Aruba Palm Beach Vacation: Part 2 - Restaurants
My husband and I have been to Aruba twice, 2016 and 2018. Both times we chose to stay at the Holiday Inn, Palm Beach. The hotel is right on the beach and there are several options for dining right on the beach. We prefer to spend a full day on the beach so that works great for us.
The Palm Beach area is also very convenient if you want to walk to restaurants that are not on the beach. We walked to all the restaurants and never had to use a car or a bus.
We liked the idea of a breakfast buffet as we wanted eggs, baked goods and fruit. There are many hotels that offer a breakfast buffet but we wanted something more reasonable. Moomba Beach and Bar is right on the beach and within a very short walk from our hotel. It's so nice to walk on the beach in the morning. There is a feeling of freshness and tranquility in the air.
At 8 am there are only a few people on the beach, it's nice and quiet.
A short video of how beautiful mornings on the beach are. The sound of gentle waves lapping on the shore is so soothing!
Moomba Beach and Bar is located to the right of this lovely boat dock. We liked to watch people lining up to get on the Jolly Pirate morning tour.
You can sit right on the beach with your feet in the sand.
There is also a covered area under a palapa with easy access to the buffet stations.
Our favorites were eggs made to order, hash browns and little empanadas with cheese.
Pancakes and fruit were a nice addition.
We were quite pleased with the breakfast buffet at Moomba Beach and Bar and went there every day on both trips. Even though the food itself is not remarkable, and some servers were sort of indifferent, the reasonable price of $13.99 for both drinks and unlimited food as well as the ability to relish morning meals al fresco right on the beach made this place a good choice for us.
Brian and I always try to eat our lunch right on the beach no matter what beach destination we go to. In 2016 we ate all of our lunches at Sea Breeze Restaurant and Bar in our hotel. The restaurant had simple yet flavorful filet of grouper with green string beans. It was very light and fresh. We tend to overeat at breakfast and dinner while on vacation and we thought it would be great to at least keep our lunch light and healthy. This year on our first lunch there we discovered that our favorite dish was no longer on the menu. No other menu items spoke to us so we had to find other places to eat on the beach. The two places we ate more than once were Azzurro Restaurant at Playa Linda Resort and Waves Beach Bar and Grill at the Marriott.
Azzurro restaurant is very close to the Holiday Inn and has an attractive seating area on a level above the beach.
The restaurant is not too crowded at lunchtime.
The seating upstairs provides a wonderful view of the beach.
We tried coconut shrimp, cesar salad with shrimp and pasta. All were not bad, especially for the price. The shrimp was large and tasty.
We also went to Waves Beach Bar and Grill at the Marriott. Not everything on the menu is equally good. The burger and cesar salad were bland and forgettable. Our favorites were fish tacos and tuna salad.
Fish tacos are presented like this and are nice for a quick lunch on the beach.
The Blue salad with seared tuna tataki was a pleasant surprise, I didn't expect to enjoy it so much.
On the previous trip to Aruba we didn't have any dinners on the beach but this time having read good reviews about Atardi we gave it a try and went there twice. Both times we had an early reservation so we could have a more romantic ambiance while watching the sunset.
The beach is painted with a golden hue and has a more mellow vibe than during the day.
After watching the sunset, it's time to eat.
Salmon with sweet pea puree and baby corn was prepared well but was a bit boring for our taste.
Our favorite was the macadamia crusted grouper with bok choy, quinoa and creamy red curry sauce.
Overall the food is delicious and watching the sun set on the beach makes it a memorable meal worth repeating.
All the rest of our dinners were not on the beach.
This year we went back to some of our favorites from our 2016 trip like Pizzeria Amore Mio and Le Petite Cafe where we get filet mignon on the hot stone.
Pizzeria Amore Mio and some other restaurants from Gianni's Group are located in this charming area.
We like Amore Mio Pizzeria. It's a good choice if you want something simple yet flavorful. It's not expensive either. The few times we went there we shared a pizza Margherita and lasagna.
Sorry for a photo of a half eaten pizza. It's almost impossible to think about taking photos when you are faced with a fresh pizza pie. This pizza Margherita doesn't taste like an authentic pizza Margherita should but it's still has some kind of addictive power. And mind you, Brian and I are spoiled by having had great thin crust Napoletan style pizzas both in Italy and New York City.
Beef lasagna on the other hand is actually very good in a home baked hearty meal sort of way. These two dishes are enough for both of us to feel full but not stuffed. After dinner at Amore Mio we go to Gelatissimo which is located conveniently next door.
We like the interior decor of Gelatissimo.
Brian finds gelato there OK but I am not enticed. I find the gelato tastes too sugary sweet. I prefer when I can taste the ingredients themselves rather than mostly sugar. I have to say that after discovering Morgenstern's Finest ice-cream in New York City, I am forever ruined for many other places.
Gelatissimo, Amore Mio Pizzeria and Azzurro Ristorante all belong to Gianni's group. Having eaten at these restaurants we came to the conclusion that if we tried a new restaurant in the group we would not be disappointed as the quality of their food is pretty decent and the prices are not the most expensive for the area. After researching several steak places and finding prices obnoxiously expensive we decided to go to Daniel's Steak and Chop restaurant.
We are both filet mignon lovers and the filet at Daniel's was absolutely delicious. It was very flavorful on it's own, we didn't even need the sauces that came with it. The sides of truffled mashed potatoes and truffled mac and cheese were great companions to the filet. Hands down our favorite meal on our vacation if we consider food only!
After researching the best Mexican restaurants in the Palm beach area, we went to Chihuahua's Fiesta & Grill. The service was very good but after a so-so tasting guacamole we weren't expecting much.
My shrimp plate in a somewhat spicy sauce was surprisingly very good. The shrimp was large and fluffy and the sauce was full-flavored.
Brian had chicken enchiladas suizas and was also happy with his dish.
We didn't get any drinks so this is an unbiased sober impression of their dishes.
On the last day of our trip we wanted to try something new. Because Azia Restaurant and Lounge belongs to Gianni's group we thought we were not risking much by going to a new place and facing disappointment.
The interior of the restaurant is stylish and relaxing.
We started with yellowtail sashimi. It wasn't particularly fresh or appetizing.
My small plate of Aruba Rocks beef was nowhere close to Daniel's filet mignon in flavor but the price was significantly lower and it was still tasty.
Brian had stone fired Norwegian King salmon and found it fresh and good.
Thai rice noodles with cabbage, bean sprouts, peanuts and homemade sauce were very flavorful and our favorite plate despite being the cheapest.
Azia restaurant has some interesting small plates especially if you are in the mood for fusion cuisine.
After dinner we like walking along J.E. Irausquin Blvd.
Some nights we tried our hand at slot machines in the Marriott or Hyatt but didn't have much luck. We went to bed pretty early looking forward to waking up to the sight of the beautiful Caribbean sea and having fun on the beach.
All the vibrant colors of the Caribbean inspire me as a painter. After our trip I did the series of paintings with boats I saw on Palm Beach. Looking at them transports me back to the wonderful feeling of being on the beach and having great time. Here they are:
Little Caribbean Fishing Boat, oil on canvas 30" x 24" (76 cm x 61 cm)
Caribbean Serenity, oil on canvas 24" x 30" (61 cm x 76 cm)