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“Absolutely The Best”
Review of Driftwood

Ranked #20 of 222 Restaurants in Oranjestad
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $9 - $36
Cuisines: Caribbean, Seafood, Soups
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Kids, Local cuisine, Large groups, Families with children
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: We are located in the heart of characteristic downtown Oranjestad and offer you a unique dining experience. Enjoy the freshest fish, biggest shrimp, or the most succulent Caribbean lobster amid the rustic ambience of the natural driftwood dining room. Our menu includes a large variety of typically Aruban delicacies including our three star fish soup and our mouth-watering filet of fish served with a mild Aruban Creole sauce... A seafood lovers dream come true. Furthermore all dishes are prepared with an Aruban touch and accompanied by Pan Bati, our famous Aruban corn bread. We welcome you to our intimate and comfortable Aruban seafood restaurant where we will do our utmost to make your dining experience a most pleasant and enjoyable one. Welcome to Driftwood!
Newtown Square, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
235 reviews
203 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 262 helpful votes
“Absolutely The Best”
Reviewed June 30, 2009

Absolutely the best seafood anywhere. The catch of the day was wahoooooo, and it was great. I had mine done Aruban style and it was superb. Very generous portion and a beautiful presentation. First time I ever had wahoo and now I know that I've been missing something special all of these years.

The best part about this place was that we each had a three course dinner for $24 each - just ask for the special menu. Its not so special since everything on the main menu is also on the special menu. Best deal in Aruba, if not the entire universe.

I've been to Aruba about ten times, and Driftwood is a must go every time.

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1 Thank KingAtlanticCity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
222 reviews
192 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed June 18, 2009

We were just in Aruba and after reading the advertisement for the Driftwood as 'fine dining' I was looking so forward to it. We had gift certs and we had the dine around coupons. I have to say both...are a waste of time and more aggravating...it saves you nothing. The Driftwood makes up the rules as they go along. They have a flyer that says 'free glass of wine with entree'...you don't have to bring the flyer, it's not a coupon, BUT...if you use a gift cert...nope...it's void?! Now as I understand it, a gift cert is money in a different form...it's NOT a coupon that has specific restrictions. You cannot use a gift cert and get a free glass of wine...as if they are actually GIVING you anything...you PAID for the gift cert...not them!?! It's not issued by them. Each time we had a question, the waitress had to ask other's...so that told us right then and there they make their own rules. The service was terrible...that could have been that night only...who knows. They like to cater to larger groups rather than a table of 2 or 4. I had seen other tables waiting for service as well. The food was just 'eh'. They didn't have a particular fish that my Aunt wanted for dinner and were out of other things as well. There are plenty of other restaurants with much better service and food. You can skip this one.

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Thank PinkCat14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland Maine
Level Contributor
106 reviews
81 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Our Favorite Restaurant in Aurba”
Reviewed May 17, 2009

Great food & service. FRESH FISH and very attentive staff w/ smiles! What more can I say! It's our now favorite.

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1 Thank DiMath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, Delaware
Level Contributor
26 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Should've just eaten at the hotel”
Reviewed May 15, 2009

Since this was the #1 ranked restaurant on TA and highly recommended by the hotel staff, my wife and I had been dying to get to it. After catching the 10 bus from the hotel ($1.35 each way) to the bus terminal downtown, we had to walk about 4 blocks. We wound up walking about 10 blocks as we got lost trying to find this place. Downtown Aruba is pretty empty on a Thursday night and the lighting and street signs aren't the best. The bus driver tried to give us directions and then someone on the streets tried to give us supplemental directions. We missed the street that Driftwood was on and then wound up walking down a street that my wife and I probably wouldn't walk down at night in the States to get back to it. It's a little off the beaten path, but isn't entirely too difficult to find if you have accurate directions(get them before you leave the hotel).
The previous reviews hit it on the head. Red Lobster Aruba style. My wife made that comment before we even read the reviews. She also stated that at least in Red Lobster we would've left out full for the amount of money we spent. We went in around 10 p.m. and the place was virtually empty. There were a ton of waiters and waitresses hanging around, yet not one of four that visited our table made me feel very warm and fuzzy. Most restaurants in Aruba give you the sense that the wait staff is just going through the motions. I totally understand given the massive volume of tourists they must see, but at certain places you just expect a little more, especially when the wait staff has on tuxedo separates. The decor is a tad cheesy....think Red Lobster building a place made out of drift wood.
When we were first seated we were told there were three types of fish, Wahoo, Swordfish and Barracuda. Then the waitress said there were only two....I guess the captain didn't have a good day out at sea seeing that he catches his own fish. I started off with the conch fritters. They didn't really taste like anything except grease. For our entrees I ordered the Wahoo, my wife ordered the garlic shrimp. The meals come with veggies, starch(rice or potato), and more starch (toasted french bread). The Wahoo was pan fried as recommended by the staff. It's a firm fish, almost like a steak. It lacked on flavor, even with the sauce. It was something I could've made for at least 20 bucks less. The shrimp were shrimp, you can't really go wrong preparing them, but for 20+ bucks you should get more than 6. A service charge wasn't automatically tacked on (as is the case in many Aruban restaurants), but our bill still came out to be $70 before tip. I liked the Old Fisherman better. We hitailed it back to the bus stop and managed to catch the last 10 going back to the hotel area. Word to the wise, go to Ling and Sons and buy as much as you can and make your own creative dinners. I haven't found a must visit restaurant in Aruba yet.
FYI, the clubs/bars in the surrounding area looked DEAD or we would've grabbed a few drinks afterward.

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2 Thank GoogleEarther
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland, USA
Level Contributor
52 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2009

I must be missing something, since Frommers, Fodors, and TripAdvisor all give this place good reviews. We thought it was a dump. To begin with, the atmosphere inside is dark and depressing. This theme continues with the staff, who seemed to be just going through the motions (very slowly). The worst part was this guy (maybe the head waiter?) who was lurking around the dining room, openly "admiring" the bodies of his female co-workers. He even gawked at a customer who had to pass him on her way to the bathroom. We assumed he was some sort of escapee from the kitchen and were shocked when he slithered over to our table to take our order. What seemed like days passed, with no drink refills, and we were starving by the time our food finally arrived. I thought I was ready to eat just about anything, until I tasted the food. The seafood was way overcooked and the sauces tasted like they were either old or they were made with old ingredients. The steak was edible.

Another reviewer compared this place to the Red Lobster. I've never eaten there, but I'm pretty sure that's an insult to the Red Lobster. Also, if you must go to Driftwood, don't bother to dress up. Given the prices we assumed it was a dressy place, but most people were wearing shorts, tank tops, and I swear one woman had on a beach cover up.

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2 Thank KBandMB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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