This place is great for sandwiches and salads when you visit Willemstad. It is located in the Punda side, 3 blocks from the floating bridge in a somehow hidden yard. Just look for the famous bells and turn left and you-ll find it.
Favorite Dish: tuna salad
I had dinner here almost every night. It is a cafe serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is one of the few places to stay open late in Punda (meaning around 10 pm). There is a nice cross-section of locals and tourist here. You will hear lots of Dutch, too!
The young waitresses are very competent and lively, too.
Favorite Dish: The bitterballen were the best that I ever tasted and the mini kaassouffles were exceptional. A perfect koffie verkeerd ("incorrect coffee") is fondly remembered!
Dine on the verandah of a restored 19th century Dutch mansion overlooking the Santa Ana Bay and colourful Punda skyline or in the romantic, courtyard amongst lush tropical plants under the stars!
This restaurant was so amazing, I dined there two nights in a row!! Highly recommended!!
Favorite Dish: Keshi Yenya a hearty local dish of chicken, prunes and Dutch Gouda Cheese worth a try. The (freshly caught) trio of (local) fish (grouper, snapper and wahoo ) filets are absolutly to die for!! Don't miss the yummy Cuban Banana soup and try a Blue Curacao..
This restaurant was suggested by some of the local businessmen who were sitting outside at one of the bars in the newer area of Williamstad (where most of the tourists go--where the jewelry stores, etc. are). I showed them my "local food treasure hunt list" and they both immediately pointed down the street. They said that Plasa Bieu was THE place to go. It is where celebrities like to stop when they visit and even the queen! With that recomendation, we were on our way.
The restaurant itself reminded me of a giant revival meeting or camp tent. It was filled with lots of picnic type tables. You just grab a seat whereever you find room. You may end up with a few birds picking up any escaped crumbs from the ground as your company.
The woman who waited on us was wonderfully helpful as she answered our questions and helped us figure out what to get.
Favorite Dish: We ended up with goat stew, rice & beans, plantains, funchi and she also talked me into ordering tutu. It was my favorite. I really like chopping it up in pieces, and mixing it into the rice & beans and some of the sauce from the stew. Yum! Oh yeah, don't forget to add some of the onion and pepper sauce found on most of the tables. If your table doesn't have any, borrow some from a neighbor. I sure wish we had a neighborhood restaurant with these fantastic flavors back in the states!!
There are restaurants housed in some old fortresses. My favorites:
Bistro Le Clochard: at the entrance of the St. Annabay on the Otrobanda side. Great view, greater food, the most priced in town (i mean dollars)! tel. 4625666
Fort Nassau: at the top of the hill at the end of the St. Annabay. Fantastic view, very good cuisine. tel. 4613450
Indonesian Restaurant Tempo Doeloe: The open air restaurant is built on top of the Parasasa Hill overlooking the Hotel area and the WTC. From here you will have a great view of "the sun sinking in the sea." A unique eastern cuisine. Good price. Try the 'Rijsttafel'. tel. 4612881, www.tempodoeloe.an. A Small World Int'l Cuisine: Waterfort Boogjes on the Punda side. Top standard cuisine, terrific ambience by the waterside along other restaurants. Great for people watching. tel. 4655575
Across the Border: Waterfort Boogjes on the Punda side. Traditional Mexican recipes, great selection of margarita's and tequila's. Regular prices. tel. 4651466
Scampi's: Waterfort Boogjes on the Punda side. Big variety of seafood. Cocktails. Regular prices. tel. 4650769
Italian Restaurant La Pergola: Waterfort Boogjes on the Punda side. Very good, extended italian ciusine. tel. 4613482
Sea View: Waterfort Boogjes on the Punda side. Local cuisine with good taste. Standard prices. tel. 4616688
The Grill King: Waterfort Boogjes on the Punda side. Good and tasty steaks, grilled seafood, standard prices. tel. 4616870
Fort Waakzaamheid: A view over the western part of Otrobanda. Good cuisine. Popular with locals, sometimes crowded. Dance parties in the weekends. tel. 4621044
Playa Forti: Westpunt. Ideal for after a day at the Westpunt beach, or after a day of touring the island. tel. 8640273
The fortresses are of the Dutch colonial period.
The Waterfort Boogjes house several types of cuisine.
Favorite Dish: Ask for the catch of the day, it may be one you like!
And sometimes, why not try something different then red snapper, like our local Keshi Yena : originally a whole, round dutch Gouda cheese stuffed with ground meat, olives, unions, prunes, herbs and spices!!!
We have several restaurants lodged in town houses or land houses. At most of them you will enjoy a unique ambience. Most of them are simply good, not too extraordinary.
Landhuis Groot Davelaar, De Taveerne. tel. 7370669
Landhuis Brakkeput Mei Mei. tel. 7671500
Landhuis Daniel. tel. 8648400
Villa Elizabeth. tel. 4657565
Belle Terrace. tel. 4614377
De Gouverneur. tel. 4623038
Fort Nassau. tel. 4613450 or 4613086; email@example.com; mon-fri 12-2 lunch;18:30-22:30 dinner
I recommend my favorite: The Wine Cellar. tel. 4612178; firstname.lastname@example.org
All are housed in dutch fortresses, colonial landhouses or townhouses.
Favorite Dish: 'Keshi Yená' is a very good choice. It consists of minced meat (sometimes chicken) mixed with vegetables, olives, raisins, cashews with wich a round Gouda cheese is filled (in the most original version; otherwise it will be an oven dish covered with gouda cheese). Good, healthy and filling!
You will have a unique experience, dining at an indonesian restaurant. Try one of these:
Indonesian Restaurant Tempo Doeloe: tel. 4612881, www.tempodoeloe.an.
Restaurant Rijsttafel Indonesia. Mercuriusstraat 19. tel. 4612606
A different eastern taste in the Caribbean!
Favorite Dish: You really should try the extended 'Rijsttafel'. You will have the chance to taste a little bit of all types of food: goat, beef, porc, chicken, fish, fruits and vegetables, egg, you name it!
I just came to live on the island and it is a great island.
Since I work close to Hooks Hut this is the place I visit frequently.
Unfortunately, the service is bad.
Management is not so good, a place runned by Dutch people is expected to run better with much better service. It takes so long befor an order can be placed. Even if tables have been reserved in advanced...
Some of the staff girls are really nice and know well what they are doing but other absolutely not...completely rude.
Out of this world that a restaurant with such a good name runs like this. My advice, go but do not expect too much, avoid the Sundays since the kitchen food is really bad compared with other days.
Favorite Dish: Rib eye, depends on the day you visit the place
If you want a good meal at a fair price, Hook's Hut it the place to go. Hooks serves both lunch and dinner under roof on the beach. They offer everything from salads, hamburgers and wraps at lunch to 16 oz grilled tenderloin and seafood for dinner. Hooks is one fo the few placed where you can get a balanced meal (meat, salad, and vegetables) without mortgaging the farm. If you plan to be seated before 9 PM make a reservation.
Favorite Dish: Grilled tenderloin!
Excellent cut of meat cut thick and grilled to perfection. If you like your meat well done you might not like the tenderloin - it is so thick it is virtually impossible to cook through to the middle. Order the tenderloin medium for a very redish hot center.
The chicken caesar is a great light lunch item that will leave you hungry enough at dinner. The chicken wraps are enough to feed two people (or one teenager). Hamburgers are hamburgers, appropriately sized and served with fries.
Asia de Cuba is located just outside of Willemstadt. I do not know the name of the town it's actually in but the cab drivers will know.
The food is a blend of Cuban and Asian. A group of about 16 divers went there one evening. Everyone got different items and shared. I had nothing that wasn't fantastic. I'm a big Cuban fan and wasn't disappointed by the pork and plantanos with black beans and rice.
The service was quite good, even though we only had one server for our large group. We had called ahead so they had a long table set up for us inside but there is also a large patio out back. There was a large catered party going on that night but wouldn't have known it.
The place was very chic and elegant with a nice semi-open air environment.
The only disappointment was the manager would not allow us to have individual checks but the waitress took care of us individually but backing out each of our orders and letting us pay separately. I believe her name was Anna and she was excellent with our group.
Favorite Dish: I think it was called Fidel's Pork Satay with plantains and black beans and rice.
Larousse is in an historical Dutch house in Punda just down from the Avila Beach Hotel. It has fabulous French food, and personable hosts-the husband and wife team of Marjolein and pim.
Favorite Dish: Everyting I had there has always been good, but the terrine du canard is marvelous-served with a miniature glass of port.
On a porch near the swimming pool, you can enjoy world-class meals with the finest ingredients, served with great wine.
Favorite Dish: Everything you order will be prepared with an extreme sense of taste, with the best ingedients and well-dared combinations.
Hook's Hut in Piscadera Bay was the restaurant we most liked. Incredible setting on the beach, romantic but casual, with great food and live music on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and weekends. We went 3 times in a week as we loved the atmosphere, the food and eating on the beach a few feet from the water. Prices are average
Favorite Dish: Grilled tuna with sesame seeds and vegetables. Hook's Hut sampler dessert.
Scampi's is one of the 3 restaurants located at the Waterfront Terrace in Punda. The Terrace is literally over the rocky shore so you see and hear the waves below your feet. Service is good, view is great. Atmosphere is so so... rather empty the day we went.
Favorite Dish: Sirloin steak... yes, I know, it's an Italian restaurant but...
The Bistro is an upscale and expensive restaurant located on a fortress at the entrance to the Willemstad bay. Fine food, sophisticated atmosphere and a great view. Service could be better, the waiter wasn't attentive enough. Recommended for that special night.
Favorite Dish: Asperges Veal Escalope