Aruba

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Though many struggle to find high-quality food in the Caribbean, Aruba restaurants are a delight; the only trouble is narrowing down your options. Since most ingredients are imported (beef is flown in from Argentina; vegetables from Venezuela and the US) tabs tend to run on the expensive side, but portions usually run large and meals are most always satisfying. Reservations are recommended at most restaurants, especially during the busy winter months. Most are located in Oranjestad and in or near the hotel zones along Palm and Eagle beaches, but a few off-the-path gems are scattered around the island.

Top Restaurants in Aruba

Amazônia Churrascaria

Carnivores, head here for prime selections of Argentine beef, chicken, and lamb served in a handsome venue with a wraparound porch; dinner only.

J.E. Irasquin Blvd. 374, 011-297-586-4444, www.amazonia-aruba.com
Tags: moderate | steakhouse

Cuba's Cookin'

Cheap eats and fun Latin beats are found here, along with sweet mojitos and traditional Cuban specialties; closed Sunday.

Wilhelminastraat 27, 011-297-588-0627, www.cubascookin.com
Tags: moderate | live entertainment | cuban

Driftwood

Authentic seafood joint in a rustic setting with a menu that changes nightly depending on what the owner catches that day; the lobster crepe (if available) is one dish not to miss.

Klipstraat 12, 011-297-583-2515, www.driftwoodaruba.com
Tags: family | moderate | seafood | editor pick | wine

Hadicurari

For fresh seafood and a laid-back vibe, head to Hadicurari, a friendly spot overlooking a local fisherman’s pier. Enjoy the catch of the day, delivered daily to the restaurant, or indulge in a hearty breakfast and mimosa at the beachfront spot. Sit on the top floor to watch wake boarders and fishermen in the morning or the blazing sunset at night.

J.E. Irausquin Blvd. 230, 011-297-586-2288, www.hadicurari.com
Tags: moderate | seafood | views | waterfront

Hostaria da' Vittorio

There’s no better place to go for Italian treats like baked artichokes, pizza, osso bucco, and gnocchi with tomatoes and mozzarella.

L.G. Smith Blvd. 380, 011-297-586-3838
Tags: moderate | italian | pizza

La Trattoria El Faro Blanco

This former lighthouse-keeper's home now does duty as a fine Italian restaurant and is an enchanting place to watch the sunset while enjoying carpaccio, calamari, and the like.

California Lighthouse Z/N, 011-297-586-0786, www.aruba-latrattoria.com
Tags: moderate | editor pick | italian

Le Dôme

Elegant restaurant that’s the best spot for Belgian/French cuisine, with delightfully rich entrées like scallops au gratin and pan-fried ostrich fillets among its first-rate offerings.

J.E. Irausquin Blvd. 224, 011-297-587-1517, www.ledome-aruba.com
Tags: expensive | wine | global fusion

Matilde

Redesigned bistro with topnotch French-Caribbean fusion and wine cellar with the island’s largest selection of vintages; delicious choices include truffled duck ravioli, soft-shell crab tempura, lobster cappuccino, and Chateaubriand Béarnaise.

Havenstraat 23, 011-297-583-9200, www.matildearuba.com
Tags: expensive | smart splurge | trendy | wine | french-caribbean

Nos Cunucu

This homey favorite, located in an old farmstead, serves straight-up down-home cooking; look for cheese pastechis (deep-fried polenta), Aruban fish soup, grilled fish, and beef curry on the menu; closed Sunday.

Tanki Leendert 145K, 011-297-582-7122
Tags: family | budget | caribbean

Papiamento

Award-winning Aruban cuisine in a converted 200-year-old farmhouse with candle-lit tables around an outdoor pool and indoor seating amidst antiques and family bric-a-brac.

Washington 61, 011-297-586-4544
Tags: romance | expensive | editor pick | smart splurge | caribbean

Simply Fish

Treat yourself to mouthwatering seafood while digging your toes in the sand at this favorite al fresco spot. Simply Fish features upscale dishes like bouillabaisse, macadamia-crusted grouper, and a baked sea bass drizzled in a creamy lobster sauce that will melt in your mouth. With its candlelit dining and sunset views, Simply Fish is an ideal spot for a romantic dinner or a celebratory last meal on the island. Although it’s connected to the Aruba Marriott resort, non-guests can also dine at Simply Fish. (Open for dinner only.)

L.G. Smith Blvd. 101, 011-297-520-6537, www.marriott.com/auaar
Tags: romance | seafood | expensive | waterfront

The Old Fisherman

For an authentic Aruban meal, head to this local favorite in downtown Oranjestad. The Old Fisherman serves delicious traditional fare like keri keri (Creole fish cakes) and funchi (fried polenta), and fun, fruity cocktails. Try the Aruba Ariba, a sweet, banana-flavored concoction that’s way more dangerous than it tastes. Stay late to strike up conversation with the lively locals.

Havenstraat 36, Suite 1B, 011-297-588-3648, oldfishermanaruba.com
Tags: moderate | local favorite | cajun

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