10 Dishes You HAVE to Try in Aruba
Aruba is a SUPER popular destination among my cruise guests, and for good reason.
As the most vibrant island in the Caribbean, Aruba is more than meets the eye. With untouched beaches and a ton of adventures awaiting, there's an endless amount of fun to be had. But what about the island's food? Well, that's just as good, maybe even better, especially after a long day of exploration.
So, to help you prepare and plan for your trip to the island, here are ten dishes you MUST indulge in…
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, although you can still find soups and stews made with beef or lamb as we make it here in the States.
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.
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
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.
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 sampling some of the foods mentioned on this list! They are by far some of the tastiest options on the island.
Thinking about a cruise to the Southern Caribbean? Check out a sample itinerary here.
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