Don’t leave Aruba without trying at least one of these restaurants. Just be warned, you’ll be dreaming of them long after you go!
Aruba may be a tiny island, but it is home to a wonderful assortment of restaurants. In fact, many travellers opt not to do an all-inclusive so they can experience the local cuisine of Aruba, a unique and unforgettable fusion of Dutch, Caribbean and Latin flavours.
You’ll always find an intoxicating mix of Caribbean vibes and colonial vestiges. Here are our top picks!
Don’t let the laid-back beachfront locale fool you-- this is among Aruba’s most upscale restaurants. ‘Surf and turf’ not only appears on the menu, but the term also describes The Flying Fishbone’s desirable seaside setting, with some tables even allowing you to dip your feet in the water.
Considered the number one restaurant in Aruba’s Saveneta area, The Flying Fishbone is famous for its rich variety of decadent seafood dishes, from plump lobster tail to tender filet mignon, Peruvian ceviche to sturgeon caviar, as well as its stunning sunsets. Reservations are a must, so be sure to check what time the sun goes down to book accordingly.
Address: Linear Park Governor's Bay, L.G. Smith Boulevard
For something a little lighter on your wallet (but not necessarily your waistline!) we suggest heading down to The West Deck, a casual Caribbean restaurant set right on the beach. Its large, wooden deck offers sweeping views of the sea with glimpses of spectacular cruise ships that visit this popular port. The menu is designed for sharing, featuring small plates of mouthwatering Aruban specialties like funchi fried to perfection, toothsome conch fritters, garlicky Trocadero shrimp, and Fire & Spice crackling calamari.
Address: The Village Mall, JE Irausquin Boulevard, Palm Beach
This cute gem is a cafe by day and cocktail bar by night, serving up wholesome, comforting noshables, premium Nicaraguan coffee and thirst-quenching libations. Chill out on Craft’s charming outdoor patio, bordered by soaring palm trees and twinkling lights, and enjoy live music depending on the day. Be sure to order a Blueberry Bramble, which may sound like one of its tempting and attractive Mason jar desserts (also a must-try!) but is the name of one of its most popular cocktails. As they toast in Aruba, “Salud!”
Address: Savaneta 270, Savaneta, Aruba
Serving up laid-back vibes and heaping plates of fresh seafood, discover why locals love Zeerovers (that’s “pirate” in Dutch.) Arrive early to witness local fishermen bringing in the catch of the day, like freshly-snatched shrimp and varieties of tuna. Famous for its generous helpings, spiked with house-made, mouth-puckering, hot papaya sauce, kick back on the large dock under a sun umbrella and enjoy!
Address: Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino (Beachfront) Lloyd G. Smith Blvd. 101, Palm Beach
Although no stranger to critic awards and accolades, Atardi remains one of Aruba’s hidden secrets. Looking for a quiet, romantic dinner for two? This beachfront location provides the perfect setting, especially at dusk, when the glowing sun dramatically dips into the sparkling sea. Enjoy rock lobster tail and roasted sea bass, along with meat dishes like short ribs, and delectable sides.
6. Bistro De Suikertuin
Address: Wilhelminastraat 64, Oranjestad
Get an authentic taste of Aruba’s European heritage at Bistro De Suikertuin, specializing in Aruban Dutch cuisine. We recommend its daytime fare for breakfast, lunch and afternoon High Tea. This is a great place to try Keshi Yene, Aruba’s signature dish. Bistro’s version folds seasoned chicken into rich, melted Gouda cheese, perfectly paired with a fresh, green salad. The restaurant is located in Aruba’s main town of Oranjestad, known as the ‘Amsterdam of the Caribbean.’ Take a sunny walk around Oranjestad after, peppered with charming, colourful architecture, shops and historical landmarks to round out the Dutch colonial ambience.
7. Opus Ocean & Grill
Address: Havenstraat 36, Lok 6, Oranjestad Oos
Another restaurant we especially recommend by day for the views is Opus Ocean & Grill, open for lunch and dinner. Hungry visitors claw their way into Opus to feast on lobster, crab and other seafood dishes. Even an oyster, just a small-fry of the sea, is elevated to a grand scale at this establishment, served dressed and baked in a cluster as Oysters Bienville, or naked, served with a complex and tangy mignonette. Big players of the sea also are given the star(fish) treatment, like tuna and grouper. For those who prefer their meals not to swim, Opus offers steak, pasta, and flavourful sides.
Visit the nearby National Archaeological Museum first, with indigenous artifacts that date as far back as 2500 BC, working up an appetite for seafood dishes at Opus, freshly caught merely hours before.
If you’re as laid-back as this easy going, airy spot, you’re likely lying down! Boasting 360-degree views from its perfect location on De Palm Pier, near the Hilton Resort, part of Aruba’s famous resort area of Palm Beach. Bugaloe is a lively, colourful eatery with a long cocktail list and affordable beach staples like burgers, fries, salad and sandwiches. Enjoy the sea breeze and views by day, or come at night for live entertainment, from musical acts to salsa and meringue workshops.
9. Barefoot Restaurant
Address: L.G. Smith Boulevard 1, Oranjestad
Enjoy the blissful feeling of a tropical vacation, dining on fine fare but in carefree comfort. Barefoot Restaurant is a regular recipient of awards, recognized for its elevated cuisine and attentive service. What can you look forward to biting into? A twin pairing of tuna tartare and tuna carpaccio for starters. Perhaps you prefer a trio of fish, which one of the mains delivers -- Romance of the Sea brings the Caribbean flavours of grouper, snapper and mahi-mahi onto your plate. Meat lovers will also have plenty to enjoy, from New Zealand lamb chops and Burgundy beef stew. Dig into the steamy, sizzling plates as you dig your toes into the white sand.
10. Fred Restaurant
Address: Wilhelminastraat 18, Oranjestad
Enjoy an adults-only dinner-in-the-round, where you feel you’re an invited guest more than a paying customer. Starting at 7 pm, ending at 10 pm this is not just fine dining. This is a live cooking experience where you can participate, ask questions and engage with your company. Seat yourself among lucky fellow guests at the intimate, U-shaped table around your Chef Fred, who prepares an ever-changing 5-course set menu, while Tom pours carefully-selected wine pairings by the glass.
Look forward to menu items such as chilled salmon and hearts of palm salad, followed by grain mustard bacon-sprinkled soup, Angus Tenderloin beef Wellington and truffle sauce, herb-crusted sea bass, and boozy Grand Marnier crème brûlée or fluffy tropical mousse and coconut macaroons. Expect some surprises and conversation as sparkling as a brut champagne pairing. Reservations are a must.
Ready for an authentic taste of Aruba? Get in touch with one of our Expert Travellers who can create the ultimate Better Beach Aruba vacation for you.