Bonaire Restaurants and Food
Bonaire wasn't a big food destination for me — I went for the diving. Breakfasts were covered by the B&B I stayed at and I was typically happy with a sandwich for lunch and dinner. Toss in a dessert from Cultimara (see below) and I was pretty much all set. Still, I did end up at a few restaurants and I've written about them below. There are plenty of additional options that I didn't make it to.
Please note that restaurants and other establishments open and close all of the time so the information below may be out of date. I've made note of a couple of closing that I know about.
Pasa Bon Pizza
This pizza place had near universal support from everyone I spoke to on Bonaire. Everyone seems to like the pizza and lasagna. I tried both and I have to agree that they're good. But I've also eaten at a lot of pizza places and had a lot of lasagna over the years. While Pasa Bon was good, I wouldn't say it's memorable compared to what you'd get in a big city like New York. That's not a complaint, just a comparison for those who've been around.
The one exception, is the lionfish pizza. Lionfish is a pretty mild fish and it was the pesto-based sauce and other toppings that made this pizza great. The one complaint I have is that the second time I went, there was no lionfish. So if you're in Bonaire, make Pasa Bon one of your first stops in case you have to return another night to try the lionfish.
Note that reservations are highly recommended. During one of my visits, I heard the owner mention that no more reservations for the night were being taken. That was at 5:30 pm.
Kite City (Food Truck)
I visited twice during my week-long stay in Bonaire. I had learned about them online via TripAdvisor. They were very conveniently located, especially for divers heading to south dive sites, near the airport.
I thought they had an extensive menu given they were operating out of a food truck. My wife and I tried their octopus wrap, barracuda burger, shrimp platter, and kite city burger. The octopus was tender (not at all rubbery) and nicely seasoned. The wrap was thoughtfully designed with vegetables. The barracuda burger was simple with a nice piece of grilled fish placed on a thick slice of tomato, onion and lettuce on a white bun. The shrimp platter consisted of a number of grilled and seasoned shrimp (de-veined but unpeeled with legs and head) with 2 pieces of artfully cut and styled toast, garnished with onion, lettuce and tomato. The kite city burger was a beef burger with mushrooms, cheese, and some veggies. Everything was fresh, not over-cooked, and flavourful. While we're not big “seafood eaters”, we even enjoyed the barracuda burger! The only caution is to take a few napkins as the food is juicy and can quickly become a bit messy.
As the food truck is parked next to the beach, they have a couple of large umbrellas out with a few oversized bean bag chairs. The seating is comfortable albeit tricky when you’re carefully balancing a plate on your lap to minimize drips. And shade is in short supply.
The food truck had a constant drip of customers. This place was well-known among locals and visitors were seeking it out. For fresh seafood served simply, we highly recommend you try them out.
Cactus Blue On the Beach (Food Truck)
I had heard about this food truck as a great stop for simple eats. As I was returning from diving that morning, I was eager to enjoy something satisfying. The menu was somewhat limited (6 items) if you compare to a restaurant, but there were options if you didn’t want a burger or were vegetarian.
I opted for the kite burger (bacon, cheese, onion). It was fresh, nicely seasoned, and delicious! My warnings is to take a bunch of napkins because it was messy.
While there are a few seats available, they go quickly. And shade is limited.
There was clearly a steady drip of customers as locals and tourists stopped by, a sure sign of good food.
Between 2 Buns
If you're headed towards any of the northern dives, you'll pass Between 2 Buns just after the round-about at Bari Reef. This place serves some delicious sandwiches.
The restaurant was busy but the line moved quickly. While most tables are inside, there were also wooden tables and benches outside. As I had been diving that morning, I was preferred to sit outside and I'm sure they did too!
The menu featured breakfast items and a range of sandwiches, from simple, premium, to hot. We had the Dynasty and Mona Lisa. Both sandwiches arrived on Italian buns, cut in half, and decoratively placed on the plate. There were no sides. The Dynasty included salami, brie, roasted red pepper, pine nuts and pesto, while the Mona salami, pesto, buffalo mozzarella, roasted red pepper and pesto. They were both freshly made, generously portioned and delicious!
To drink, I had the mint iced tea and it was quite refreshing. It was homemade (sweetened or non pending your preference). It came with a bunch of mint sprigs for flavour (and munching).
While we did not order anything else, the dessert display was prominent inside with incredible looking cakes, cheesecakes, flans, etc. I highly recommend stopping by for a casual meal. Note their hours as they close for dinner.
A restaurant on the main strip in town. The menu has a little of everything including a Bonairean stew. Other dishes are influenced by South American cooking styles, but you can also get Italian-style pasta.
Elle's Deli — Update: Now closed.
A smallish deli shop with good sandwiches. It's a good option if you want something for in between dives AND have a cooler in which to keep it.
Cultimara Grocery Store — Update: No longer recommended.
Great produce, meat counter, dairy, and bakery. Perfect to buy a few items and make sandwiches for snacks, light lunch while diving. Also has a liquor store along with wine and beer. There's parking outside the main entrance, but there's also a parking lot in case it's busy. In hindsight, I would skip other bakeries/groceries and just come here even though it was more of a drive from my B&B.
Van Den Tweel
In place of the above grocery store above, I now recommend Van Den Tweel.
I shopped there twice during my week-long visit to Bonaire based on a recommendation from our B&B hosts. We had heard that it was a new, clean, and well-stocked supermarket. And, easily located at a main traffic circle with ample parking.
I have to say that I agree, it was a large, bright, and nicely organized store. I was able to quickly and easily find what I was looking for. The on-site baked goods were freshly made with the bakers clearly working in the corner. They had a great selection of groceries including European brands.
Hato Market Bakery
Small shop with limited selection and some baked goods (i.e. bread, buns). Not quite what I'd consider to be a bakery and a few visits on different days resulted in no purchases.
Lover's Ice Cream / Sumiran-Javan Food
The menu is small, but eclectic. On the one hand you have several flavors of ice cream. On the other, you can get curry chicken. Despite the strange combination, this is a good place for lunch or a simple dinner. I recommend the chicken with rice.
Lilly's Ice Cream & Coffee
A solid selection of ice cream and conveniently located in the main part of town.