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Tasting Aruba’s Finest Dishes: A Food Lover’s Guide

Aruba is a small island off the coast of Venezuela, and it is known for its diverse culture and stunning beaches. But what you may not know is that Aruba boasts an impressive culinary scene that is filled with a variety of flavors and dishes. From traditional dishes made with local ingredients to modern fusion cuisine, there is something for everyone in Aruba. In this food guide, you will discover the best dishes that Aruba has to offer.

Fresh Seafood

Aruba is blessed with an abundance of seafood, and it is no surprise that fresh seafood is one of the most popular dishes on the island. You can find everything from freshly caught fish to shrimp, squid, and octopus. For the freshest seafood, head to the local fish market or one of the many beachfront restaurants. You can enjoy the seafood in a variety of ways, such as grilled, steamed, or fried. For a truly authentic Aruban experience, try the seafood as ceviche or souse.

Keshi Yena

Keshi Yena is a traditional Aruban dish that is made with a combination of cheese, chicken, and spices. The dish is typically served with rice and a side of vegetables. It is a hearty meal that is sure to fill you up. The flavors of the cheese and spices blended together create a unique and savory taste that is hard to find elsewhere. Keshi Yena is a must-try when visiting Aruba.

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Rijsttafel is a popular dish that originated in Indonesia. It is a mix of rice, meat, fish, and vegetables served with a variety of condiments and sauces. The dish is typically served family-style and shared amongst everyone at the table. It is a great way to sample a wide variety of flavors and dishes in one sitting. Rijsttafel is an ideal way to experience the diverse cuisine in Aruba.


Kokada is a traditional Aruban dessert that is made with shredded coconut, sugar, and spices. The mixture is then baked and served with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. The flavors of the coconut and spices blend together to create a unique and delicious treat. Kokada is the perfect way to end a meal in Aruba.

Fusion Cuisine

In recent years, Aruba has seen a rise in fusion cuisine. This type of cuisine combines traditional Aruban flavors and ingredients with modern cooking techniques. Some of the most popular fusion dishes include fish tacos, ceviche, and even pizza. These dishes are sure to tantalize your taste buds with their unique flavors and textures.

Carnival Foods

No visit to Aruba would be complete without trying the local carnival foods. During the annual Carnival celebration, you can find a variety of street foods such as empanadas, pastechi, and kabritu. These snacks are perfect for a quick bite on the go or as a snack between meals. Be sure to try them all to get the full carnival experience!

Local Beverages

Aruba is also known for its local beverages, such as the popular Kalik beer and the refreshing Balashi beer. If you are looking for something a bit stronger, be sure to try the local rum, which is made with sugarcane and a variety of spices. For something on the lighter side, try the local guava juice or tamarind juice. No matter what you choose, you are sure to find a beverage that you will love.

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Pika is a traditional Aruban sauce made with spices, onions, garlic, and peppers. It is used to add a flavorful kick to dishes such as keshi yena, kabritu, and meat dishes. It can also be used as a dip for chips or crackers. Pika is a must-try for any food lover in Aruba.

Keshi Fuete

Keshi Fuete is a unique Aruban dish that is made with a combination of shredded beef, cheese, and peppers. It is then wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed. The result is a savory and flavorful dish that is sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Keshi Fuete is a great way to experience the unique flavors of Aruba.

Cactus Fries

Cactus fries are a popular snack in Aruba. The cactus is cut into thin slices and then fried until crispy. The result is a crunchy and flavorful snack that is sure to delight. Cactus fries are the perfect accompaniment to a cold beer or as an afternoon snack.

Aruban BBQ

Aruban BBQ is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. It is typically made with chicken, pork, or beef that is marinated in a blend of spices and then cooked over an open flame. The result is a smoky and flavorful meal that is sure to satisfy. Aruban BBQ is a great way to experience the local flavors of the island.


Aruba is a food lover’s paradise, and the island offers an array of delicious dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. From traditional dishes to modern fusion cuisine, there is something for everyone. Be sure to try the fresh seafood, Keshi Yena, Rijsttafel, Kokada, and Pika for an authentic Aruban experience. There is no better way to explore Aruba than through its food!

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