Updated: Oct 13, 2022
As one of the most vibrant islands in the Caribbean, Aruba is one of my favourites. With untouched beaches and a ton of adventures awaiting, there's an endless amount of fun to be had.
But in addition to the great beaches, one of the things that I hear consistently from clients who visit this island, is how much they enjoy getting off the resort and exploring the local cuisine in the local restaurants. If you are thinking about a visit to Aruba you must leave some time to enjoy a local meal and see for yourself what all the fuss is about.
To help you prepare and plan for your trip to the island, I thought I would share with you ten dishes you must sample.
Perhaps the most apparent food to try while on the island is the fish and seafood. In the Caribbean Sea, some of the most amazingly fresh seafood can be found. Take your pick between mahi-mahi, grouper, lionfish, prawn, or red snapper if you're looking for a simple dish to try. However, the options go on forever.
2. Pan Bati
This bread is usually on the side of every main dish served on the island, and with good reason. Pan Bati is a sweet flatbread that dissolves in your mouth. Although it is prepared with simple ingredients, it is far from being dull in flavor.
3. Stews and Soups
Many of the local eateries and restaurants serve traditional Aruban stews and soups. Usually, the stews are full of chicken, fish, or goat meat.
Dried fruit and cashews adorn this delectable dish of steamed beef wrapped in a banana leaf. That's not all you get, though. There are a variety of delicious ingredients used to create this unique, mouth-watering dish.
5. Keshi Yena
This authentic Aruban meal is a must-try! It includes a ball of cheese stuffed with meat or poultry that is spiced to perfection. Anywhere you go on the tropical island, you will find a unique and off-beat version of this dish.
6. Funchi and Banana Hash
This combo is certainly one that packs a lot of tasty flavors! Funchi is fried cornmeal mush, often served with gouda and a side of fried plantains.
7. Authentic Aruban Desserts
Pudding is a big deal in Aruba. You must order a helping of Pan Bollo (bread pudding with Ponche cream or rum, and ice cream) or Bolo di Banana (plantain pudding).
8. Hot Papaya Sauce
Often served on the side of meals, hot papaya sauce is the perfect addition to a meal if you can stand the sweet heat of papaya fruit mashed with hot peppers.
9. Aruba Ariba and a Local Beer
Of course with every good meal you need a good local beer. Balashi is the most popular beer on the island, but there are a many delicious choices.
As is the case with many destinations, the best food can be found at the street vendors. Pastechi is a portion of famous Aruban street food. You can find it offered by most street food vendors, and all of them claim to make it best. No matter where you get it, you don't want to miss out on this gouda filled pastry.
It doesn't matter what restaurants or cafes you choose to visit while in Aruba, but make sure you don't leave without indulging in some of the foods mentioned on this list! They are by far some of the greatest, tastiest options on the island. If you are ready to plan your vacation to Aruba, please don't hesitate to send over an email with your inquiries.