Best Local Food: Maiky Snack
As you pass through the gate into the parking lot at Maiky Snack the first thing you notice is a big concrete sign painted with the words “Best Local Food.” The owner, Maiky, after all just wants you to know the truth! Indeed, we concur with Maiky. His snack restaurant has the best local food on the island. We don’t really agree with the word snack, though. What you are about to enjoy is a meal.
When to go
Plan ahead because Maiky Snack only opens Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11:30 – 3:30. Because of the short span of opening hours Maiky Snack fills up quickly with locals on their lunch breaks and tourists in the know. By all means get there on the early side for the best selection. We love the traditional goat stew, or cabritu stoba. If you get there too late you might miss out on trying it!
Location and getting there
To get to the best local food you have to really want it! Located on an out of the way winding dirt road you can expect some searching and maybe some confusion. But all this only adds to the charm, fun and flavor. Tourists seem to take pride in just having found it!
Directions to Maiky Snack: Take Kaminda Sorobon from the traffic circle near Van Den Tweel Supermarket and continue on towards Lac Bay, passing Liangxiang Supermarket on your left. Not far after the supermarket make a soft left onto a wide dirt road marked by a huge billboard for Maiky Snack. Now it becomes tricky so pay close attention. You need to turn left at the blue rocks somewhere down that road. The rocks are small, not marked by any sign, on the ground and usually pretty faded. Once you turn left onto the unmarked road, Maiky is about a quarter mile ahead on your right. You’ll see the big Best Local Food sign. You made it!
Order at the counter upon arrival and the staff alert you when it’s ready. Expect a good, island time kind of wait. So what to order? This is THE place to try goat stew, kabritu stoba. The word stoba means stew in Papiamento. It comes with a few sides of your choice. You may find papaya stoba on the menu which sounds vegetarian but it’s actually another version of goat stew, this time mixed with green papaya (not sweet). Snijboonchi stoba, bean stew likewise, is also not vegetarian; it’s a stew of green beans with goat. Our personal favorite, the traditional kabritu stoba and a mix of the funchi, corn meal similar to polenta, never disappoints.
On Sundays you can choose between funchi and tutu. We go with the tutu every time. Tutu and funchi share similar ingredients but tutu contains black beans and sugar. We LOVE tutu. Aros, white rice and batata, thick cut fried potatoes, are also side options and all dishes come served with a couple of fried plantains and a small lettuce, tomato and cucumber salad. On your table you’ll find a couple types of hot sauce or salsa to add to your meal. Be careful – they can be quite spicy! Like we said earlier, Maiky serves a meal, not a snack. Expect to leave feeling happily full and satisfied.
For drinks they serve up your choice of soft drinks, Polar, the local(ish) beer or Heineken in bottles. You can ask for a pitcher of water if you prefer. Tap water on Bonaire is safe to drink and delicious. Your very casual table awaits you in the shade of a rustic, almost camp style dining area. With the breeze and casual atmosphere you couldn’t ask for a more relaxing lunch. Maiky Snack does not offer dessert or coffee. This place is all about the goat. Interestingly and for some, disturbingly, goats (and sometimes cats, chickens and iguanas and donkeys) wander freely around the parking lot and yard while you eat. Farm to table, shall we say? We love it.
Expect to pay about $13 – $16 per person.
Insider tip: get there early as they can and do run out of food by the afternoon.
A real off-the-beaten-path Bonaire experience
The hours of operation, difficulty in finding it, (turn left at the big billboard sign and then left again at the almost impossible to see blue rocks), the menu in Papiamento scribbled on the blackboard all add up to a memorable off-the-beaten-path kind of day. And, add to that the unusual cuisine itself – goat stew, blood sausage, tutu anyone? It all really does add up to the “Best Local Food” on Bonaire. Add Maiky Snack to your Bonaire bucket list.
P.S. It’s really, really local. Most days owner Maiky himself is there taking orders and working the grill. The goat doesn’t come from very far away either… An island favorite for a reason.