As I said before, Aruba is a real paradise for you, foodies. There’s plenty of options to every choice, taste and wallet. From Peruvian to Indonisian…
We’ve been lucky to be on Aruba for almost four lazy weeks and had enough time to discover some truth about the restaurants on Aruba!
First of all, you’ll find different coupon books with some restaurant discounts (at your hotel, supermarkets or tourist info). Use them only if it says a free glass of house wine or a free coffee, but not when it says a free appetizer or a dessert: sometimes they, at the restaurant, don’t understand what you mean and you end up ordering a lot, thinking it’s for free, but in the end you have to pay for that. At least state it clearly as you order your meal that you have a free dessert coupon, for example, and ask what it is you get for that (usually it’s a standard dessert, you don’t get a choice), but sometimes it’s nice just to try it! It’s for free anyway:)
The second trick, and my big disappointment about the restaurants on Aruba, is that they have some tourist booklets and magazines where they tell you all about the best restaurants on the island, and you go there and spend your money, but it’s not worth it at all. And you get disappointed. I’ll give you some examples later in my post.
Before you understand the area and places where you can dine on Aruba, you need to know that the tourist area is divided, I would say, into three main parts: the capital (Oranjestad), low-rise hotels (Manchebo Beach and Eagle Beach) and high-rise hotels (Palm Beach). And those are where all the main dining options are concentrated as well.
In this post I’ll start covering all the restaurants and cafés that we tried on Aruba, going day by day of our stay there, and then I’ll sum up and name the best places from those restaurants and cafés and the most disappointing, and hence not quite recommendable, places. And I’ll also give you some more tips on what restaurants to try.
- Hooters! Don’t walk past it or don’t just walk past it only to look at the curvy girls. The food is actually pretty good there (if you didn’t know it before – I didn’t…). Service – perfect and quick! The girls are polite and smile at you. Good and juicy burgers (try Baja Burger), quality meat, tasty buns. Medium range when it comes to price – about 50 USD for two burgers, a starter and two drinks, plus tip. Location: high-rise area, Palm Beach.
- Jack’s Café. Go there to drink cheap, but great coffee and try their Dutch pea soup for lunch: delicious, big portion, served with bread, cheap. Fast-food service, a lot of flies there. Location: Super Food.
3. Bugaloe Beach Bar and Grill. Good for lunch or a beach snack, maybe an evening drink while enjoying the sunset. Price range: medium. Cheap for snack. Good mozarella sticks and sauces. Happy hour wine costs only 4 USD. I saw they have salsa nights! Friendly atmosphere, good service. Great location: Palm Beach pier, so you can sit on the deck and enjoy the view.
4. The Dutch Pancake House. Don’t be misled by all the ads and recommendations, don’t spend your money on visiting this place! I fell into this tourist trap first. We went there early in the morning (jet-lagged, you know); the service was great, it was clean, you got free coffee refill, and I actually enjoyed my pancakes! But then we went there again, at lunchtime, the service was OK, I ordered poffertjes (small Dutch pancakes) which they served with some chocolate sauce that tasted like car exhaust. Of course, I got new ones, but the general impression was already ruined. Then we went there again, and it was so dirty there: napkins on the floor, unclean tables, sticky chairs. The service was very relaxed, and we just went away, left the place. And it’s considered to be “best breakfast in Aruba”! No, and one more time, no! I’ll tell you where you can find the best breakfast on Aruba, later…in my next post…
Read my next post to find out more about dining on Aruba, and the best breakfast on the island!
What’s your favorite restaurant on Aruba?