A Taste of Aruba, From Latin to European
Melting Pot of Flavors
While the influence of Latin and European cuisines can be found throughout Aruba, you’ll also discover the island has developed some of its own unique Caribbean tastes, thanks to an abundance of fresh seafood and vegetables.
A few of Aruba’s most popular dishes include Fish Creole, Carni Stoba, Pastechi, the national snack — a deep-fried pastry with fillings such as chicken, beef, tuna, or cheese. Soups (Sopi), especially those made from fish, are also very popular.
Can’t-Miss Local Spots
The culinary heart of Aruba is its off-the-beaten-path local eateries, but, with 200 restaurants to enjoy, you’ll also find international fine dining that will satisfy a world-class foodie. Aruba is especially known for “boat-to-table” fresh fish. One of Aruba’s most popular spots is Zeerovers, a favorite with both locals and tourists. The fisherman pull right up to the restaurant.
For a meal with a Portuguese influence, Gostoso is a good choice, while Papiamento offers excellent food and a standout atmosphere in a 175-year-old authentic Aruban manor house that stores 1,800 bottles of wine in the cellar.
Gianni’s Ristorante has authentic Italian. Marina Pirata is tucked away on the shore in Savaneta, but it’s worth a ride for the fresh seafood with a side of spectacular sunset. For a fine dining experience, you can’t go wrong with anything at Carte Blanche or French Steakhouse, just be sure to get your reservations in advance.
Aruba Ariba, a fruity concoction made with local Coecoei liquor, is a popular cocktail served at most bars on the island. Ponche Crema — especially popular in the holiday season since it resembles eggnog — is also a go-to local drink. You might find it served at Christmas next to the Ayaca, a holiday treat which is made with a variety of meat and spices, cornmeal, raisins, vegetables, and cashews.
For those who prefer to cool off with something more familiar, the golden Balashi Beer is produced right on Aruba, as is Sea Grape Wine, a sweet white offering.
A Guide for It All