Aruba: Suggestions for Restaurants etc.

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Aruba: Suggestions for Restaurants etc.

#1 Post by Steve Manzi »

We have been to Aruba a few times, and are headed there in July. We stay at the Radisson and love the laid back feeling there. Only vacation I can say that I completely relax and shut down.

We did the rent a car and drive around the island thing. Not much there for us, so that is out. Basically, any thoughts on places to eat, have a drink, etc. We've been to quite a few places, but figured maybe there are some that we should check out, or maybe we hit a place on a bad night and should give it another shot.

Thanks!
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Re: Aruba: Suggestions for Restaurants etc.

#2 Post by Mark F r a n k s »

When in July are you going? I'm going down the 28th.
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Re: Aruba: Suggestions for Restaurants etc.

#3 Post by Steve Manzi »

Mark F r a n k s wrote:When in July are you going? I'm going down the 28th.
Wow! Amazing huh?

21st - 29th

Where are you staying?
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Re: Aruba: Suggestions for Restaurants etc.

#4 Post by Mark F r a n k s »

Tamarijn
"Valar Morghulis"

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#5 Post by Steve Manzi »

Only one night overlapping, but we should get together on Tues night.

Just looked and I think you are pretty far away from us. Might not be that easy. [shrug.gif]
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Re: Aruba: Suggestions for Restaurants etc.

#6 Post by Mark F r a n k s »

Since you have a car, maybe you'd like to take a spin down our way Tuesday night. If you come down on J.E. Irausquin Rlvd, you'll run into the Divi resorts.

Just be forewarned though, we're traveling with a large posse - 2 other familes with kids, my in-laws and my mother too. We're a gang of 13, not that they would all go out with us. Maybe we can get together for a cocktail or two somewhere.
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Re: Aruba: Suggestions for Restaurants etc.

#7 Post by Steve Manzi »

Mark F r a n k s wrote:Since you have a car, maybe you'd like to take a spin down our way Tuesday night. If you come down on J.E. Irausquin Rlvd, you'll run into the Divi resorts.

Just be forewarned though, we're traveling with a large posse - 2 other familes with kids, my in-laws and my mother too. We're a gang of 13, not that they would all go out with us. Maybe we can get together for a cocktail or two somewhere.
Mark,

My mention of having a car, was the last time we were there we rented one for ONE day, and found no reason to ever rent again. [shrug.gif] Once I realized where you were located, I just figured that with you coming in on our last night, it would most likely not happen.

Enjoy your time there with the posse. Hopefully, we all have a great time. We'll get together when you get back and catch up on things and see how that Helium Elbow condition of yours is doing. [drinks.gif]
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Re: Aruba: Suggestions for Restaurants etc.

#8 Post by Mark F r a n k s »

Steve, my mistake. I misread what you wrote. I'll see if I can get my buddies to grab a bus and come up to visit at your place, if not, we'll get together when we all get back.

Have a great time!
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Re: Aruba: Suggestions for Restaurants etc.

#9 Post by Jeff Bloom »

Was just there for Memorial Day week. A couple of recommendations and places to possibly avoid:

Marandi - near the airport. A must do for sunset, but also very good food.
Screaming Eagle - a tad pretentious and trying too hard to be trendy (come on, are the beds really necessary?), but good and interesting food.
Madame Janette - very good food, nice wine list, but not cheap. Currently seems to be viewed as the fine dining destination (but we enjoyed Marandi more).
Sawasdee - good Thai food (although run by two Dutch brothers).
Texas de Brazil - okay, it's a meat fest that leads to excess, but I enjoy it (similar to Fogo de Chao if you need a reference point). Sign up on their website and get a discount coupon, though they are also available some places on the island.
Linda's Pancackes and Pizzas - very good Dutch pancakes. People like the pizza, but I've never had it.
Salt and Pepper - decent place for lunch or dinner.

Disappointments:

Gasparito - upscale local food. been numerous times, but it's gone way down hill the past two times. Avoid.
Hostaria da Vittorio - uninteresting and overpriced Italian food.
Flying Fishbone - I'll admit we may be in the minority, because people really seem to like this place, but we were very unimpressed. While sunset can be nice and people like eating on the beach, it should be about the food. If you want sunset views, go to Marandi.

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Re: Aruba: Suggestions for Restaurants etc.

#10 Post by Steve Manzi »

Jeff Bloom wrote:Was just there for Memorial Day week. A couple of recommendations and places to possibly avoid:

Marandi - near the airport. A must do for sunset, but also very good food.
Screaming Eagle - a tad pretentious and trying too hard to be trendy (come on, are the beds really necessary?), but good and interesting food.
Madame Janette - very good food, nice wine list, but not cheap. Currently seems to be viewed as the fine dining destination (but we enjoyed Marandi more).
Sawasdee - good Thai food (although run by two Dutch brothers).
Texas de Brazil - okay, it's a meat fest that leads to excess, but I enjoy it (similar to Fogo de Chao if you need a reference point). Sign up on their website and get a discount coupon, though they are also available some places on the island.
Linda's Pancackes and Pizzas - very good Dutch pancakes. People like the pizza, but I've never had it.
Salt and Pepper - decent place for lunch or dinner.

Disappointments:

Gasparito - upscale local food. been numerous times, but it's gone way down hill the past two times. Avoid.
Hostaria da Vittorio - uninteresting and overpriced Italian food.
Flying Fishbone - I'll admit we may be in the minority, because people really seem to like this place, but we were very unimpressed. While sunset can be nice and people like eating on the beach, it should be about the food. If you want sunset views, go to Marandi.

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the recs, both good and bad.

Marandi - Have not been, but have heard it is worthy
Screaming Eagle - I keep hearing good things, but the pretentiousness just turns me off
Madame Janette - We were there last time for lunch only. We didnt realize that their lunch was so limited. Honestly, it turned me off on going for lunch, plus the decor was hard to take.
Sawasdee - Hard to go for Thai anywhere because I always compare it to Lotus of Siam in Vegas
Texas de Brazil - Was there last time. Used the coupon thing. We enjoyed it for what it is. We will probably go again.
Linda's Pancackes and Pizzas - LAST thing I need right now is pancakes!! :) Pizza too....but still might have to give that a shot.
Salt and Pepper - Haven't heard of this one....if it is near the Radisson, I will give it a shot.

Disappointments:

Gasparito - Went there once, and was not impressed. Will not go again.
Hostaria da Vittorio - It would seem to me that Italian food on an Island in the Caribbean would not be very good. AND, you would think they could do it a little cheaper compared to other foods. [dontknow.gif]
Flying Fishbone - All of these places on the beach kind of turn me off a bit, simply because I would think the mosquitos would be tough.....they LOVE me.

Any other lunch or cheaper dinner spots that you might think, or hear are worth checking out.....in the Raddison area?

Thank again for taking the time to jot down your thoughts.
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#11 Post by Jeff Bloom »

Sorry, I can't add much more of value. We've been staying in a timeshare and tend to eat lunches in the unit. Sawasdee and Salt and Pepper have been our lower priced options (go for the tapas at the latter). Another must to avoid is Tony Romas. We should have known better, but my wife pushed for it for convenience on the day we flew out. Never again.

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Re: Aruba: Suggestions for Restaurants etc.

#12 Post by Steve Manzi »

Jeff Bloom wrote:Sorry, I can't add much more of value. We've been staying in a timeshare and tend to eat lunches in the unit. Sawasdee and Salt and Pepper have been our lower priced options (go for the tapas at the latter). Another must to avoid is Tony Romas. We should have known better, but my wife pushed for it for convenience on the day we flew out. Never again.
Thanks Jeff.....We'll check out the two for lunch. And promise, we will stay away from TR:)
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#13 Post by Dave Butner »

I was in Aruba for a week for my honeymoon. We loved Flying Fishbone. Went for sunset, had a great meal and coffee and desert on the beach with our toes in the sand...could not ask for anything better.

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#14 Post by scott c »

Any updated Aruba recs? My wife and I might randomly go for a weekend in late April to relax.
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#15 Post by Jeff Bloom »

A couple of updates on my comments. Based on a visit in November, Marandi is still very good and still on my recommended list. Sawasdee has gone way downhill (changed menu, bland cooking on very mainstream offerings) and that is no longer worth your time.

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#16 Post by Jim Friedman »

Scott:

Where are you staying?
What type of restaurants are you seeking?
Will you have a car?
How many nights will you be there?

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#17 Post by Steve Manzi »

Funny. Since I am feeling like I might be able to fly that distance and enjoy a vacation, we have been talking about going in the next 3-4 months or so. We always stay at the Raddison, but understand the main building (the tower) is going to be under construction. So not sure what to do.

Have not been in 2 years, (since I started this thread) so I would be interested in hearing thoughts too.
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#18 Post by Chuck Turack »

El Goucho is one of the best steak places on the island.. http://www.facebook.com/#!/ElGaucho.Aruba . Go to the martini bar across the street before of after...cool place. It's in Oranjestad.

Marina Pirata was great too. It's hard to find, but its' right on the water and is the best view from any dinner table on the island if outside on the deck/pier.

Oh, and you have to hit up Hooters while in Aruba!

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#19 Post by scott c »

Jim Friedman wrote:Scott:

Where are you staying?
Probably Bucuti/Tara Suites.
What type of restaurants are you seeking?
Anything. But since it's just a short getaway, we're probably looking for the best the island has to offer, not places to go when you're there for a week and get sick of fancy dinners (like pizza places, bbq places, etc.).
Will you have a car?
No.
How many nights will you be there?
Two.
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#20 Post by Jim Friedman »

Great hotel choice.

We have stayed at Casa del Mar for 2 weeks every year for a very long time. I would suggest Madame Janette, Papillon, or Yemanja for best on the island. Wacky Wahoo is best seafood with Driftwood a close second. Matthews , Marandi and Barefoot serve very good food in beautiful settings.Chalet Suisse, Amadeus, El Gaucho and Que Pasa are also good.Linda's Pancakes and Pannekokhuis do great Dutch pancakes. Iguana Joe and Smoky Joe are good casual food. Feel free to PM or email me if you need more information. Here are good websites that should link you to every restaurant and menu. La Bodega is the only good wine store on the island. Most places do corkage for a fee.
http://www.restaurantsaruba.com/

http://dinearuba.com/default.aspx

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#21 Post by scott c »

So, now it looks like we're going to Anguilla. [oops.gif]
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#22 Post by JoeD »

Scott- me and Julie are going for a wedding in may. Staying at the cusienart. When you going?
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#23 Post by David Walker »

Old thread here - anyone been recently? Is BYO an option? Headed down shortly and never been. Any/all advice is appreciated!

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#24 Post by Bdklein »

Giannis for the spaghetti Parmesan.
Tierra del Sol. At the golf course by the lighthouse .
CAsa tua for the seafood pizza (and other pizza)
Don’t know anything about BYO.
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#25 Post by Jim Friedman »

David--Corkage is allowed at most places with various prices. What kind of restaurants do you like? what other advice?

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#26 Post by Bdklein »

Jim Friedman wrote: March 2nd, 2019, 3:13 am David--Corkage is allowed at most places with various prices. What kind of restaurants do you like? what other advice?
And where are you staying ?
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#27 Post by MOrsino »

David Walker wrote: March 1st, 2019, 6:16 pm Old thread here - anyone been recently? Is BYO an option? Headed down shortly and never been. Any/all advice is appreciated!
I was there in late January and we went to restaurant called "Fred". It was amazing food but the wine selection was just OK. Small venue where you sit at a U shaped counter that surrounds the kitchen/serving area. They only do one sitting per evening, set menu and I think it was like 6 courses (Price Fix). The "event" also includes breaks to sit out on the veranda in between courses. It was a very special experience and I believe difficult to get into...

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#28 Post by David Walker »

Thanks guys. Staying at the Ritz. Great news on the BYO - looks like I’ll be packing some wines.

As for food, all types honestly. Traveling w kids so anywhere super formal is probably out.

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#29 Post by Brad S c h i e r »

Heading there in a few weeks. Staying in Palm Beach area. We too are doing Fred's as the reivews on Trip Advisor made it tough to pass up.

Any other must go to places for food, etc? Good to hear on corkage.
What about attractions other than the usual beach, diving, snorkeling?

Thanks,
Brad

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#30 Post by Jim Friedman »

Wilhelmina, Maroc, Wacky Wahoo, Oak, Quinta del Carmen, Altamar, Redfish, Driftwood, and Screaming Eagle come to mind quickly. What are you looking for?

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#31 Post by jordan whitehead »

www.annaswish.org

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#32 Post by Brad S c h i e r »

Thanks both of you. I will check those out. I am looking for a mix of mid to high end and then some good casual places for meals. Corkage allowed is a plus as we will bring a few bottled with us.

What about tours or places to book for snorkeling. etc? We are lokoing to get away from the resort as much as we can knowing we will have at least one beach day.

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#33 Post by Bdklein »

Giannis for the spaghetti Parmesan.
Tierra del Sol. At the golf course by the lighthouse .
CAsa tua for the seafood pizza (and other pizza)
Don’t know anything about BYO.

Been to Aruba a few times but have never taken a tour . Have snorkleled but only on my own .

Enjoy .
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#34 Post by Jim Friedman »

Sole Mare also has spaghetti parmesan and good Italian
La Granja for local rotisserie chicken and other things.
Bentang Bali for Indonesian
New Wei Tai for Chinese
Twist of Flavors for very good casual.
Iguana Joe for great casual
I think corkage was $7 at Redfish when some other BB member went on my recommendation.

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#35 Post by David Walker »

Yep. Corkage was a whopping $7 at Red Fish. Super casual next to a car wash but food was excellent. We loved it.

Meal of the trip for us was Wilhelmina. If you go, ask to sit in the courtyard.

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#36 Post by David Walker »

BYO everywhere btw. Pricing varies but I don’t think we paid more than $25 except at our hotel restaurants.

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#37 Post by jordan whitehead »

Brad S c h i e r wrote: July 3rd, 2019, 7:09 am Thanks both of you. I will check those out. I am looking for a mix of mid to high end and then some good casual places for meals. Corkage allowed is a plus as we will bring a few bottled with us.

What about tours or places to book for snorkeling. etc? We are lokoing to get away from the resort as much as we can knowing we will have at least one beach day.
I did BYO at Asi Es Mi. Gave the owner a glass of champagne. No corkage fee

Loved it so much we went twice on the trip
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#38 Post by Steve Manzi »

Last time there, a few years ago, we enjoyed Taste of Belgium. Fun beer selection for Aruba. Good was good too.

https://www.tasteofbelgium.aw
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#39 Post by Diane Kessler »

We have been going for the past 20 years and bring wine with us for restaurants and Champagne on our balcony before heading out to dinner. This past May was the first time ever I ran into a byo snafu and that was at Yemanja. We've been there many times and always byo'd but they decided in January to stop allowing it. They wouldn't make an exception since we weren't aware of the new policy, so we left. Walked a couple of blocks to Que Pasa where we had a terrific meal with very sweet service. I'll never go back to Yemanja and there are plenty of other good restaurants that welcome is. Our favorites are
Quinta del Carmen
Madame Janette
El Gaucho
Wilhelmina
Que Pasa

We had a very good dinner at the Italian restaurant at the Ritz Carlton but $50 corkage is too high for the island. I was quoted $25 when I made the reservation and they honored it. If we go back, I won't byo and just have a cocktail.

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#40 Post by Diane Kessler »

Diane Kessler wrote: July 4th, 2019, 5:45 pm We have been going for the past 20 years and bring wine with us for restaurants and Champagne on our balcony before heading out to dinner. This past May was the first time ever I ran into a byo snafu and that was at Yemanja. We've been there many times and always byo'd but they decided in January to stop allowing it. They wouldn't make an exception since we weren't aware of the new policy, so we left. Walked a couple of blocks to Que Pasa where we had a terrific meal with very sweet service. I'll never go back to Yemanja and there are plenty of other good restaurants that welcome us. Our favorites are
Quinta del Carmen
Madame Janette
El Gaucho
Wilhelmina
Que Pasa

We had a very good dinner at the Italian restaurant at the Ritz Carlton but $50 corkage is too high for the island. I was quoted $25 when I made the reservation and they honored it. If we go back, I won't byo and just have a cocktail.

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Re: Aruba: Suggestions for Restaurants etc.

#41 Post by Greg Golec »

[media][/media]

Appreciate all the great info in this thread. I am headed to Aruba over New Years, and planning to check a case of wine. Has anyone done this? Any issue getting it through customs? TIA

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Re: Aruba: Suggestions for Restaurants etc.

#42 Post by Jim Friedman »

Yes. Aruba customs checks for incoming liquor and has been charging duty if you exceed the one liter per person rule.I think it's 2.25 liters of wine per person. I don't know how much the duty is.

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Re: Aruba: Suggestions for Restaurants etc.

#43 Post by Jim Friedman »

Aruba Customs xrays bags so packing them in luggage does not work.

We go every year for Christmas and New Year's. The fireworks are spectacular
https://www.forbes.com/sites/johngiuffo ... 96daf43f9d

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Re: Aruba: Suggestions for Restaurants etc.

#44 Post by Greg Golec »

Thanks Jim, appreciate the info. The fireworks look amazing!

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Re: Aruba: Suggestions for Restaurants etc.

#45 Post by M. Taylor »

Went last October and planning to goi back.
Stayed at the Ritz — great property, great beach and typically great Ritz service. At the very end of hotel row, so feels very open.
Restaurants:
Quinta del Carmen (mentioned above)
Yemanja Wood Fire grill — a real gem downtown.
At the Ritz — we tried Tehran Italian restaurant — OK, but the BLT Steak there is better.
Have a drink at sunset at Faro Blanco on the far north end. Skip the food. — it is not good.
M a r k

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Re: Aruba: Suggestions for Restaurants etc.

#46 Post by David Baum »

Cousins daughter got married there in May. My cousin hosted a dinner for about 100 the night before at Madame Janette. Food was very good and service to a group that large exceptional. was duly impressed

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Re: Aruba: Suggestions for Restaurants etc.

#47 Post by ykwon »

Jim Friedman wrote: October 21st, 2019, 6:02 am Aruba Customs xrays bags so packing them in luggage does not work.

We go every year for Christmas and New Year's. The fireworks are spectacular
https://www.forbes.com/sites/johngiuffo ... 96daf43f9d
Just curious about the 2.25L duty limit. Will be traveling with my wife and two kids. Is it possible to have six total bottles in one luggage and not get charged duty? Since it’ll be two adults traveling? Or do they require three bottles each to be packed separately?
y 0 n 9
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Re: Aruba: Suggestions for Restaurants etc.

#48 Post by Jim Friedman »

I don't think they care how it is packed if you both walk through together. Last month I don't think they were checking when we arrived.

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Re: Aruba: Suggestions for Restaurants etc.

#49 Post by Bdklein »

Bumping for any info . Flights and hotel booked for October (assuming we go). Staying in the high rise area-we are adventurous eaters and but not big meat eaters (wife doesn't eat beef, I eat it very infrequently).
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Re: Aruba: Suggestions for Restaurants etc.

#50 Post by Jim Friedman »

We have not been there since January 2020 but will be there in December this year. Wacky Wahoo and Oak are very good. I am not sure what else has reopened. Let me know if you have any specific questions.

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