As one of the most vibrant islands in the Caribbean, Aruba is more than meets the eye. With untouched beaches and a ton of adventures, there’s an endless amount of fun to be had. But did you know that Aruba is also a Foodie’s paradise?

Aruba – A Foodie’s Paradise

Its food has been influenced by a melting pot of cultures over the centuries, from the Netherlands and Spain, Amerindians, Eastern and Asian immigrants, and more. After a long day of exploration, you’ll want to indulge in a meal in one of the 250 restaurants on the island.  But where to start?  To help you prepare and plan for a trip there, here are ten dishes you must indulge in.

Table of Content

I.  Seafood

II.  Pan Bati

III.  Stews and Soups

IV.  Hot Papaya Sauce

V.  Ayaca

VI.  Authentic Aruban Desserts

VII. Keshi Yena

VIII. Aruba Ariba and a Local Beer

IX. Funchi and Banana Hash

X. Pastechi


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.

Aruba - A Foodie's Paradise

Pan Bati

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.

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, although you can still find soups and stews made with beef or lamb as we make it here in the states.  Still not convinced Aruba is a Foodie’s Paradise?  Well, read on!

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.



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 ton of ingredients used to create this unique, mouthwatering Venezuelan dish.

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).

Keshi Yena

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.

Aruba Ariba and a Local Beer

Although it isn’t food, the local beer is worth a shot. Balashi is the most popular beer on the island, but there are a ton of delicious choices.

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.


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 the best. No matter where you get it, you don’t want to miss out on this gouda filled pastry.

Hungry? 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.

Are you ready to plan your trip?  Then give me a call and let’s get started.  If you would like more information on the most popular restaurants and places to go, please don’t hesitate to ask.  Learn for yourself why Aruba is a Foodie’s Paradise!

More resources on Aruban food: