Aruba’s Best Restaurants • Where to Eat in Aruba

by Sarah Peterson

If you are looking for the best restaurants in Aruba to sample local cuisine, dine under the stars, or indulge in fresh seafood, this guide is for you. 

Thanks to its Caribbean locale near South America and a long history of Dutch influence, Aruba boasts a diverse and delicious fusion of international fare and homegrown flavors.

Some of Aruba’s best restaurants are simple family bistros with tried and true recipes, while others play on the luxury vibes of the resort island with romantic candlelight, multi-course meals, and adult-only dining rooms.

Whether you prefer a casual beach bar to sip cocktails and try the catch of the day or fine dining and a full wine list, the Aruba restaurants below will give you plenty of spots to pick from.

Read More: Aruba Travel Guide • Plan Your Trip to Aruba

Aruban Food: Your Guide to Aruba’s Cuisine 

With the island’s diverse blend of heritage and culture, Aruban cuisine takes on an equally wide range of flavors. 

Some restaurants specialize in Dutch pancakes or serve hefty European cheese menus while Caribbean and South American influence is seen in the spicy flavors and sauces made with locally grown hot peppers.

Since it’s a Caribbean island, fresh seafood is easy to come by. Fine dining menus will have options like lobster and tuna, casual eateries might serve it fried as pisca hasa, and local restaurants have dishes like keri keri, flaky shark meat sauteed with peppers, onions, and celery.

Other local specialities include stobas and sopis, meaty stews and soups, keshi yena, baked cheese rind stuffed with spiced meat, pastechi, an Aruban-style empanada, funchi, a polenta-style cornmeal dish, and pan bati, a smashed bread that looks like a pancake.

For sweet tooths, be sure to try bolo borracho, a layered rum cake, cocado, a coconut candy, and quesillo, a type of flan.

14 Best Restaurants in Aruba

Here are the best places to eat in Aruba, as rated and reviewed by travelers and locals alike. 

Article Guide

#1. Papiamento Restaurant

Owned and operated by a local family, Papiamento Restaurant has been in business since 1983 and the current head chef is the son of the founders.

Located about a mile from Palm Beach, the restaurant has tables outdoors around a pool and inside an 1880s house stuffed with European antiques from the era.

The menu is heavy on Caribbean seafood but also offers steaks and Aruban favorites like keshi yena.

Neighborhood: Noord, about a mile from the Palm Beach resort district

Type: Seafood and Caribbean flavors

Best for: Romantic fine dining with local cuisine

#2. El Faro Blanco

Located by the California Lighthouse on the untouched northern end of the island, El Faro Blanco enjoys a quiet atmosphere and sweeping views of the sea from a hilltop.

The stone and iron details of the terrace dining room here look as though they belong on an Italian estate, which compliments the menu and more than 100 wine pairings perfectly.

Restaurant specialties include seafood risotto, a shrimp, mushroom, and bearnaise crepe, and fettuccine with a marinara-Alfredo sauce blend. There are also more casual options to create your own pizza or pasta.

Neighborhood: Noord, next to the California Lighthouse 

Type: Italian

Best for: Dinner under the stars

#3. Dutch Pancake House

Dutch Pancake House specializes in breakfast foods, with a host of sweet and savory varieties on the menu all day.

The family-friendly restaurant is right by the cruise terminal in downtown Oranjestad, so it is easy to pop in even on a day trip to the island.

The pancakes here come with toppings like banana and chocolate, tropical fruits and ice cream, and ham and brie cheese. For dinner, you can try schnitzels or pancakes topped with curry chicken or pork stroganoff.

Neighborhood: Downtown Oranjestad

Type: European and breakfast foods

Best for: Cruisers and families

#4. Madame Janette Restaurant

Sharing a name with a super-hot South American chili pepper, Madame Janette serves up an international steak and seafood menu with Caribbean flair.

The venue creates a casual yet upscale ambiance with open-air seating, elegant tables, strung lights, and live tunes.

Diners can select from seafood dishes with Asian, Italian, and Caribbean flavors, steaks with hollandaise, bearnaise, and pepper sauces, or Vienna-style schnitzel. 

Neighborhood: Noord, near Eagle Beach

Type: International steak and seafood

Best for: Live music lovers

#5. Elements Restaurant

Elements Restaurant at the Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort is an award-winning, fine-dining venue on the oceanfront.

The menu here highlights natural, organic, sustainable, and locally sourced ingredients with options for vegan and gluten-free guests as well. Dinner includes dishes like grilled chicken with mango sauce, mahi-mahi fillets with a ginger cream sauce, and Black Angus sirloin with green-peppercorn sauce. An extensive wine list and mixed drinks from the nearby SandBar are also available.

The adults-only restaurant can arrange romantic six-course meals in private palapas on the sand, too.

Neighborhood: West Oranjestad near Eagle Beach

Type: Health-conscious fine dining

Best for: Adults only

#6. Quinta del Carmen

Located on a small estate built more than 100 years ago, the Quinta del Carmen property served as the island’s first hospital and a private home before the restaurant moved in.

The dinner menu consists mostly of surf and turf mains like seafood paella, blackened swordfish, Caribbean lobster tail, bacon-wrapped chicken breast, and apple bourbon-glazed pork tenderloin. Topping it off is a massive wine list by the glass and bottle. Small-plate tapas and cocktails are served on the garden lawns.

Neighborhood: Noord near Eagle Beach

Type: International seafood and steak

Best for: Fine dining in a garden setting

#7. Bistro de Suikertuin

A Dutch phrase meaning “sugar garden,” Bistro de Suikertuin is a cozy little eatery in a historic home in downtown Oranjestad with patio tables under a shady tree. 

The restaurant serves a menu of Dutch and Aruban specialities, including local favorite keshi yena and lekkerbekje, a Dutch-style fish and chips. There is also a “royal high tea” here with finger sandwiches and sweets and a “royal high wine” with tapas. 

Neighborhood: Downtown Oranjestad 

Type: Dutch and Aruban cuisine

Best for: Local cuisine, brunch, and afternoon tea

#8. Zeerovers

Waterfront Zeerovers is on the less touristy southwest coast of Aruba near the town of San Nicolas and is a favorite for locals and vacationers alike.

The vibe here is laid back, with catches of the day brought to the attached docks and cooked up in front of guests. The menu is small and based on what’s fresh from the sea, served with sides in colorful baskets.

Neighborhood: Savaneta, 7 miles south of Oranjestad

Type: Casual seafood shack

Best for: Unpretentious fresh local seafood

#9. The Kitchen Table

The Kitchen Table at Eagle Beach is less of a restaurant and more of a culinary experience, with a limited group seating for a night of fine dining.

A changing prix fixe menu here consists of seven or eight courses of Peruvian and Caribbean fusion with wine pairings available. 

The venue is located at the Paradise Beach Villas just steps from the sands of Eagle Beach.

Neighborhood: Eagle Beach

Type: Fine dining

Best for: Foodies

#10. Taste My Aruba

Farm-to-table and sea-to-table is the theme of Taste My Aruba, a locally owned eatery with a rotating daily menu consisting of Aruba grown ingredients and the catch of the day.

Diners sit outdoors under strung lights enjoying dishes prepared by the chef-owner that include fresh seafood like lobster, grouper, and barracuda. 

The restaurant in downtown Oranjestad is less than a mile from the cruise port.

Neighborhood: Downtown Oranjestad

Type: Seafood

Best for: Fresh local cuisine

#11. Bugaloe Beach Bar

Bugaloe Beach Bar juts out into the ocean on a pier at Palm Beach, the perfect spot to stop in for lunch or a drink while hanging out on the sand. The vibe here is casual and festive, with daily happy hour entertainment and specials.

The bar and grill menu consists mainly of burgers, wraps, salads, and loaded platters, but you can also order some local specialities like Aruban empanadas, grouper ceviche, and bitterballen, a battered and fried Dutch meat snack.

Bugaloe is located between the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort and Hotel RIU Palace Aruba.

Neighborhood: Palm Beach 

Type: Bar and grill

Best for: Live music and happy hour

#12. Flying Fishbone

You might want to kick off your shoes at the Flying Fishbone, where uncovered tables are set up directly on the sand with the occasional wave lapping up to tickle your toes.

Located in the fishing village of Savaneta, about seven miles south of the busy resort zone, the restaurant has an elegant menu that blends European and Caribbean flavors. You might start with a French onion soup or caprese salad before moving on to lobster tail with risotto, scallops florentine, or the catch of the day.

Neighborhood: Savaneta 

Type: European and Caribbean cuisine

Best for: Outdoor dining

#13. Yemanja Woodfired Grill

Outdoor and patio dining are both available at the Caribbean-inspired Yemanja Woodfired Grill, located in a historic building in downtown Oranjestad.

The menu consists of international cuisine fused with island flavors and grilled to perfection. While seafood and steak are abundant, the restaurant also offers a grilled vegan menu with dishes like stuffed portobello, marinated cauliflower steak, and barbecued meatless pork and ribs. Nut, gluton, and dairy-free options are available, too.

Neighborhood: Downtown Oranjestad 

Type: Caribbean grill

Best for: Bold flavors for dietary restrictions

#14. Chalet Suisse

Chalet Suisse has all the trimmings of a cozy Swiss lodge up in the Alps. Wooden panels warm up the walls and ceilings, heavy curtains decorate windows, and antique-looking furnishings create a homey and welcoming vibe.

The menu offers steak and seafood staples common on the island, but adds European dishes like beef stroganoff, chicken cordon bleu, and wiener schnitzel. There is also a special kids menu here with pasta, chicken, and beef dishes for smaller eaters.

This is a place where you will want to save room for desert, especially the Viennese apple strudel and Swiss chocolate fondue served with fruit and cake.

Neighborhood: Eagle Beach

Type: Swiss and European

Best for: Families and groups

Sarah Peterson
Sarah Peterson

Sarah Peterson is the co-founder and head of marketing at FLIGHTFŪD. She's a travel health expert and after having visited 20+ countries as a digital nomad and flying every 4-6 weeks for business, she became passionate about empowering others to protect their bodies on the go.

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