Curaçao Restaurants: The 12 Best Places To Eat During Your Stay In Willemstad


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Curaçao is a beautiful Caribbean island that's filled with adventure. This Dutch-speaking isle is a part of the ABC island chain that includes Aruba and Bonaire. Curaçao is located in the Lesser Antilles, east of Aruba and 40 miles north of Venezuela. This island is known for many things including its amazing cuisine and restaurants.

While vacationing in Curaçao, between enjoying the best beaches on the island (Mambo Beach, Curaçao!), viewing world heritage sites like Handelshade, and exploring national parks, you’ll be able to indulge in some of this island’s unique cuisine. The local fare on this island, krioyo, is a mix of Caribbean, Dutch, and Latin American flavors. Some of the best dining in Curaçao can be found in the capital of Willemstad, and we’ve listed some of our favorite restaurants below!


The 12 absolute best restaurants in Curaçao



1. The Wine Cellar

The Wine Cellar is a French-inspired seafood restaurant in the district of Pietermaai. If you search up reviews on The Wine Cellar, you’ll find plenty of reviews from past guests about how this was one of their best experiences in Curaçao. Their reasoning largely has to do with the great food, service, and atmosphere at this location.

The Wine Cellar is ideal if you're looking for somewhere to have a tasty lunch or a romantic dinner. The menu here is diverse and includes vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Some of the popular menu options at The Wine Cellar include fresh seafood such as red snapper, salmon fillet, shrimp, and scallops. There are plenty of non-seafood options as well like the filet mignon, tenderloin filet, rack of lamb, truffle pasta, and stuffed mushrooms.

A large part of the appeal at The Wine Cellar is expectedly the wines. Options include sparkling, reds and whites from Spain and Italy, French white wines, French red wines, fine red wines from Chile and Argentina, Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, and American Premium Wines. The Wine Cellar is perfect for an intimate and romantic couples date night.



Expert tip: If you love South American food, you have to visit Zuka.

This restaurant specializes in cuisine from Central America and South America, but also offers international cuisine like lobster, skirt steak, and red snapper fillet. Our favorite dishes include the shrimp ceviche, the swordfish, and the tres leches cakes for dessert. This restaurant is only available for guests of Sandals Royal Curaçao.

The best part? Zuka’s exceptional food is included and unlimited as part of Sandals' all-inclusive vacation package. Have as many glasses of wine as you wish with the dish of your choice because (alcoholic) drinks are included and unlimited during your entire stay!


2. Kome

Kome-food

Photo credit: Kome

‘Kome’ means eat in Papiamentu, a language widely spoken in Curaçao. At Kome restaurant in Pietermaai (Willemstad), you’ll be inspired to do just that. You can have a la carte dinner at this restaurant on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday while on this island. On Saturdays, Kome is open for brunch and their menu includes savory and sweet options as well as classics. Wednesdays are set aside for Tapas and Copas with a wide selection of items available for sharable portions. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are also on offer here.

The menu at Kome mainly consists of Caribbean-inspired dishes made with fresh ingredients. Fusion options are available including chicken and waffles, pepper steak, burgers, and Thai chicken. On the dessert menu: chocolate cake, sorbet, creme brûlée, and more. While you’re deciding what to order at Kome, you can settle in with some cold beers or cocktails and enjoy the ambiance.

Dinner is available at Kome from Tuesday to Saturday from 12 pm to 10 pm. There's seating indoors and out on the terrace at this restaurant. The open-air dining section at this restaurant tends to be more serene. Kome is located in an area that is beautiful and accessible, so you might want to go for a walk before or after your meal.

Expert tip: Want to get familiar with Curaçao’s capital ahead of your vacation? Read our Willemstad city guide for travelers to get started!


3. Gouverneur de Rouville

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Photo credit: Gouverneur de Rouville

Enter the courtyard of Gouverneur de Rouville, a restaurant that serves both local and international cuisine. Everything at this restaurant has a Caribbean twist, which is just part of the reason guests love it so much. Gouverneur de Rouville is a top choice in Curaçao for dining if you love restaurants that pay attention to detail with their decor and offer great food and views.

The interior of this restaurant is beautiful and rustic. The peaceful view of the harbor invites you to a few moments of calm while you revel in options from the lunch, dinner, or dessert menus. There are a few different eating areas to choose from including the balcony, a romantic garden, a private air-conditioned meeting room, and the Motown-themed bar. From Gouverneur de Rouville, you can enjoy views of the Punda district, in particular the famous UNESCO world heritage site, Handelskade.

The service at Gouverneur de Rouville is highly-rated and some of the guest favorites on the menu include ceviche, salmon cannelloni, salmon fillet, Caribbean chicken, and carpaccio. Cocktails and beers are available. Gouvernear de Rouville opens from 9 am to 10:30 pm Monday to Sunday.



4. BijBlauw

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Photo credit: BijBlauw

Sunrises, sunsets, and every time of day in between can be simply breathtaking when viewed from the shaded courtyard at BijBlauw. The appeal of this scenic oceanfront restaurant lies in both its exceptional ambiance and skillfully prepared dishes. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week, BijBlauw provides ample opportunity for you to stroll down and indulge in a fantastic culinary experience. This family-owned and operated establishment makes it a point to use fresh, in-season ingredients from around the island. Their menus change from time to time to incorporate new flavors and elements as they become available.

Since just about everything at this venue is made in-house, the restaurant can work around most food allergies and dietary needs (just let them know in advance) while still providing a sumptuous meal, paired with a great glass of wine if you desire!



5. Shelterrock Paradise

Shelterrock Paradise is a Caribbean-style seafood restaurant that presents a unique dining experience. So much so that on Friday evenings, meals are cooked in coconuts! This is an experience that must be booked in advance for precise preparation to be done for the meal of your choice. Options for the coconut dining experience include chicken, beef, shrimp, fish, seafood mix, vegetarian, and goat. Fridays are also karaoke nights.

Other than that, this restaurant opens regularly for lunch, brunch, dinner, and late-night food and drinks. You’ll feel like you’re away from it all here, in a good way, with pretty incredible views of Christoffel Mountain. There are hammocks out on the balcony, thatched-style roofs, and most importantly, delicious food and refreshing drinks. This restaurant has some of the best local food in Curaçao complete with a romantic and cozy atmosphere.

Good to know: There’s a hiking park near the Shelterrock Paradise restaurant where you can find a bit of adventure if you desire!


6. MosaCaña Bar & Kitchen

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Photo credit: Influence Through The Lens

Eclectic and upbeat, MosaCaña Bar & Kitchen serves up delicious food. This European/Latin/Caribbean fusion restaurant is popular with both locals and visitors to Curaçao. As this spot can get crowded, making a reservation ahead of time is generally important, even more so if you want to secure seating for dinner.

On the menu at MosaCaña Bar & Kitchen, you’ll find a range of options including fish, tacos, ceviche, and steak. This restaurant is also vegetarian-friendly and offers gluten-free options. Some of the things guests love most about MosaCaña Bar & Kitchen are the great music and service, as well as the tapas-style bar. Cocktails and beers made from locally sourced alcohol are available.


7. Restaurant Nultwintig

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Photo credit: Bronwyn Knight

Restaurant Nultwintig is near the seaside and opens daily with lunch and dinner selections. This restaurant focuses on serving up high-quality dishes made with the freshest ingredients. On the menu at Nultwintig, you’ll find a range of international fare including fresh fish, veal, steak, and lobster. Based on reviews from past guests, this is one of the best restaurants to dine at in Curaçao.

In terms of what to expect during a dining experience here, well… for sure an absolutely beautiful setting, an atmosphere so welcoming it will draw you right in, friendly and helpful staff, and plenty of options for dining and cocktails. As Nultwintig is quite popular, make a reservation in advance.


8. Baoase Culinary Beach Restaurant

BAOASE-decor

Photo credit: Baoase

Baoase Culinary Beach Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is a romantic beachside location on a private beach. This restaurant's menu includes European, Asian, and Caribbean-inspired cuisine. You can dine here with some pretty standout views. If you're into seafood, you can try some great options here every Thursday. On Sundays, Asian cuisine takes center stage while on Saturdays you can enjoy the culinary barbecue.

At Baoase, try some customer favorites including the breakfast crepes, the spicy yellow curry, the burrata salad, tuna tartar, and the tenderloin carpaccio. There is also a range of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options available. Ahead of your plans to dine here, it is best to reserve a table. Seating options include ocean views, private gazebos, and tables on the beach.

Insider tip: Considering a beach vacation that includes dining at amazing restaurants? There are quite a few all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, Curaçao included, that you can consider for your next getaway!


9. Fort Nassau

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Photo credit: Kurt Peterson

You’ll see Curaçao in an entirely new way at Fort Nassau, especially since this restaurant is set high on top of a hill that overlooks the capital Willemstad. The space where this restaurant exists today was once a fort (built in 1796), and it has been used as a restaurant since 1959. Fort Nassau opens for lunch and dinner with a diverse menu featuring international cuisine.

Fort Nassau prides itself on using fresh, high-quality ingredients for all of its dishes. Top-rated menu items here include the grilled lamb chops, mahi-mahi, scallops, and the coconut chia seed panna cotta for dessert. Other than that, you can try the pasta, salads, soup, sandwiches as well as tasty entrees and desserts when dining here.

The views from Fort Nassau restaurant are exceptional! When booking a reservation here, options include lunch with a view or late dinner (also with a view!). In terms of seating, you can choose between a dining experience with a 180-degree island view, a Willemstad and sea view, or a sunset view for two at the terrace around the bar.


10. Sal The Kitchen

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Photo credit: Sal The Kitchen

Sal The Kitchen really knows how to mix flavors in a way that keeps customers coming back. That perhaps is the reason that you might find yourself here more than once during your vacation in Curaçao. Sal The Kitchen is a fine dining restaurant with a casual ambiance that serves up Caribbean, Mediterranean, and French-style cuisine.

This restaurant is located in the Pietermaai district of Willemstad. The menu here includes options of ‘small bites’: steak tartare, marinated tuna, salmon gravlax, etc., and ‘not-so-small bites’: tenderloin, veggie carbonara, poussin caesar, and more. There are options for sides, desserts, and nightcaps. Some of the customer favorites at Sal The Kitchen include the red snapper, fried goat cheese, rib-eye steak, tuna tartar, and the passion fruit sorbet for dessert.

Aside from the unique flavors, at Sal The Kitchen, you’ll love the quality of the food and the fantastic views. The service is also great and the atmosphere is welcoming and intimate.



11. SOi95

SOi95-decor

Photo credit: SOi95

Reviews suggest that SOi95 offers one of the best dining experiences in Curaçao but why not go there to decide for yourself? The name alone might be enough to draw you in with intrigue! Once you get there, you can enjoy some of the best Asian cuisines in Willemstad. This restaurant is a good option for dinner, dessert, and cocktails.

When you arrive at SOi95, the funky and modern decor will immediately grab your attention. The menu you’ll be handed once you’re seated includes options like pangsit prawns, red snapper, goat arepita, and tres leches cake for dessert. There are many other delicious options so you’ll really have to make up your mind about what you’re in the mood for, or ask for recommendations from the chef.

The menu at SOi95 changes fairly often - mostly due to the availability of fresh ingredients on the island. This restaurant offers shared dining, and servings are slightly larger than you’d expect with tapas style. There’s an intriguing cocktail menu at SOi95 too that includes options like the 24k Mojito, Midnight Martini, and Asian Saoco. Reservations for SOi95 can be made online whether you want to secure seating in the indoor dining area or the rooftop terrace.


12. BKLYN

BKLYN-restaurant

Photo credit: BKLYN

Prepare to be spoiled at BKLYN, a gastro-bar in Willemstad known and loved for its chic and contemporary style. Located in the Pen Square area, this hotspot opened in March 2021. BKLYN is super cozy and romantic, which makes it a great place for date night on your couples’ vacation. Meals at BKLYN are served tapas style.

BKLYN is fun and lively. Customer favorite menu items here include the oysters with a side of caviar, flank steak with chimichurri, and the millionaire shortbread. Some other interesting items to try include the lentil, pumpkin coconut curry, bao buns, the sunset park salad, honey soy glazed chicken drum sticks, crispy coconut prawns, and more.

A great dining experience at BKLYN is incomplete without getting something delicious to sip on. The liquors served here are infused in-house and have tantalizing exotic flavors. Try the in-house classic “Hanging Grapes”, made with lemongrass-infused gin, fresh passionfruit juice, homemade ginger beer, and Angostura bitters. BKLYN opens from Tuesday to Saturday from 5 pm to midnight.


Local dishes to try in Curaçao

There’s a world of food to try in Curaçao and some of this island’s traditional dishes can put even the most dedicated foodie to the test. This daring list includes things like iguana soup, cactus soup, and many other options. We’ll focus on some of the most popular local dishes you simply must try in Curaçao:

Keshi Yena - This is considered the signature dish of Curaçao. Interestingly, the preparation of this dish starts with a ball of cheese, usually edam or gouda. Then, the cheese ball is stuffed with beef, chicken, pork, or minced vegetables like onions, capers, tomatoes, pickles, and olives. The meat used in this dish is typically spiced.

Fried Plantain - A favorite on this island that consists of thinly sliced plantains that are fried until gloriously golden brown. This dish is also popular on other Caribbean islands.

Pastechi - A popular fried pastry that can include chicken, beef, tuna, vegetables, ham, cheese, or tuna filling. This is usually served as a breakfast dish but it can also be eaten as a snack. Pastechi is most often crescent-shaped.

Stoba - Hearty and delicious, stoba is a stew that is made with papaya, beef, or goat. The type of meat used in this dish varies, but papaya is the signature ingredient that adds sweetness to this dish. Carrots, peas, and other ingredients are often added as well.

Guiambo - This soup has a bit of a slippery consistency due to the okra and it includes a medley of seafood. Commonly, canned or fresh oysters, cooked shrimp, and fish are added to Guiambo. Small pieces of funchi (listed below) are sometimes added to this soup once it is prepared.

Kadushi - Made out of cactus, kadushi is another one of Curaçao’s traditional dishes. The spines of the cactus are removed, then the cactus is skinned, sliced, and prepared. Typically green in color and slightly slimy - you can find this nutritious soup at the Old Market in Willemstad.

Funchi - This savory dish is made out of cornmeal, and is comparable to polenta. It is also similar to another dish known as tutu, although black-eyed peas are not used in the making of funchi. Funchi is usually served as a side dish, but it is sometimes placed into soups.


Bonus: Get dining credit with Sandals’ Dining Out Program

Hands down, Curaçao has some of the best restaurants in the Caribbean. With an emphasis on ensuring the ingredients used are fresh and the dishes appealing, many of these restaurants leave guests wanting to book a flight back just for another night of dinner!

If you’re a fan of eating out, then you’ll love Sandals’ Dining Out Program. Through this initiative, guests of Sandals Royal Curaçao will receive $250 in dining credit (per room) that can be used at any restaurant that is included in the curated list of participating establishments. This is the perfect opportunity to dine at one of the top-rated restaurants in Curaçao during your vacation.

Credit from the Sandals’ Dining Out Program can only be used at one restaurant, and the remaining funds cannot be used to dine elsewhere. The credit must be used during your stay as well. Guests who are eligible for the Dining Out Program include anyone who has booked seven or more nights in a butler-level suite at Sandals Royal Curaçao. The voucher will be provided to guests once they check in at the resort. The voucher includes food, drinks, and gratuity!

For more information: https://www.sandals.com/royal-Curaçao/dine-out-Curaçao/



Explore the best restaurants in Curaçao during your stay


Pictured: Guests of Sandals Royal Curaçao have the opportunity to indulge in an elite dining experience at any of the eight restaurants and three beachside food trucks on the property. Always unlimited and uber-exclusive, the dining options include European fusion, Italian, Mediterranean cuisine, seafood, sushi, and more.


The Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao is quite a gem. Embarking on a culinary or any type of journey to this island is bound to be rewarded with exceptional experiences. As the restaurants listed in this post are truly traveler favorites, we have no doubt you’ll be able to find at least one that you can enjoy during your vacation.

A vacation in Curaçao can be made even better with a stay at one of the all-inclusive resorts in Curaçao. There are many perks to an all-inclusive vacation on this island. One of these will be the quality inclusions you can find at resorts like Sandals Royal Curaçao and the fact that everything you need will be provided in one place including drinks, food, entertainment, and more. Sandals Royal Curaçao offers luxurious accommodation, multiple restaurants and pools, and everything you’ll need for an incredible Caribbean vacation!

Expert tip: When you're done experiencing the best restaurants in Curaçao, you can take some time to check out some of the most fun things to do in Curaçao.





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Kylie Morrow

About Kylie Morrow

Born on the tropical island that is Saint Lucia affords a never-ending source of inspiration. In the past 13 years, Kylie loved to work with various newspapers, magazines and blogs in the Caribbean.