I’m a sucker for seafood and no matter how much I want to deny it, I will always give into Filipino food wherever I go. I ate like a queen in Aruba – in its cheap local eats of all places. Hole in the wall eats kick butt. By a weird coincidence, my friends and I ran into a Filipino restaurant in the downtown area. It was a bit late in the night when this discovery happened but somehow we managed to sneak in and check out the place. As we already ate dinner at that time, we resorted to ordering drinks while one of my companions asked for the typical Filipino desert, halo-halo. Feeling dismayed about the opportunity to eat a meal there, we decided to return. The second time around we indulged in some fried snapper, fried tilapia, and “sinigang” with rice. Again, halo-halo was ordered for desert. As it turns out, the owner of the Filipino restaurant was the first Filipina to reside in Aruba. Apparently, she also gets tons of Filipino customers who work on the cruise boats. The place has become an icon as a result in Aruba. That weekend they were even hosting a fundraiser for Typhoon Haiyan survivors. It was such a treat to finally eat home cooked Filipino food as it has been a while for me. No doubt, this was a good surprise for my tummy.
Other places we ate at of course included Zeeover for the delicious fish fry. In addition, the island has a number of decent Latin restaurants. As a coffee addict, I got spoiled from having some really good Cuban “café con leche” at one of the Latin restaurants we dined at. One of them was located in downtown; another was just a short drive from our villa. Both served fish and meat dishes. We were all satisfied with the dining experiences at all the places we went. The price? Very reasonable. We paid about $8-15 per meal. Now, eating at one of the tourist cafes would have been a different story. In fact, we ate lunch once on the tourist strip and quickly figured out that we weren’t going to do a repeat of it. As a side note, snacking wise, we also got hooked on the local fried donuts. Yummy but so bad!
Thus, Aruba was a great dining experience even for budget travelers! The island kept giving us surprises – all good ones, promise!