Posts in this series
The Best Local Food Aruba Has To Offer
Food is one of my favorite parts of traveling, especially to seaside locations. I love enjoying the local fresh fish and supporting small businesses (Check out where I ate in Barbados & Turks & CaicosTurks & Caicos). I spent six days in Aruba and was fortunate to try several wonderful restaurants to share with you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have more questions about any of these places! I hope you enjoy reading (and looking at) the best local food Aruba has to offer!
This quote from the website pretty much sums it up.
“Gasparito Restaurant is a throwback to when dining was intimate, the food was authentic, and the owners actually spent the time to talk to you about what its like living on Aruba”
While we had many wonderful meals on the island, and enjoyed a variety of delicious seafood and other local dishes, Gasparito provided a truly unique dining experience. The restaurant is an old farm house, with a history and an owner who is passionate about hospitality. Throughout the evening he shared many stories and riddles with us while we waited for a various courses to arrive. While agriculture is limited on the island, Gasparito does have its own garden where they produce some of their own ingredients. The prices are quite affordable and the overall experience is charming. Don’t pass up this hidden gem on the island. This restaurant is also vegetarian friendly!
Zeerover’s is family owned restaurant located in Savaneta, a decent drive from downtown Oranjestad, and even farther from the high-rise hotels. It was worth the taxi ride for us though. We had a wonderful meal, and a night that turned out to be one of our most adventurous ever! You queue up upon arrival to order your cut of fish, stop by the bar, and grab a table where a server will bring your fresh cooked fish. You can sit along the water and watch the sunset while enjoying these delicious meals!
Location: Savaneta 270, Savaneta, Aruba (This is a hike from Downtown Oranjestad and the high rise hotels, but worth it!)
Hours: 11am to 9pm Tuesday to Sunday (Closed Monday)
Price: $ – $$
What to Eat: Don’t miss out on the catch of the day and the shrimp!
Insider tip: Go for sunset!
This restaurant was located just across the street from our Palm Beach airbnbPalm Beach airbnb. We initially planned to visit the neighboring restaurant Salt and Pepper, but after browsing the menus we decided on Fishes & More. The Seafood Platter for two consists of grouper, red snapper, and mani mahi sautéed in a lemon-lobster sauce with calamari, shrimp, mussels, lobster and scallops. This was a night of many firsts for me. My first red snapper and my first mussel!
Location: J.E. Irausquin Blvd 370 Arawak Garden across from Barceló Resort, Palm Beach Aruba
Hours: 4 – 11pm
Price: $$$ – $$$$
What to Eat: The seafood platter, no question.
Insider Tip: There is live music during dinner, so it has a bit of a cruise ship feel. This restaurant is located near many others in a very touristy section of Palm Beach. The good news is it is just steps away from Pianos Soprano bar, where you can catch a nightcap and listen to your favorite tunes.
Yemanja is fusion of Caribbean and European style food. The restaurant is located in downtown Oranjestad. This restaurant was also walking distance for our airbnb unit at Lagoon Studios. Indulging in the local seafood we ordered the squid served three ways, each better than the next! We followed up with some delicious fresh fish. The prices are mid range, but well worth it!
Location: Wilhelminastraat 2, Oranjestad, Aruba (Near the cruise ship port and Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Oranjestad)
Hours: Monday to Saturday 5.30 PM – 10.30 PM
Price: $$$ (not the cheapest or the most expensive, but high quality food and service)
What to Eat: The Calamari Trio and fresh seafood!
Insider Tip: Catch Sunset at Renaissance Beach before walking over to dinner (and make a reservation!)
Wake Waka was one of the few restaurants I did not extensively research before the trip. The lunch here was provided as part of our day tour with ABC Tours Aruba. Their management office is located right next to the restaurant. I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious the chicken and rice meal was. Tour participants had several meal choices, and placed their orders in the morning before the tour. When we arrived for lunch, we received speedy service to keep our jam packed day tour of Aruba moving.
Location: Schotlandstraat 61, Lok. 2, Oranjestad, Aruba
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Price: $$ (included in day tour)
What to Eat: You can’t go wrong with the chicken and rice.
Insider Tips: Book the full day tour with ABC Tours Aruba!
Peanuts was referred to us by a few locals, so we decided to give it a try after the Carnaval parade, since it was one of the few places open! It was about a 15 minute walk from the beach in Oranjestad, and the perfect place to experience Aruba like a local. We opted for the variety platter, but quickly learned we made a mistake in not ordering the soup because EVERYONE else did. Please don’t make that same mistake.
Location: Adriaan Lacle Blvd., Oranjestad, Aruba
Hours: 8am to 11pm 7 Days
What to Eat: You must order the fish soup. We did not, and deeply regret it.
Insider Tip: This is the ultimate insider restaurant. You won’t see many tourists here, and the prices can’t be beat. It also has air conditioning!
We needed a lunch spot while we were waiting to check into our second AirBNB. We stopped at a local hotel, as we had all of our luggage with us and didn’t want to venture too far. I was seriously debating the grouper sandwich. I had a pretty bad grouper sandwich experience in Turks & CaicosTurks & Caicos, but was willing to give it another try. Then I overheard the woman at the table behind us complaining about the grouper sandwich…so I went for the burger! It was plenty big and quite tasty. The Marriott restaurant La VistaThe Marriott restaurant La Vista also had beautiful outdoor seating with a view of the ocean. It was the perfect place to kill a little time before check in.
Location: L.G. Smith Boulevard # 101 Palm Beach Aruba
Hours: 7 Days 7am to 10pm
What to Eat: The Burger is a safe bet.
Insider Tips: It’s always open, so if you’re having trouble finding a place to eat due to holidays or it being a Monday, check out La Vista. (Also, look for the hanging swing!)
There’s some dispute on the island as to where you’ll find the best Dutch pancakes on the island. A pilot friend of mine suggested the Dutch Pancake House near the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Oranjestad. Others recommended Linda’s Pancake House. Both were delicious, in my opinion, so if you go you’ll have to check them out on your own.
While staying in downtown Oranjestad, we walked to breakfast at the Dutch Pancake House. I ordered a Dutch Pancake with bacon, cheese, and onion, while my friend opted for a more traditional breakfast platter with some amazing mini pancakes. The food here was delicious and completely affordable at about $10 per person, for more food than we could even eat!
Location: Renaissance Marketplace, LG Smith Boulevard 9, Oranjestad, Aruba
Hours: 8am to 9pm, 7 Days a Week
What to Order: The mini pancakes! You can’t get them at Linda’s.
Insider Tip: Take a lovely stroll along the waterfront after you dine.
Another fabulous option for pancakes on the island is.Linda’s Dutch Pancakes. Linda’s was our final meal before heading to the airport, so I splurged a little. I had a dessert pancake for lunch, but absolutely no regrets! This spot is located closer to Eagle & Palm beach. The food here is also quite affordable and served in large portions!
Location: Palm Beach 6-D
Hours: 8am to 10pm, Closed Sunday
What to Eat: I went for the full on dessert pancake with whipped cream, ice cream, and chocolate syrup.
Insider Tip: You can have pancakes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
San Nicolas Hot Dog
There aren’t many things fresher or more local than a coconut! We were sure to enjoy quite a few throughout our stay both on day trips and at the beach!
Hopefully you enjoyed this food photo tour through the island of Aruba. If you happen to be on the island, beside to explore these places! It’s always great to experience all the local food Aruba has to offer!