Here’s a look at where to eat in Aruba! We had so much fun discovering the eateries and cuisine of this island on our recent tour I couldn’t help my foodie self from sharing. Here are over a dozen places and dishes you have to try on the island. My obsession with “food porn” pics annoys even the most patient of my friends and family. They have heard me say more than once, that the camera must eat first. HA! If you are a foodie too and delight in culinary delights you are gonna love this blog.
The wide array of options from quick bites to elegant dining will have you wondering where should we eat in Aruba? I hope my little list will whet your appetite as I share some local favorites and yummy restaurants near the beaches too.
If you missed my vlog on visiting Aruba, check it out HERE!
Breakfast in Aruba
We stayed in an Airbnb for our first stay in Aruba. Most resorts include a breakfast buffet or breakfast with your stay. We aren’t huge breakfast eaters so here are just a few that we really enjoyed.
This famous pancake house is located in the Renaissance WindCreek Resort Harbor. This outdoor shopping mall is filled with eateries, shops, casinos, and boats! It is beautiful to walk around and not a bad area to hang out in if you have a wait for these delicious pancakes.
Now, full disclaimer, I began visiting the Netherlands in 1988. Yea, I’m that old. Consequently, I didn’t ever remember seeing pancakes like these, anywhere from Amsterdam to Antwerp. Perhaps I missed them or maybe this previously once Dutch island has their own take on the waffles.
Whichever it is it doesn’t matter because at The Dutch Pancake House, these pancakes were super yummy and the topping options to choose from were never-ending.
TRAVEL TIP: Cream with your coffee will be a bit sweeter, in Aruba most of the time, it is sweetened condensed milk.
Renaissance – Flamingo Island
Another fantastic breakfast we eat in Aruba was at Flamingo Island. I’ll share more about that special DAY TRIP in a new blog on What to do in Aruba coming soon.
Lunch in Aruba
Consequently, there are so many types of cuisine on this little island choosing lunch will also be especially difficult. Here are a few we really enjoyed too. Thanks to our super helpful Airbnb host, Sharon, and Patrick from Aruba.com for sharing these incredible eateries.
Along the coast and part of Pelican Adventures, is The Pelican Nest which is located on a pier that juts out into the sea. This fun beachy restaurant has great drinks, bar and plenty of seafood. Jon and I enjoyed lunch here while boat and beach watching. Also in Palm Beach, Noord. Happy Hour with music and a laid-back and chill vibe.
✅ Reservations for dinner for sure! +(297) 586-2259
Oneil’s Caribbean Kitchen
Oneil’s Caribbean Kitchen is located in San Nicolas in the southern part of the island. This energetic, hip Caribbean and Jamaican restaurant is located in the center of town. We enjoyed a great lunch here.
Additionally, their menu includes Guava Roast Chicken, Crab Cakes, Curry Chicken Rotie, Garlic Conch, and many seafood options and Oxtail! Jon ordered some to give a try.
Another great lunch was at West Deck which was within walking distance of our Airbnb. This restaurant is located right on the water in Oranjestad.
At this restaurant, the staff was especially personable and accommodating. Would you like to sit on the patio or on the beach? They have beachfront seating that is covered in a tree canopy that is delightful. Aruban breezes with sunshine coming through. We enjoyed lunch and dinner here.
Try some of the local specials including the Aruba Keshi Yena which is shredded chicken, cashews, prunes, wrapped in a Dutch cheese, it was so tasty. Their menu also includes
- Spicy Shrimp Ceviche
- Green Papaya and Mango Salad
- Fried Funchi with Dutch Cheese (which is polenta fries)
West Deck also has a reputation of being the first place you visit and the last before catching a flight. It stays quite busy all the time, you might have to wait a little bit for a table.
Next for lunch is Lola Craft Bar. Located in the heart of Palm Beach near a bunch of restaurants tucked under gorgeous palm trees is this super tasty, healthy restaurant. After we toured several hotels in the area, our sweet driver Archangel recommended we pop in here for a little lunch.
The menu is filled with really delicious options and for this “trying hard to be vegan/vegetarian” I had plenty to choose from. Power bowls filled with grains, fresh vegetables, and a jalapeno ranch sauce. Our waitress was also sweet to recommend a lovely fruit, banana concoction to help with a little bit of a rum hangover I might have been nursing.
Nevertheless, you won’t leave hungry from Lola’s. With tons of options like late breakfast too, Lola’s also serves breakfast tacos, Acai bowls, and waffles (like chicken and waffles!)
Dinner in Aruba
Let’s move on to dinner. Although I will tell you, its not easier to choose, definitely lots to think about if you are foodie.
What an incredible restaurant! This hidden gem is a local favorite and after one visit I can see why. Additionally, the decor and design are sleek and modern and the open garden seating area was as tropical as this island.
Several menu options we enjoyed was the Veggie Escabeche which was pickled vegetables with smoked pumpkin dressing and a goat cheese falafel. The BEST falafel I’ve ever had! Their menu includes several 🌱 vegan/veg options.
The staff was attentive and happy to serve. Our meal was delicious and pretty as a picture. This 5star restaurant does require reservations because they stay busy, busy, busy. Definitely one of the BEST restaurants in Aruba.
Our next dinner stop is Bochincha. The Bochincha Container Yard is a group of restaurants, a bar, and a music venue right in Oranjestad. Within walking distance of the cruise port and Renaissance and tourist district of town.
This was our first dinner in Aruba and was really cool. In addition to excellent cuisine choices, this very laid-back hip vibe has a live band scene.
Their ordering system is pretty cool. Have a seat at any table and you can upload the QWERTY code for the menus, type in your table number and the waitstaff brings it to you. You can order from any of the restaurants.
Here are a few of them:
- Crosta Pizza Roman Style
- Masago Sushi & Fried Rolls
- El Taco
- BJ’s Shack Grill
- and several more!
LG Smith’s Steakhouse & Chophouse
In addition to laid-back restaurants, Aruba also has many fine-dining culinary delights one of our favorites is LG Smith’s Steak & Chophouse .
The food is spectacular and the views are equally as wonderful. Everything was prepared to perfection. The staff is personable and professional from the front desk, reservations, and mixologist to waitstaff. It was a super fun night.
Their considerable menu for steak was extensive with options of dry-aged ribeyes to Wagyu Beef. They also offered lobster and shrimp with sides of asparagus and brussel sprouts. It was all delicious.
We had so much fun with the staff and our bartenders. Check out my MIXOLOGIST!
RESERVATIONS are absolutely encouraged. On our second attempt, we were able to acquire seating. After reading the reviews and talking with locals, we knew we would have to try this eatery for sure.
Yemanja Wood Fire Grill is a very cool restaurant using smoke and the grill. Located in one of the historic buildings in downtown Oranjestad. We enjoyed our dinner on the patio on a warm spring night. Their menu includes international cuisine and Caribbean flavors and the presentation was like a show.
Service was great and quick with the water refills and they also offer a BYOB (Bring your own bottle of wine.) We enjoyed so fun cocktails ourselves.
We enjoyed the Beef Carpaccio Bombe which is thinly sliced raw beef tenderloin wrapped around a salad blend and vegetables, Dutch cheese, Pesto, Truffle Sauce, and Balsamic Crème. I had the vegan BBQ plate. It was good and definitely had a smoky flavor. I liked the smoked mac and cheese, but it was a little bit too truffley oil for me. Both were pretty as pictures too.
Jon also enjoyed the Grilled Seafood Medley which was a combination of different local fish, Calamari, Garlic Shrimp, and Mussels, Jasmine Rice, Stir Fry Vegetables, and spicy Coconut Curry Sauce.
PASTICHI’s & Ariba’s
To eat in Aruba well, you must try a Pastichi and at least one Aruba Ariba. This island drink designed years ago can be found all over the island. Check out last week’s blog or vlog on the Aruba Ariba and this historical beach drink.
Around the island, you can grab a Pastichi at a Pastechi store or a bakery. The most famous in Aruba is the Pastechi House in Oranjestad. Get there early in the morning. A pastechi is a warm pocket pastry filled with cheese, pork or goat.
As you can see, Aruba is one tasty island. From traditional Caribbean fare, healthy options and elegant dining, this Happy Island has it all. I hope you have fun trying these restaurants on your next Aruban adventure. If I can help you plan your stay or a cruise, let me know HERE!
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