Home to well over 100 nationalities, Saint-Martin is one of the must visit destinations in the Caribbean as it is a unique island with much to offer despite its relevantly tiny size. Affectionately called the “Friendly Island” of the Caribbean, Saint-Martin boasts a variety of cultures and ethnic backgrounds which make it the ideal culinary Caribbean destination.
In Saint-Martin there is never a dull moment, even in the toughest times locals and tourists alike make the most of every opportunity to unwind and indulge in the scenery, the fetin’ (island slang for partying) and eating. Weekends are guaranteed to be an eventful occasion with lots to see and do and food is always at the centre of it all.
“ST. MAARTEN/ST. MARTIN IS VIRTUALLY UNIQUE AMONG MOST CARIBBEAN DESTINATIONS.”
On the French side, the small coastal town of Grand-Case is renown as the gastronomic capital of the Caribbean as the main street is has restaurants to suit all tastes and offers an atmosphere reminiscent of a little bit of Europe and a lot of Caribbean.
Most establishments are open with others working hard on recreating the best Grand-Case yet and the infamous Mardis de Grand-Case will be back in full swing come February 2019.
This is a street fair held every Tuesday and attracts visitors and locals alike who come to ‘whine’ and dine on a range of French-Caribbean infused entertainment and cuisine at French restaurants or the famous Lolo’s (outdoor restaurants serving local creole type delicacies.) Barbecued Chicken Leg and Johnny Cake (a type of fried bread), Rice & Peas and Locree (a one pot dish of rice, vegetables and meat) can be found at events such as Les Mardi’s de Grand-Case and other festivals island-wide.
Carnival season on both sides of the island is a celebration of the island’s heritage, culture and gastronomy. From February into the start of May both French and Dutch Saint-Martin’s carnivals take place consecutively, which means that the fun literally never stops!
People come for the entertainment but they end up staying for the food. Carnival is the festival that offers plenty of choices as there is an endless variety of foods from all over the world which reflects the people that make up the Friendly Island.
“THE BLEND OF CULTURE IS WHAT ATTRACTS MANY VISITORS TO THE FRIENDLY ISLAND.”