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Food & Dining in Dominican Republic


Food in the Dominican Republic is typical Caribbean fare, with lots of tropical fruits, rice, beans and seafood.
Native Dominican cooking combines Spanish influences with local produce. There is plenty of fresh fish and seafood, island-grown tomatoes, lettuce, papaya, mangoes and passion fruit and all citrus fruits are delicious.

Beef is expensive (Dominicans raise fine cattle, but most is exported) and local favourites are pork and goat meat. Locally produced beer and rums are cheaper than imported alcohol which tends to be expensive.

Most restaurant meals will cost an additional 16% tax plus 10% service – for very good service it is customary to leave an additional 10%.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo has no shortage of dining options. Formal and casual restaurants, as well as international fast-food franchises share space with open-air cafés and eateries serving a wide spectrum of culinary choices.

Colonial Zone

The Spanish left their influence not only on the architecture of the Colonial Zone, but also on the local palate. The Restaurant Boga Boga is a fashionable place to sample Spanish cuisine at its best. Be sure to try the Entremeses Bora (appetisers) and the selection of Serrano ham, chorizo (Spanish sausage), chicken and ham croquettes, and Manchego cheese. Another original speciality is the Paella de Carne (meat paella). For fresh pastas and other Italian specialities, Ristorante La Briciola, with its several different areas. Visitors could also dine at the ever popular Hard Rock Café Santo Domingo.


In Gazcue, visitors to this delightful Caribbean city can enjoy a wide variety of cuisine. El Conuco is an unusual, fun-filled place that resembles a Dominican farm, serving up Dominican and other Caribbean dishes. Home-style cuisine is the order of the day, and the servings could feed a small army. Another good choice for the local specialities is the casual Restaurant La Parrilla, facing the Caribbean Sea. Italian restaurants abound in Santo Domingo. Restaurante Fellini is known for its creative contemporary Italian nouvelle cuisine in a hiagh-class setting. For Spanish cuisine, options include the restaurants Reina de España, where the Grilled Seafood is one of the house specialties and Mesón de Castilla, praised for its delicious paellas. And for a taste of the Argentinean Pampa, stop in at Asadero Los Argentinos. For an upscale, exotic dining experience, Palacio de Jade cooks up all the flavours of China.


The Naco area of Santo Domingo offers everything from five star restaurants to quick and easy eateries. One award-winning restaurants that offer native cuisine is the Restaurante Buen Provecho, a modern cafeteria, popular with the breakfast and lunch crowds for its buffet brimming with native delicacies. Restaurante Melí Meló, at Plaza Naco is one example of quality dining in the many shopping centres of the city. Dominicans love their Italian food, and Vesuvio II is an upscale restaurant traditionally favoured as a meeting place by Santo Domingo's elite. One recommended option for meat-lovers is the western-style Restaurant David Crockett. For those following a healthier lifestyle, Santo Domingo offers some vegetarian choices. These include Restaurante Vegetariano Lotos the only restaurant a la carte within this category, includes a menu with the largest variety of vegetarian/strict vegetarian dishes. Mexican food is also very popular in Santo Domingo. If you crave this kind of fare, you should definitely consider visiting Don Nacho Taquería, famous for their delicious and gigantic burritos.


The exclusive Piantini area hosts many diverse and quality dining options. Over the years, El Chef, with a casual ambiance has won numerous awards. Locals and visitors cherish this place for its abundance of freshly prepared local fare. Best of all, the food is made from the highest quality ingredients and is low in fat. Diverse Chinese food restaurants are available in Santo Domingo, like the casual Fai Chan Oriental and Expreso Jade. And for Mexican food there are also many options, such as the popular Tacos del Sol.





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