So… you rented an apartment and you want to eat in? A little bit about grocery shopping on Bonaire.
Grocery Stores and grocery shopping on Bonaire
The largest grocery store on the island, Van Den Tweel Supermarket, part of a large Dutch chain called Albert Heijn provides the largest variety of groceries on Bonaire. Van den Tweel’s central location at the end of Kaya Industria makes it a quick stop from most anywhere on the island. You will find it on the left side of the road just before the traffic circle. Van Den Tweel is open from 8am to 8pm every day including Sundays. You will need a quarter in order to get a shopping cart – the money will be returned to you when you return the cart. If you arrive without change just ask at the service desk to the left once inside. They will provide you with a free token to get your shopping cart.
Change on Bonaire…
If you haven’t been back to Bonaire in a while a few things have changed. You no longer weigh your own fruit or vegetables at Van Den Tweel, or any other supermarket on the island. Cashiers take care of that at the checkout counter. If you buy fresh olives or tapenades over in the cheese department you no longer need to ask a clerk to weigh it for you before checking out
No more rotisserie chickens inside Van Den Tweel. Instead try Kiptukkie. A few years back well-known eccentric Dutch artist, Fred Ros started selling smoked chickens out of the back of a rehabbed old Land Rover. Fred named the business Kiptukkie after the chicken chain of a similar sounding name. To get the joke, it helps to know that the word kip is Dutch for chicken. Twice a week, Kiptukkie’s smoked chickens are sold in a food truck outside the entrance to Van Den Tweel supermarket for $12 each.
Warehouse Bonaire is another supermarket owned by the same food group. To get there just drive two blocks back toward town on Kaya Industria from it’s sister store, Van Den Tweel. Here you won’t need a quarter but it is standard procedure to return the shopping cart to the front entrance anyway. Although Warehouse is now owned by the same chain as Van Den Tweel, they do have different items and different prices. Store hours for Warehouse Bonaire: Open seven days per week 8am – 8pm.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for you can also try More For Less Supermarket on Kaya Nikiboko Noord or Top Supermarket in downtown Kralendijk. Top Supermarket is the former Cultimara Supermarket and is located right downtown.
Where to buy wine, beer and liquor on Bonaire
Famoso supermarket, next door to Warehouse Bonaire sells a good selection of wine, liquor and dry goods. Across the street from Warehouse Bonaire, Antillean Wine Company sells the best wine found on Bonaire outside of Capriccio Restaurant‘s wine cellar. Antillean Wine Company hosts a popular monthly wine tasting for $15. We also love the newly renovated Zhung Kong market at 98 Kaya Gob Debrot for a very large selection of beer, wine and alcohol. Van Den Tweel Supermarket sells an ever increasing variety of beer and wine. Across the street from Van Den Tweel, Best Cellars Bonaire wine, beer and spirits store offers a huge choice for your vacation drinking pleasure. Downtown Kralendijk
To support the local economy while on vacation you can shop small! In an effort to combat rising costs of food and produce on Bonaire, the newest supermarket on the island BonDiGro opened it’s doors in 2013 and moved to a central location at Kaya Industria 29 in 2016, across the street from it’s rival supermarket, Warehouse Bonaire. BonDiGro sells everything from kiwis to refrigerators… stop in if you are looking to save on groceries. Great prices on fruits, vegetables and dry goods.
Where to buy fruit on Bonaire
Try Shely’s Fruteria – just past Van Den Tweel supermarket going straight at the second traffic circle. Shely’s is on the right side of the road about two blocks past the traffic circle. Occasionally they sell local fruit that actually comes directly from Bonaire. If you are looking for coconuts ask here – they are kept in back. They get the good stuff.
Where to buy fresh local fish; aki ta bende piska
Looking for fresh local fish? Try the last house on the right side of the road on Kaminda Lac. Coming from town this is on the way to Sorobon. If you arrive at the baseball field you’ve gone too far. Look for a brown house with a sign out front aki ta bende piska. If the sign is not out, they don’t have fish.
Farmer’s Markets on Bonaire
Kriabon Farmer’s Market:
The first Saturday of every month you can try Kriabon Farmers Market. It is located on Kaminda Jato Bako 55 in Nikiboko Noord. Hours are at 8:00 AM to 1pm – but go early for a better selection. Visitors will find locally grown produce, often so unusual that you won’t recognize it as a fruit you’ve seen before. Plants, herbs and spices are also sold at the Kriabon Farmers Market. What a great way to meet and support the locals. But don’t expect to get your grocery shopping done here. Selection is VERY limited but very local and unique.
Krusada Bonaire Organic Market
The Krusada foundation helps individuals suffering from addiction to start a new life through various initiatives and work training. They teach and coach addicts, prisoners, former prisoners, young adults, the physically handicapped and people with mental disabilities. One of their initiatives regards producing organic produce like spinach, mint, basil, curly lettuce, long beans, tomatoes, okra and mixed lettuce in their six large greenhouses. All cultivated, according to their website, in Bonairian soil with great patience and love, under constant supervision for the best quality. You can purchase products made by Krusada at their store located on Kaminda Lagun 191. If you pass Lagun Hill Subdivision you will see the Krusada sign on your left. Hours are Monday through Friday 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm. Krusada harvests and packs their vegetables daily and also markets them at various grocery stores on Bonaire.
Other Organic Food on Bonaire
Van Den Tweel now sells a large variety of organic food. When we say large variety we are comparing it to what was sold here in the past, not in comparison to what you’ll find back home. But still, we’re very happy now that it’s possible to eat organic, gluten free and a variety of other healthy foods. Organic lettuce, spinach, greens in the refrigerated section as well as an entire aisle in the supermarket are now dedicated to organic or healthy products.
GoGreen Ayurveda located at Kaya Grandi 32B offers organic, vegetarian and vegan meals but they no longer sell groceries. For tourists looking for a healthy meal Go Green serves lunch and dinner Tuesday and Wednesday 12pm-3pm and Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 12pm -9pm.
On special occasions, like New Years Day, the supermarkets carry Local, mostly Dutch specialities. Around Christmas you can find a deliciously satisfying almond-paste filled cake known as Kerstkrans or another variation called Banketstaaf. Every New Year the supermarket sets out a big tent where they sell the famous olieballen or literally, oil balls! These heavy but delicious holiday treats are coated in powdered sugar, sold warm and come with or without raisins. In the US we’d probably just call them doughnuts but without the doughnut hole. In reality olieballen are more dense than traditional American doughnuts. We love them so much we buy the packaged dough mix to try to make them at home.
For suggestions on gift ideas you can pick up at the grocery store on Bonaire to bring home for your loved ones see this blog post. Happy grocery shopping!