Aruba’s Food Scene: Where to Eat

Fat kid alert. If you’re like me when on vacation, you’ll spend a vast majority of your day thinking about the scrumptious, culinary delights you will be feasting on later that evening. Aruba may be a small island, but it definitely does not disappoint in terms of dining; the options are prodigious.

You’ll find quite a large number of popular Americanized chains ranging from Pizza Hut, Dunkin’ Donuts, KFC, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Burger King on the island. Aruba’s tourism is made up of 60% Americans after all, so it makes sense that such familiar offerings are made available to them. I try to avoid such places while traveling however; I don’t want what I can so easily get back home.

Here’s a look into some of the amazing restaurants and meals I enjoyed while in Aruba…

LINDA’S DUTCH PANCAKES & PIZZAS

We dined at Linda’s Dutch Pancakes and Pizzas for breakfast on our first morning in Aruba. This is a family-run establishment in the heart of Palm Beach that serves delectable, authentic Dutch Pancakes that are sure to satisfy your appetite. The easiest way to describe a Dutch Pancake is by comparing it to a crêpe; they’re about 12 inches in diameter, and very thin.

Linda’s pancake menu is quite extensive. You can choose from a large variety of pancakes, or you can create your own by choosing from a wide range of toppings; both sweet and savory. The best part about the pancake menu is that some of their offerings are very outside-of-the-box, for example, the brie cheese, walnut and honey pancake and the pineapple, rum and grated coconut pancake – yum!

I decided to stick with savory for breakfast and went with the bacon and cheese pancake, and oh my goodness, it was delicious. I had a hard time finishing the entire serving though given it was bigger than my head!

Where to eat in Aruba

Where to eat in Aruba

PINCHOS GRILL & BAR

If you’ve got a romantic side to you and can appreciate a sensational sunset, then Pinchos Grill & Bar is definitely for you. This restaurant puts you completely over the water as it’s right on the end of a small pier. Pinchos offer a distinctive concept and atmosphere by providing dining in a very intimate and charming surrounding; you’re right over the water, under the stars, and accompanied by the glistening shadows of candle-light.

The menu is seafood-heavy, but also has some meat offerings to balance it out. All items are grilled, giving them that distinctive roast aroma and flavor that I absolutely love. We began our evening with tuna tataki, shrimp ceviche and conch fritters. I’d never had shrimp ceviche or conch before, but both were delicious, especially the conch, it had so much taste to it (yes mum, I ate sea snail and actually enjoyed it!).

For my entree, I went with the special of the day; grilled shrimp, swordfish and lobster tail with coconut rice and veggies. The shrimp was fantastic and the lobster tail was grilled to perfection. This was only my second time eating lobster tail, and I’m loving it more and more. I’m not usually a big dessert person, but when I heard that chocolate mud cake was up for grabs, I was all in – yummy!

Where to eat in Aruba

Where to eat in Aruba

Where to eat in Aruba

Where to eat in Aruba

Where to eat in Aruba

Where to eat in Aruba

Where to eat in Aruba

Sidenote, if owner Anabela is around, ask her to tell you the story of how they came about the restaurant and its location, it’s a great one!

ZEEROVER

This dockside dive bar is located in the heart of fishing village Savaneta and is synonymous amongst locals for its ice cold beer and catch of the day. This isn’t your typical tourist hot spot, in fact, a majority of visitors to Zeerover’s (meaning Pirate in Dutch) are locals.

Don’t expect to find a menu here – whatever comes in fresh off the boat that morning is what gets sold that day. Place your order at a small window before entering the restaurant; they’ll weigh it up for you to determine the price, then it’s off to the kitchen to be cooked to perfection. Although Zeerover’s adopts a complete ‘no frills’ approach (think paper plates, plastic baskets and plastic utensils, although this is more an eat-with-your-hands-type establishment), I’m told the authentic fare is some of the finest in town.

We ordered a couple of baskets of fried swordfish and jumbo shrimp complete with heads on! These were paired with fries, fried plantains, and pan bati which is a local favorite, think of it as a cross between corn bread and a pancake – I thought it was absolutely delish and gobbled mine down. Everything comes served bulk in baskets, so it’s every (wo)man for themselves!

The ambiance at Zeerover’s is quite unique and very laid back. If you’re lucky enough to grab the couple of tables out at the end of the pier like we did, you’ll feel as though you’re floating amongst the gorgeous, glistening, turquoise waters and you may even score a glimpse of a fishing boat coming in to deliver its latest catch. There is only one thing that can top this experience off; an ice cold local beer!

Where to eat in Aruba

Where to eat in Aruba

Where to eat in Aruba

Where to eat in Aruba

Where to eat in Aruba

Where to eat in Aruba

SIMPLY FISH

There was no better way to end our last night in Aruba other than to dine at Simply Fish. This up-scale dining experience provides a romantically charming and unique take on your regular hotel dinner offering. Why it’s unique? Simply Fish is located on the strip of beach right out front of the Marriott Aruba Resort. It is a pop-up restaurant that only appears in the evening as the sun begins to set over the Caribbean Sea. Why it’s so charming? With tables scattered across the sandy shoreline, you’re asked to leave your shoes at the ‘door’ and sink your feet deep into the soft sand as you wine and dine. We enjoyed dinner here as part of a catamaran sunset sail package that I’ll expand on in a later post.

Simply Fish offers mouth-watering dishes at their finest and like many restaurants in Aruba, has a seafood-heavy menu. Although feeling a little seafood-ed out, I could not help but go with the salt and pepper crisp calamari for my first course; it did not disappoint. For my entree I selected the Filet Minon along with my two side choices of garlic mashed potato and tostones. The mashed potato was sensational and my medium-rare filet melted in my mouth; so delicious and such a nice break from all the seafood I’d been eating.

Unfortunately by the time we sat down for dinner, it was already dark out and I didn’t have my DSLR and flash on hand so I failed to take any photos of my meal. I did however wander around the resort on my first evening there and was able to grab some photos of the gorgeous Simply Fish set up on the beach.

Where to eat in Aruba

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Tell me, when you travel, do you like to eat like a local?

Where to Eat in Aruba
Where to Eat in Aruba
Where to Eat in Aruba

*I dined at the above restaurants as a guest of the ‘Au Naturel Aruba’ press trip provided by Marriott Aruba Resort & Stellaris Casino, but all opinions are my own.

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