When I had first told my friends in Israel I was going to Aruba most of them were truly surprised that such a country even exists, and obviously could not place it on a map. For Americans, and perhaps Dutch people (as Aruba is a constituent country of the kingdom of the Netherlands) this is a pretty common destination, but if you, like my Israeli friends, have no idea where that is, Aruba is a small Caribbean island, not too far from the shores of Venezuela. Aruba’s economy is highly dependent on its tourism, as this is their greatest source of income. This also means they are very warm and welcoming towards tourists. People in Aruba speak Dutch, Spanish, (sometimes) some English and Papiamento, which is the native tongue.
Aruba is an interesting mixture. Unlike many other Caribbean islands, Aruba isn’t tropical. It is basically a dessert surrounded by an ocean. This means two things – a – there are tons of cacti on the island, and b – there is no agriculture, they don’t grow anything on the island itself and they have to import all of their food supplies. This, obviously, has impact on what people eat.
In Aruba you can find so many American food chains, such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, KFC and Dominos Pizza. As you can probably tell by now, I’m not the biggest fan of these kind of restaurants, and also, you definitely don’t need me to recommend these places 😉 What I will tell you about instead, are a couple of super delicious and cute vegan places where you can grab a bite and a coffee, if you desire.
This super cute cafe is part of the yoga studio “Island Yoga”, both of which are owned by Rachel Barthen, aka Yoga Girl. If you are not a yoga person, Rachel is huge on social media (especially Instagram). Nourish was the first fully vegan health cafe in Aruba, and it mostly caters yoga practitioners before or after their practice. The cafe offers variations on healthy bagels, toasts (with all sorts of nut based cream cheese, avo toast, tofu scrambles and more) and pancakes, as well as sweet options such as brownies, vegan sneakers, banana bread (and more), and it also offers smoothies, juices and some fancy lattes. You can choose to have your coffee or special drinks with either soy, coconut or almond milk. Everything I had (which was pretty much half of the menu) was just yummy, with their luna smoothie bowl (Acai bowl with fruit and granola) being my absolute favorite option. The decor is adorable, as it is bright and colorful, dominanted by pink and turquoise and has a boho feel to it. There are high tables as well as regular ones, a comfy couch and some padded benches. Nourish also has a garden at the back, with white benches and cacti. Some walls are covered with plants and one wall has drawings of mandalas on it. The atmosphere is super laid back, and the staff is really nice and welcoming. This place is also perfect for travelers, as it offers a reliable wifi. One thing you will need to know about Nourish is that it is open every day from 8:30am till 2:30pm and only serves breakfast and lunch.
This little Beach shack seems like nothing special at a first glance, just a typical food booth at the beach, except for the fact you might notice a very long line in front of it. This place is actually a super healthy super yummy spot with many vegan food options. At the back of the shack you will find a cute boho set up with a bench and some good vibes messages. However, you would probably want to sit under the beach shacks, which offer both shade and ocean view, and just chill. Eduardo’s Beach Shack serves a variety of smoothies, you can choose between an acai bowl, a dragon fruit bowl, spirolina… They even serve Oreo and caramel smoothie bowls with coconut whipped cream on top. You can also get savory meals, like salads, tacos etc. If you prefer to have a little something sweet and a coffee (or an iced one) you will be able to find all sorts of sweet snacks – the biggest variety of energy balls I have ever seen (including chocolate, dates, peanut butter, beets(!) and then some), carrot cake, cinnamon buns. Though the place is so busy, the staff is friendly, and the service is quick and efficient. If you are looking for a tasty, healthy experience while soaking in some island beachy vibes this is definitely the place for you. Open daily from 7:30am to 4:15pm
Sending you some Caribbean sunshine!