690-50-1204
5) Rainbow Café
It’s a cool breakfast spot. It’s a bar. It’s a buzzing beach club. It’s a can’t-miss restaurant in Grand Case.
Rainbow Café is a bit of everything!
Open every day of the week for breakfast, lunch, tapas and dinner, the Rainbow Café gives you a different experience, depending on when you visit.
With a boho-chic vibe and beachside location, it’s also where you can find some of the best food in St. Martin on the beach.
Grab a seat or settle into a macrame swing on the rooftop lounge, while gazing out at the aquamarine waters of Grand Case Bay.
For breakfast, indulge in avocado toast, French pancakes, Belgian waffles, great coffee and fresh smoothies.
At dusk, sip on a cinnamon-infused mezcal cocktail or a glass of wine or champagne as you watch the sunset. Pair that with shrimp tempura and other tasty tapas – plus an electrifying DJ – and you have yourself a hip Caribbean evening.
For dinner, take your tastebuds on an adventure with Caribbean and French flavors (seared octopus with Provencal bulgar and green salsa, anyone?), all paired perfectly with fine French wines and craft cocktails.
On Sunday evenings, the after-beach party starting at 4:00 pm is legendary in St. Martin.
Rainbow Café: +590-690-88-8444
6) Ocean 82
Ocean 82 is a modern sleek restaurant that blends French fare with tastes of the sea – serving new dishes every week.
It has a varied menu, from mushroom ravioli and sinfully good lobster bisque to beef tenderloin and scallops with duck carpaccio. There’s always something for everyone on Ocean 82’s ever-changing menu.
Meats and seafood are locally sourced, and dishes feature an abundance of vegetables.
Ocean 82 is also the only fine dining restaurant on the water side of restaurant row – and you can’t beat sitting out on the patio and listening to wavelets splash below you.
Ocean 82: +590-59052-9812
7) Bistrot Caraibes
Opened by brothers Thibault and Amaury Meziere in 1993, Bistrot Caraibes is consistently rated as one of the finest French restaurants in St. Martin.
We unfortunately didn’t have a chance to eat at Bistrot Caraibes on either of our St. Martin vacations.
But we’ve read wonderful reviews about their lobster thermidor, Caribbean crab thermidor and beef tenderloin with duck liver, as well as their incredible wine list and excellent service.
Upscale and elegant, it sounds like the perfect place for a quiet date night or to celebrate a special occasion.
Bistrot Caraibes: +590-690-53-6144
8) Le Cottage
When you’re looking for a decadent French meal with an extensive wine list and a bistro chic ambience, also check out Le Cottage.
It’s another one of the top restaurants in St. Martin for French food and is a favorite among locals.
You’ll feel right at home at Le Cottage thanks to its warm and professional welcome.
Chef David will take you on a palate-pleasing journey with his inventive French cuisine.
We enjoyed a yummy dinner of seared fois gras with morel mushroom sauce, followed by duck confit, then vanilla crème brulée for dessert.
Other standouts include the lobster tasting menu and the house-made salted caramel meringues.
To enhance your meal, consult with sommelier Stephane for the perfect wine pairing.
With so many tasty dishes to sample, Le Cottage is well-deserving of a place on your Grand Case itinerary!
Le Cottage: +590-690-62-2686
9) Sunset Café
Are you a sunset lover? Do dreamy sea views have your number?
Then the Sunset Café – one of the much-loved St. Martin restaurants, French Side (remember, we’re still on the French side of the island) – is for you.
It’s part of the Grand Case Beach Club, another of the island’s best hotels. Set at the northern end of Grand Case, it overlooks the glittering Baie de Grand Case (Grand Case Bay) and famous Creole Rock.
Needless to say, its oceanfront location on the west side of the island serves up knockout sunsets.
But its evening menu is pretty good too. Try the moules frites (mussels and fries) or the grouper en papillote with a glass of crisp Sancerre – the perfect sunset dinner accompaniment.
Unlike most St. Martin French restaurants in Grand Case (which are open just at night for dinner), the Sunset Café is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Lunch is a popular time to visit this restaurant.
Take a break from the mid-day heat, sit out on the covered patio and enjoy the Caribbean breeze. The lunch menu features family-pleasing plates, like pizza, sandwiches and burgers.
Sunset Café: +590-690-88-6668
No trip to Grand Case is complete without a visit to one of the lolos.
A lolo is a simple outdoor eatery where you eat fresh local fare right off the grill at very reasonable prices. They’re some of the best places to eat in St. Martin to experience the local food and atmosphere.
Fresh fish, lobster, ribs, chicken and sides like johnnycakes, potato salad and corn on the cob – all of the offerings are just the ticket for a casual bite.
Speaking of johnnycakes, they’re a must to try in Grand Case. The traditional doughy bread roll of St. Martin is deep-fried and absolutely delicious.
Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, johnnycakes have a hint of sweetness. You’ll find yourself asking for seconds (and thirds) after just a few bites.
There are some four to five lolos to choose from along Grand Case’s main street. They mostly offer the same things. We ate at Cynthia’s during our trip – a great choice!
That’s a wrap for our guide to the best restaurants in St. Martin, Grand Case!
For such a small island, Grand Case is a destination that packs a big gastronomical punch – you can find some of the best food in the Caribbean here!
Many of its fine dining restaurants specialize in delectable French flavors, often with an eclectic Caribbean twist, while shining a spotlight on fresh seafood and local produce and products.
We’re pretty sure that all of the St. Martin restaurants on this list will satisfy your gourmet cravings. Indeed, Grand Case deserves top placement on any foodie’s bucket list.
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Photo credits: 5, 20 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase