This is “one happy island” for globetrotting gourmands. Aruba’s dining scene is, at once, approachable, exceptional, and pleasing to a variety of palates. There are more than 200 beach-y bistros, romantic restaurants, and classic cunucus serving superb fare that warrants more than one trip to Aruba.
The Daily Meal has carefully curated a list of 25 exceptional epicurean eateries that run the gastronomic gamut, from classic, casual Caribbean beach bars to seldom-seen-in-the-Caribbean dining rooms redefining island dining like the 16-seat The Kitchen Table by White at Eagle Beach in Oranjestad.
Sipping a sundowner and dining alfresco with toes firmly nestled under powder soft, white sugar sand is de rigueur in Aruba. From the mother-and-son who lovingly sear fresh fish and top it with spicy papaya sauce at The Old Man and the Sea in Savaneta in the south to expertly trained chefs who serve four-course dinners at the intimate, six-table Footprints Beach Grill in Palm Beach just north of the capital, we have selected the quintessential barefoot dining destinations that can’t be missed.
Dining under starry skies is not just an option in Aruba, it’s the preferred way to savor sensational suppers. Whether feasting on boat-to-table fresh catches at Zeerovers in Savaneta and snacking at kitschy Flintstones-themed Big Mama’s on crescent shaped Baby Beach or imbibing in cool, tropical cocktails under a giant palapa overlooking the Caribbean Sea at MooMba Beach Bar & Grill in Noord and tucking into cheap eats atop a pier populated with flickering candlelight at Pinchos Grill & Bar in Oranjestad, each restaurant is a brag-worthy beachfront spot worth a visit.
No trip to Aruba is complete without dining on authentic Aruban cuisine at a cunucu, a Spanish colonial farmhouse. Family-run Papiamento in Oranjestad and The Old Cunucu House in Palm Beach serve home-style signature Aruban favorites like cabrito (goat stew) and keeshi yena (Gouda cheese and chicken baked with onions, peppers, celery, green olives, raisins, and cashews). These dishes will have you coming back to Aruba for more.