When thinking of Aruba, its capital Oranjestad is likely the first place to come to mind. Beyond this popular city lies a hidden gem waiting to be explored: San Nicolas and its Black-owned Kulture Café.
Tucked away on the southern coast of the island, San Nicolas is a town brimming with history, culture and character. From its colorful street art and rich architectural heritage to its diverse, multicultural population, San Nicolas invites visitors to dive deeper into the authentic soul of Aruba beyond the tourist hotspots.
In the charming town of San Nicolas, entrepreneur Nick Gordon is making waves with Kulture Café. Born in Jamaica and raised in Aruba, Gordon, along with his wife set out to create a cultural hub in the heart of their hometown. Since its opening in 2019, Kulture Café has become a go-to spot for locals and visitors alike. It offers an array of delicious and healthy menu options and a warm community atmosphere.
Gordon’s inspiration to open a café in San Nicolas stemmed from his desire to contribute to the revitalization of the historic arts district. As a student, he bartended and waited tables, allowing him to gain an appreciation for the culinary arts. Being a graduate of the University of Aruba with a degree in accounting and finance, he recognized the potential in the area and saw an opportunity to fulfill his vision.
“My entrepreneurial journey started with the idea of bringing something different to the city of San Nicolas,” he said.
The café is situated in the former Nicolaas Store, a historic building constructed in 1940. The building’s rich history and prime location perfectly aligned with Nick’s vision for a unique and vibrant café.
Today, Kulture Café stands as a testament to the town’s commitment to preserving its unique cultural heritage. The café not only serves as a gathering place for enjoying coffee, tea and delicious food. It also houses the Community Museum, further immersing visitors in the distinct charm of San Nicolas. The restaurant regularly hosts culinary events, including dinners featuring guest chefs from across the island whipping up their specialty dishes.
When it comes to the menu, Kulture Café offers a variety of mouthwatering options to suit different tastes. One of the eatery’s signature dishes is the salmon avocado toast. The menu boasts numerous vegan dishes, including their vegan bowl filled with various fresh fruits and veggies.
For those seeking local flavors, Kulture Café also serves traditional Aruban dishes, such as oxtail stew and tuna fish cakes. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, don’t forget to try their homemade bakery items, like key lime pie and croissants, and their irresistible milkshakes.
The café offers fresh juices and locally made infused waters that are perfect for quenching your thirst. Standouts include the sage and lime water and the homemade lemonade.
Visitors rave about their Kulture Café experiences from the attentive and friendly staff to the generous portions of food served. The café offers a wide selection of breakfast dishes, alongside an expansive coffee and tea menu. Situated in the heart of town with murals as a backdrop, Kulture Café truly captures the spirit of San Nicolas.
Whether you’re craving a quick bite, a refreshing beverage or authentic Aruban cuisine, Kulture Café is the place to be. Step into this Black-owned hidden gem and treat yourself to an unforgettable culinary experience in a historic setting as you immerse yourself in the finest that San Nicolas has to offer.