OVERVIEW OF RESTAURANTS: The food in St. Marten was wonderful. Since the island is divided into the Dutch side and the French, the food varied completely depending on which side you are on. I found it easier to choose restaurants on the Dutch side because some of the French restaurants seemed pretentious and not as inviting for kids (and I take my kids to some pretty nice places). Also, because we were staying on the Dutch side of the island it was more convenient to eat there. However, I can’t say enough wonderful things about the French markets. One night we were coming home from the beach and decided to eat at home rather than go out. We went to an adorable French market and bought crusty bread, soft cheese, prosciutto, olives, and wine and had the best meal out on our patio.
KARACTERS: (Simpson Bay) This was such a fun casual restaurant where your feet are literally in the sand. The front of the restaurant is an old bus and the wait staff are efficient but laid back. There is a gorgeous view of Simpson Bay and there is live music on weekends. The food was so good and there were plenty of choices for kids. One odd thing about the restaurant is right next to the dining tables is an area with several massage tables. Personally this is not the place I would ever choose to have a relaxing massage. (Hey everyone…look at me!!) And the next day when we stopped in to have a cocktail during our walk on the beach I saw what the sheets looked like in the daylight and I cringed. But I digress… The restaurant is amazing and it is a must-do if you come to this part of the island.
SKIP JACKS: (Simpson Bay) This was a fantastic place with a beautiful view of the lagoon. It has a casual, cheerful vibe with a nautical feel. The menu has it all: salads, chicken, steak, fish, desserts, and a wonderful kid’s menu. The tuna carpaccio was beyond amazing. There were large tarpons that come right up to the docks and he girls loved watching them. They also loved watching the mega yachts in the marina and when they got antsy towards the end of the meal they went over to the lobster tanks (Maine and Caribbean). The restaurant is also a fish market and the fish looked so fresh I wish we had bought some to bring back to the condo.
THE STONE: (Located in the Simpson Bay Resort Marina) To be honest, this wasn’t the best restaurant we ate at, but it has a cool concept. You order your fish or meat and they partially cook it before they bring it out accompanied by a hot stone. Then it is up to you to continue cooking your meal to your liking. It was fun for the girls to cook my meal but it was a bit under-seasoned and quite expensive. There is a nice view of the marina but you are seated on a sidewalk so the ambiance isn’t the best.
YELLOW BEACH RESTAURANT: (On Pinel Island) This restaurant was such a fun different experience. Your wooden table sits under thatched roofs right on the beach so you can put your feet right in the sand. If you would prefer, the staff can put a high table directly in the water so you can stand in thigh high crystal clear water and not even have to dry off to eat. There are so many food options to choose from. You can have any dining experience you wish…from burgers to lobsters or beer to champagne. The mahi-mahi burger was amazing!
KALI: (On Friar Beach/French side) The only thing I can say about this restaurant is this was OUR experience. If you’ve read my review on Friar Beach, you already know that people have said that at times the lake behind the beach gives off an awful odor. The day we were there we did not smell anything and the beach is so beautiful and family friendly. There were so many bad reviews on TripAdvisor that I really didn’t think we’d go there but we ended up on Friar beach after a great day swimming and snorkeling and the restaurant looked so inviting. Personally, our meal was fine. We did burgers and both kids and adults liked them. The service was super slow but it was fine with us because the kids played near us on the beach building sandcastles while my husband and I enjoyed a cold beer and listened to the reggae music. The waiters seem to run on island time which was ok with us.