Located on the island of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic is blessed with a striking landscape, rich culture, fascinating history, and drool-worthy cuisine. It’s the most visited Caribbean country for a reason! Some of the country’s main cities, the top tourist attractions, include Punta Cana, Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, La Romana, and Higuey.
Are you planning a DR tour to explore the most of it and looking for the best restaurants in Dominican Republic to add to your bucket list? This article is for you! It will take you through some must-visit restaurants representing local or international cuisines or a fusion of both. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
What to Know about Dominican Cuisine?
Dominican cuisine reflects the country’s rich culture, tradition, history, and identity. It features a salivation-worthy amalgamation of recipes and ingredients from the native Tainos, African slaves, and Spanish conquistadors, perfectly seasoned with spices imported from around the world.
Some of the famous traditional dishes of the DR include the following:
- The Sancocho – a stew featuring seven kinds of meat
- The Dominican Flag – a perfect combo of rice, stewed meat, and red beans
- Mangú – mashed green plantains
- Dominican Rice – the must staple with every meal
- Mofongo – a scrumptious gift from Africans and loads more
6 Best Restaurants in Dominican Republic
Let’s face it! Where the Dominican Republic is famed for its long stretching striking white sand beaches, scenic sceneries, and adventurous water sports culture, its scrumptious food-serving restaurants also attract loads of tourists. Hop in below to learn where you shouldn’t skip dining in the Dominican Republic!
1. Restaurante Don Pepe
First on the list of the best restaurants in Dominican Republic is the Restaurente Don Pepe. Within a fifteen-minute drive from the Malecon de Santo Domingo, this restaurant is a slice of Spain in the DR’s Piantini district. It’s where you will meet the expert Chef Fabian Aquino, utilizing his years of expertise to bring out authentic Spanish flavors from the amalgamation of fresh produce.
Their Salpicon de Mariscos and Paella Marinera will leave you licking your fingers! Pair it with 017 Felix Solis Red Blend to enjoy your meal to the fullest! Wait, it isn’t over yet. Crème caramel flan from their desert range will best satisfy your sweet cravings.
2. La Yola Restaurant
Looking for a place to enjoy a lavish dining experience? Wander no more and hop inside the open-air restaurant in Punta Cana Resort and club, La Yola Restaurant! The perfect setting of the restaurant above the water gives the diners a feel like they are dining at the small fishing boat. It’s where you get to dive into the authentic Dominican flavors.
The highlights of this eatery are the unmatched ocean views, the glass bottom floor, and the mouth-watering food. Try out their freshly caught mahi-mahi, red snapper, or grouper; you will surely end up craving more.
3. Le Papillon
Next on the list is Le Papillon! Located just three kilometers away from the Regional del Atlantico, this restaurant is worth being called the charm of Puerto Plata. The owner and main chef had worked as an executive chef in Germany, so you can expect this place to offer something surely great!
Their extensive range of dishes on the menu might leave you wondering what to eat. However, some of our top picks will surely assist in that case. Begin with the Goulash soup as a perfect appetizer. Follow up with Gourmet Pan and the Chicken Breast to get an idea of their specialties, and continue with the Filet Bearnaise, the yummiest ever steak!
4. EI Mesón de la Cava
Skip those extravagant buzzing restaurants and get a chance to dine in the lap of nature at the EI Mesón de la Cava! This restaurant is set up in a limestone cave carved naturally by waves. Just step into this tranquil cavern for a fine dining experience and forget about the hustle and bustle of the rest of Santo Domingo.
Their menu boasts multiple dishes, the highlights being the fresh seafood and the barbecued meats featuring traditional Caribbean flavors. The tempting odor, perfect presentation, and friendly staff make your dining experience worthwhile.
5. Bliss Restaurant Lounge Bar and Pool
It’s a fusion restaurant offering Caribbean dishes with a twist of Italian fare. The worth of this restaurant and the popularity it has gained can be attributed to the fact that it’s one of the oldest restaurants in Puerto Plata, and the owner has been operating it for around a decade.
Their most popular dishes include the salmon potato gnocchi paired with the soap of the day, as they serve different soups each day. Pair your meal with the 2019 Red Blend Conundrum from California and Picasso to enjoy it to the fullest. Their bread, pasta, and desserts are homemade from scratch to ensure the preservation of authentic Italian flavors.
6. Otra Cosa Restaurant
Last but not least, Otra Cosa Restaurant is your best bet if you want to experience the goodness of the French-Caribbean flavors in Cabarete, Puerto Plata. It’s an ideal spot if you plan a date with your loved one in a private and romantic setting. Their friendly and attentive service will surely impress you!
When dining there, you must try out the foie gras (duck liver) paired with the goodness of Madeira jelly and warm toast. Their salmon tartar with pink peppercorn and fresh basil is also worth a try.
Dominican cuisine is all about the yummiest ever dishes made with love using freshly sourced produce and spiced with spices from around the world. The best thing about the DR is that its restaurants offer food of all kinds; you will find restaurants inspired by Spanish, Italian, French, American, Mexican, and other cuisines. In short, you will come across a plethora of the best restaurants in Dominican Republic. However, our top picks of the best restaurants in the Dominican Republic will help you narrow down the choices and decide which one you should try first!