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Top 10 Gourmet Restaurants to visit during the Eat Local Aruba Restaurant Week

If you’re visiting Aruba during September the 28th through October 9th, you’re in for a mouthwatering culinary experience!

Aruba, already a foodie’s paradise because of our broad assortment of restaurants and cuisines, is now inviting everyone to explore Aruba’s culinary heritage during the “Eat Local Aruba Restaurant Week” (ELARW). With lunches costing $15 and dinners $30- $40, this new epicurean event will allow you to enjoy local cuisine for a very reasonable price. No passes, tickets or vouchers are required—just visit your favorite participating restaurants throughout the program dates to enjoy the special menu offerings.

Enjoy Aruba’s most exclusive restaurants, without having to dig deep in your pockets! In this article we have selected the Top 10 Gourmet Restaurants and their authentic Aruban dishes that they will feature during the “Eat Local Aruba Restaurant Week”: 

Papiamento:

This historic Aruban manor house built in 1886 is home to the famous Papiamento restaurant. Owned by the Ellis family, this antique restaurant serves authentic high-end local cuisine year round. Especially for the ELARW they are highlighting some of their most popular dishes. Try their Keshi Yena: minced tenderloin and chunks of chicken stewed with prunes, golden raisins, olives and cashews all melted together with Gouda cheese! It is absolutely bursting with flavors. 

Fun facts:

  • You can pick and taste your dinner wines in their historic wine cellar, featuring 1800 bottles of international vintages.
  • Papiamento restaurant is also a proud member of The Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs™.

Papiamento restaurant aruba

White Modern Cuisine

Culinary innovator chef Urvin Croes has mastered presenting Caribbean cuisine in a modern way. His restaurant featuring a stylish all-white air-conditioned dining room with an airy terrace lounge, serves delightfully presented and delicious hot and cold appetizers, land and sea dishes and desserts made with organic local products. You should definitely try their Steak Basket: Pan-fried Certified Angus Beef Sirloin, served with home-cut fries, garlic aioli, Aruban champignon sauce, roasted tomatoes, roasted onions, cabbage chips and pickled zucchini!

Fun Facts:

  • Urvin Croes is such a famous Aruban chef that even documentaries have been made about his life!
  • The Kitchen Table by White is the even more elegant and more exclusive second restaurant by Urvin Croes.

La Trattoria El Faro Blanco

Imagine having a sunset dinner and enjoying one of the most stunning views Aruba has to offer. This is possible at La Trattoria El Faro Blanco, a famous Italian restaurant, situated next to the historical California Lighthouse on the hill of Hudishibana!  For the ELARW, the restaurant has created a special menu presenting authentic Aruban dishes alongside authentic Italian recipes. Try for example their Pesce Fritto: Fried Red Snapper topped with creole sauce served with fried plantain, “pan bati” and polenta.

Fun Facts:

  • The Aruban style house, now the La Trattoria el Faro Blanco Restaurant, used to be the dwelling of the lighthouse keeper. The last lighthouse keeper was Federico Fingal from Aruba.
  • The restaurant is also a proud member of The Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs™.

Screaming Eagle

This French fusion restaurant situated at the beautiful Eagle Beach features a trendy Miami style décor with both indoor and open-air terrace sitting options. While paying tribute to the French classics such as Escargots de Bourgogne or lobster bisque, their menu delivers unusual food combinations with never done before pairings. During the Eat Local Restaurant Week try out their pan fried Barracuda fillet with beignet of carni stoba (stewed beef), bouillon potatoes, plantain chips, reduction of Aruba’s “Adore” red wine and foamy kalalu sauce. It’s Aruba a la Francaise!

Fun Facts:

  • You can enjoy your dinner and take a nap afterwards on their comfortable lounge beds!
  • The owners of the Screaming Eagle chose this eccentric name because of the like named beach, Eagle Beach, as well as their love for the Screaming Eagle Wine.

Yemanja

Yemanja Woodfired Grill Restaurant, located behind the Renaissance hotel in Oranjestad, features a fusion of Caribbean flavor and European style dishes cooked on a wood fired grill. Because wood grilling uses a very high level of heat – 550 to 600 degrees – which is a 100 degrees higher than a traditional grill; meats, seafood and vegetables stay far more juicy and tender. This tropical restaurant has a cozy terrace, with torches and palms and inside an air-conditioned and non-smoking area. Try out their creole style seasoned picanha from the wood fired grill with grilled Caribbean polenta, vegetable brochette and chimichurri!

Fun Facts:

  • The wood used for grilling is recycled local ‘Kwihi’ wood
  • Yemanja is the Brazilian goddess of the sea.

Windows on Aruba

Windows on Aruba is certainly a fine diner’s must! Located at the Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort, this chic restaurant offers a panoramic view of the golf course as well as the azure Caribbean Sea. With celebrity chef Matt Boland at the helm, every dish on their menu is a culinary masterpiece. For the new restaurant week they have made an extensive lunch and dinner menu featuring local favorites accompanied by organic side dishes such as e.g. Fresh Catch of the Day with a mango butter sauce, quinoa salad and a carrot mousse.

Fun Facts:

  • Windows on Aruba will be celebrating its 10th year anniversary next year!
  • Windows on Aruba has an amazing 240 degrees view of the beautiful Druif beach.

L.G. Smith Steak and Chophouse

Situated in downtown Oranjestad in the upscale Renaissance mall is the L.G. Smith Steak and Chophouse. Renowned for their juicy cuts of Angus Beef, prepared on a sizzling hot grill accompanied by a comprehensive wine list, this classy restaurant offers you a sensational view of Oranjestad’s downtown marina and boulevard. Be sure to try their Braised Certified Angus Beef ® Short Ribs with yellow potato puree & garlic confit and mint infused veggies!

Fun Facts:

  • Every weekend there’s a live jazz band performing.
  • During the Restaurant Week, the chef will explain all the local ingredients used to prepare your dish right at your table.

The French Steakhouse

This elegant restaurant with an extensive wine list, excellent service and accompanied by live piano music is a popular scene on Eagle Beach Aruba for tourists and locals alike. Situated in the boutique style Manchebo Beach Resort, this sophisticated steakhouse will feature local favorites such as Sautéed Shrimp & Traditional Papaya Salsa or Catch of the day with fried polenta, plantains, creole rice and creole sauce during the ELARW.

Fun Facts

  • Executive chef Ever de Pena, born and raised in Aruba is only 29 years old but has the experience of someone well over 50, as he worked and learned from the islands’ best chefs!
  • The talented French Steakhouse pianist, Eddy Samson, provides live music throughout your dinner.

Sunset Grille

This signature restaurant offers you a casually elegant setting for an exceptional meal. Certified Black Angus Beef, delicious seafood, new wine lists and classic cocktails are contemporary takes on fine dining favorites. With advice and training from a Napa Valley sommelier, try out their wine program titled “Sunset Wine Flights,” presented seaside for guests to experience amid the unmatched island landscape. Try out their 8oz.Certified angus beef Tenderloin or Airline Chicken Breast during the ELARW.

Papillon

Old French meets modern Caribbean in this casual fine dining restaurant situated at The Village Plaza. Enjoy classic French dishes with a Caribbean flair while sitting outside watching people promenading on the boulevard.  Try out their Caribbean Pearl: Cajun-seared lobster with caramelized onions and passion fruit vinaigrette garnished with sisho purple cress, dill and shredded sweet potatoes in the ELARW .

Fun Facts:

  • The restaurant’s name and concept are derived from the notorious Henri Charrière, the convicted Frenchman who escaped from Devil’s Island in French Guyana. He had a butterfly (papillon) tattoo on his chest.
  • The design, décor, and especially the restrooms wink at the thirteen terrible years Papillon spent in prison in French Guyana.

Visit www.aruba.com/eatlocal to reserve a table at your favorite restaurant during the Eat Local Aruba Restaurant Week. Check out the Facebook Page as well and be sure to use the #eatlocal and #discoveraruba hashtags!

About the blogger: Jane Vermaas
Born and raised on the One happy island Aruba, her passions include everything Aruba has to offer. From the best snorkel spots to authentic cultural experiences, she will give you the inside scoop on where to beach bum and where to get the best local dish, where to go salsa dancing and the island’s best practices to happiness!