Thank you so much Marianne for this incredibly lovely post! It’s about her restaurant, the vegan community and some more promising restaurants in St. Marteen. This is surely the most exotic article I have ever posted on the Vegan World-Traveller and the Caribbean Islands definitely moved up on my list of “places to visit”. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.
When I think about Caribbean cuisine the first thing that pops into my mind is fresh fish. It has always been tough for me to be vegan on St. Maarten, the slice of paradise I call home. Growing up in St. Maarten there were very few vegetarian, let alone vegan options available for me. Going out with friends and family was tough, not many places had vegan food, but then something happened.
I left St. Maarten about a year ago. I moved to Boston to get an extra degree and advance my career, or so I thought. I came home in August with a new degree in need of a relaxing 3-week holiday, and opened a restaurant. It was all so sudden and last minute, I started cooking vegan food for some of my friends and family, and from that a restaurant formed.
When I opened my restaurant Vegan To Go, my thoughts were “St. Maarten needs something that caters to people trying to eat good, healthy vegan food”. I have finally found my calling, I love running a restaurant and cooking. However, the best part about my new journey is being front and center to the rapidly growing vegan community on St. Maarten.
I got involved with an amazing group of ladies on the island, and we put together our first annual Vegan Festival in November of 2016. I was expecting a small turn out, mostly our friends and family, but was shocked by how much support we got. The event went off without a hitch. Since then, there are many restaurants opening up on St. Maarten that offer vegan friendly menus, and many kitchens know how to accommodate vegan diets.
My restaurant is only open for lunch, so I have the time (and option) now to go out for dinner often. Some of my favorite restaurants on the island are the following (with what I love).
Joga: A great place to practice yoga and then grab a bite after.
Moomba: I love that all their main dishes are vegetarian and you select if you would like to add meat to it, just feels more vegan / vegetarian friendly.
Maya’s: A new Indian restaurant on the island, her menu is huge, and such good food.
Spaceless Gardens: On Saturdays he makes a vegan soup, and it’s to die for.
The Palms: They have a vegetarian curry that is so good.
Ire Gardens: Very local food, tastes great.
Ital Shack: One of the oldest vegan restaurants on the island, he grows most of his own produce.
Top Carrot: Fun place to brows their products, they also have plenty vegan options.
Vegan To Go: Cute garden seating, on the water, locally grown produce, walking distance to the airport, has a dock, and very yummy food.
There are more and more vegan / vegetarian friendly restaurants opening up every month, and it’s an incredibly exciting experience. Being vegan is becoming more accessible across the globe, and in my opinion, it’s about time!