Aruba, the south Caribbean’s popular island paradise, is home to a plethora of restaurant options. And I did the “hard work” to create a guide to Aruba’s 5 must-do dining experiences:
In This Aruba Article You Will Discover:
- Where to après dinner party
- The island’s best sunset dining
- The newest gourmet restaurant
Ah, Aruba. Home to white-sand beaches, tourqoise water, bronze skin and blaze-orange sunsets. If that’s not enough, it’s also home to a colourful dining scene. Read on for five top restaurant picks:
One of Aruba’s newest high-end restaurants, White Modern Cuisine is nondescriptly housed in a mall in the Palm Beach area. However, the restaurant is anything but nondescript — from the uber-modern décor, to the artisan-crafted drinks (try the Aruba Arriba) to the locally-sourced foods crafted and presented more as works of art than a simple meal. When I visited, a tasting menu was prepared using primarily locally foraged flora — including a salad with more than 51 different ingredients.
No matter what’s on the menu during your trip, you’re sure to agree it is one of the Caribbean’s finest dining experiences.
Tucked away in the quiet town of Noord, Papiamento occupies a 126-year-old heritage home — fully restored and transformed into an intimate fine-dining restaurant. Highlights include the plentiful century-old antiques speckled around the property and the 1,800-bottle wine vault, with offerings from around the world and ranging from $22 to more than $200 per bottle. Food is crafted using local spices and herbs, and the extensive menu caters to diners of all tastes. Make sure to order an appetizer of Keshi Yena, a traditional Aruban dish.
While not a specific restaurant, Carubbian Festival — a celebration of local culture with dancing, music and loads of food — is a must-do during your visit to Aruba. Held every Thursday night in San Nicolas, come hungry and dine on hot-and-tasty street food (I enjoyed grouper with “peace” sauce), sip a cold beer and dance alongside colourful costumed locals during the night’s-end parade. Visit during February and you’ll see the festivities in full swing with the month-long annual Carnival.
If this restaurant isn’t home to the nicest sunset view on Aruba, I don’t know where is. Located on a pier at Surfside Marina and with unobstructed views of the western horizon, make sure to reserve early to get a seat at this popular eatery. Fresh-caught seafood is always on the menu, as is top-quality beef and unique desserts; pair with a tropical drink or selection from their extensive wine list. It doesn’t get more “seaside” than this — a perfect Caribbean meal.
Located surfside on popular Palm Beach, Moomba Beach Bar & Restaurant consists of a sprawling open-air palm palapa with panoramic ocean views and refreshing trade winds to keep you cool. Aside from the fresh seafood (love the grouper sandwich!) and cold Balashi, there are two more reasons to stop by Moomba: beach tennis during the day, as this eatery is located next to for-rent courts; and dancing by night, especially on Sunday nights when seemingly half the population of Aruba descends on Moomba to party until the wee hours.