Music, paintings and writings are suppose to give us deep insights into a culture. The Caribbean is not short of major achievements in any of these art forms. 

But today I give you the art of preparing food: to understand the daily life of people you’d like to learn more about, find out what they are eating!

You heard that St. Maarten is the Caribbean’s gourmet island and that the island is basically crowded with first rate restaurants. Does that mean local residents check for Michelin stars before they order dinner? What are the local families eating at home? Budgetary considerations aside, what are the dishes St. Maarten-islanders like to prepare for themselves?

Local Food St Maarten

Our island is the ultimate melting pot (yes, this is a pun): The Dutch side is influenced by the history of the Dutch Kingdom, which included far away places such as Indonesia with its own distinct cuisine. For starters, this is where the peanut sauce came from which is frequently appreciated in local cooking. Or take Suriname in South America, another part of the Dutch empire: among the exotic items they like to prepare ‘down there’ is alligator tail - and you can find this delicacy sometimes locally served on a stick with a variety of sauces. 

But what came from Holland, other than Gouda cheese (which you are going to find in quantities)? Now, we have to be fair: the Dutch never, ever planned to compete with the French in cuisine (and they would not have succeeded anyway). But they gave us some comfort food which would fit right into the appetizer menu of TGI Friday’s, like Bitterballen or Frikandell. And if you are a Sushi lover, go for the original: Matjes Herring! (Don’t be shy on the onions...)

You’ll find true local eateries all over the island: from the Lolos in Grand Case to the small local restaurants at the waterfront in Marigot, from the snack shacks in Simpson Bay to the restaurants on Philipsburg’s Back Street. Rice and peas with chicken, grilled snapper, barbecued lobster... the choice is yours...

Caribbean’s Feisty Flavors is a catering service, delivering delicious local food for (Friday lunch only at this time) to any location on the island. 

Local Food St Maarten - Captains Rib Shack-2

The Captain’s Rib Shack in Simpson Bay has attracted a huge following from both visitors and locals. Their menu items exceed the concept of a rib-BBQ by far with a broad selection of other Caribbean dishes.

Local Food St Maarten - Captains Rib Shack-1


The Melting Pot is a restaurant in Simpson Bay/Cole Bay - across the Atrium Beach Resort and Spa.