Johnny B Under The Tree: Good Old Island Hospitality and Food

Eileen, Nick, Abe, and I with Johnny B and his wife, under the tree.

For the past few months, my friends and I have been hunting for the best place on the island for lobster, and after our tireless searching, we’ve finally found it…

No, it’s not at a fancy restaurant on the French side, nor is it at one of the touristy hotspots in Simpson Bay. It’s a little place outside under the tree… more specifically, Johnny B Under the Tree.

For the past 17 years, Johnny B and his wife have been growing old together under the tree, along with their secret to good ole Caribbean cooking. Among his dishes are BBQ baby back ribs, chicken, and grilled shrimp. His ribs by itself is already famous enough among the locals on the island, but for us, the real treat is his lobster, which he cooks just right, not too raw, not too dry, right off the grill, and cooked with an amazing homemade creole base to complement the lobster.

You probably won’t find a better deal for Caribbean lobster than at Johnny B’s. At Johnny B’s, we got a 5-lb lobster for only $65, which includes all the side dishes that come with it. Compare this with Skip Jack’s, which was over $100 for a lobster of comparable size without the side dishes.

Johnny B and his wife are a cute old couple, with a charming island hospitality. Their restaurant is literally under a big tree, and has been for the past 17 years. The place may be modest, but Johnny’s cooking is world-class. If you want the taste of true St. Maarten, my friends and I highly recommend this place.


Johnny B now has two locations: the first is his original place under the tree in Cole Bay, called Johnny B Under the Tree. The second is at the Simpson Bay Fish Market, called Johnny B’s Jackfish Restaurant. He is under the tree on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sunday nights from 5pm-10pm or so. The rest of the time he is at his Simpson Bay location. He rests on Mondays.