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“Legendary and unique”

Charlie's Bar & Restaurant
Ranked #2 of 16 Restaurants in San Nicolas
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $30
Cuisines: International
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Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner
Description: Charlie’s Bar & Restaurant was founded on September 18, 1941 by a Dutch couple, Charles and Marie Brouns. They chose their location in San Nicolas as it was close to the large Lago Refinery: this provided a steady stream of clientele in the form of seamen, contractors, and oil workers.Over the years, Charlie’s Bar became a destination returned to by countless friends from the past, accompanied by new patrons anxious to visit what has become an iconic island institution…”If you haven’t been to Charlie’s you don’t know Aruba!”Today, Charlie’s Bar is recognized as one of the Top Ten Bars in the Caribbean; and is a must see destination for first time visitors who will undoubtedly encounter and enjoy the company of many repeat clientele from literally all over the world. Everyone comes for the ambiance; the real connoisseurs are here to enjoy the intercontinental cuisine offered by Charlie’s Menu. Everything from jumbo shrimp to fine tenderloin steaks and fresh local seafood are at your beck and call. The menu is varied and prepared fresh each and every day try our “Honeymoon Sauce” with your entrée (if you like things real hot) or tone it down with our Creole style of preparation. Daily specials and home made snacks round out the menu for the inquisitive diner.Presently, your host, Charlito (the third generation Charlie) says, “Everything we do is focused on one thing, creating an unforgettable memory that will leave you wanting to return.”
Reviewed March 5, 2013

I am returning to this unique place for third year now, staff, food (especially Passapalo - local way of preparing tenderloin - must try) and atmosphere (interior decoration like nowhere on the planet) is always the same - GREAT. Charlie's bar was opened in 1941 and it's look is just getting better and better every year - go and check why. Price - very cheap.

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Thank drSegula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montsy, Guest Relations Manager at Charlie's Bar & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded March 6, 2013

Dear Miha S, thank you for your trust in us and for taking time to write a review. We hope we can keep welcoming you. Our guests are all legendary and unique in their own way too. Many leave a a memorabilia behind and become form part of us. Hope to see you soon!

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Reviews (343)
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208 - 212 of 343 reviews

Reviewed March 4, 2013

On our 5th trip to Aruba we decided we should finally go to Charlie's Bar. We did not order food but had a couple drinks, lots of history in this place that will keep you rubber necking as long as you sit there. Glad we went, but once is enough.

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Thank NotlerRay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montsy, Guest Relations Manager at Charlie's Bar & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded March 6, 2013

Dear NotlerRay, thank you for visiting us and taking time to write a review. We hope you continue exploring this side of the island which has so much to offer. As opposed to the hotel area we have pretty much remained the same over the years. This has it's pro's and con's. A pro is that San Nicolas and Charlie's Bar are genuine and rich in local flavor and culture. A con is that we stayed behind in infrastructure etc. Hope to see you again.:)

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Reviewed February 15, 2013

Had a great family dinner here when visiting Aruba. The food was good and the service was great. The only negative was the prices were a bit higher than expected. Great ambiance. A cautionary note, the bar/restaurant was on the edge of the red-light district of St. Nicolas. Was ok for us, but some families may want to stay away. Interestingly, we had to ask a couple of "girls" nearby where the closest bus stop was to get back to Savaneta as we got a taxi to get there earlier. We had assumed there would be the normal Thursday night street party, but because of Christmas/New Year, it was not running.

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Thank bmoliver0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montsy, Guest Relations Manager at Charlie's Bar & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded February 22, 2013

Dear bmoliver0, Thank you for your review. We are glad to hear you enjoyed the food and service. All entrees include bread, a side salad and french fries or rice. In order to accommodate lower budgets we offer the bar bites and appetizers. Or we offer a special of the day. We hope you visit a next time so you can choose from any of these. As for alcoholic beverages we realize the prices are not the same as before. Here we had to adjust our prices to due to the increase of government taxes on alcohol. This effect is noticeable on the entire island.

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Reviewed February 14, 2013

we stopped at san nicolas for the light parade and had read about Charlie's bar in the book "an island away" so we had a wonderful fresh fish dinner and went to the back of the restaurant and had a good view of the light parade for carnival. we had good food and was interesting to see all the collections on the wall and celing. i do not want to go to chain restaurants that i can see everyday in the states. local good food away from the tourist area.

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Thank WisconsinSunfun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montsy, Guest Relations Manager at Charlie's Bar & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded February 17, 2013

Dear WisconsinSunFun, Thank you for your review. We are happy to hear you had a great time. Carnival in Aruba and specially San Nicolas is a great opportunity to meet locals and experience our culture. It is always a challenge to get in or out of the Carnival route but you made it.
An "island away" gives an impression of San Nicolas so you knew what to expect and we are glad you were not disappointed. Hope to see you back.

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Reviewed February 12, 2013

Charlie's is the answer to the disheartened Aruban tourist. Did you think you were going to see fewer Senor Frogs and more legitimate bar culture? Get in a car and go to San Nicholas and follow the signs to Charlie's. When you park your car, don't be careless and leave your DLSR on the backseat. People complain about crime in this area, but as long as you use your head, this area is no more dangerous than your hometown. The bartenders are great but won't try and fake good conversation just for a tip. They'll tell you stories, let you ask all the typical questions they must hear constantly and all do it politely while pouring you good drinks for good prices. All the nicknacks can keep you looking around for at least a few rounds and the food is actually amazing for a bar. Do yourself a big favor and make sure you go to Charlie's, at least once. And remember, this is a bar. Regardless of it's red light district location, use judgement before taking any children to a BAR.

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Thank jacqueline d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montsy, Guest Relations Manager at Charlie's Bar & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded February 17, 2013

Dear jacqueline d, thank you for your review. It is as you describe if you are expecting any type of franchise operation you arrive at the wrong address in San Nicolas. The best way to get to Charlie's Bar is by renting a car as you wrote. It is an approximately 14 mile ride and a great opportunity for sightseeing. Taxi fares are high and they usually say San Nicolas is dangerous to avoid the longer rides. The crime reports show a different conclusion though.
A last note on kids: there is nothing we can't handle;).

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