Where to have the most important meal of the day in Aruba

Although most of the resorts in Aruba offer an excellent daily breakfast and some even an over-the-top Sunday brunch, there are many overlooked options around the island. That’s why the Local Experts at 10Best want to share an overview of Aruba’s best places to have breakfast (or brunch), a perfect cup of coffee or maybe even dinner and champagne, early in the morning. It’s all possible, if you know where to look. And yes, Aruba has Dunkin’ Donuts, Mc Donald’s, Cinnabon, Starbucks and other fast food chains. But why stick to the usual? Try a healthy panini and fall in love with one of the best smoothies on the island at Garden Fresh Cafe. Go for a Dutch treat at Diana’s Pancake Place and find out what kind of pancake-person you are - the sweet, the hearty, the fruity kind. Maybe you’re more of a sandwich type. Not a breakfast fan at all? Have a regular or a gourmet coffee with a newspaper, or tea served in an adorable tea pot with toast, butter and jelly at the sweetest place in downtown Oranjestad, De Suikertuin. From homey to haute and for the healthy, the hasty or the very hungry ones, Aruba is where to go for ‘delightments’ - as soon as the sun peaks above the horizon.


The huge menu, open terrace and low prices make the experience better than ordinary. Fill up on favorites like the authentic New York style Bagels, freshly baked and boiled daily, or a complete breakfast with pancakes, omelets, pastries and fruit salads - anytime of the day, starting from 6 am. Prime steak burgers and the signature Chimichurri Sauce are particularly appealing during lunch or dinner-time, and the same goes for the delicious salads and sandwiches. Bring the kids, because the staff is well trained to handle rowdy parties and the lively sounds of the Palm Beach area easily absorb any noise level.

For some, this little Dutch cafe tucked into the storefront of Superfood Plaza, has become a daily coffee stop, a regular meeting point or a favorite lunch break spot. The bright orange design chairs, clean background and sleek decor are not the only draws here. Jack's Cafe has its share of culinary advantages with the best Dutch bakery in Aruba plus all the freshest quality ingredients within arm's reach. Flaky, buttery croissants and Espresso Gourmet Coffee to start the day, a bowl of split pea soup with smoked sausage to refuel for the afternoon, healthy salads, deep fried croquettes, sweet treats, all deliciously affordable. Just grab and go or pull up a chair at this fast and fabulous corner.

Aruba's only Belgian eatery fills a niche and does it well, especially when it comes to its seemingly endless list of Belgian brews, stylish European interior, extensive menu and live entertainment. From the Dejeuners or Ontbijtjes (Breakfast), there's petit and full breakfast with favorites like French Croissants, Belgian Waffles and all American eggs with bacon, sausage, hash browns and pancakes. Lunch recommendations include French bread with Flemish grilled chicken, Onion Soup, prepared with beer and topped with melted cheese; and for dinner the list goes on: Ragout pastries, Flemish beef stews, beer-braised ribs, fresh catches... And don't even think about going home before trying the Profiteroles au Chocolat (Belgian pastry puffs with chocolate and powdered sugar). Come to appreciate the flavors of Belgium.


CILO is the abbreviation for City Lounge, but this is much more than just a great place to sip cocktails and have a delicious meal. Let yourself be romanced by the sidewalk sounds of Aruba's downtown life, while enjoying the harbor views and daily live bands or local deejays. At CILO breakfast can be served as early as 7 o'clock and eggs, anyway you like them - even wrapped! Not in the mood for breakfast in the morning? Start your day with a hot tenderloin sandwich or go all out with a fresh Day Catch from the fishermen of the Renaissance Marina. CILO has a varied All Day Menu which means that you will be spoiled for choice and individualism.

Each beachside restaurant has its own personality, ambience and cuisine, but they all have one thing in common - an air of casual-fun-in-the-sun festivity, where you can experience the Aruba lifestyle all year long. Matthew's exceeds all expectations with a complete package: a fine spot to start the day, a perfect Sunday Champagne Brunch or a romantic sunset dinner on the beach. The specialties at Matthew's range from American, Aruban, Mexican or Matthew's breakfast with Mimosa, coffee and tea to Caribbean Seafood Soup or Tuna Tataki Salad for lunch to sandwiches, quesadillas, wraps and pizzas. For an Italian dinner, choose from Fried Calamari or Goat Cheese wrapped in Italian prosciutto ham to start off. Dinner entrees include delectable Ossobucco veal shank stewed with fresh herbs or the Pasta Aragosta lobster in vodka sauce.

For quality organic products, fresh and healthy meals, snacks and drinks, Garden Fresh Cafe is the smartest stop on your way. Whatever the morning or midday mix, match or munchie, it'll be infused with all the natural flavors and nutrients needed throughout the day. Savour your favorite salad, panini or wrap while sipping all the goodness of one of the many invigorating smoothies, juices or shots. Hot beverages like an espresso, a cappuccino or an organic tea are also available, perfectly combinable with sweet croissants, pastries or a plain omelette with avocado. For the lighter fare, grab a fruit bowl or a Very Berry Parfait to go.

Diana's Pancakes Place
Photo courtesy of Diana's Pancakes House

What could be more Dutch than an authentic windmill from Holland? The answer: a Dutch pancake house right next to it, owned by a lovely Dutch lady called Diana. Her pancakes are the real deal; thinner than American pancakes, a little thicker than the French crêpes, but as big as your dinner plate and very 'lekker' (tasty). Pancakes are stacked on top of each other with butter melting and a dark syrup called 'stroop' (pronounced stroap) dripping down the sides. For one-pancake-at-a-time, customers can opt for sweet choices like fresh fruits and powdered sugar, or soft and sinful chocolate. Hearty combinations include Dutch cheese with ham or bacon, the Norwegian pancake with seafood or a veggies-only topping. Smiling pancakes and happy bellies at Diana's Pancakes House.

This picturesque restaurant was built in 1914 as the home for the California Lighthouse-keeper and apart from the panoramic views of the island, La Trattoria El Faro Blanco's menu features many Italian favorites with a special emphasis on Neapolitan cuisine and seafood. The Linguine Allo Scogliera is served mounded with shrimp, octopus, scallops, clams and tomatoes, and the Zuppa Di Pesce Del Faro is one of the best seafood soups on the island. There's dinner, lunch, but also breakfast sandwiches and a special mini-pizza menu for early birds diners. If you can't make up your mind yet, take a cocktail and enjoy the sun and the scenery, the full bar service starts at 9:00 am.

For the bigger appetites looking for friendly and flavorful portions, Aruba has many mealtime alternatives. The Latin American cuisine offers a broad variety of dishes, from Peruvian specialties to Brazilian grills. Don Jacinto Restaurante & Parilla brings Colombia's favorite foods to your table. In the morning, go for the typical arepa with grilled meat, fried eggs, and of course, Colombian coffee galore. After breakfast, Don Jacinto's guests can savor the popular chorizo, typical soups, empanadas, or a delicious bandeja with rice, plantain, beans, beef, avocado, or whatever you would like to add to your dish. Nor parking space nor menu prices should be an obstacle here.

This lovely, authentic old Aruban house is indeed The Sugar Garden (De Suikertuin) of downtown Oranjestad. Wherever you choose to take a seat, - inside, in the cozy, air-conditioned home-style cafe or outside, under a tropical tree or in the shady patio - a breakfast or lunch here will always delight the senses. De Suikertuin has something for everyone. Check out their menu while having your first Cappuccino or a freshly squeezed orange juice. The Pampering Breakfast is more than a promise, and if Dutch pancakes sound tempting, know that many toppings are possible - hearty or sweet. If you still can't decide what you want for lunch, just ask what the daily specials are.


Meet Liliana Erasmus

Born and raised in Aruba, Liliana moved to the Netherlands to continue her college education in Marketing. Since 1998 she’s been back on her beloved island, where she is working as a...  More About Liliana