Iguana Cafe – A view to remember

Written by Melissa Bharwani

The iconic Iguana Cafe is located right off the famous Queen Emma Bridge. This waterfront restaurant is family owned, and has been there for over twenty-five years. It offers great food, a “wow” view and colorful cocktails to say the least. This is the only restaurant where you can casually sip a cocktail and watch the Queen Emma Bridge swing open to let the ships in and out of the harbor. On the other side of the street you can look at the UNESCO heritage buildings of the famous Handelskade.

Having lived in Curacao for most of my life, surprisingly I’ve visited this famous cafe only twice. I’m sure you’re wondering why that is. This is a restaurant which has always been packed with people, from locals, to tourists, just about anyone you can think of has visited this restaurant. So, as a local when a restaurant is so full, you either get overwhelmed with the crowd, or skip the place entirely because in your head you’re thinking you’ll be waiting hours for food. I contacted Iguana Cafe myself a short while ago asking if they would like to collaborate with me for a blog post! I was hoping they would say yes, but I also knew that such a popular place, which one may even call a “hotspot” pre-pandemic, might not agree to do a collaboration with me. So, you can imagine how thrilled I was when they did say yes, and now I can bring this iconic restaurant straight to all of you!

When I arrived at the Iguana Cafe, I was greeted with a smile, and asked if I wanted anything to drink. I was just waiting for the social media manager, whom I was corresponding with. I was seated and enjoyed the view for a few minutes. When she arrived, we spoke for a while about the cafe, and its history. Interesting fact, where the Iguana Cafe is situated was actually once water , so that section was built over the years. Ships would anchor there and let merchants out to shop in Punda, which was known as “La Boutique del Caribe”. Once upon a time Punda, was the only place to come if you needed anything, the shopping district not only for the island but for the entire Caribbean.

My mother joined me for dinner at the Iguana Cafe. She absolutely loves calamari and as soon as she saw it on the menu, she knew exactly what she was having. I ordered the tuna salad. The calamari was fantastic, not chewy, but perfectly cooked and crisp. My order on the other hand took me by surprise. It was a massive tuna salad with two slices of bread, the presentation was beautiful and the portions were large.

The cocktails at the Iguana Cafe are famous, I’ve been told by several people that they just go for the colorful drinks. A lot of you may already know that I don’t drink alcoholic beverages, but the really great thing at the Iguana Cafe is that any drink can easily be made into a mock-tail and the alcohol is served on the side in a “test-tube” in a fruity mixture. This works for most drinks, not all, but the drink menu is so large you can find something pretty, something delish, and something totally Instagram worthy! All in one!

On a personal note, the Iguana Cafe has the perfect location, a menu with a lot of variety to please everyone, and their colorful cocktails give you that warm Caribbean feeling! The service was prompt and everyone was just so nice. If you’re in Curacao visit them, you will have a wonderful time, and if you’re not here yet, be sure to put them on your list! Follow them on Instagram and on facebook @iguanacafecuracao

If you would like to collaborate with me, just send me an email at melissa.bharwani@gmail.com, I would love to tell your story to the world.

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