Five foodie spots not to miss in Aruba

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Unlike many of the Caribbean islands, Aruba is a pretty sure bet when it comes to weather. As the nation sits on the southern fringes of the hurricane belt, tropical storms rarely have much impact on its sunny shores. There really is no bad time to visit Aruba. Our local guide in the region, Frances, emigrated from the Netherlands and made Aruba her home many years ago. She’s joining us today to tell us about her five favourite local restaurants, in the hopes of helping you enjoy the island’s foodie culture.

My 5 local restaurants not necessarily in favourite order are:

1. “Marina Pirata”, a local fish restaurant where you eat local recipes, mostly outdoors with a terrific view over the lagoon. Open every day in the evening except on Tuesday. Romantic too!

2. "El Gaucho," an Argentine grill restaurant that is always packed in the evening. Lunch you can usually get in without a reservation. The local community loves this place and the menu has both local and Argentine favourites. Sweetbreads are especially my favourite there!

3. "Suikertuintje" right in the heart of Oranjestad. This restaurant caters for the likes of me and my island sister-in-law, Esther. The cultural heritage of the islands and Europe blend here, and it is a great place for a brunch.

4. "Pelican's Nest" right on the beach next to the Holiday Inn. This is a great lunch spot for hamburgers and/or seafood.

5. And of course we have our local street food as well! I love to have my visitors try a local "Batido" – a bit like a smoothie, but not quite. Freshly made, it is fabulous. Be sure to also try "Pastechi" a local snack that comes in many varieties, they are available everywhere in the morning, and quite often serve as breakfast on the go. They are close to the empanada of Latin America, but again with a local twist on the ABC islands.

There are lots of other places on Aruba. The islanders are real foodies, and we have adopted so many recipes from all over the world which reflect the blending of the many cultures on this great island.

Frances will return in a few weeks to tell us about her favourite “off the beaten track” spots in Aruba…so if you have a trip planned, stay tuned! If you have any questions for her in the meantime, you can find her here: Frances’ guide profile.
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