Visiting the best restaurants in Aruba is one of the main reasons for making this particular resort your destination. There is information available, from the AAA and other critical review organizations, and from travel sites on the Web. For fine dining purposes, Aruba is known to be a great place to spend a vacation.

Known for friendly service and excellent food, whether local, ethnic dishes like goat stew or international cuisine, this city aims to please and to make your vacation relaxing and rewarding. It is less important, perhaps, to know the most highly rated establishments, since so many are so very good. However, there are stellar restaurants that stand out even in this talented community.

Italian cooking in Aruba is said to be just as good as that found in the home country, French cuisine like it just flew across the ocean, and sushi is as good as you can get in Japan. For specific specialty houses, ask at your hotel; the concierge will know and can make reservations for you.

The Aqua Grill is noted for the fresh catch of the day (many choices will be on the menu, of course). Gasparito's is renowned for authentic Aruban food (which includes steak), and is also known for its art gallery and the history it has acquired over more than twelve decades. Favorite foods may be found at Gianni's Italian Restaurant, the Flying Fishbone (where you dine on the beach), and Smokey Joe's, where its BBQ ribs are eaten outdoors in truly casual style.

If you prefer making the choice of casual to formal (though still relaxed) in a four diamond setting, there is the Radisson Aruba. With an onsite martini bar, the poolside bar, and three restaurants. The Radisson excels year after year in quality of food and service. Even the room service is outstanding, being available day and night, with a full menu until 1:30 am. The Gilligan's Beach Grill offers casual beachfront seating, and the Laguna offers its famous buffets for breakfast and dinner, alongside the freshwater of a quiet, cool lagoon.

The hotel's signature dining room is the Sunset Grille, where 'epicurean artisans' make award winning dishes and pride themselves on unique, eye pleasing presentation. Open from six in the evening to eleven, the Grille performs to the highest industry standards in both cuisine and service. Waitstaff is trained to be knowledgeable about every dish offered in the premiere restaurant.

Steaks are famous in Aruba, where the El Gaucho has become known for its charo grilled Argentinian steaks. As with all the more popular places, reservations are recommended, maybe even from your home computer. Also, when dining in Aruba, check your bill or ask at reservation time about the gratuity, which is often automatically added to the total when the check is presented. Otherwise, the standard percentage rates of 15 to 20 percent apply in this city.

Of course, adventurous tourist have long known that the best restaurants in Aruba may be true local hangouts, where the fishermen go. Great meals have been stumbled on by accident, cooked and served by the owners in the quiet, intimate front of their home. You never know.