Aruba holds a special place in my heart. It has been my home away from home since I was 14 years old! I love that I can now bring my entire family here and we can all enjoy the many activities and cuisines that Aruba has to offer. I’m sharing 11 must-try family-friendly Aruba restaurants below. While the resorts are beautiful and have many dining options, I highly encourage you to leave the hotel and check out some of my favorite restaurants on the island.
Pro Tip: You can make reservations online at most of these family-friendly Aruba restaurants!
Linda’s Dutch Pancakes – This is the place to go for breakfast, but go early when they open (8 am). If you haven’t had them before, Dutch pancakes are amazing – like crepes with toppings. The savory options (e.g. ham, mushroom, and brie) are surprisingly just as delicious as the sweet (chocolate, apples, cinnamon, and so many more)! Sit on the porch if you can, or take advantage of the air conditioning inside if it’s too hot.
The Dutch Pancake house – This is another good option for breakfast and right near the Renaissance Hotel. It’s not as quaint as Linda’s, but still very yummy! The Dutch pancakes are large and my kids love the mini pancakes.
Lunch & Dinner
Madame Janette (Eagle Beach, Dinner) – The food here is amazing and I love the outdoor atmosphere and live music. A must-order item is the almond crusted grouper (sauce on the side); I get it every single time! My husband went with the Adobo shrimp dish and loved it and a great appetizer option is the Bang Bang shrimp. This is an Aruba classic and all of the dishes and sides are amazing. Get the fried oreos for dessert (if they are not served hot, send them back!)
Quinta del Carmen (Oranjested, Dinner)- This restaurant is relatively “new” to Aruba. I suggest getting a reservation to sit in the front, not the back terrace or inside. The terrace is still nice, but the front is really beautiful! The restaurant has great food and atmosphere. I recommend the chocolate mousse dessert!
Papiamento (Oranjestad, Dinner)- Your kids will love this one because their meals can be served on a hot stone for them to “cook.” They are super quick here with the kid’s meals, which is always a plus. The setting is beautiful with lights strung in trees around a pool.
Pinchos Grill & Bar (Oranjested, Dinner)- Come here for great food and a very pretty waterfront setting. I recommend reserving a seat near the edge of the dock so you can feed the fish. Order the chocolate cake for dessert – it’s incredible!
Barefoot Restaurant (Oranjested, Dinner) – This is beach dining at its best. It’s especially nice to go and catch the sunset. But if you miss that window, don’t worry! It’s still beautiful outside with twinkly lights in the trees. Get ready to eat delicious food with your feet in the sand. Don’t forget to bring a sand toy for the kids!
Casa Tua Renaissance (Oranjested, Lunch and Dinner) – This restaurant is located on the main strip, not far from the Hyatt, and serves very good pizza. Since outdoor seating can be very crowded, go early or make a reservation. The outdoor mall frequently has free outdoor entertainment at the amphitheater.
El Gaucho Argentine Grill (Oranjested, Lunch and Dinner) – If you’re a carnivore, this is the place for you! El Guacho is the classic Argentinian steak restaurant and is an institution in Aruba. Come here for serious meat, not the atmosphere. I recommend the ribs for an appetizer, and of course the steak for your meal!
Wilhelmina Restaurant(Oranjested, Dinner) – This is a date night, adults-only spot. It’s just a few years old and located next to El Guacho. The restaurant is upscale with excellent food and service. It will have you in the mood for romance from the minute you walk in!
Elements Restaurant at Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort (Eagle Beach, Lunch and Dinner) – This restaurant is located within the adults-only Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort. The deck and beach have a wonderful atmosphere and there is an outdoor bar, cushions to sit on and more. It’s next to the Costalinda, where we always stay.
If you stick to this list, I promise you’ll be well-fed and happy! You will also get a more authentic Aruba experience by avoiding the more touristy restaurants downtown by the high rises. A warning though that meals are not cheap. Also, with the exception of a few places, the service goes at two speeds: slow and extra slow. So bring crayons for the kids and give them a snack beforehand so you can truly enjoy the many delicious meals that await you in the many family-friendly Aruba restaurants!
Stephanie Feingold is a mother of 3 (kids are 9, 6 and 4) and lives in New York City. A foodie and recreational photographer who recently took a pause from her legal career, she loves traveling and meticulously planning her family vacations. Stephanie prioritizes authentic experiences, delicious meals, impressionable moments, and balancing the iconic with the path-less-traveled. Above all, she strives to educate, inspire, and excite her family (and those who follow her itineraries) through travel!