Guide to Aruba

With ruggedly beautiful landscapes and beaches, nearly perfect weather year-round, and a unique cuisine like no other, Aruba is the ultimate girlfriend getaway!

There are countless treasures located all over Aruba, so renting a car is one of the best ways to explore the island while you work up an appetite.

Watch the ultimate foodie getaway guide to Aruba below!

Linda's Dutch Pancakes and Pizzas

Breakfast at Linda’s Dutch Pancakes and Pizzas

Aruba is a Dutch island, but it’s also a unique melting pot of cultures. Most locals speak Dutch, Papiamento, English and Spanish.

Linda’s Dutch Pancakes and Pizzas is a family restaurant that has been serving authentic Dutch Pancakes for over 13 years. If you have the chance, you need to try the sweet concoction of Brie, Walnuts and Honey, and Strawberries and whipped cream, or you can create your own masterpiece with a choice of 40+ toppings!

There’s no better place to enjoy savory Dutch favorites like Bacon and Gouda cheese or the succulent Apple and Bacon.

If for some (bizarre) reason you’re not in the mood for crepes, Linda’s also serves pizza, soups, sandwiches, tenderloin, and stays open until 10 PM Mondays through Saturdays.

Lunch at Zeerovers

Have a Fresh Caught Lunch at Zeerovers

You’ll definitely not want to miss the lunch at Zeerovers, famous for their whopping platefuls of seafood. Meaning “pirate” in Dutch, Zeerovers serves up fresh seafood straight from the sea, and if you arrive early enough, you’ll find local fisherman bringing in the “catch of the day”.

The locals rave about the catch-of-the-day, shrimp and deep-fried reef fish served in a casual, low-key atmosphere.

Fresh Seafood at Zeerovers

Don’t skimp on the Papaya sauce!

While filling up on Zeerover’s perfectly fried barracuda, and the most delicious shrimp you’ve ever had, don’t forget to dip each bite in Papaya hot sauce. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and hot island heat.

Be warned, even the mild packs a pretty spicy punch.

It was so good, in fact, that we had a few bottles shipped home. Trust us, this stuff is good on just about everything.

Arikok National Park

Work Up an Appetite at Arikok National Park

The Arikok National Park is home to a diverse wildlife and dramatic landscapes. Established in the 1980s,  you’ll find rock outcroppings, gold mines, caves, ponds and remains of old farms and plantations throughout the park.

Keep your ears and eyes out for orioles, burrowing owls, brown-throated parakeets, bats and wild goats. Climb through the picturesque Guadirikiri Cave, and catch glimpses of local reptiles like the cascabel (rattlesnake) and the santanero (cat-eyed snake).

After you’re all dusty, you’ll want to clean off by taking a dip in the Natural Pool!

Sunset Cocktails

The West Deck for Sunset Cocktails

This casual Caribbean restaurant has a large wooden deck set right on the beach. Chill vibes are served alongside traditional food and delicious cocktails.

At The West Deck, sip on a mojito-in-a-coconut, and try some other Arubian specialties like fried funchi with Dutch cheese and Trocadero garlic shrimp. Our favorite bites were the Fire & Spice crackling calamari and, surprisingly, their New York cheesecake.

Aruba even does dessert well!

It’s a perfect place to kick up your sandals, sip on a refreshing cocktail, and watch as the landing planes touch down on Aruba.

Screaming Eagle

Dinner IN BED at the Screaming Eagle

Screaming Eagle blends gourmet dining with–wait for it–dinner in bed. We cuddled up in a super chic bed surrounded in white linen and were served a three course dinner by the chef himself.

It is a perfect restaurant to wine and dine with close friends or a date, where menu items include mouth-watering Peruvian ceviche, creme brûlée and Hungarian duck liver, escargots de Bourgogne, lobster bisque, and a fresh catch of the day.

While we highly recommend the full chef’s tasting menu, we especially loved the ahi tuna “tartare,” steamed Arubian rock lobster and grilled fresh yellowfin tuna!

Even their seemingly simple dishes, like grilled sole or crepes suzette, enjoy a creative flair. The wine cellar is also stocked with an impressive selection of over 100 wines and 120 cocktails.

Whether you reserve a bed or not, come for the food!

Atardi at the Aruba Marriott

Dine on the Beach at Atardi at the Aruba Marriott

For a different restaurant experience, head over to Atardi (formerly called Simply Fish), one of the island’s best-kept secrets. Located on the beachfront of the Aruba Marriott, it’s the perfect setting for a romantic sunset dinner.

Enjoy seafood dishes at their finest, sitting under a thatched umbrella with your toes wriggling in the sand. Savor every bite of rock-lobster tail and roasted sea bass, in the exquisite company of swaying palm trees and bright stars above.

Keshi Yena

Make Your Own Keshi Yena

One of the most traditional foods you can try in Aruba is Keshi Yena. Back at the Aruba Marriott Resort, we got the chance to get our hands dirty in the kitchen learning to make traditional Keshi Yena from scratch.

When you think of island destination specialties around the world, you might think of tropical flavor and cool relief from the tropical heat. But that’s not the case with Keshi Yena!

Served fresh out of the oven, this cheesy, melty, wholesome dish is a savory spin on island comfort food. Keshi Yena is a reflection of Aruba’s melting pot of culture. Starting with traditional Dutch gouda cheese, you then add just about every ingredient in the kitchen- from olives to raisins to capers to ketchup!

The whole thing gets melted together and, despite sounding like a really strange mix of ingredients, it is SO yummy!

READ NEXT: Aruba-Inspired Travel Nails

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Kiersten Rich
Kiersten Rich is the bikini-obsessed author of award-winning solo female travel and lifestyle blog, The Blonde Abroad, featuring travel tips, fashion, food, festivals and photography from around the world.