The Best Bars in Aruba

It’s time to experience island time at your own pace, with your toes in the sand and a cocktail in hand. Sip a happy-hour rum concoction at a beach bar, watch the sun go down with a glass of wine at an open-air bar, or sip a cold local beer while dancing the night away to live music—in the sand.

J.E. Irausquin Blvd 230, Noord, Aruba
Dream about a Caribbean beach bar and chances are you’ll imagine someplace like MooMba, just south of Palm Beach. Here, you’ll find oversize palapas, tiki torches at night, and a crowd looking for fun with their feet in the sand. From its lounge chairs positioned under swaying palms to its extensive list of tropical cocktails, the watering hole is really what an island vacation is all about. To eat, there’s a buffet, with Sunday’s beach barbecue theme being your best bet. Go at happy hour, which is timed to coincide with the sunset, then stay into the evening for live music and DJs.
J.E. Irausquin Blvd 79, Noord, Aruba
If you like piña coladas, make a beeline for this overwater outpost on glittering Palm Beach. Situated on a pier, the open-air bar and grill boasts uninterrupted views of the water—as well as Aruba’s spectacular sunsets. Here, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served alongside an extensive array of chilled beverages, attracting a friendly crowd. There’s live music every day during happy hour and, on Sundays, the Travel Session band plays from 7 to 10 p.m. If you’d rather sing yourself, be there on Saturday, when karaoke starts at 8:30 p.m. While the restaurant definitely has a party-like setting, children are more than welcome and high chairs are available for little ones.
8 Avenida Alo Tromp
Drinking local in Aruba means enjoying Balashi. Aruba’s first and only homegrown brew, Balashi is named for the Arawak Indian terms Bala Bala or Balana, both of which mean “by the sea.” Fitting as nothing quenches a thirst better on a hot day along Aruba’s sunny shores.
Noord Cura Cabai 2a, Savaneta, Aruba
The Old Man and the Sea in Savaneta is an ideal place for a romantic island dining experience, amid the ‘clicking palms,’ overlooking the water. Feel the sand beneath your feet, and listen to the waves gently lapping the shoreline as you enjoy a sunset supper in an intimate setting.
San Fuego 70, 7, Santa Cruz, Aruba
Day-trippers in search of awesome views, cool drinks, and light bites score at this oasis in the middle of Arikok National Park. The menu is simple and heavy on island favorites, from fried whole fish to seafood served with plantains, salad, and pan bait (a pancake-like bread). There are also hamburgers and cold sandwiches, along with frozen cocktails and local beer. Still, it’s the views that really stun. From its perch between Boca Prins Bay and the Fontein Cave, the restaurant has sweeping vistas of desert, hills, and sea.
L.G. Smith Blvd 7, Oranjestad, Aruba
Instagrammers, take note: This open-air eatery is prime for watching—and snapping—the sunset. Every table is positioned on the pier, directly over Aruba’s shimmering waters. Come early to score a front-row seat for the evening spectacle, then stay late for the live music and light bites. The fish cakes are a must, but other popular dishes include pan-seared grouper with ginger and apricot sauce, and dark-rum-infused blue cheese tenderloin. If this chic lounge looks familiar, it’s because it made an appearance on The Bachelor.
San Nicolas
After visiting a Peruvian restaurant in Oranjestad recommended by an Afar traveler, we were advised to take a trip out to San Nicolas. Hopping on public transit we made our way to this town where we thought we would find Baby Beach however San Nicolas has no beach front (it’s a former oil refinery town). What we found was Charlie’s Bar (a true hoarder’s paradise brimming with character), a street music festival and very friendly locals. It was a great trip!
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Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
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