All your favorite kitchens and supermarkets in Aruba are closed and the 24/7 store hasn't got what you're craving for at 4 or 5am! Something light and healthy like a sandwich maybe, or a sweet and flaky pastry with a hot cup of coffee. Sushi, soup, a salad? There's always a window of possibilities, if only we knew where to look. In the lobby of Aruba's Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino for instance. Marriott's 24-hour Lobby Cafe is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and anyone who needs a hearty or sweet fix at anytime, and on any day of the week.
What is late night street food in Aruba without mentioning San Nicolas and its true Caribbean flavors to fuel the all night bar crawl. Grill 21, the newest kid in Aruba's Sunrise City, has conquered a hot corner downtown with its sizzling barbecued specialties. Homemade cole-slaw and perfectly fluffed up and deep fried Johnny Cakes are unmissable companions to fill up these loaded platters. With so much goodness over the charcoal fire, so many friendly smiles and happy customers, it's a real pity we're only able to Meat here during the weekends. Let's hope Grill 21 is just warming up.
Recommended for Late Night because: Grill 21 serves excellent barbecue dishes with a twist of Creole cuisine.
Liliana's expert tip: Grill 21's barbecue platters can be upgraded with grilled chops or steak.
This cozy cafe on the corner is a true hot spot in the already buzzing Noord district of Aruba. The secret of Cafe 080 may have to do with the Dutch owners' idea of combining authentic Dutch specialties like kroket (deep fried beef croquettes), fricandel (sausage specialty) and patat (fresh cut fries) with ice cold Heineken (or any local beer), a totally laid-back atmosphere and - best of all - as-good-as-it-gets local prices! With only three main courses a day, which include three variations on the traditional homemade hotchpotch with meat and gravy, Cafe 080 aims to keep it simple and satisfyingly good.
Recommended for Late Night because: Cafe 080 is just a fun-filled, no-fuss, favorite hangout with a small selection of delicious Dutch bites and of course, beer.
Liliana's expert tip: Try a real Dutch stamppot (hotchpotch) for only US$10.
Battle Of The Food Trucks and Most Original Dish Winner, Tia Rosa Snack, is honored for her one-of-a-kind Patacon sandwiches. Instead of buns or bread slices, Tia Rosa stuffs two flattened, seasoned and panfried green plantains (Latin American side dish called Patacon) with flavorful delis and hot meat fillings, fresh toppings and typical homemade sauces. Apart from her delightful Arepas, Empanadas, Buñuelos and other South American Bocadillos, Tia Rosa passes an array of delicious local and international snacks down her friendly window. Her Aruban pastechis, American burgers and hotdogs are equally capable of calming down the munchies, from 6AM till late at night.
Recommended for Late Night because: Tia Rosa Snack has a couple of award-winning bites to eat at a fraction of the price.
Liliana's expert tip: Tia Rosa Snack is located on the main road of Savaneta, right next to Palmita Bar in Pos Chikito.
The lively district of Tanki Leendert is located in the middle of everywhere. On your way back to the resort? On the road for an Aruba By Night Trip? Or on the hunt for a no nonsense night time meal? A quick stop at Ruiz Take Away truck can change your food preferences for good. One sip of the island's addictive anti-hangover potion Sopi Oester (Oyster Soup) and you're under Ruiz's spell. Specialties like the Pan cu Calco (Conch Stew Sandwich), the Steak Platter and Chicken Wings to die for, keep customers happy to be hooked to this welcoming window.
Recommended for Late Night because: Ruiz Take Away platters and snacks keep Aruba's most treasured flavors alive and available for the after-hours crowd.
Liliana's expert tip: Call Ruiz Take Away to ask for his daily specials.
Late night snackers should not leave Aruba without discovering the island's midnight munching roots. "Saco Di Felipe" (Felipe's Snack Pack) holds a tradition of more than 65 years of Caribbean delicacies like sizzling-hot fried chicken or chops, plantain, homecut fries and Johnny cake, all joined together in a brown paper bag. Bobby Dollison, Felipe's grandson, stays true to his inheritance by sticking to the original family recipes, the freshest ingredients and homemade preparations. No wonder locals drive from wherever they're hanging out, all the way to San Nicolas to comfort their cravings or prep for a night of plentiful partying.
Eataly's bright neon lights promise late night diners and roaders a satisfying meal on the go. With a wonderful selection of gourmet Italian comfort food, this mobile cuisine is parked and ready to feed the hungriest appetites. Stationed on a very accessible corner next to the Eagle Bowling Palace and Club Hipsz, drive-by locals and tourists can stop for the most scrumptious panini's, burgers, pastas, pizzas and... Cassata? Siciliana? Cannoli? With Ricotta? Si, si, and the menu goes on, featuring many Italian favorites, regional specialties, causing acute 'l'acquolina in bocca' (mouth watering). The only cure to this: Eataly it away!
Recommended for Late Night because: Eataly is the only gourmet food truck in Aruba offering authentic Italian specialties.
Liliana's expert tip: Check out Eataly's Facebook page for daily specials!
El Mexicano food truck serves the finest Mexican bites, merging fresh ingredients, authentic Mexican flavors and family recipes to tame those late-night munchies. The tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, tortas - anything that can be stuffed or topped - are handcrafted with love. And many tantalizing possibilities like refried beans, jalape�os, hot salsas, crisp lettuce, cilantro, tomato, avocado and cheese. El Mexicano also grills up juicy, marinated steaks, ribs or chicken, all accompanied by a more than decent portion of natural cut fries and tossed green salad. Picky eaters have a variety of platters to choose from, including chicken wings, hamburgers or hot dogs. For weekend hangovers, there's nothing better than El Mexicano's hot Soup Of The Day.
Recommended for Late Night because: El Mexicano is one of Aruba's favorite food trucks, serving fresh, quality Mexican food at affordable prices, prepared in a clean, organized kitchen.
Liliana's expert tip: Every Thursday, it's Ceviche De Pescado Day! Try this South American fish delicacy for only US$7.50.
Multi-talented chef and owner Elvin Figaroa knows about music, cocktails and appetites. Late night munchies are his specialty, adding a generous amount of flavor and zest to Aruba's after hour street food scene. Aruba Riba Snack Truck is well-known for its mouthwatering Steak And Cheese platter, Chicken Sate with spicy peanut sauce, Seasonal Sandwiches and uplifting local soups. On weekends, orders of "Saco" (local snack pack stuffed with fried chicken, ribs, pork chops, Johnny cakes and other goodies) keep pouring in at this friendly, tucked away truck in the heart of Paradera. Aruba Riba Snack Truck is located right next to the neighborhood's garden: Hoffi Chona.
Recommended for Late Night because: Aruba Riba Snack Truck offers an appetizing menu of local snack platters freshly prepared to guarantee delicious quality food every day.
Liliana's expert tip: Aruba Riba Snack Truck is one of the few on the island that offers delivery.
L.G. Smith's Steak & Chop House is a classic American steakhouse with a more contemporary black-and-white color scheme jazzed up with warm wood floors, nearly-white stone walls and bright blue accent lighting. The trendiest tourists and hippest locals frequent the place, so while there's no strict dress code per se, you'd be wise to wear your most stylish threads. Food-wise, expect top-grade steaks and perfectly prepared seafood with a good range of a la carte sides. The wine list is one of the best you'll find in the Caribbean. And in Aruba, L.G. Smith's is the one and only late fine dining restaurant available.
Recommended for Late Night because: L.G. Smith's Steak & Chop House combines uptown chic with downtown charm, and prime steaks, chops and seafood dishes with excellent wines to pair.
Liliana's expert tip: L.G. Smith's Steak & Chop House offers budget-friendly seasonal specials.