If you're visiting a tropical island like Aruba over spring break, you can't stick to the restaurant chains that are accessible in the US. You have to branch out for some good eats. I've been lucky enough to vacation in Aruba with my family for the past five years. By going off the beaten track, I've come to know some of the best restaurants in Aruba. Head to any one of these hidden gems and I guarantee you will love what you eat.

1. Linda's Dutch Pancakes and Pizza

A personal favorite of mine is Linda's Pancakes. It is a quaint restaurant that seats guests both inside and out. While they are known for their Dutch-style pancakes, they also have soup, pizza, and sandwiches on their menu, along with an extensive gluten-free section. A Dutch pancake is similar to a crêpe and Linda's has the best on the island. 

The most popular crêpes are listed on the menu, in addition to a list of toppings for those who want to create their own. My go-to order is a pancake with Nutella and strawberries, but any combination will surely blow away your taste buds. 

2. Bingo! Cafe & Restaurant

It is a coincidence that Linda's is next to my second recommendation, but there is no way anyone could take on Bingo after downing a Dutch pancake. Bingo is also an indoor/outdoor restaurant, but my preference is the outdoor patio. The menu has a huge variety, ranging from fresh fish to juicy burgers and steaks or salads piled high with your favorite toppings. At Cafe Restaurant Bingo there is something to please everyone, even the pickiest eater of the group. 

3. Wacky Wahoo

For all of my fellow pescatarians and fish lovers out there, I hope you are willing to reach a little deeper into your pockets to enjoy one of the best meals on the island. Wacky Wahoo is a small seafood joint with the largest servings on the island, and they only serve what they snag out of the water that day. The thing to do here is order the catch(es) of the day, cooked the way you want.

4. Amore Mio - Pizzeria Napoletana

In a posh, modern setting, Amore Mio serves up authentic Napoli pizza with a perfectly thin and crispy crust covered in toppings of your choosing. The menu also lists salads and other hot and cold appetizers. The craziest item on the menu has to be the dessert pizza. That's right, the two best things ever—dessert and pizza—come together in a magical way. The dessert pizza is comprised of the same dough they use for the savory pies, except smothered in Nutella and topped with ripe bananas. Delicious.  

5. Yemanja Woodfire Grill

A journey into town for some shopping can make you work up quite an appetite. Yemanja serves up a fusion of Caribbean and European styles that will shock your tastebuds. For those who are of age, the menu has suggestions for the perfect wine to pair with your entrée. This ensures that all of the flavors ideally complement each other. Not only are their servings plentiful, but their plate presentations are colorful and look as good as they taste. 

6. Wilhelmina Restaurant

It may be one of the pricier locations on the list, but it's definitely worth it. With ingredients imported from all over the world, every dish is made with the highest quality products. This restaurant is perfect for a romantic date for two or even for a small party of extended family. The staff is extremely accommodating and they strive to make every guest feel like they are the only person in the whole place.

I came to Wilhelmina's for my mom's birthday. Both of my parents are big foodies and they found the food to be incredible. My mom loves bronzini (European sea bass) and ordered it at Wilhelmina's and said it was one of the best meals she's ever had. 

7. Madame Janette Restaurant

A beautifully lit patio with gazebos awaits you at Madame Janette's. It's a place my family never misses when we are on the island. They are known for their rack of lamb, pictured above, but also for their other cuts of meat with various sauces, and a large variety of seafood.

My favorite is the "Caribbean Delight Sea bass," which is sea bass prepared as a low-fat dish and served with a julienned salad tossed in the perfect amount of their house vinaigrette. 

8. Quinta del Carmen

Quinta del Carmen is serving "Grandma's (and Grandpa's) favorites" along with many other items. The restaurant is set in a building that is rich in history. The comfort food with an upscale flare makes for quite a delicious evening, especially when paired with some of their innovative cocktails.

9. Papiamento Restaurant

Located on the grounds of an old mansion, Papiamento— which is also the spoken language of the island—has an unforgettable ambiance. Daily specials are for the dare-devil type, while the regular menu pleases the less adventurous without sacrificing any flavor or quality. 

10. Zuzuroh

While it may seem like an odd combination of cuisines, Zuzuroh manages to make their Italian-Greek dishes complement each other seamlessly. Location-wise, this establishment is a bit set back from the main drag, which makes it a little difficult to find, but don't give up because this is a meal you don't want to miss.

11. Aqua Grill

A raw bar decorated in the day's freshest catches sits in the center of the restaurant and acts as a visual menu. There is an open kitchen, which means heavenly smells are wafting through the air throughout your meal. They definitely have a wider variety of fish than anywhere else. Whether it's stewed, fried, grilled, or raw, the seafood is delicious.

12. Mama's Food Truck - Eagle Beach

Lunch without having to leave the beach? Count me in. Mama's is parked in the same spot on Eagle Beach every day and serves until the food runs out. Whatever you get —chicken, beef, fries, etc. — make sure you get the special Aruba sauce drizzled on top. It is honestly magical. Get up off your lounge chair and make your way over before there is none left.

13. Passions on the Beach

It doesn't get more romantic than Passions. Envision a small table for two, positioned perfectly to watch the sun set behind the ocean while sipping fruity drinks and enjoying your choice of a fish and/or meat entrée. However, Passions does acknowledge that not every couple has the leisure of traveling without their children, so there is a kid's menu to accommodate all ages. 

14. 2 Fools and a Bull

2 Fools and a Bull is the only restaurant of its kind on the island. With a maximum capacity of just 16 guests, this "gourmet studio" prepares a five-course meal that varies on a nightly basis. While it unfortunately does not accommodate for vegans, vegetarians, or children, the daring people who find themselves at the large rectangular table and are willing to eat whatever gets put in front of them will thoroughly enjoy themselves.

15. Faro Blanco Restaurant

Although the drive is down a winding, narrow road that appears dark, have no fear: there is a light at the end of the tunnel... Well technically, a lighthouse at the end of the road. Authentic Italian food is served on an outdoor terrace that overlooks the ocean. On the Fourth of July, this is where you can find the best view of the fireworks. Whether you go for breakfast, lunch, or dinner — yup, they really do serve all three — you will enjoy sandwiches on the best Italian bread, salads with the milkiest mozzarella, and pasta swimming in perfectly authentic sauces.

I recommend the gnocchi first and foremost. It may be basic—simply topped with a tomato, basil, garlic sauce, and melted mozzarella—but it's some of the best potato gnocchi I've ever had.

If talk of these restaurants doesn't make your mouth water, I don't know what will. But fear not, though it's a small island, Aruba has over a hundred other restaurants that are bound to pique your stomach's interest. Bon appetit!