Bonaire has plenty of great eats! Located in the Southern Caribbean, Bonaire is a municipality of the Netherlands. The majority of Bonaire dining comes from European and African culture. You’ll find plenty of fresh fish and stews, similar to typical Caribbean food. From the cheese and charcuterie plates assembled at home to our dining out, we were very happy with our meals in Bonaire.
Here’s a guide to what to eat and drink in Bonaire. I’ve included a list of recommended restaurants at the bottom.
What to Eat and Drink in Bonaire
The majority of Bonaire dining comes from European and African culture. You’ll find plenty of fresh fish and stews, similar to typical Caribbean food.
Goats are one of the only animals raised on Bonaire, so you can bet it’s a local dish that’s done right. The consistency is less of a stew soup and more like stewed meat on a plate with rice.
Grilled Fish (Piska)
One of my favorite things to eat in the Caribbean is grilled or pan-seared fish, and I can’t get enough! In Bonaire, it’s sometimes served with a stewed tomato sauce. The fish is typically mahi-mahi or wahoo.
This is cornmeal similar to polenta. It’s usually a side and sometimes fried. In this post, you’ll see it in these photos as a flat, fried patty or a large rectangular shape, like a big French fry.
Curiosity got the best of me. This soup was made with celery and onions and the iguana tasted a bit like stewed pork. Different but good.
There are many burgers available on Bonaire, from the traditional beef to the unique lionfish. I enjoyed fish and beef burgers!
Another one of my favorites in the Caribbean, these plantains are usually a side dish.
This is the local spicy sauce made with onions, peppers, and vinegar. You’ll usually find containers of this condiment on the tabletop along with ketchup and mayonnaise.
It didn’t seem like there was a traditional dessert in Bonaire but we did enjoy dessert! There are a few gelato shops. We also enjoyed tres leches and pineapple cake. I noticed apple pie (perhaps a Dutch influence?) on a few menus.
Local Liqueur and Liquor – The Cadushy Distillery
Have you ever drank a cactus? The island’s Cadushy Distillery makes a cactus liqueur that has a lime flavor along with a few other liqueurs. You can visit the distillery in Rincon or the store in downtown Kradeljik. If you’d rather try it in a cocktail, look for a bar serving it, usually in a mojito.
Cadushy Distillery also produces Rom Rincon (rum), Cadushy Vodka, and Captain Don’s Whiskey. You’re sure to find these in cocktails around town.
If you want to get very local, Bonaire Blond is the beer for you. It’s brewed at a local restaurant and available in bottles at the grocery store and in a handful of restaurants on the island. I liked the beer a lot!
You’ll readily find Polar (Venezuelan), Amstel (Dutch), and Heineken (Dutch) in grocery stores and restaurants. Belgian beers like Duvel (the Duvel Tripel Hop was delicious) and Trapiste are available at the grocery store. If you like trying new beers, you’ll enjoy exploring the ones in Bonaire.
Where to Eat and Drink in Bonaire
We rented a house in Bonaire and made a few meals at home during the week. This was a good option because of time and money and the grocery store was down the street. We were also very impressed with the cheese and charcuterie section at the grocery store! A couple of nights we picked out some random items and made plates to snack on.
We also ate PLENTY of
On the weekends, Kip Tukkie parks outside Van den Tweel and here you can get a delicious, tender, and four-hour-smoked whole chicken for $14. It was so good!
Restaurants in and near Downtown Kralendijk
The Downtown Kralendijk area is fairly compact and getting to north or south of downtown will take about 10 minutes.
- Windsock The Beach (South) – We stopped here for sunset drinks and we liked it so much, we made reservations for dinner the next night. The mojitos were our favorite along with a goat cheese salad and beef truffle pasta. With their perfect sunset view, reservations are necessary!
- Between 2 Buns (North) – The sandwiches here hit the spot and the restaurant was recommended by locals. I had a salami and brie on Italian bread.
- Konfo (Downtown) – This local restaurant has a simple, chalkboard menu and they’re serving up noteworthy traditional food. Goat stew and pan-fried fish were both satisfying.
- Mi Banana (Downtown) – Located a little further from the main downtown streets, Mi Banana serves
Caribbeanand Colombian cuisine. We stopped in this restaurant for a late lunch right after we arrived from the airport. I loved the pan-seared fish and Will’s lomitowas delicious too. Don’t forget the tres leches cake!
- Brass Boer (South) – We enjoyed an excellent dinner here on our last night. Chef Jonnie Boer is a Michelin-star chef in the Netherlands and opened this restaurant a few years ago. While Brass Boer was much pricier than any of our other meals, we were impressed by the flavors, creativity, and atmosphere. Service was a little slow, as we had been warned by others, and we ended up staying for two and a half hours. They open at 5:30 pm for dinner, so make an earlier reservation if you’re worried about this. We enjoyed the beef tartare, “on the beach” oyster and foie gras, neck of lamb with Thai curry, tom
khakai pasta (my favorite!), 1 metreof ceviche (marinated in kombucha and ginger), whole snapper, and deconstructed apple pie.
- At Sea (Downtown) – We considered this restaurant instead of Brass Boer for our “fancy dinner.” Their menu, with a focus on the protein, looked hearty and intriguing also.
- Mezze (Downtown) – If you’re looking for more vegetarian options, this Middle Eastern restaurant has an enticing menu of hummus, tabbouleh, and the like.
- Eddy’s Bar & Restaurant (North) – A local favorite, Eddy’s Bar serves traditional eats, including ceviche.
- Karel’s Beach Bar (Downtown) – This was a nice pier bar to enjoy drinks at as the sunset! They serve Cadushy Distillery mojitos here.
- Gio’s Gelateria (Downtown) – This shop will satisfy your sweet tooth with their gelato.
Gogreen(North) – This Indian vegetarian restaurant is also highly rated. They focus on organic and healthy eats.
- Cactus Blue – If you want the lionfish burger, get there early! They open at 11 am and usually sell out, as we sadly learned. However, we ate beef burgers instead and were very pleased! They’re typically on Donkey Beach.
- Kite City – We didn’t fit this food truck in our schedule but I wish we had! They’re known for their fish, especially ceviche and seared tuna burger. They’re usually located at Te Amo Beach.
Sorobon Beach Restaurants
If you’re visiting Sorobon Beach in the southern part of the island, here’s where to eat and drink.
- Beach Hut Bar & Grill – We visited this beach-front restaurant from a recommendation. I liked the fish (wahoo) burger but liked the beef burger more.
You may find yourself in Rincon in the north part of the island if you’re diving the northern dive sites like Karpata or 1000 Steps or if you’re visiting Washington Slagbaai National Park. Here are a few recommendations.
- Rose Inn – We stopped here for a few beers and thought about eating lunch here. They serve traditional food from a short, verbal menu.
- Posada Para Mira – We stopped here for the lunch and the view is great! I liked the goat stew more than the salted cod. I probably should have stuck to my favorite grilled fish! You can also try iguana soup and goat liver stew here. Our piñacolada cake dessert was good too.