The Best Vegan and Vegetarian Food on St Martin the Island!
The island of St. Martin is comprised of two separate countries, Saint Martin and Sint Maarten. Saint Martin, a.k.a. St Martin, is owned by France and is the northern half of the island. The French side is known for high class dining and beachfront resorts, a relaxed local atmosphere, and just that special French something. Sint Maarten is owned by the Netherlands and covers the southern half of the island. The Dutch side is much more commercially developed with many apartment and condo buildings, beachfront living and fun times to be had. After spending a total of four months traveling all around this island, I definitely feel like I know it very well at this point. I have put together this guide for vegans and vegetarians traveling St Martin the Island.
Top Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants Options
After traveling around St Martin the Island for quite a while, I have comprised this list of my favorite vegan or vegan friendly restaurants on the island. While most of these also serve meat and seafood, I included them in this list because they offer plant-based friendly options. Some of these only offer vegetarian dishes and not vegan. If you’d like to learn more about each restaurant, I have linked the titles to my posts about each individual place. This list is ranked from my favorite to least. Enjoy!
1. Freedom Fighters Ital Shack– Philipsburg, St Maarten
The Freedom Fighters Ital Shack is local run vegan restaurant shack located near Philipsburg on the Dutch side of St Maarten. Everything in Ital cooking is vegan and organic, focusing on living the healthiest lifestyle possible. You won’t find a menu at this restaurant. The owners simply makes what they have planned for the day and you are served. You can be sure that it is always going to be delicious. This was without a doubt my favorite vegan meal I had on the island. Also, be sure to meet the owners. They are incredibly friendly and always up for chatting with new people. If you only have the chance to visit one restaurant while on St Martin the Island, make sure it’s this one!
Website: Freedom Fighters Ital Shack
2. Top Carrot– Simpson Bay, St Maarten
Top Carrot is a health food restaurant and juice bar located just outside of Simpson Bay on the Dutch side of St Maarten. This restaurant is not vegan or vegetarian specific, but there are very nice options for both. The restaurant itself has a very eclectic interior with some great juices and food options. They also have a great coffee bar. Be sure to check out the shop on the other side of this restaurant. My favorite dish from this restaurant was the falafel pita, pictured above.
Website: Top Carrot
3. Irie Gardens– Philipsburg, St Maarten
Irie Gardens is a vegetarian/vegan restaurant located in the capital town of Philipsburg on the Dutch side of St Maarten. Located on the main shopping corridor of the town, you will likely stumble across Irie Gardens while walking around this Caribbean town. Everything on the menu is vegetarian with many vegan options. I particularly loved the local flare that this restaurant has. The restaurant is priced nicely and you get a lot of food for your money. You won’t find super fancy food at Irie Gardens but an emphasis on whole foods with local Caribbean spices and flavors. I highly recommend for you to get any of the plantain dishes. These were my favorite plantain dishes on St Martin the Island.
Website: Irie Gardens
4. Ocean82– Grand Case, St Martin
If you are looking for a fancy, fine dining vegetarian experience on St Martin the Island, then look no further than Ocean82. Ocean82 is a very well known fine dining restaurant located directly on Grand Case beach on the French side of the island. While vegan options are in short supply, they offer a very nice vegetarian menu with many pasta dishes. Enjoy delicious cocktails and fine foods while listening to the sound of the waves just below your feet. Be sure to come to Ocean82 for sunset. It is definitely something you won’t want to miss out on. Ocean82 is always my go-to for a fun night out on the town. Be aware that Ocean82 is easily the most expensive restaurant on this, but I believe it is worth paying the extra price for an extra special night out.
5. Blue Martini– Grand Case, St Martin
Blue Martini Bistro is an outdoor restaurant in Grand Case on the French side of St Martin the Island. If you are looking for a casual, fun night on the town with live music and games then Blue Martini Bistro is for you. There are no vegan options at Blue Martini but plenty of vegetarian options. My favorite is the portobello mushroom burger as pictured above. On most nights there is live music and dancing, with a small section of pool tables and other arcade style games. Blue Martini has a very young vibe and is very popular amongst tourists and locals alike. The food is delicious and worth the high calories. Be sure to plan a fun night out at Blue Martini Bistro!
Website: Blue Martini
6. La Trattoria– Orient Bay, St Martin
La Trattoria is one of my favorite restaurants on St Martin. Located in Orient Bay on the French side, this Italian restaurant offers everything from pizza to pasta dishes. The restaurant is situated in the Orient Bay courtyard with many different restaurant options and live music. This is my favorite area to come for dinner since there are so many great restaurants. For vegetarians, there are several pizza options as well as vegetarian pasta entrees. They even have a vegan gnocchi entree, as pictured above. During my stay on St Martin I have come to La Trattoria several times and always get the vegan gnocchi. La Trattoria makes the best dirty martini on the island in my opinion. So, be sure to check this out if in the area!
Website: La Trattoria
7. La Playa– Orient Bay, St Martin
La Playa is a resort and hotel with a restaurant located directly on Orient Beach in the Orient Bay area of St Martin. The restaurant sits literally on the sand with fantastic views of my favorite beach on the island. The vegan bowl picture above was really the only vegan option at La Playa but it was phenomenal. Also, there are some vegetarian options but not many. But, La Playa has some of the best cocktail happy hours on the entire beach. Be sure to check out their website for more! The service at La Playa is some of the best you’ll find on the island.
Website: La Playa
8. Wai Plage– Orient Bay, St Martin
Wai Plage is the newest restaurant on this list, just opening in the beginning of 2020. Also located on Orient Beach, this classic beach restaurant has a really fantastic vegan sandwich with fried plantains and tzatziki sauce. This was the only vegan option on the menu but they also offer several salads that can be modified for vegetarians. The ingredients tasted super fresh and I really loved how Caribbean inspired this place was. There are a lot of beachfront restaurants and resorts on Orient Beach, but I think Wai Plage really stands out as one of the best. You can have a nice lunch and then rent some chairs directly on the beach to enjoy the rest of your day for some fun under the sun.
Website: Wai Plage
9. Kontiki– Orient Bay, St Martin
Kontiki is another restaurant on Orient Beach on the French side of St Martin the island. This restaurant has been around for a while and for good reason. For vegans and vegetarians there are two options; a veggie wrap or the Impossible burger as pictured above. These are both delicious, albeit nothing very exciting. The restaurant has tiki theme and overlook the gorgeous Caribbean waters of Orient Bay. Service at Kontiki can be kind of hit or miss though, which is why it is so low on my list. I am grateful that they at least offer some vegan and vegetarian food, but I wouldn’t come here specifically for the food. But if you are already planning on coming here, you can be sure that you will find something to eat.
10. Karibuni– Pinel Island, St Martin
Karibuni has made this list for one reason and one reason only; Impossible burger. Karibuni is one of two restaurants on Pinel Island off of the northeast coast of St Martin. Pinel Island is a fantastic way to spend a day on the island. I was extremely shocked to be able to find the popular vegan Impossible burger in such a remote location. Karibuni is a great place to come for lunch. It literally sits directly on top of the water, with gorgeous views of the mainland from wherever you are in the restaurant. Since this is a small island, be prepared to pay a lot more money for whatever you get. But, it’s worth it in my opinion for a fun day trip over to the island. Be sure to check out my entire guide to Pinel Island here.
11. Le Temps Des Cerises– Grand Case, St Martin
Le Temps Des Cerises is a boutique hotel and restaurant located in Grand Case on the French side of St Martin. This adorable hotel offers some fantastic panoramic views of the ocean with beautiful interiors that reminded me somewhat of my travels through Bali. The interior design is beautiful and lots of modern touches. The restaurant itself is nice with only one vegan option as pictured above, a Caribbean salad. If you plan to come here for the day, you get the price of your rental chair and umbrella included for free as long as you order a meal. They also make delicious cocktails that are served to you on the beach. I had one of the most relaxing days of my entire trip when I came to Le Temps Des Cerises. Also, this is a great place to come watch the sunset!
Website: Le Temps des Cerises
12. Sky’s the Limit– Grand Case, St Martin
Sky’s the Limit just barely made the list but I still felt it was worth mentioning. This outdoor food booth is located in Grand Case on the French side of St Martin. This is a very popular place with both tourists and locals alike. Their menu is mostly seafood and meat, but they do offer this vegetarian plate pictured above. The plate consists of their sides that are vegetarian, but it was very good. I wouldn’t make the trip here specifically for the food, but if you are already in Grand Case looking for an affordable and quick lunch option, Sky’s the Limit may be a good fit for you.
Website: Sky’s the Limit
Grocery Shopping-Best Stores with Vegan and Vegetarian Options on St Martin the Island
In my wildest dreams, I would’ve never guessed that a remote island in the Caribbean would offer so many amazing vegan products at the grocery store. Without a doubt the best supermarket to buy vegan products from on the entire St Martin the Island is Carrefour Market. I unfortunately forgot to take pictures of the vegan section, but it is larger than my hometown Whole Foods Market. You can find everything from tofu, tempeh, vegan cheeses, vegan butter, vegan deli slices, vegan dairy beverages and more. Amazingly they even had some vegan items I’ve never seen before including: vegan duck, vegan salmon, vegan fish filets, vegan bbq chicken and more. I made a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner with on the roasts I purchased from Carrefour Market. Keep in mind though, all vegans products are twice and sometimes even triple the price of what you’d pay in the United States. But that is the price of having specialty products on a remote island.
There is also a Carrefour Market near Philipsburg, but I recommend the store in Simpson Bay. The Philipsburg store is much smaller and offers far fewer products than the Simpson Bay location.
Close to Orient Bay is the small town of Hope Estate that has many of the areas main shops. The Super U supermarket is very new, opening in summer 2019. Super U provides great one stop shopping with great food options as well as wine and liquor with a beauty and health section. The vegan options at Super U pale in comparison to Carrefour, but you can still find some great food options. Almost everything is in French so either some French knowledge or a translator app is highly recommended. You can find great produce and as well as some pre prepared vegan protein options in a dried goods section. There is an entire plant based section to this grocery store, you just need to be able to find it with all the French labelings.
Overall Grocery Shopping
Finding vegan and vegetarian options at other supermarkets on the island can be a bit hit or miss. If you are staying far from either of the grocery stores I have mentioned above, you can still find some good food. At other stores, you will find lots of great fresh produce and healthy food options. Personally, I prefer to pick a day and drive to either of the above supermarkets to load up on my vegan staples that are unavailable on other parts of St Martin the island. And then throughout the weeks just stop at local stores to pick up fresh produce. I was extremely shocked to be able to have so many options on the island for that meet my plant-based needs. Hopefully you’ll be pleasantly shocked as well.
I hope you found this guide to eating vegan and vegetarian on St Martin the island to be helpful. If you are interested, I have published other great content on the island. The island has some really incredible beaches. You can check out my guide to the best beaches of St Martin, the French side here. I also have a guide to the best beaches of St Maarten the Dutch side which you can find here. No matter which side you choose to visit, St Martin the Island is truly and incredible place to call home. I am so grateful to have had the chance to spend such an extended period of time in this small little corner of paradise and I truly hope you have a magical experience on this special Caribbean island!