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 dessert, 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 the out-of-the-way Antesala Cafe. Go for a Dutch treat at Linda’s Dutch Pancakes 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, served on an adorable wooden tray with a glass of water and maybe a freshly baked croissant at the sweetest place in downtown Oranjestad, Aruba Experience Cafe and Pattiserie. 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.
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.
Recommended for Breakfast because: Jack’s Cafe is ideal for a quick and tasty breakfast, lunch or dinner, before or after some grocery shopping at Superfood Plaza.
Liliana’s expert tip: Jack’s Cafe’s Weekly Lunch Menu offers half and full portions of daily lunch specials from 12pm till 3pm.
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.
Recommended for Breakfast because: Taste Of Belgium serves a nice variety of Belgian and international dishes to please even the most discerning palates.
Liliana’s expert tip: The Belgian waffles with (or without) fresh fruit and whipped cream are one of the highlights at Taste Of Belgium.
Although Indoor Cunucu Café isn’t located in the middle of Aruba’s countryside, – like its name would suggest – the local owners cleverly thought ‘why not bring the island’s countryside downtown?’ And so they did, with great succes. Mainstreet strollers can shop, hop on the tramcar and drop in at Maggy’s perfume store to buy cosmetics or to visit the Indoor Cunucu cafe for an icy cold homemade lemonade and authentic Aruban snacks like the well-known pastechi and croquette. The sweet-tooths will enjoy homemade Aruban cakes with a hot cup of coffee or cocoa, and the famished can go for the more nourishing dishes like the tuna salad sandwich or the Soup of the Day. Bon apetit!
Recommended for Breakfast because: Indoor Cunucu Cafe’s mission is to unite Aruba’s mainstreet retailers and its visitors by offering a cozy rendezvous with an authentic local patio feel.
Liliana’s expert tip: Check out Indoor Cunucu’s monthly Cunucu Chic morning or afternoon events like the former “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” or the “Le Jardin Coloré” high tea experience for only US$20.
Not all popular coffee spots become a much-loved community hub, but Coffee House Aruba has been pulling it off for more than 15 years. How? With old-fashioned hospitality, antique furniture and decor, and a delightful (and very affordable) menu of specialty coffees, teas, paninis, salads and pastries. Espresso drinkers can go traditional, double shot, or with frothed milk or whipped cream on top. Vegan or caffeine free coffee? Just ask, they have. There is iced coffee, frappes and frapuccinos for a more refreshing kick and organic loose teas like the delicious Hibiscus or invigorating Japanese Sencha tea. No time to pull up a chair? Make it an order To-Go. This is a very local, no rush and all smiles cafe.
Recommended for Breakfast because: Coffee House Aruba combines cafe and retail store with specialty coffees and teas to enjoy on the spot, on the go or at home.
Liliana’s expert tip: Check out Coffee House’s wonderful selection of specialty coffees, loose leaf teas and vintage coffee and tea sets for purchase.
Surrounded by palm trees and overlooking the sea at the Playa Linda Beach Resort, there’s a charming little hut with a huge menu of healthy island favorites. Be prepared to take some time to go through the extensive list of fresh and nutritious juices, smoothies, acai bowls, sandwiches, salads, (vegan) sushi, sweet treats and what-not. And if you still can’t decide just go for the gluten free waffles with fresh fruits and cool coco whip on top. Or, try Eduardo’s dairy-free Australian soft serve with a boost of nourishing probiotics and no refined sugars. One thing’s for sure, whatever you choose will be guilt free and delicious.
Recommended for Breakfast because: Eduardo’s Beach Shack sets an example when it comes to healthy and delicious food options in Aruba.
Liliana’s expert tip: Get a free coffee or smoothie at Eduardo’s Beach Shack by removing a bucket of litter from the beach!
What better way to start your day than with a big bowl of nourishing goodness. At One Happy Bowl located at the Renaissance Marketplace, there’s a bite for everyone, health-conscious, vegan, vegetarian or not. Who can resist the sweet Flamingo Pancakes sprinkled with coconut and fresh fruits on the side? For hearty appetites, there are Fixed Bowls like the Sushi Vibes and also the Protein Explosion with roasted chickpeas, sweet potato, black beans, corn, peppers, and creamy sriracha. And if it’s too hot for an oat milk frothed capuccino or organic tea, order a bottle of Amada’s kombucha or have a locally made tropical fruit popsicle. Salud! To your health!
Recommended for Breakfast because: One Happy Bowl not only offers the freshest plant-based and gluten-free meals, but even the drinks and sweets are healthy and delicious.
Liliana’s expert tip: Create your own Happy Bowl, or for the more adventurous: try the Surprise Bowl.
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.
Recommended for Breakfast because: Don Jacinto Restaurante & Parilla blends in perfectly with the island’s multicultural landscape, colors and flavors.
Liliana’s expert tip: Try Don Jacinto’s famous ‘parilladas’ for a taste of the authentic Latin American grills.
This spacious roadside cafe on the highway to or from San Nicolas is stylishly designed to reflect a fresh, modern look with large windows that let in the natural daylight, but fully airconditioned to beat the heat. The classic and blended coffees are delicious and even better when combined with a stuffed Arepa, a BK Sandwich or a smoked salmon croissant. Thirsty? Antesala’s fresh fruit smoothies and creamy shakes are to die for. Vegans, vegetarians, lactose intolerants are not forgotten. Available on the menu: Veggie Madness wraps or paninis, organic teas, plant-based milk, or just ask for the daily options. If you crave something sweet, try the homemade local cakes. Yum!
Recommended for Breakfast because: Antesala Cafe is the ideal breakfast, lunch or brunch stop when avoiding the downtown or hotel crowds.
Liliana’s expert tip: Try Antesala Cafe’s breakfast combos for only $10 or less (note: pay in cash).
America has IHOP, Aruba has Dutch Pancake Houses like this family restaurant, perfectly located in the heart of Palm Beach to satisfy the appetite of locals and tourists simultaneously with their delicious Pannenkoeken (authentic Dutch pancakes – much thinner and larger than the American pancake). The choices are endless, varying from a plain and basic Dutch pancake with syrup to a Create Your Own Fantasy by adding sweet toppings such as strawberries, banana, apple, mango, papaya, whipped or ice cream. More the hearty type? Try a combination of Gouda cheese with bacon, mushrooms and green peppers, or go for pizza, a chicken sate with peanut sauce or Dutch meatballs, if you come hungry.
Recommended for Breakfast because: Linda’s Dutch Pancakes serves a mouthwatering variety of Dutch pancakes and platters to satisfy all kinds of appetites.
Liliana’s expert tip: Linda’s Dutch Pancakes also serves gluten-free pancakes and pizzas, sugar-free syrup and also, lactose-free pancakes!
Intimately tucked away in one of the more quiet downtown backstreets, but immensely popular nevertheless. Aruba Experience Cafe and Pattiserie delights its regular guests and newcomers with Dutch Caribbean charm and freshly baked delicacies in this renovated old Aruban “cunucu” villa. Excellent barista-brewed coffee can be paired with flaky fresh croissants, a complete Aruba Experience Breakfast or a Latin American arepa anyway and any color you like. Healthy and delicious salads, smoothies and sandwiches are also on the menu, as well as the local sweet teases like “quesillo” (caramel flan), “pan bollo” (bread pudding) and “torta di cashupete” (cashew cake).
Recommended for Breakfast because: Aruba Experience Cafe and Pattiserie combines local charm with excellent coffee and freshly baked goodies.
Liliana’s expert tip: Try Aruba Experience Cafe and Pattiserie’s delicious daily lunch menus and cocktails.