For The Best Local Food in Curacao, Head To Plasa Bieu
No matter what you’re in the mood to eat, chances are you’ll be able to find it in Curacao. More than 50 different nationalities are represented here, a product of slavery, the island’s popularity and relative prosperity over the centuries. Restaurants specializing in the cuisine of these disparate lands operate all over Curacao. For a taste of the uniquely Curacaoan food born of the blend of this diverse culinary tradition, though, you must go to Plasa Bieu.
Beautiful Plasa Bieu
Nestled in the heart of the Punda district of Willemstad, Plasa Bieu is as authentic an institution of local gastronomy as you’ll find anywhere in the Caribbean. Translated from the local language of Papiamento (itself, a magical mash-up of a myriad of international influences), Plasa Bieu means “Old Market.”
The name most certainly fits.
If you want elegance with your eats – white table cloths, fine wine, fancy anything – then you’ll want to look elsewhere. PB is essentially a gritty, oversized cafeteria. It’s hot, bustling to the point of chaotic during peak lunch hours, and unapologetically West Indian.
The cooking’s done out in the open, as is the eating. Diners sit communal style on picnic tables crowding the middle of the Plasa.
Portions are large; prices, small. Patience can occasionally be thin, but it all adds to the flavor.
Six different eateries operate within Plasa Bieu every day except Sunday, and only over lunchtime. Arrive here any later than 1:30pm and you may miss out!
Uncommon Menu Options
What’s on the menu? Well, if it’s local, you’ll find it.
Karni stoba (stewed beef), keshi yena (filled cheese with chicken, prunes, and pickled onions) are staples. So too are bòkel (salted mackerel) and ayaka (meat tamales wrapped in banana leafs). More adventurous foodies can also opt for such exotic fare as iguana soup, kabes ku higra (head and liver stew), and kadushi (cactus soup).
Plasa Bieu is a singularly Curacaoan culinary experience not-to-be-missed! Get a broader sense of the vibe here.
*Lead photo credit: Flickr user bionicgrrrl.