Gluten Free in Aruba!

At first I was a little worried about vacationing with a gluten free diet. With this being my fifth trip to “The Happy Island,” I was really looking forward to some delicious dinners. In the months leading up to my vacation I was constantly researching gluten free restaurants in Aruba. I found Trip Adviser and other blogs to be very helpful, but emailing a restaurant prior to my trip was the most helpful. To my surprise many restaurants in Aruba were more than willing to accommodate my food allergy. When you make a reservation remember to mention your allergy and always communicate with your waiter. Unfortunately, gluten free beer has not made its way down to Aruba, but the grocery stores offer many gluten free items! Here are the restaurants I dined at while I was away:

The Jolly Pirates Sunset Sail

Texas de Brazil

My family ate here on the first night and I was amazed by the staff’s knowledge of gluten. Our waitress completely understood my gluten allergy and arranged for a chef to show me around the salad bar. For those of you who have never been to Texas de Brazil I will explain the serving style of the dinner. First, guests visit the salad/appetizer bar for the first course. Next, you sit back down at your table flip your card to green (“yes, I would like more food!”) and servers come around with a variety of meats that are carved right onto your plate! The chef walked me around the salad bar and told me all of the dishes and dressings that contained gluten. He also reminded me of which meats I would not be able to eat for dinner. For my entire dinner our waitress kept an eye on me and reminded me of which meats I could not sample. She even knew to avoid vodka in my drinks! I highly recommend going to Texas de Brazil while you’re in Aruba gluten free or not! Our dinner was awesome!

Smokey Joe’s

In the past this restaurant has been one of my favorites while in Aruba. The ribs here are amazing! My family ate here twice during our trip. Unfortunately (and not to my surprise) the ribs are not gluten free. The first night my waiter did not understand my allergy; he actually thought I said I was allergic to glue, so he brought the manager over. I ordered plain grilled chicken on a salad with oil and vinegar dressing. Although the salad was not nearly as satisfying as the ribs I was wishing I could have I did not get sick. The second night our waitress told me the dry-rub ribs did not contain gluten ingredients, so I decided to give them a try. After watching my family devour delicious saucy ribs early in the week I was green with envy. Although the dry-rub wasn’t as good as the BBQ ribs I had years ago they were still tasty. Afterwards, I did have a bit of an upset stomach, but nothing too terrible. In the future I would just stick to the salad and suggest others do the same, especially if you have Celiacs.

Linda’s Pancakes

One night my family decided to order in, so I picked up a gluten free pizza with peppers from Linda’s. I was definitely one of the best GF pizzas I’ve had. One of my cousins even said he thought it tasted just like regular pizza. Unfortunately, I got a stomach ache pretty quickly. Although several other blogs raved about Linda’s gluten free dutch pancakes I was too hesitant to go back after trying the pizza. The rest of my family stopped at Linda’s for breakfast one morning and loved it.

Yemanja Woodfire Grill

Amazing! Amazing! Amazing! Yemanja is the only restaurant I found with an actual gluten free menu. Most of their dishes are gluten free to begin with so I was able to choose from the same dishes as my family. They even brought me fresh, fluffy and delicious gluten free bread!! This night I had grilled mahi-mahi and was able to eat the family style side dishes that were put on the table. I highly recommend dinning here if you have a gluten allergy!

Gianni’s

Definitely put this restaurant on your list if you are looking for excellent Italian food. Although they do not have a gluten free menu they offer gluten free pasta and a knowledgeable staff. All but two pasta sauces are gluten free. We actually ate here twice because the food is so good and they could accommodate my allergy.The first night I had gluten free penne with carbonara sauce. It was so good I had it the next time as well, but the gluten free pasta of the night was fusilli. Both nights my waiters took great care in noting my gluten allergy.

Chalet Suisse
When my cousin made our dinner reservation this night he actually spoke directly to the chef. The chef informed him that many of the restaurant’s dishes did not contain gluten and he would be more than willing to accommodate my food allergy. I had the delicious filet mignon special with spinach, mushrooms and a baked potato.


At the end of my trip I ate lunch at the Marriott’s Aruba Ocean Club when my waitress told me I could have asked the front desk to make note of my allergy in the computer. She said all of the restaurants on the grounds  would be able to see my food allergy in the computer when processing our meals. I will definitely remember this for next time! I hope this helps all of you gluten free readers who may be traveling to Aruba!

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