The most surprising thing about Curaçao? It was kind of challenging to find Caribbean food here! There is a heavy Dutch influence (the island is Dutch, after all), but that is most true in its food options. But then there was a definite Spanish influence, some French-inspiration, and Indigenous South American elements, too.
Curaçao might not have had the typical tropical fare I was expecting at every turn, but it definitely deserves a place on my World Foods Page for its global cuisine! Here is the best food we ate on our recent trip to Curaçao.
We started out with lunch at a very Dutch spot. I got the kaaskoppen sandwich, and Steve had the Salmon Salad. Neither is particularly Caribbean—salmon is a cold water fish you won’t find in these island waters! It was tasty, though.
More here: What to Know Before You Visit Curaçao
After kind of a heavy meal, I still needed a little something for my sweet tooth! And I found something distinctly Caribbean at the little ice cream shop next door to Douwe Egbert’s: Dragonfruit-mango sorbet! Pro tip: If you visit when a cruise ship comes in, they might be making waffle cones just outside the shop.
Keep reading: The Top 9 Things You Forgot to Pack for the Caribbean
Sometimes the easy thing is the best thing, too. We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel, and while normally we like to venture out for meals, we were kind of beat that first night! We decided to eat up at the very cool beach/pool situation they have, and just enjoy the view. Lucky for us, the food was good, too!
We kind of ended up here by accident. Curaçao does not have a lot of signage, and what they do have is faded, outdated, and often too small to read from a moving vehicle or from any distance! So, we were looking for a different restaurant, but found this one.
And we weren’t mad about it! In fact, we were basically famished by the time we got here. We had just come from hiking Mount Christoffel! The food really was delicious, but again, not always Caribbean-inspired. I got the Caribbean Fish Curry, and Steve got the Balkan Burger—delicious, but about as far from the Caribbean as you can get, and also not Dutch!
Post-hike feast: Your Guide to Hiking Mount Christoffel on Curaçao
This one was a favorite from our trip. The food was good, but really I liked sitting here so I could watch the Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge open and close when boats needed to come through! It’s right on Anna Harbor Port with a beautiful view. Make sure you stay for the Pineapple Tropical Dessert. Spoiler alert: It’s a pineapple split!
Read next: The Top 10 Things to Do on Curaçao
The Dutch are famous for pancakes, so it’s only logical that there would be an all-day pancake restaurant on Curaçao! They do have more than just pancakes, including Belgian waffles and poffertjes, which are tiny pancakes! We went big, though. Steve got the Breakfast Sensation, complete with two kinds of meat and eggs, and I got a larger-than-I-realized pineapple, ham, and cheese pancake called The Tropical!
Also Dutch: The Best Foods to Eat in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Steve asked me while we were at Mambo Beach, “What would bring you pleasure?” I thought for a brief moment and said, “Iced coffee with a view of the sea.” Luckily for us, Chill Bar had just that for us! They called it an “iced Cappuccino,” but I’m calling this a Mocha Milkshake! It was way better than I was even looking for. You’ll love it!
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If you’re looking for hearty fare, this is the place for you! We ate way too much here, but in our defense, the view out to sea was very distracting! Steve got the Mixed Grill with a variety of meat options, but I chose the Caribbean Conch in Garlic Sauce, which is apparently a Curaçao-style sauce. The chef also sent out little cheese biscuits with a couple of sauces, one sweet, one spicy. The real winner, though, was the tres leches cake for dessert!
More here: What to Know Before You Visit the Caribbean
If you’ve been following the blog for more than a minute, you know I love a great coffee shop! This Van Gogh Cafe and Roastery was so cute, and they had some amazing breakfast and lunch options, too. I wish we’d found this place sooner so we could have taken advantage of more than just their coffee! It was the best pick-me-up for Steve’s and my morning walk!
This was one of the most important stops of our entire trip: Kokomo Beach! Yes, it’s a real place, but it’s way off the Florida Keys! Despite being a small, semi-secluded beach, there was a lot to do here, including a large restaurant and beach bar! Their menu is quite varied, so there will be something for everyone. We stopped in for brunch and shared an Avocado Toast (really it was more like an avocado loaf!), and the Asian Rib Salad.
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If you find yourself up on the west side of the island, don’t miss this lunch spot! The name says it all: You’ll have a spectacular view of the big blue ocean. Steve and I both got the Fish and Veggie Wrap, which was delicious, and split a side of Funchi Hasa, which is like a Caribbean polenta fries, served with cheese dip.
Essential info: What to Pack for 5 Days on Curaçao
Want more? Check out all my Curaçao posts and more on my dedicated Caribbean Islands Page!
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