Scallop appetizer at the Fort Nassau restaurant in Curacao.

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Where to Eat In Curacao, The Best Restaurants To Try

Embarking on a culinary journey in Curacao presents a unique adventure, and finding where to eat isn’t always easy. While it’s true that Curacao may not always be considered a gourmet destination compared to other Caribbean islands, its dining scene possesses a few gems if you look around. In this guide, we’ll explore Curacao’s top places to eat, highlighting establishments that elevate the island’s culinary landscape—helping you find a few good places to eat in what is otherwise a not-so-great foodie destination. From cozy local eateries serving traditional specialties to upscale restaurants offering creative interpretations of Caribbean cuisine, these dining destinations prove that Curacao has some options worth finding.

As you can tell, I did not find many impressive food options on the island. And this may be tainted by my initial choices, which were less than outstanding. But after I searched a little deeper, I found a few places I enjoyed. But let me save you a lot of disappointment on the island of Curacao: Don’t order the burger. 

But as you eat your way around this Caribbean island, you will find distinctive dishes such as Keshi Yena, fresh seafood, international cuisines, and friendly faces. For the more adventurous you will see many food trucks and local food along the main roads that are worth trying. While the heart of Willemstad is the center of the Curacao food scene, you will find good options outside the hustle and bustle of that area. 

Top 8 Restaurants To Try In Curacao

So, after traveling the island of Curacao for two weeks, here are some of my favorite places to eat and drink:

Coast

I’m starting this list with a few casual options. Almost every beach in Curacao has a cafe or restaurant. We found ourselves eating at one of these nearly every day. Most were not memorable, and most were not worthy of a return visit. But Coast, located at the Blue Bay Resort Beach, was the exception. 

This beachside restaurant served some delicious and creative beach food. On my first visit, I tried the Indo Bowl, which was fried rice served with peanut sauce, fried egg, tempura green beans, sweet & sour cucumber, and chicken satay. On my second visit, I enjoyed the Chicken Baobun, which consisted of Asian sliced buns, crispy chicken, and sweet & sour cucumber with a sweet, spicy sauce. Both pair well with my Curacao drink of choice, Brasa beer (almost every meal I paired with Brasa or Bright; it just goes with the vibe so well).

This casual beach restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you are looking for great beaches check out my post Top 8 Best Beaches To Visit In Curacao in 2024.

5 O’Clock Somewhere

This option is more about the drinks than the food. Located waterfront in the Renaissance Wind Creek Resort, it offers a great selection of Margaritas and small bites. Try the wings tossed with a spicy tamarind hot sauce or the cheese balls (Kaasballen) with chili ketchup dipping sauce. 

5 O’Clock Somewhere is a great place to try for happy hour while exploring Willemstad. 

Blue View Sunset Terrace

Everyone goes to the neighboring restaurant, Playa Forti. It attracts tour buses and large crowds. It has a fantastic view, and people cliff dive (jump) from the cliffs of the restaurant. But the food could be better. It was the scene of the first awful burger of the trip. A few days later, we tried the neighboring restaurant, Blue View. The food was much better, the view was the same, and you could watch the jumpers. So overall, it was a much better experience. 

Mike had the Burrito Fish Wrap, and I had the Shrimp and Bacon Salad. Both were good, solid dishes, and went great again with an Amstel Bright! 

View from restaurant of cliff divers at Playa Forti in Curacao.
Cliff Divers Playa Forti
The Wine Cellar
Tim enjoying a cocktain in a Curacao restaurant at sunset.
Cocktail at Fort Nassau

This restaurant is one of the island’s most highly regarded dining options. The Wine Cellar is Curacao’s version of a steakhouse serving lunch and dinner—lots of meat, seafood, and pasta. 

Try the Stuffed Mushroom appetizer, Fillet of Sole, or Rack of Lamb. Entree prices range from  $23 to $46

Koraal Rooftop Bar

The Koraal Rooftop Bar & Pool is the Coral Estate Luxury Resort’s mid-range, more casual dining option. We stayed at a villa in Coral Estate, so this was our neighborhood bar. You will find great drinks, a fantastic view, and good food here.

If you are looking for where to stay in Curacao? Check out my post Where to Stay In Curacao Hotels and Villas for 2024.

We tried several of the signature cocktails and enjoyed all of them. Try the Smoky Lithi or the Señor Banana; both are excellent. The menu is creative and has some good dishes. But my go-to appetizer was the Cheese Balls, deep fried with a great dipping sauce. 

The Green Egg Corner sign at a Curacao restaurant
Green Egg is big in Curacao.

Once again, don’t get the Caribbean Smash Burger. It tasted odd, an abundance of cumin. This was burger disaster # 3. (The other burger to avoid is at the beach restaurant at Cas Abao, which was the worst of them all.)

Friday night is a very popular time to visit. It’s Green Egg night, and most of the entrees are cooked on a Green Egg smoker/grill. As you eat your way around Curacao, you will find that the Green Egg has quite a following, and many restaurants feature items cooked on it. You will also find great live music and a relaxed atmosphere.

Make a reservation if you want a table with a view. But bar seating is usually easy to come by without a reservation. 

Karakter

Situated on the shores of Coral Estate Beach Resort, Karakter is a beachfront oasis known for its laid-back atmosphere and delicious cuisine. Guests can dine with their toes in the sand while savoring a menu of mouthwatering dishes made with local ingredients. Karakter is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Reservations are recommended if you want a front-row beach table.

Pumpkin is a big deal in Curacao; it’s on almost every menu. So, if you come to Karkter, try the Pumpkin Pancakes, the Pumpkin Sandwich, or the Coconut Shrimp (it’s served with pumpkin salsa). When you are looking for vegetarian dishes, this is one of the best places to look. 

Fort Nassau

As far as romantic dinner options are concerned, Fort Nassau’s Sunset Terrace is the place to go. You can reserve a table a few weeks before your visit and have a great view from one of four small tables in an area called the “Bus,” which is a narrow overhang of the fort. 

The food here is almost as excellent as the view over Willemstad. It is a fine dining experience, perfect for a special occasion. Try the Garlic Soup for a starter (not as good as the soup in the next suggested restaurant, but pretty good). The Tenderloin entry and the salmon were excellent. Service here was some of the best we found at any restaurant on the island. So order a signature cocktail, sit back and enjoy the warm breeze and enjoy this charming restaurant.

Gouverneur De Rouville

Restaurant & Café Gouverneur de Rouville (de Gouverneur) was hands down our favorite restaurant in Curacao. We had lunch and dinner at this establishment, which is located in the Otrabanda (the other side) section of Willemstad. It has a wonderful view of the Handelskade, that picturesque stretch of waterfront you’ve seen on every Curaçao postcard. A short walk from the Queen Emma Bridge and even within walking distance of the cruise ship port, you will find one of the best places to eat in Curacao. 

​De Gouverneur has top-notch service, with creative dishes. You will also find ample parking nearby. 

If you go, and I insist you do when visiting Curacao, you must have the Cuban Banana Soup. This was one of my favorite dishes of the entire trip. We had this on both of our visits and have been craving it ever since. Other notable dishes are the Carribean Chicken (both as a sandwich at lunch and an entree for dinner, and I thought the lunch sandwich was better), Mixed Grill (a great chance to try several items on the menu), and Apple Pie (Curacao is obsessed with apple pie). When looking for where to eat in Curacao, don’t pass Gouverneur De Rouville by.

Explore Curacao Dining and Enjoy the Views

While Curacao may not be known for its culinary scene, some hidden gems are worth exploring. From beachside casual restaurants to upscale dining options, Curacao has a variety of places to eat that cater to different tastes and budgets. If you want a unique dining experience, try some of the recommended restaurants in this guide. Just make sure to avoid the burgers! You can enjoy delicious meals and drinks with the right choices while taking in the island’s breathtaking views.

Below are links and resources to help you plan The perfect trip

Travel Resources

  • HOTELS
    Booking.com and Expedia.com are great resources for accommodations around the world. Book almost any hotel directly from these links.
  • TOURS
    The best places to book tours and activities are Viator or Get Your Guide . From great food tours to guided hiking adventures to local walking tours, you will find great experiences to add to your travels here.
  • FOOD EXPERIENCES
    EatWith is a great resource for authentic culinary experiences with passionate locals worldwide. Connecting travelers with hosts in over 130 countries, providing unique, intimate, and immersive experiences in private homes and exclusive venues.
  • TRAINS
    Trainline is Europe’s leading train and coach app. They work with over 210 rail and coach companies to help their customers travel to thousands of destinations across 45 countries. 

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