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2019 Guide to the Best Restaurants in Aruba

View our Guide to Aruba's Best Restaurants for advice on where to go no matter what you're in the mood for!

Besides staying at an amazing resort and experiencing incredible things to do, there’s one activity that all holidaymakers have in common: eating!

And for travellers coming to Aruba for the first time, our sheer assortment of restaurants can feel overwhelming, especially considering the fact that we’ve got so much variety to choose from.

Whether you’re looking for local cuisine, Italian, Asian fusion, North American, or anything else in between, the One happy island features a melting pot of flavours, ingredients, and cooking techniques sure to please even the most discerning of palates.

In this Guide to Aruba’s Best Restaurants, we’ll break down some of the island’s best dining destinations so that you can spend less time wondering where to eat in Aruba, and more time enjoying your meals!

 

Fishes & More

Aruba's Top-Rated Seafood Restaurants

Seafood is not just a staple on the One happy island; it’s also a specialty!

Indeed, fresh and delicious seafood can be found on nearly every corner on the island of Aruba, and in many cases, is prepared using methods centuries old.

But it’s not just traditional cooking that Aruba specialises in: there are also contemporary seafood restaurants serving up exciting and exotic dishes created by professional chefs from all around the world!

Below are some of our top picks for Aruba’s best seafood restaurants:

Aqua Grill Restaurant

Combining the traditions of a New England fish house with the charm and character of the Caribbean, the Aqua Grill restaurant has quickly become a favourite among both locals and tourists.

Since opening in 2002, the Aqua Grill restaurant has been serving up a mixture of classic seafood and contemporary cuisines like Cioppino and seared Chilean seabass. As a matter of fact, this philosophy of combining “old” and “new” has earned the restaurant numerous accolades from prestigious travel publications like Fodor’s, who says, “This hip restaurant is heaven on earth for seafood lovers, who will find fresh fish galore…”.

And while the Aqua Grill restaurant is most definitely “hip”, it’s also an elegant location for couples looking to have a romantic meal in either a cozy outdoor patio or in a fully air-conditioned indoor dining area.

Fishes & More

If you’re a fan of freshly prepared seafood dishes, then it really doesn’t get any better than Fishes & More.

While many top-rated Aruba restaurants emphasise the “freshness” of their menu, not all of them actually go through the trouble of handpicking the best quality fish each and every morning down at the docks like Fishes & More.

And because of this dedication to freshness, diners at Fishes & More are treated to seafood dishes that are prepared a la minute from a menu that is ever changing.

What’s more, the Fishes & More kitchen is run by an internationally experienced staff, so if you’re a picky eater who likes their fish prepared a certain way, there’s a great chance that Fishes & More can deliver exactly what you’re craving!

And if fish isn’t really your thing, Fishes & More also serves up a wide variety of other cuisines as well: from steak, to pasta, to chicken parmigiana, Fishes & More has got you covered!

Papiamento Restaurant

The Papiamento Restaurant offers a one-of-a-kind, authentic dining experience unlike anything else on the island.

What makes this restaurant so special?

First, the Papiamento Restaurant is actually a 126-year-old Aruba “cunucu” house, and on the inside, guests will find rare Dutch-style antiques—some of which dating back to the 1800s—and an impressive wine cellar that is simply to die for. 

On the outside, the Papiamento Restaurant is surrounded by a lush tropical garden, and sitting right in the center is a sparkling turquoise pool, which at night, is illuminated by hundreds of twinkling lights strewn across tall tree branches.

And second, if you’re a fan of seafood, this is really the place to be.

Since 1983, the Papiamento Restaurant has been serving up island favourites such as Eduardo’s seafood pot—a handmade clay pot filled with seafood, fine herbs, and garden vegetables—and other seafood dishes such as oven-broiled filet of red snapper topped with shrimp and scallops, kebabs of skewered lobster, and mahi-mahi.

Finally, Papiamento is a member of the renowned Chaine des Rotisseurs, the oldest and largest food and wine society in the world, making this restaurant an absolute must for foodies.

Gasparito

Top-Rated Aruban Local Cuisine

No Aruban vacation would be complete without tasting the local cuisine.

From delicious snack packs to old-time favorites like stewed chicken and goat, the island of Aruba is a melting pot of different cultures and cuisines that is unlike anything else in the Caribbean.

Below are some of the best authentic Aruban restaurants that you’re definitely going to watch to check out:


Saco di Felipe

Great food isn’t always served on fine dining ware in a fancy restaurant; as a matter of fact, sometimes the best food in Aruba is served out of a window in a brown paper bag in the wee hours of the night.

As is the case with Saco di Felipe (Felipe’s Snack Pack): by serving up a delicious combination of sizzling fried chicken, ribs, plantain, home-cut friends, and Johnny Cakes in a brown paper bag, Saco di Felipe continues an Aruban tradition dating back more than 65 years.

So when you’re done enjoying the exciting nightlife in Aruba and looking for a late night snack, you’re definitely going to want to check out Saco di Felipe for some of the best snack food you can get on the island!

Gasparito Restaurant

The Gasparito Restaurant and art gallery provides travellers with a dining experience that is uniquely Aruban.

Not only does the Gasparito Restaurant serve up some of the most renowned Aruban dishes, but it’s also set in a historic building decorated with authentic Aruban art (many of which are actually for sale!).

Indeed, a lot of love and care goes into both the food and service at this establishment, and the staff will be more than happy to talk to you about what it’s like living in Aruba!

The Old Cununu House

Built 150 years ago, the Old Cunucu House (the old countryside house) provides a local dining experience that is not only charming, but historic.

The hearty menu includes kesi yena (stuffed Gouda cheese with savory filling), stewed chicken and goat, and fresh local fish—all of which accompanied by pan bati, funchi, and rice with beans.

In addition to these island favourites, the Old Cunucu House also has an international menu featuring pasta, steak, lamb, and veal.

Hostaria Da Vittorio

Aruba's Top-Rated Italian Restaurants

If you’re a fan of Italian food, you’ll be pleased to know that Aruba has a wide selection of award-winning Italian restaurants serving up favourites like creamy Alfredo, brick-oven pizzas, and so much more!

Below are our top picks for Aruba’s best Italian restaurants:

Hostario Da Vittorio

Having already played a part in establishing the most prestigious Italian restaurant on the island, Valentino’s & La Trattoria El Faro Blanco, Master Chef Vittorio Muscariello decided to take the next step and open his own eatery: the Hostaria Da Vittorio.

Since 2000, Chef Vittorio and his experienced crew have been serving Italian favourites like Risotto alla Pescatore, Linguine dello Scoglio, Branzino al Sale, Sogliola alla Mugnaia, Ossobucco di Vitello and Nodino di Vitello alla Parmigian—and if you’re feeling adventurous, there’s also the “chef’s recommended” menu featuring delicacies and seasonal dishes.

And with the only authentic Forno al Legna (firewood oven) in Aruba, the Hostaria Da Vittorio also serves up some of the best pizza and specialty dishes on the entire island!

Located in the High Rise Hotels area, this restaurant has the appearance of an old Aruban house; however, once inside, you will feel like you’re in Italy!

This restaurant also offers outdoor dining in either a glass enclosed porch overlooking the terrace or in an open-air setting where diners can take advantage of the gorgeous Aruban weather.

Gianni’s Ristorante Italiano

For more than 30 years, the Gianni’s Ristorante Italiano has served up some of the best Italian food on the island.

To truly understand what this Italian restaurant is all about, all we have to do is look at their signature dish: Italian Spaghetti al Formaggio Parmigiano.

What’s so special about this dish?

First, the staff shaves off some parmesan cheese from a giant wheel brought out by the staff, then, some whiskey is poured on it and the whole thing is set ablaze!  When the flames die down, they pour in cooked spaghetti and roll it around in the melted cheese—hungry yet?

Other specialties range from salads, soups, and antipasti to entrées of seafood, ossobuco, steaks, scampi and chicken, delicious creamy desserts and after-dinner aperitifs.

Located on the famous Palm Beach strip, diners have the option of eating outside under white canopies or inside where the décor is simply to die for!

El Faro Blanco

Those looking to dine in an exotic location should look no further than El Faro Blanco: sitting atop the Hudishibana hill right next to the famous California lighthouse, the El Faro Blanco Italian restaurant is actually located inside of what used to be the dwellings of the lighthouse keeper.

Indeed, because of this restaurant’s close proximity to the ocean, diners can experience breathtaking sunset views while eating and drinking to their heart’s content!

Open daily from 9am to 11pm, diners can enjoy great Italian meals for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

The Chophouse at manchebo

Aruba's Top-Rated Steakhouse Restaurants

Nothing says holiday like a great steak dinner!

What’s more, Aruba’s wide selection of steakhouses ranging from family-owned establishments that utilise traditional cooking techniques like stone grilling, to contemporary restaurants serving up some of the most inventive and exciting meals in the world!

Our top picks for Aruba’s best steakhouses can be found below:

Le Petit Cafe

As one of the few 100% Aruban family-owned businesses on the island, Le Petit Café takes great pride in preserving the ancient tradition of stone grilling.

For two generations, Le Petit Café has been using this cooking method to great effect, serving up fresh lobster tail, fish, and different cuts of steak grilled to your desired temperature. In addition, Le Petit Café also encourages guests to bring their very own food or freshly caught fish!

Le Petit Café also caters to special occasions and is able to provide a variety of desserts perfect for any celebration.

Finally, Let Petit Café also does breakfast right! For just $9.95, diners can enjoy a full breakfast with bottomless coffee or tea.

The Chophouse at Machebo

Located in the low rise area of Eagle Beach in the Machebo Beach Resort & Spa, the Chophouse at Machebo offers one of the best dining in Aruba experiences that you don’t want to miss!

This sleek and modern restaurant offers diners a sophisticated and contemporary experience that simply cannot be found anywhere else, making it one of the most highly rated and best Aruba restaurants.

Starting with the décor, the interior features warm wood paneling and clean simple lines, creating a stylish backdrop for the resort’s famous pianist, Eddie, who has entertained hotel guests for more than 25 years.

And in terms of steaks, the Chophouse at Machebo has it all: from filet mignons, to sirloins, to the 14oz Tomahawk, this steakhouse is sure to impress even the hardest to please meat eaters!


Madame Janette Restaurant

Founded in 1999, the Madame Janette restaurant has won multiple awards, including two Gold Medals, several “Restaurant of the Year” awards, and an award for Best Restaurant in the Caribbean by the Caribbean Travel and Leisure Magazine.

So what’s all the fuss about?

Simply put, the mouthwatering gourmet dishes are prepared with only the freshest international ingredients that Karsten, the European Master Chef running the show, puts to creative and delicious use.

Specials at this award-winning restaurant include lobster ravioli, Black Angus beef carpaccio, duck breast, Chilean sea bass, and “The Old Butcher Steak”—the best tenderloin cut you’ll ever taste!

Invented by Chef’s Kasi’s grandpa Jupp, a European Master Butcher, the Old Butcher Steak is cut and grilled to absolute perfection. And with a crown of roasted almost mashed potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, and oxtail glace, you’ll be in a meat eater’s paradise!

Champions Sports Bar & Restaurant

Aruba's Top-Rated North American Restaurants

When on holiday, sometimes all you want is a little taste of home.

Luckily for our North American travellers, Aruba features some great all-American food: from fun sports bars to North American breakfast buffets, we have just what you need to cure your homesickness!

Below are our top picks for best North American restaurants in Aruba:

Champions Sports Bar & Restaurant

Nothing says “America” more than a good old-fashioned sports bar, and the Champions Sports Bar & Restaurant at Marriott’s Aruba Ocean Club delivers on all fronts.

On the menu, you’ll find many hometown favorites, including hamburgers, onion rings, pulled pork, waffle fries covered with bacon, and so much more!

And while you’re bidding your homesickness adieu, you can watch all your favourite sporting events from multiple flat screen TVs strategically placed throughout.

Best of all, Champions Sports Bar & Restaurant also has two daily happy hours: 1 from 3-4pm, and another from 8-10pm, so you and your friends can enjoy a refreshing drink while catching the big game!

Laguna

If a full American breakfast is what you’re after, then you’re going to want to check out the Laguna Restaurant at the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort in Palm Beach.

Open daily from 7am-11am, the Laguna Restaurant breakfast buffet serves up American favourites like made-to-order omelets, fluffy pancakes, and fresh fruit juices—there’s even an interactive waffle station!

What’s more, included with the breakfast buffet are unlimited champagne and mimosas, so starting your day off right won’t be a problem at Laguna!

Hard Rock Cafe

The Hard Rock Café Aruba  is a must dine location for anyone looking for both a great American meal and a good time.

With a seating capacity of over 360, indoor and outdoor dining, live music, and a great souvenir shop, the Hard Rock Café Aruba is more than just a restaurant, it’s an all-American experience!

In addition to all the fun and delicious food you’ll find at the Hard Rock Café Aruba, the restaurant is also located right in the heart of the Palm Beach strip, so when you’re finished with your meal, you can walk out into the street and enjoy the very best of the Aruban nightlife.

Taste of Belgium

Top-Rated European & Dutch Restaurants in Aruba

The island of Aruba is rich with Dutch and European history; in fact, over the past centuries, many European conquerors at one point or another considered Aruba their territory and home.

As a result of this connection, Aruba is chock-full of Dutch and European restaurants serving up favorites like Dutch-style pancakes, Belgian beer, and specialty wines imported exclusively for the island.

Below are our top picks for the best European & Dutch Restaurants in Aruba:

Dutch Pancake House

Nothing says Dutch like a Dutch pancake: thinner than an American pancake but bigger in size, this versatile pastry can be served in sweet and savory styles for breakfast, lunch, and even dinner.

And if Dutch Pancakes sound intriguing, then you’re going to want to stop by the Dutch Pancake House.

Serving both Dutch pancakes and Poffertjes (half-dollar sized pancakes), the Dutch Pancake house does pancakes better than anyone else!

If you have a sweet tooth, try the Dutch-style sweet pancakes that come in apple, ginger, banana, pineapple, and ice cream with chocolate.

Or if you’re more of a fan of savory pastries, this restaurant also serves Dutch-style pancakes featuring combinations of bacon, salami, ham, cheese, mushrooms, and onions.

Taste of Belgium

For an authentic Belgian experience, look no further than a Taste of Belgium.

Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Taste of Belgium offers diners an authentic French/Belgian-inspired menu featuring slow-simmered beef tenderloin in Belgian beer, sizzling Angus rib-eye steak served with peppers and onions, and even center-cut tenderloin medallions served with Belgian frites.

In addition to these classics, diners can also experience the largest collection of Belgian beers on the island, and there’s even a weekly beer tasting event to boot!

Chalet Suisse

For a fine dining experience and impeccable service, Chalet Suisse is the place to be.

Since 1988, Chalet Suisse has been a culinary hot spot and a must dine location for both travelers and locals who enjoy carefully crafted dishes and high-quality ingredients.

The extensive menu includes freshly prepared salads, succulent seafood, imported meats from New York, and desserts made on-site!

Topping it all off is the fully stocked wine cellar featuring a great selection from all over the world. One of Chalet Suisse’s specialties is the “Hafner” wine, which is exclusively imported from Austria for Chalet Suisse’s guests to enjoy.

Sushi-Ya

Top-Rated Asian, Indian & Thai Restaurants in Aruba

Believe it or not, but Aruba is home to some of the best Asian and Indian cuisine in the Caribbean!

From Japanese sushi, to Chinese food, to Asian fusion, the One happy island has a wide selection of restaurants to choose from.

For our top picks, please check out the list of Aruba’s best Asian, Indian and Thai Restaurants below:

Dragonfly

New to the Arawak Garden, the Dragonfly restaurant boasts an authentic Asian menu that is both elegant and bold.

Main courses at the Dragon Fly include orange chicken, balmon ban bu, chicken teriyaki, and Mongolia beef. From the wok, there’s also pad thai, Cantonese fried rice, red curry beef, and green curry vegetables.

If that doesn’t get your mouth watering, the Dragon Fly restaurant also features a sushi lounge where guests can enjoy timeless favourites like California rolls, Dragon rolls, and a variety of sashimi offerings!

And because the Dragon Fly restaurant is located in the Arawak Garden, guests can enjoy live music and free parking as well!

Sushi-Ya

Found in the Renaissance Marketplace, Sushi-Ya offers diners both a contemporary and traditional Japanese experience, not to mention the largest selection of sake in Aruba!

Popular choices at this establishment are the wakame salad, marinated octopus, sake nachos, dumplings, and tempura. The sushi spans several traditional favorites like the California roll to the most inventive and exotic creations, which can also be served in sushi boats or as part of a special menu.

In terms of seating, diners have the option of dining in a spacious marina-view terrace or in an indoor air-conditioned area.

Tandoor Indian Grill House

The Tandoor Indian Grill House takes quality to the next level: indeed, everything on the menu is fresh-to-order and made with a Tandoor clay oven, which is unique to India only.

Additionally, not a single item on the menu uses any animal fat, MSG, or preservatives and all of the meats are lean and fresh—so you know you’ll be enjoying a very unique, tasty, and healthy meal.

Please note that because of the Tandoor Indian Grill House’s dedication to quality and service, each meal will take approximately half an hour to prepare, but don’t worry, it’s completely worth it!

Tandoor takes great pride in its food and menu that has been inspired by ancient cooking traditions and cuisine, culminating in an authentic Indian Grill House experience unlike anything else on the island.

Iguana Cantina

Top-Rated South & Central American Restaurants in Aruba

Aruba’s close proximity to Latin America has had a remarkable effect on our local culture, especially our cuisine!

Indeed, Latin American restaurants have created quite a buzz in Aruba, and for good reason: the grilled meats, soups, and stews are heartwarming, satisfying, and most importantly, delicious!

Below are our top picks for some of the best Latin American restaurants in Aruba:

Don Jacinto

Located in Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba, Don Jacinto takes great pride in serving delicious Colombian food that is sure to warm your heart!

The menu at Don Jacinto is as diverse as the Colombian landscape, climate, and culture, serving up famous dishes like “paisa”, “tripe”, and many others. And no matter what you order from the extensive menu, diners can rest assured that only the best ingredients have been chosen for their authentic Colombian meal.

Iguana Cantina

Inside one of Aruba’s most popular shopping malls, Paseo Herenica, is the Iguana Cantina, an open-air Mexican restaurant serving up delicious tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, fajitas, and margaritas!

Standout items from the menu include the must-try two-in-one soup, which features a unique combination of black bean and Mexican tortilla soups served side-by-side. Additionally, you’re going to want to try Iguana Cantina’s famous burritos, which are also the largest in Aruba.

Other specialties include carne asada, whole red snapper Veracruzana, roasted pork carnitas, and fresh Caribbean tequila shrimp.

Iguana Joe’s Caribbean Bar & Grill

For 13 years, the award-winning Iguana Joe’s Caribbean Bar and Grill has been serving up authentic Caribbean cuisine and delicious drinks—some of which contain up to four shots of liquor!

Favourites include Jamaican jerk chicken, fresh Caribbean fish, Cuban black bean soup, Trinidadian chicken curry, and Mexican quesadillas.

Located in the Royal Plaza mall and overlooking the harbour, Iguana Joe’s Caribbean Bar & Grill is a must dine location, especially since all but one of the items on the menu (Surf’n Turf) can be had for under $20.

Other notable items on the menu include coconut battered shrimp, keshi yena, Caribbean jerk chicken, and Argentine filet mignon.

Malmok Beach

Book Your Trip Today!

Aruba may be most widely known for its spectacular beaches and coves, but as you now know, our restaurant scene is nothing to scoff at!

Now that you’ve got all the details about all of the tasty and incredible food available throughout the One happy island, it’s time to start solidifying your itinerary: first step - book your trip today!

But don’t forget to stop by our Deals & Offers page before you sign the dotted line, because you’ll certainly want to ensure that you get the best price on your next trip to Aruba.


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