Photo Credit: Paul Arps

Bonaire’s cuisine is considerably varied as a result of the cultural diversity of the inhabitants. Seafood is naturally a common theme on many restaurant menus, with the most popular dishes including conch shell meat, lobster and grilled spicy fish, in addition to stews and soups. Most of the island’s eateries are located in the capital and are wide-ranging in terms of style and standard. Even though the island doesn’t actually raise any of its own food products, the variety of cuisines available is vast. Most of the bars are located in Kralendijk and tend to stay open until around midnight.

Bars and Pubbing in Bonaire

As with most destinations in the Caribbean, nightlife is a laid-back and carefree affair. Happy hours are the norm and cocktails, in addition to Dutch beers such as Amstel and Heineken, are often found at bars. In Kralendijk, C’est La Vie Bonaire Bar (Kaya Simon L Bolivar 21, Kralendijk) has gained quite a reputation in recent years for its friendly atmosphere, delicious cocktails and reasonable prices. Another popular spot is the Paradise Moon Bar and Restaurant (Kaya Korsou 1, Kralendijk), located on the coastline, making it a great place to catch the sunset. Just along the waterfront is the infamous City Cafe Bonaire (Kaya Grandi 7, Kralendijk), which has been operating for more than 15 years. It is perhaps the island’s best live music venue and stays open relatively late most nights.

The cozy town of Rincon is Bonaire’s oldest settlement and houses some of the island’s most authentic bars, such as the Posada Para Mira (Kaya Para Mira, Rincon). Located in the hills on the way to Dos Pos, the place comes to life on weekends with the sound of festive music. Overlooking Lac Bay, Kon Tiki Beach Bonaire (Kaminda Sorobon 64, Lac Bay) is a charming cocktail bar which offers spectacular views of the lagoon and boasts year-round art exhibitions. For an authentic beach party, check out Karels Beach Bar (Kaya J N E Craane 12, near Harbour Village), a place where cool tunes and booze are always flowing.

Dining and Cuisine in Bonaire

Bonaire is home to around 80 restaurants, most of which are located in and around Kralendijk. One of the most renowned is the Playa Krioyo Restaurant Bonaire (Kaya Isla Riba 1, Kralendijk), which serves up traditional local favorites, such as sopi kabrito (goat soup) and baka stoba (beef stew). Open only on the weekend, the delicious Bobbejan BBQ (Kaya Albert Engelhardt 2, Kralendijk), centered in the heart of the capital and offers some of the best grilled meats on the island. Lilly’s Ice Cream Shop (Kaya L D Gerhards 5, Kralendijk), one of the most established joints, quite rightly claims to make some of the best ice cream in the Caribbean, while the coffee is also outstanding.

If you are headed from Rincon to Washington Slagbaai National Park, be sure to stop at LeMaSe Restaurant (Kaya Rincon 34, Rincon), a quaint villa offering homemade treats from local soups to tasty milkshakes. El Fogon Latino Restaurant (Kaya Nikiboko Zuid 88, Lac Bay) in perhaps the island’s best South American restaurant, serving primarily Colombian dishes that are well worth checking out after a day exploring the Lac Bay lagoon.

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