Nos Cunucu and The Queen’s Bar and Restaurant for Traditional Local Fare.
We just returned from a wonderful three week’s vacation in Aruba. For those of you wanting something different, I’d like to pass on some recommendations for restaurants serving authentic local food at reasonable prices. Nos Cunucu is at Tanki Leendert # 145-K, a bit out of the way but well worth the drive. It’s a very laid back place with traditional décor, indoor and semi-outdoor seating arrangements with solid wood tables and chairs. Our waiter was friendly and efficient and food arrived in a timely manner. My husband loved his tasty goat stew and I was equally happy with my choice of Keeshi Yena ( a chicken casserole with capers and olives covered with Gouda cheese melt) and freshly prepared soursop juice. The desert, "Mother's fresh baked cake of the day" was a rare treat reminding me of the type of wholesome and delicious cake my mother used to bake when I grew up in Austria. The bill was surprisingly reasonable. We had such a pleasant evening in this quiet country atmosphere that we returned a few days later in spite of the many restaurant choices in Aruba. We were immediately greeted by the owner with a warm smile of recognition and a hearty handshake. There are pictures and sample menus on facebook; just type in "Nos Cunucu". The Queen’s Bar and Restaurant is in the center of Oranjestad on Weststraat #1, just a few minutes walk from the bus terminal. This place opened only a few months ago and we were very happy to have found it. My husband was delighted with his order, a mixed seafood platter which was a huge portion of shrimp, mussels, fish, conch and squid in creole sauce with vegetables, rice and plantain for $ 22.00. I enjoyed my grouper which was the Catch of the Day ( the other choice was mahi mahi) with vegetables, rice and beans and plantain for only $16.00!
The Queens offers many more authentic dishes we would have loved to try, but this was our last night in Aruba… I asked the waitress how their strawberry cake was. She went to the kitchen and soon returned with sparkles in her eyes, saying, “it’s just great, I tried it myself”. Well, this cake was to die for, layers and layers of strawberries, the real thing, fresh, never frozen and not too sweet! Highly recommended!