Dining in Aruba is always a glorious experience. There are over 250 eateries on the island, from the most luxurious fine dining restaurants, to the smallest street food trucks; you will always have something new and exciting to try.
Eat Local restaurant month is back this October. For the entire month more than 70 restaurants in Aruba present a locally inspired lunch and/or dinner menu. The lunch menu is a 2-course $15 meal, and the dinner menu is a 3-course $30 or $40 meal.
In this blog post, we will be highlighting 13 restaurants you can’t miss on your Eat Local food tour this year.
aged. is a cozy new wine bar in Oranjestad. They are specialized in wine pairings, and they have put together a most delicious platter for two people called the Indulge Aruba Platter, and indulge you will! The platter includes a selection of Dutch cheeses paired with locally made fruit jams, courtesy of Taste of Aruba. It comes with a glass of white wine too, all for just $30! Find your wine buddy and enjoy!
BLT Steak is a modern American steakhouse with a classic bistro ambience located inside The Ritz-Carlton. The restaurant serves an exquisite selection of meat, poultry and seafood dishes, and their Eat Local menu is no different! For just $40 you can enjoy a 3-course dinner. We recommend this outstanding combination selected from their Eat Local Menu. Crab croquettes with pica di papaya aioli sauce and arugula as an appetizer. Pica di papaya is a locally made mild hot sauce with a papaya base!
Follow that tasty appetizer up with an Aruban classic, pisca cora with creole sauce and funchi. Pisca cora is red snapper, a fish frequently caught here in Aruba. Funchi is a firmer polenta that is traditionally enjoyed in a generous coating of creole sauce; a tomato based red sauce that tastes like the Caribbean.
For dessert, the Aruban cashew cake is a must. It is prepared with a little bit of dark rum and rich Aruban cashew paste!
This very appropriately named restaurant, located by the Playa Linda Resort on Palm Beach, specializes in free-range rotisserie chicken prepared to perfection and fresh lobster, but they have so much more to offer! They went all out with their $15 lunch and $30 dinner menus. These are the dishes that absolutely stand out.
For lunch, start off with an Aruban fish soup featuring the fresh catch of the day and seasonal veggies. As an entrée have the fishcake salad, the chef’s salad served with an Aruban staple; homemade fishcakes!
For dinner, the creole parrotfish entrée caught our eye. What can we say? Aruban’s love creole sauce! The dish comes with a side of Caribbean rice.
Another Aruban classic from this menu we could not resist is the bread pudding. This moist flavorful dessert is already great by itself, but it is served with ponche crema ice cream, which makes it that much better!
Daniel’s Steak and Chop is a family friendly American influenced steakhouse specialized in serving Certified Angus Beef steaks, chops and fresh seafood dishes. For their $40 Eat Local menu, Daniel’s Steak & Chop has switched out it’s American influences for something a little closer to home. An absolute must-try is their cabrito stoba (stewed goat) stewed with stock, wine and vegetables. The rosemary bacon and onion potatoes on the side complement the dish perfectly!
Iguana Joe’s Caribbean Bar & Grill, located in the heart of Oranjestad, has always been a frontrunner when it comes to Caribbean dishes. For Eat Local they have created a menu that was even more refined to shine a light on the authentic Aruban flavors. These are some of the most exciting picks of their $30 dinner menu.
The island patties aka the Aruban pastechi is one of the appetizers on the menu. You can choose what classic filling you would like to try. Dutch Gouda cheese, ground beef or shredded chicken! If you have not had a pastechi yet this vacation, we strongly urge you to pick this appetizer.
This entrée has been a traditional dish for many years. The Aruban keshi yena (stuffed cheese). The dish features perfectly seasoned chicken and vegetables covered in a melty layer of Gouda cheese.
After devouring a rich entrée like this one, have the lamoenchi key lime pie for dessert. The homemade tart is prepared with fresh Aruban lamoenchi (limes) in a hand-pressed gingerbread cookie crust!
La Vista is a family restaurant serving international cuisine with Italian specialties. Located at the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, this restaurant has great outdoor seating allowing you to enjoy beautiful ocean views. La Vista has put together a scrumptious $30 3-course menu.
We recommend you try the red snapper tiradito as an appetizer. Thinly sliced fresh red snapper with crispy faro, sweet potato and soy ginger dressing.
Follow that by their version of keshi yena served with funchi and finish it all off with a chuculati pinda dessert. It is honestly the best of both worlds when combining rich chocolate and flavorful peanut butter. You’ll be in for a pleasant surprise!
Tulip Caribbean Brasserie is a cozy al fresco restaurant providing a combination of Caribbean, Dutch and international cuisine. They are located across from one of Aruba’s most popular beaches, Eagle Beach. Their $30 Eat Local menu has a mouthwatering selection. Here are some top picks!
As an appetizer, try the traditional fried bread dish filled with salted codfish, Johnny cake and bacalao, as we call it here. Then have your pick of returning favorites pisca cora or keshi yena, both served with a special Tulip twist. The pisca cora comes with a creole remoulade dip and yucca fries, and the keshi yena is served with rice and beans and fried plantain!
Finish it all off with the ponche crema and chocolate fondue. It comes with plantain bread, biscotti, pineapple, pound cake, and slices of banana!
Mango’s Restaurant is known for its exceptional international dishes and its welcoming casual ambiance located in Oranjestad. Their $40 Eat Local Menu comes with a multitude of options that are very familiar to those who grew up on the One happy island. This combination of dishes really stood out.
The sopi di pampoena (pumpkin soup) appetizer is completed by adding a dash of cinnamon sabayon. As an entrée try the calco hasa. Fried conch served with a creole remoulade and the ever-popular pan bati (Aruban pancake)! For dessert you can’t pass up the rum truffle and sunchi! This dessert is especially appropriate if you’re on a date, as sunchi means kiss in Papiamento. The dessert features delicious rum truffle marinated chocolate balls with meringue kisses.
Mexicado is an energetic Mexican restaurant located at the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort. For Eat Local they have toned down the Mexican influences to reflect some of Aruba’s favorite dishes. They serve a local pastechi di carni, the traditional Aruban patty filled with marinated beef. It is served with salsa roja and sour cream! As the main course, we recommend the cazuela de pescado Arubiana. Local favorite grouper served with Aruban rice, and ripe fried plantains. For dessert, try the Aruban mocha quesillo. A rich espresso flavored flan served with Chantilly cream. Mexicado has done a great job giving a Mexican flair to some Aruban classics.
This restaurant located in San Nicolas is very familiar with Aruban dishes as they serve Aruban and Caribbean cuisine year-round. They were still able to piece together a special $15 lunch and $30 dinner menu for the month of October.
If you’re having lunch, we suggest you go for the salt fish fritters as an appetizer, and the BBQ roast chicken as a main course.
For dinner a must-try appetizer is the grouper fish grill served with rice, salad, potato and plantains. It is clear that we Arubans are fond of freshly caught grouper and red snapper. For dessert, give the cheesecake a try, you can never go wrong with cheesecake!
For casual dining and a spectacular ocean view, visit The Restaurant at Tierra del Sol, located on the north side of the island. It is known for its great food and friendly atmosphere. This is no different during the Eat Local Restaurant month. They have carefully put together delicious $15 lunch and $40 dinner menus.
If you will be visiting for lunch, be sure to try their version of the keshi yena as your entrée. For dinner, an interesting pick would be the sopi awa di playa as it literally translates to seawater soup! Not to worry, it’s not a bowl of extremely salty water. This dish is a clear Aruban seafood soup with chopped scallions and toasted almonds.
For your entrée, try the djampouw filet and Shrimp. Once again a delicious pan seared grouper filet, but this time served alongside garlic shrimp, mixed veggies, potato puree and a citrus butter sauce. If there is still room for dessert, you should try their version of quesillo; caramel flan with butterscotch caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.
This restaurant is usually specialized in a variety of international cuisines. The interior has a cozy European design. TOF Twist of Flavors Restaurant is located at the Alhambra Mall. The following dishes stood out on their $40 Eat Local dinner menu.
The shrimp gratin features locally caught shrimp gratinated with 2 delicious cheeses. After that, have the unique Aruban seafood lasagna entrée, the local catch of the day in cream sauce with spinach and old Amsterdam cheese; an Aruban twist to an Italian staple. Finally, we suggest you end this great meal with some ponche Aruba ice cream served with rum flambéed fresh pineapple; the perfect dessert to end a long sunny day.
White modern cuisine is known for its unique fine dining experience and their high quality ingredients. They encourage you to take your time on each dish so you can fully appreciate the marriage of flavors. For Eat Local, White Modern Cuisine has put together a $15 lunch and $40 dinner menu.
For lunch, try the frekedel bowl. Aruban fish cakes served in a bowl with white rice, pickled onions, fried plantains, and a salad tossed in salsa rosada and creole sauce. Follow that with their deliciously moist pineapple upside down cake.
For dinner, they have an Aruban beef soup ramen appetizer with your name on it! Aruban style beef soup with noodles, locally grown basil, corn and of course pan bati. If you haven’t had the beloved carni stoba yet, you should order it as your entrée at White Modern Cuisine. Their version comes with polenta, pickled carrots, onion, creme, stewed vegetables, grilled celery custard and stewed beef croquette.
As you can clearly tell, Arubans have a few common favorite dishes. We are happy to be able to share these authentic flavors with our visitors during the 3rd edition of the Eat Local Restaurant month.
Hungry yet? You can make your reservations by visiting http://restaurantweek.aruba.com/. You can also check out the rest of the participating restaurants and read their menus.