8 Curaçao restaurants that’ll give you a taste of this beautiful island
By: Mariette Williams Matadornetwork.com
CURAÇAO IS A COLORFUL DUTCH ISLAND that’s the C in the ABC Islands (Aruba and Bonaire being the other two). Located about 90 miles north of Venezuela, the temperature stays in the 80s year-round, and it’s situated in the southern portion of the Caribbean that’s outside the hurricane belt. There’s no mistaking the Dutch influence on the island. Willemstad, the capital of Curaçao, was founded by the Dutch West India Company, and its most recognizable landmark is the row of brightly colored Dutch colonial buildings on the Haldelskade waterfront. But Curaçao is also distinctly Caribbean. About 90 percent of the population speaks the native Creole language Papiamentu along with English, Dutch, or Spanish.
The island’s diversity is on full display at Curaçao’s restaurants. Visitors to the island can expect to find delicious Caribbean, Asian, Latin, and Italian dishes that incorporate ingredients local to the island. From traditional Caribbean comfort food to elevated Italian fare, these are the best restaurants to experience the cuisine of Curaçao.
1. Plasa Bieu
For those looking for an authentic Caribbean meal, head to Plasa Bieu. Also known as Marche Bieu, the open-air food hall is located in the neighborhood of Punda in Willemstad. It’s casual and is popular with locals who often take their lunch breaks here. After you order, food is eaten community style on plastic-covered picnic tables. Plasa Bieu has several different vendors to choose from, and some of the standout dishes include stewed fish, rice and beans, and plantains, all of which are prepared over wood-fired stoves. Plasa Bieu has been serving up delicious homestyle food in generous portions for decades, and it’s open for lunch Monday through Saturday.
2. Bario Urban Street Food
Bario Hotel and Bar is a hard-to-miss, buttercup yellow hotel in the historic neighborhood of Ser’i Otrobanda. Here, you’ll find Bario Urban Street Food, one of the best places to eat on the island. The al fresco food court features food stalls, a spot for creative craft cocktails, and live performances. One of the highlights at Bario Urban Street Food is Lionfish and Mangos, a food stall that serves up the invasive lionfish in a number of ways. Guests can enjoy fishcakes, bacon-wrapped fish bites, dumplings, and pizza, all made with the species. Don’t leave here without trying the Otrobanda Colada made with local blue Curaçao liqueur.
The best Italian food in Curaçao is at Serafina. Set in Willemstad’s historic district, Serafina feels like eating an intimate meal with family. The restaurant is located in what used to be a residential home, and meals are best enjoyed in the warmly lit, intimate courtyard. While everything here is good, you can’t go wrong with the fettuccine beef ragu or the fresh red snapper. There’s also an impressive portfolio of Italian wines to pair with dinner, and for dessert, try the simple but decadent lemon tart. Because Serafina uses local ingredients, the menu changes with the seasons, so be sure to ask your waiter for any seasonal specials.
4. Fish and Joy Bistro and Wine Bar
Located in the trendy neighborhood of Pietermaai in Willemstad, Fish and Joy is a partnership between the beloved seafood restaurant Fishalicious and the wine bar Joy. The restaurant offers a global menu with dishes from Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean. The menu is filled with small plates like takoyaki crab (Japanese crab beignets), Scottish salmon, and ceviche wahoo. On the bar side, Joy offers 50 different wines and an extensive Champagne selection. If you can,...Click here to read more...