The Caribbean Beach Bar of the Year 2015: Martinique’s Le Petibonum

We all have the beach bars we keep going back to. Maybe it’s because of the beach itself, or that signature rum punch, or because of the food.

Some beach bars are more than that. Some are just special.

And this year, we again honor Le Petibonum in Martinique, our Caribbean Beach Bar of the Year for 2015.

This beachside bar-restaurant in the seaside town of Le Carbet in the north of Martinique is an astonishing place.

To start, it has all the ingredients of a terrific beach bar: great cocktails, great rum (including a superb selection of Martinique’s rhum agricole, and of course, a signature proprietor: Guy Ferdinand, one of Martinique’s great tourism ambassadors, who is also a world-class chef and among the best chefs in the whole Caribbean.

ferdi

And it’s the latter qualification that really sets this place apart: the food is out of this world. While the wide-ranging menu is full of both French and Caribbean classics, it’s the creativity that astounds: Ferdinand is always tinkering and experimenting with new tastes, with new flavors, and, yes, with new rums. (Ferdinand is also one of Martinique’s leading experts on rum).

guy

It’s a creativity that extends to every facet of the place, from the kind staff to the bar’s clever Facebook page, to their irreverent t-shirts.

To put it another way, it’s has the laid-back ease of a beach shack coupled with the gastronomic excellence of a Michelin-star-quality restaurant. Mixed with a ti’ punch.

It’s these things that make this beach bar one of the wonders of the Caribbean.

But you really won’t understand it until you go there.

Because Le Petibonum isn’t just the best beach bar in Martinique (which it is, by a mile), or just a Caribbean classic — it’s a Mecca — a place where travelers to the Caribbean must go to complete their Caribbean pilgrimage.

Congratulations to the Caribbean’s best beach bar for 2015, Le Petibonum.

— CJ