The Best Restaurants in Curaçao

Life in Curaçao is a colorful mash-up of cultures. Locals speak a multitude of languages (four is the norm), thanks to its Dutch and Spanish colonial history and the influence of nearby South America. One of the best ways to get to know Curaçao is through its cuisine, a mix of sights, smells and flavors. You can take your pick among casual catch-of-the-day spots and chic beachside dining—for taste that’s uniquely its own among Caribbean islands.

Westpunt 24, Willemstad, Curaçao
Seafood and regional delicacies rule the menu at this charming 19th-century former plantation home—go for the fish tacos, ceviche, or keshi yena, a local entrée consisting of a large sphere of cheese stuffed with seasoned meat. The papaya stew, with delicately spiced cabbage and invigorating ginger, is another local favorite. Savor your meal at one of the rustic picnic tables outside, or head to the dining room for a slightly upscale atmosphere. Landhuis Misjé is a great pick for both a romantic dinner and an outing with a tribe of hungry family members.
Rouville 9
Curaçao definitely runs on “island time,” but it’s worth getting to this café early so you can eat lunch or dinner on the colonial building’s second-floor veranda. Gaze across the bay at Punda’s colorful houses, then savor the gourmet menu. A top pick is the keshi yena, Curaçao’s national dish: cheese stuffed with spiced meat, olives, capers, pickled onions, and prunes. Wash it down with a glass of awa di lamunchi—lime juice with a dash of brown sugar. Other favorite dishes include the fresh fish, the coconut braised-goat curry, and the braised-beef stew (karni stoba).
This airy poolside restaurant serves up Curaçao classics like iguana soup, goat stew, and fried funchi, a crispy (and addictive) polenta. But the menu has something for even the pickiest of travelers. In the mood for a regular ol’ burger? Rancho El Sobrino offers one of the best on the island. Can’t get enough fajitas, like Michael from The Office? You’ve got four varieties to choose from here, including a veggie option. After your meal, stroll through the adjacent garden or order your favorite cocktail from the veranda bar—and gaze up: You’ll see a bed frame hanging from the wooden ceiling. Because why not?
Caracasbaaiweg, Willemstad, Curaçao
As soon as you try BBQ Express, you’ll understand why residents are obsessed with truki pan, the humble sandwich trucks parked all over Curaçao. This Caracasbaai staple is legendary for its enormous portions of barbecue ribs, pork, and burgers, but the real star is its one-of-a-kind pindasaus, a spicy Dutch-Indonesian peanut dip. From 9 p.m. to early morning, night owls and partygoers crowd around this mobile kitchen for an affordable taste of nirvana. Locals usually order their grub to go, but don’t be shy about digging in at one of the nearby picnic tables (remember that it’s BYOB if you’re thirsty).
If you’ve never had oliebollen, you need to get yourself to this Dutch dessert truck. Like, now. Owner Peter van den Berg fries the beignet-like treats while you wait, then splits the warm dough in half and adds a dollop of whipped cream between. Oliebollen are traditionally served on Christmas, but van den Berg doesn’t care: You can catch his vehicle every Thursday evening in front of Punda’s JL Penha department store. He also serves delicacies like stroopwafel—a thin, double-layered waffle with caramel on the inside—in front of the Riffort Renaissance Mall or outside the Albert Heijn Zeelandia supermarket.
Weg Naar Westpunt, Westpunt, Curaçao
The ultimate spot to wind down in after sunbathing or cliff jumping (it’s a thing) in Playa Forti, this restaurant has a vibrant blue exterior that matches its staggering views of the turquoise water below. Sip on a Curaçao Blue Sprizz—mixed with white wine, sparkling water, and the island’s ubiquitous blue curaçao liqueur—then snack on fresh seafood or even (yes) BBQ iguana. And if you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s like to live inside a postcard—or you just want to make your Instagram followers jealous—stop by the terrace during sunset happy hour. Blue View will serve as your go-to “happy place” for years to come.
12 Nieuwestraat
Head to Willemstad’s Pietermaai district at happy hour, and you’ll quickly stumble across a row of festive Euro-style bars on Nieuwestraat—but none are as funky and eclectic as the Cuban-themed Mundo Bizarro. This indoor-outdoor lounge-restaurant is filled with antique furniture, bold paintings on colorful walls—look for the older Cuban woman wielding a cigar and a sassy stare—and knickknacks from around the planet. Try some of the most beloved items from its international menu, such as smoked-beef carpaccio, rib eye, salads, and quiches. Fridays at 10 p.m. are popular for the live salsa band.
Hanchi Snoa, Willemstad, Curaçao
No matter where you are, sometimes a heaping plate of rice or noodles beckons—and this Indonesian-Surinamese restaurant doesn’t disappoint! Tucked away at the end of a long line of art galleries and craft shops, IndoSur has a dreamy patio and open interior that give it a welcoming, casual atmosphere. You can people-watch for hours while sampling items from the menu, like bami, a spicy noodle dish popular in the Netherlands, or tangy coconut-milk saoto soup. The prices are some of the most affordable in the Windstraat area; some meals cost just $5.
82-84 Kaya Wilson Godett
Set on a picturesque terrace high above crashing waves, BijBlauw has breathtaking views and an effortlessly romantic vibe. The kitchen is partially open, so you can watch the chefs prepare fresh ingredients while you bask in the breeze. Try the truffle risotto, braised oyster blade steak, or “funky funchi,” a savory cornmeal mash with Parmesan cheese and a delicate poached egg. Want to make it extra special? Reserve a seat at the Chef’s Table, where you and your friends will get to sample the ever-evolving tasting menu, with wine pairings included. BijBlauw is a solid choice for breakfast, too—if you’re up early enough, grab a croissant and head for one of the coveted spots next to the water. Vegetarian options are available.
You think you’ve tasted a good smoothie before, but unless you’ve stopped by the 100% Batidos truck in a past life, your data is faulty. Fruit-packed batidos, or Cuban milkshakes, are the perfect antidote to a day spent under Curaçao’s harsh sun, whether you’ve been exploring the city center or soaking up a year’s worth of vitamin D at the beach. You can catch the mobile stand in front of the Plasa Bieu, or Old Market, in Punda from 7 a.m. until late afternoon—order the lychee juice or their passion-fruit smoothie for an unforgettable tropical pick-me-up.
De Ruyterkade
Hungry locals cram this Willemstad lunch spot every weekday, but the lines are well worth the wait. The massive outdoor food court hosts six different kitchens serving up local fare on an open flame. You can’t go wrong no matter which stand you pick—this is the place to sample authentic Curaçao cuisine at an affordable price. Try a bowl of kadushi (candle cactus) soup, or a plate of red snapper or goat stew with funchi (polenta), and an arepa di pampuna (pumpkin pancake) for dessert. Walk it off by checking out the nearby Floating Market or Punda Museum after lunch.
Nieuwestraat, Willemstad, Curaçao
This open-air hotspot with a colonial flair melds Asian and Caribbean flavors for combos such as shrimp with lemon-tequila sauce and coconut rice and carpaccio of squid with wakame. Order a chilled cocktail (we love the ginger drinks with crushed ice) for a refreshing antidote to the Caribbean heat.

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