Aruba’s culinary wealth is based on an eclectic combination of cultures ranging from indigenous Arawak Indian and Spanish, to African, French, and Dutch. Over the years, Aruban cuisine has evolved into a scrumptious fusion of these cuisines, thrilling the taste buds of locals and tourists alike. The best way to experience the unique flavors of the island is by eating where the locals eat. Forget hotel dining and try rubbing elbows with native Arubans at these four delectable joints. Let’s eat like a local in Aruba!
If you ask any local for a meal recommendation, they’ll send you straight to Zeerovers. Seafood at this oceanfront restaurant is so fresh you can still smell the Caribbean waters! The catch of the day varies but quality certainly doesn’t. Kingfish, snapper, and barracuda often make the menu here, but it all depends on what the fishermen reel in that day. The shrimp, tasty plantains, cornbread, and seasoned fries are staples here, so try them all! This place gets packed with locals at night, but a long line is no reason to miss the amazing food; go for lunch or arrive a little before dinner time if you want to skip the wait for a great table.
If you’re looking for a mouthwatering feast, search no more. The Portuguese, Aruban, and international cuisine at Gostoso will leave you more than satisfied. Chef José has prepared a menu with everything from shrimp-stuffed avocado, to succulent lobster and grouper, to savory pork chops, melt-in-your-mouth filet mignon, and tender chicken. He may be the chef and owner, but he always makes time to come out and share his passion for food with visitors. The delicious food and friendly vibe make Gostoso an absolute must.
3. King’s BBQ
Tell that Texas barbecue to move over because King’s is ready to take the barbecue crown. Their rib dinners, chicken, and burgers ooze with irresistible Aruban flavor, and their authentic Aruban banana bread and plantains are too good not to try. Be sure to put this one on the calendar, though, because they are only open Friday through Sunday. Trust us; it’s worth waiting for all week!
4. Bingo! Cafe and Restaurant
Do coconut shrimp, pan-fried grouper with lobster sauce, or pan-seared Norwegian salmon with basil pesto sound good to you? If so, join the club! Bingo’s menu has people visiting two or three times a week. The delightful Dutch vibe makes it a local favorite, but it’s the amazing flavors, impeccable service, and fresh ingredients that have people coming back for more. Remember to stop by the Dutch-style bar for an impressive selection of fine wines and colorful cocktails. Don’t leave Aruba without giving Bingo! a try. You won’t regret it.