A meal at Jaanchie's is like dining in an apiary: Black-and-yellow bananaquits and other birds of all colors swing from sugar trough to sugar trough in the garden in front, and the pitched wooden ceiling and latticed windows let in dappled sunlight and the glistening green foliage of a canopy of shade trees. The old farmhouse is a very pleasant spot, as much for the birdsong as for the floral tablecloths, the tile floors, and the scrum of folks making stops at perhaps the island’s most famous local (krioyo) eatery.

It's a must-do on the tourist circuit, giving diners the chance to say they've sampled such Antillean exotica as iguana—here served in soup and stews (watch the slivers of bones)—or cactus soup (jambo). If that's not your cuppa, ask for a nice sautéed fish or garlic shrimp with rice and peas (there's no menu). Frankly, even if you're underwhelmed by the food (that would be me; I've had tastier local food elsewhere), the bird chatter and native color—and maybe an icy Heineken—more than make up for the shortcomings of the kitchen. Jaanchie's is located in rural Westpunt, one of the prettiest and lushest parts of this arid island.