One of the most exciting aspects of a foreign vacation is the food you’ll get to try! While Aruba is a destination for beach-goers, honeymooners, and people looking for a tropical trip, they also have some remarkable food to offer tourists.
17 of the Best Restaurants in Aruba
Aruba has a rich culinary culture with many famous chefs running restaurants in the bustling city of Oranjestad and surrounding areas, including Palm Beach. This list has a restaurant to satisfy everyone, from picky kids to foodies.
Aruba has luxury restaurants with pre-fixe menus as well as small spots with handheld snacks you can walk around with. If you’re planning a trip to Aruba and want to know the best places to eat, you can’t go wrong with one of the 17 restaurants on this list.
Keep reading for details and menu items from some of the best restaurants in Aruba to bring your vacation to the next level!
1. Papillon Restaurant
Foodies that have visited Papillon Restaurant in Aruba say it’s one of the most memorable dining experiences they’ve ever had.
It’s located across from the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort, a popular spot for tourists on a night out. The staff couldn’t be more professional or attentive, making every visitor feel special and cared for.
Papillon has a unique menu that consists of classic French dishes using Caribbean ingredients and techniques. They have a Caribbean lobster tail in a French butter sauce topped with fresh local fruit compote. They have escargot, wild boar, risotto, and much more.
The restaurant offers guests an enchanting dining experience by combining the decadence of French cuisine with the refreshing flavors of Aruba, focusing on delectable seafood dishes.
2. Water’s Edge Restaurant and Bar
As the name suggests, the Water’s Edge Restaurant and Bar are right on the edge of the ocean, positioned along a stunning shore. This spot offers a wide array of well-prepared food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Plus, they have a menu designated for children, so don’t worry if you have picky eaters with you. You can gaze at the beautiful blue Caribbean sea while enjoying a fresh ceviche or a meaty burger.
Their menu has something to satisfy everyone, and the staff is endearing. Water’s Edge rides the line between casual and fine dining and has a rather commercial vibe with name tags and a laidback atmosphere.
If you’re enjoying your Aruban vacation and want a tasty but easy place to grab dinner after a long day or get a nice breakfast before your excursions, this is a great go-to spot that tourists love.
3. Yemanja Woodfired Grill
Yemanja Woodfired Grill is an interesting location with a colorful interior and a vibrant menu that combines different cuisines. They have several Greek dishes, such as phyllo dough and a refreshing Greek salad, but they also offer some Asian dishes.
The versatility of the menu allows everyone to find something they’re excited about. While it may not seem like the most enticing dish, their creative soups are one of the most popular orders.
They have creamy clam chowder, a traditional French onion, a Thai pumpkin soup, and a potato truffle soup, which exemplifies the range of flavors their menu features.
Another exciting aspect of their menu is their extensive cocktail list, which offers familiar favorites, along with new flavors. There are four to five cocktails for every type of spirit, giving you plenty of options.
4. Así Es Mi Peru
Aruba and Peru aren’t too far from one another, and at Así Es Mi Peru, you can enjoy the vivid flavors of Peruvian cuisine. Their menu gets straight to the point, showing off only the best dishes from Peru, prepared authentically with no modern twists or changes.
If you love the taste of fresh seafood and colorful plates, this is the restaurant for you. They offer delicious appetizers like tamales and fried fish dishes, but everyone who has been there raves about the ceviches.
They use the freshest shellfish and fish cured in extravagant sauces and marinades, which cure the fish, maintaining the rich yet subtle flavor of the sea. The large, dark dining room is mostly casual, but has a romantic aura to it.
This makes it perfect for an affordable date night. Así Es Mi Peru also has food trucks roaming around the area. So if you spot one, it’s worth taking a few minutes to grab a bowl of unbelievable ceviche while exploring Aruba.
5. Coco Plum Restaurant
Coco Plum is a charming restaurant with a fascinating and colorful interior and staff that make everyone feel at home. They have large portions and loads of flavors that will make your mouth water.
The menu features everything, from salmon to goat to chocolate cake. The dining area is big, so many people enjoy celebrating birthdays or anniversaries here, especially since the staff is so personable and engaged.
Coco Plum is all about rich flavors and a happy atmosphere. So if your tummy is rumbling after a busy vacation day in Aruba and you want something comforting and filling, you can’t go wrong with this welcoming restaurant!
6. Barefoot Restaurant
Barefoot is another restaurant that sits right on the beach. The owners named the restaurant with the idea that you should enjoy the tastiest food Aruba has to offer while sticking your feet in the soft sand and admiring the ocean.
There are tiki torches, palm trees, and straw cabanas that foster a true Caribbean vibe. Unsurprisingly, their menu features seafood dishes with other protein options sprinkled in.
The dishes are upscale, featuring items like escargot, ragout, and carpaccio, to name a few. The idea behind the restaurant’s menu and the setting is to meld vacation comfort with elegant dining where you can appreciate the beauty of Aruba while enjoying the food.
7. Gostoso Restaurant
For people with refined palettes, you’ll relish the combination of Portuguese and Aruban cuisine at Gostoso. Jose do Nascimento, the head chef and owner, aims to create complex and flavorful dishes that blend these two vibrant food cultures to excite even the most well-versed foodies.
The restaurant is not ideal if you’re on a budget or wearing a t-shirt, so save this spot for your fancy vacation dinner. But make your decisions sooner rather than later as their reservation book fills up fast!
Unlike most fine dining places, this menu is massive, and everything is executed impeccably. There is an emphasis on seafood, but they also focus on pork and only the best cuts of beef. They also have more than ten pasta dishes if you want some incredible comfort food.
8. Wilhelmina Restaurant
Located in the busy area of downtown Oranjestad, Wilhelmina is a refined restaurant with romantic energy. This is one of the less-friendly restaurants on this list, so it’s best for an adults-only date night or group dinner.
It would be a mistake to visit Wilhelmina and not get Chef Dennis’ famous ceviche carte blanch style. The dish is a variety of raw fish marinated in lemon and lime juice with peppers, red onion, ginger, and cilantro, a local favorite for over a decade.
In addition to their heavenly fish dishes, they also offer robust plates like the kandratiki and chorizo, Indonesian roasted pork, and a whole rack of New Zealand lamb. And you can wrap up the night with one of their indulgent desserts like creme brulee or vanilla ice cream coated in ganache.
9. Quinta del Carmen
Quinta del Carmen has a striking exterior that draws you in immediately with bright yellow paint and a mansion-like build. It’s a favorite of both visitors and Aruban locals. They have simple and familiar dishes like surf and turf or chicken soup.
But most of their menu features wild flavor combinations like red snapper with brie or a pine colada-inspired shrimp dish.
The menu is immense with fish mains, meat mains, vegetarian options, desserts, and yummy appetizers. However, most people go to explore their Tapas Garden, which is a separate menu of small plates.
Tapas are excellent if you’re in the mood to try several new and innovative flavors. You can order many plates and try an array of ingredients and dishes to get the taste of Aruban ingredients.
10. The Old Cunucu House Aruba
To dine like a real local, visit the quaint restaurant known as Old Cunucu House. This tiny restaurant is a bit of a hidden gem, but now you know about it! This spot has been around for more than twenty years, making it a staple in the area.
Their menu mostly features authentic bohem. So if you want to eat genuine food that encompasses the environment and culture of the country, this might be the best spot of all the restaurants on this list.
Some traditional local dishes they’re known for include Caribbean lobster tail, stewed conch, coconut fried shrimp, and Keshi yena. You’ll be blown away by the beautiful balance of spices with fresh ingredients that will excite and delight your palette with every bite.
11. Aqua Grill Aruba
If you want some lavish seafood dishes and a luxurious dining experience, look no further than Aqua Grill. This place combines New England seafood dishes with the relaxed and refreshing flavors of Caribbean ingredients.
The restaurant uses both local and international ingredients, like oysters flown in from different coasts.
They have a refined menu but still manage to offer something for everyone. Their menu includes Chilean sea bass, Chesapeake crab cakes, Maine lobster, steamed dumplings, and racks of lamb.
The staff is attentive and delightful, making the entire experience practically perfect. Make reservations in advance for a romantic evening out or a celebratory last dinner to end your vacation on a yummy note.
12. Pika’s Corner Aruban Cuisine
Located along Palm Beach, Pika’s Corner is a marvelous place for a casual lunch or dinner with vibrant flavors and colorful plates. They serve up the same ingredients as the high-end restaurants but with lower prices and a more laidback environment.
Pika’s Corner is visited by locals just as much as tourists for their fresh fish and rotating specials that keep everyone on their toes.
Their grilled octopus tentacles and whole fried fish are popular plates that would cost far more at a fancy restaurant. But at Pika’s you get all the fancy flavors at prices you’ll love.
They have traditional Aruban cuisines like bami and oxtail soba, along with simpler dishes like shrimp alfredo or grilled pork chop. Kids and adults alike will appreciate the menu options and the relaxed environment.
13. The Pastechi House
If you just want a quick snack or handheld meal while you explore Oranjestad, you’ll love the simple menu and excellent food at Pastechi House. They serve popular Aruban snacks like pastechis, croquettes, cheese balls, crab cakes, fruit smoothies, and milkshakes.
Plus, they have hand-scooped ice cream to cool you down on the hotter Aruban days. This spot is not a sit-down restaurant, but rather a fast-food type of establishment.
Many locals stop by to grab lunch during a workday or on their way home. People describe this tiny, affordable spot as addictive because the food is so good and the prices are so cheap.
It’s also the perfect place to bring the hungry kiddos because the snacks aren’t too spicy or have any unusual flavors. They mostly consist of variations of fried cheese. And who doesn’t love fried cheese and ice cream?
14. Fred Royal Restaurant
Go on a culinary adventure captained by the renowned Chef Roy Engelen at Fred Royal Restaurant in Oranjestad. This restaurant is the epitome of fine dining. It offers a set five-course dinner menu to only sixteen guests every night at a rounded bartop.
All guests must be over eighteen, so this is not a family-friendly place. If you’re fortunate enough to snag a reservation, you’ll enjoy the pre-set menu from 7 pm to about 10:30 pm, followed by casual drinks on the rooftop terrace if you desire.
No substitutions or alterations, so don’t go here if you’re not an adventurous eater or willing participant. The menu offerings are tough to discuss as it changes often.
But it sometimes features Wagyu beef, Ahi tuna, black cod, ratatouille, and a delightful dessert-like a soft cake or homemade ice cream. But the fun of Fred Royal is that you don’t know what you’ll get until you’re there!
15. Bohemian Bar and Restaurant
Located on the corner of Barceló Resort, Bohemian Bar and Restaurant is an eclectic spot beloved by visitors and locals. They describe their menu as bohemian magic with the flair of traditional French dishes.
It has a laidback vibe, but nothing about the menu is simple, as it combines flavors and ingredients from across the globe to make complex dishes.
They specialize in cheese and charcuterie boards that change with the seasons, so you can experience something new every time you visit. Bohemian Bar and Restaurant is one of the more expensive restaurants on this list.
But it’s well worth it for the portion sizes and flavors executed by Michelin chefs. Unlike many restaurants in Aruba, they focus more on hearty proteins like lamb, beef, and duck, delivering filling dishes with earthy flavors.
16. Lobby Restaurant and Bar Aruba
Lobby Restaurant and Bar in Palm Beach offers a fantastic dining experience, from the lovely staff to the invigorating cocktails to the mouthwatering meals. It’s the perfect place for a fun dinner or somewhere to grab some creative cocktails.
Their menu is enormous, with a focus on appetizers, such as ceviche, mussels, pork belly, carpaccio, and stuffed mushrooms, to name a few. It’s the ideal place to sip on some drinks and snack on small plates while relishing the spirited atmosphere and décor.
It’s not surprising that everything they serve is off-the-charts delicious, but they excel in presentation. Every plate is a work of art that’s worth the Instagram post.
17. 2 Fools And A Bull
In the endearing city of Noord, you can visit 2 Fools And A Bull. It’s a prix fixe menu designed by the two owners (the fools) that want to take you on an exhilarating culinary voyage.
Their impressive meals have made the location a culinary highlight of the country for both tourists and locals. Their food will surprise you, combining strange flavors and serving familiar ingredients in unexpected ways.
The menu includes 5.5 fixed courses and two tasty wine pairings that encourage you to expand your palette and think outside the culinary box.
The menu constantly changes and evolves, but some examples of the possible menu include risotto, beef tenderloin, ceviche, salmon, polenta, and more. But the two fools aim to keep you on your toes throughout the experience.
Things to Consider
Before making reservations or planning your day around a particular restaurant, consider these factors below that may sway your decision.
- Price. If you’re vacationing on a bit of a budget, check the prices on the menus to make sure it suits your finances. Some of these places can break the bank, while others offer affordable meals. Either way, you have options.
- Occasion. Some of these eateries are high-end, fancy locations, while others are for casual dining. Consider if you’re on the hunt for a quick lunch or a luxury dinner and choose your restaurant accordingly.
- Cuisine. Not all of the restaurants o this list have traditional Aruban cuisine. If you want to taste the nation’s food, choose a spot that focuses on authentic Aruban dishes. On the other hand, you may be in the mood for seafood, making spots like Water’s Edge or Aqua Grill ideal choices.
- Location. While some of these places are certainly worth a drive, a three-hour road trip just for a decent meal not be the best way to spend your Aruban vacation. Map the distance of these restaurants, so you don’t make reservations too far away from where you’re staying.
- Group. If you have children or picky eaters in your group, make sure the menu has something that will appeal to them. Places, like Papillon Restaurant or Fred Royal, have inventive and restrictive menus that may scare off people who aren’t adventurous eaters.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you don’t what to expect from the food options in Aruba, check out these questions that other travelers frequently ask.:
Is Aruba expensive?
Aruba is one of the more expensive vacation destinations. Most Caribbean locations are pricey because tourism is one of their most lucrative industries. Many restaurants on this list are costly, but places like Pastechi House or Old Canucu House offer affordable meals and snacks.
What is traditional Aruban cuisine?
Many phenomenal dishes originated in Aruba. Some of the most popular traditional Aruban plates include stoba (stew), pastechi, Keshi yena, ayacas, pisca hasa (fresh fish), funchi (fries), and most shellfish.
Is Aruban food spicy?
Like most cuisines, Aruban food can be spicy, but it doesn’t have to be. If you aren’t a heat fiend, you can easily find Aruban dishes with mild flavors that are still vibrant and exciting.
Does Aruba have Yelp?
Aruba does have Yelp! So if you rely on this helpful app to find the best places to eat, you can check out almost all of these spots on Yelp to see what other tourists have to say about the experience and food.
Is Aruban seafood good?
Seafood in Aruba is some of the best in the world. The island nation has easy access to the Caribbean sea, which is brimming with many species of fish and shellfish. Most of the high-end restaurants on this list serve fresh fish caught daily on the island.
So, What’s the Best Restaurant in Aruba?
In the culinary world, 2 Fools And A Bull and Fred Royal are considered the peak of dining in Aruba. If you want a luxury and surprising experience, these two spots are well worth the price.
However, the smaller spots like Pastechi House or Pika’s Corner will not disappoint your tastebuds and may keep your wallet a bit happier.
In the end, you can’t go wrong when visiting any of these spectacular restaurants while enjoying the beauty and excitement of Aruba.