Dine on the freshest seafood with breathtaking ocean views for lunch. Relax after an exciting day in the sun at local upscale restaurants, and soak in the Papiamento culture as you receive the best service. It’s easy to have a thrilling time in Aruba, and these are the upscale, casual and unique places you’ll want to experience the most during your time on this “one happy island.”
The Pelican Nest at Pelican Pier is a great spot to enjoy the feeling of being right on the water. I would recommend this laid back, picture perfect venue for lunch or a drink. I had a “Vojito” and it was absolutely delicious You can just walk right in with your swimsuit, relax in the shade and watch the boats go by.
Each day the bar and grill catches fresh seafood and prepares it for you. I would highly recommend the Conch Fritters! You can even make reservations easily online for lunch or dinner. The venue is located between the Holiday Inn and the Playa Linda Resort, and also offers “Pelican Adventures” which includes tours and water sports.
Gianni’s Ristorante Italiano
Located across from the Hilton Aruba Resort, Gianni’s is known for its delightful cheese wheel. The chef cooks the spaghetti “al Formaggio Parmiagiano” in front of the table, lighting it on fire within the giant cheese bowl and serving it straight from there! This is an exciting restaurant with open aired seating. I highly recommend making reservations to not miss out on this experience.
Bugaloe Beach Bar and Grill
Another oceanfront venue to grab breakfast, lunch or dinner at is the Bugaloe Beach Bar and Grill, right on Palm Beach. This cozy place is located at De Palm Pier between the Hilton Resort and RIU Hotel. Indulge in one of their various Caribbean cocktails and get great prices on Balashi, a local beer. The grill is open from 7:30 am to 11 pm.
Hyatt Regency Bars and Restaurants
The Hyatt Regency Resort and Casino has a little bit of everything, including Piet’s Pier Bar, the Palms Restaurant and Ruinas del Mar. I’ve stayed there multiple times and had a great experience at the resort.
You don’t have to be a guest to enjoy these great places and walk the grounds, which are absolutely stunning.
The Alfresco Bar in the lobby is a great spot to stop by before dinner for a drink, and the Palms Beach Bar is right off the beach walkway.
They play sports and serve all the best mixed drinks and beer. Lose track of time while you sip on an Arubiscus (my personal favorite) or a refreshing Cucumber Flash.
Casa Tua Pizzeria
Casa Tua has two locations in Aruba, the Arawak Gardens and the Renaissance Marketplace. We have enjoyed eating multiple times at the one located off Palm Beach, which is the Arawak Garden location. Both locations offer the same great thin crust pizzas, lasagna, rigatoni, ossobuco di vitello, and much more. Feel the warm Aruba breeze and relax under the lights as you dine at this comfortable and romantic setting.
Big Mama’s Grill
Big Mama Grill is a fun beach shack bar and grill located at Baby Beach. This is a perfect stop to grab a burger and beer at, and has great, laid back vibes. The grill offers a mix of American and Caribbean dishes such as seafood, sandwiches, platters, snacks and more. Take a look at their menu on Trip Advisor here.
Faro Blanco Restaurant
The Faro Blanco Restaurant is known for its Italian cuisine and great views. The place is located right by Aruba’s famous landmark, the California Lighthouse (pictured above), which is also open for touring. Book a dinner here and watch the sunset over the sea and surrounding nature area.
Quinta del Carmen
Quinta del Carmen is an upscale restaurant with a welcoming ambiance and intriguing history behind its building. The menu is a mixture of French cuisine and delicious seafood. There’s a little bit of everything for everyone here such as; savory tenderloin, lamb, pork roast, duck breast, salmon, lobster tail, grouper and more. The building has been around since 1916 and has served as a hospital and private home at various times throughout the years before it became a restaurant.
More Upscale Restaurants
There are so many great places in Aruba, it’s hard to cover them all! Here are more restaurants my family and I have been to that are satisfying fine dining choices:
- Daniel’s Steak and Chop – Across from the Hilton Aruba Resort
- Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse – Located in the Aruba Marriott on Palm Beach
- Papiamento Restaurant – Located in Noord
- Madame Janette’s – Located at Cunucu Abou 37, close to Eagle Beach
- Red Sail Sports Luxury Catamaran Sunset Sail – Located at Palm Beach
- Soprano’s Piano Bar – Located at Palm Beach
- Gusto Dance Club – Located in Noord
- Hard Rock Cafe – Located at Palm Beach
- Blue Bar at the Renaissance Resort – Located in Oranjestad
- Moomba Beach Bar – Located in Noord
- Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus Pub Crawl – Located in Noord
Have you been to Aruba? Be sure to read about the Hyatt Regency Resort and Casino and my stay there:
*All photos are by Sarah and Scott Guiler