The island of Bonaire is known for its pristine waters and renowned scuba diving and snorkeling. What many people don’t know about Bonaire is that it is not only recognized as a diver’s paradise but is evolving into a “delicious paradise” -- a gastronomic destination for foodies at large.
In May 2015, Tourism Corporation Bonaire launched the first Bonaire Cuisine Month, showcasing the diversity of culinary pleasures offered to visitors and the chefs who create them. Participating restaurants offer promotions like signature cocktails, special entrees, prix fixe menus, and Happy Hour specials. Activities include cooking demonstrations and tastings at select restaurants, and epicurean and cultural events such as the Taste of Bonaire.
Bonaire cuisine options range from Mediterranean, Italian, Dutch, French and Creole to local fare. Whether you're heading to Bonaire for Cuisine Month or just planning a dive-and-dine getaway, Bonaire has a number of restaurants located right on the beach. Spend the day at Sorobon Beach and grab some eats and cocktails at either The Hangout Bar at Jibe City, or The Beach Hut. Kite City Bonaire’s Food Truck at Te Amo Beach offers guests the chance to dine with their toes in the sand while sitting on a huge, fluffy red bean bag chair.
It doesn’t get more “island life” than that!
After a day of exploring the underwater world of Bonaire, dining at one of the island’s more upscale restaurants is a well-deserved treat. Bistro de Paris offers authentic French fare and breathtaking views of the marina. Ingredients at Buddy Dive Resort is an open-air restaurant with Caribbean views that offers a Mediterranean menu.
For more adventurous foodies, At Sea Restaurant is the place to be. Voted one of the best restaurants in the entire Caribbean, options here include a ‘surprise menu' where the chef selects the guest’s three courses for the evening. Other restaurants that offer fine dining and waterfront views include Breeze n’ Bites Bonaire at Den Laman Condominiums, It Rains Fishes and Spice Beach Club at Eden Beach Resort.
For those who want to absorb the culture of Bonaire, a day exploring Bonaire’s oldest city, Rincon, located in the north, is an ideal choice. Lunch at Posada Para Mira Local Bar & Restaurant and order local dishes like iguana or goat stew. After lunch, a trip to the Cadushy Distillery to taste Bonaire’s signature liqueur, Cadushy, made from the island’s Kadushi cactus trees, cannot be missed.
If visitors are looking to dine like a local, head to Maiky Snack. Maiky Snack is an inexpensive local hangout that serves authentic cuisine. Popular dishes include goat stew and funchi.
A vacation on Bonaire would not be complete without sipping on Happy Hour cocktails and tasting the colors of the rainbow. Some of Kralendijk’s most popular bars are Karel’s Beach Bar, Rum Runner’s Deco Stop Bar at Captain Don’s Habitat, La Cantina and Cuba Compagnie. Most of the restaurants offer specials ranging from 2-for-1 drinks to free finger foods, discounted drink prices, and more.
For more information on Bonaire Cuisine Month and to see all of the participating establishments visit www.tourismbonaire.com/cuisinemonth.