Many people know the Dominican Republic for its luxury resorts and beautiful beaches and hotels, such as the gorgeous Casas del XVI in Santo Domingo. But there is so much more to the Dominican Republic than just its oceans and architectural beauty. In fact, the Dominicans have a rich European history that is a deep mix of both African and the native Taíno Indian influences.
Sure, the Dominican Republic has beautiful landscapes such as rainforests and mountain ranges and all of this makes the Dominican Republic an awesome place to visit. But for me, the thing I loved when I last visited there was the amazing Dominican Republic foods and in particular a certain Dominican Restaurant in the city of Santo Domingo!
Dominican Republic Food and Culture
Where is the Dominican Republic?
It is part of the Caribbean on the island of Hispaniola. This island is shared with another country called Haiti.
One of the best ways to get prepared for a trip to the Dominican Republic is to indulge in some of the best Dominican Republic foods:
Dominican Republic Foods
One thing for sure, you will not go hungry when eating in the Dominican Republic. They have all kinds of delicious foods available to you, even American styled food if you need it, but I think you should venture out and try some of the local Dominican Republic food and Dominican restaurant that are available to you. I have gathered up a few of my favorites for you to try:
Dominican Yucca Empanadas
These are fried empanadas that can have different fillings, such as ground beef and cheese or chicken and cheese filling or cheese only.
Mangú, a Plantain Mash
Mangu is considered a Dominican breakfast made up of boiled plantains that are then mashed and topped with sauteed red onions.
Los Tres Golpes
Los tres golpes literally means “the three hits” in Spanish. It is a term meaning mangú with cheese, salami, and eggs. Many times served as a Dominican breakfast or lunch.
La Bandera is a rice dish with meat and beans – Basically, this is any dish that is served with meat, rice, and beans and is a staple of the Dominican Republic diet and served in almost every Dominican restaurant. La Bandera means “the flag” in Spanish.
Arroz Blanco (White Rice)
Arroz Blanco or white rice is the main staple of Dominican Republic cuisine. It typically is the base of many staple foods in the Dominican Republic. The rice must be cooked all the way through, yet firm. Which leads us to Concon.
Actually, this isn’t something that you order, but if you grew up in Dominican culture, or household you would know exactly what this is! It is the layer of burnt or crispy rice left behind when cooking in an iron pot! It contains the most flavor of the rice and is fought over at the dinner table! The grains need to be completely separated from each other and produce this crispy rice.
This is Dominican fried chicken that has been seasoned with lemon, garlic, and Dominican oregano (this is the most important part of the dish!).
Sancocho is a hearty seven meat stew with vegetables and is considered the National Dish of the Dominican Republic.
This is the roasting of an entire suckling pig, typically done for bigger groups of people to eat, like at the holidays or family gatherings.
Kipes or Quipes
Quipes are deep-fried and crispy rolls that are filled with mashed-up meat inside. They are actually really good! I had them as an appetizer at dinner.
These are twice-fried plantains (fried, smashed, and then fried again), many are seasoned and served on the side of almost every meal. Quite honestly, these are my favorite Dominican Republic food and I think I could eat them every day (all day long!)!
Pastelón De Platano Maduro
Now this one I did not get a chance to try, but I can tell you by looking at this recipe, my mouth was watering and I think I will try to make it myself! It seems to be some type of meat pie with smashed up plantains lining the top and the bottom of the dish, YUM!
These are basically street hamburgers that are topped with cabbage and a sweet sauce made with ketchup and mayonnaise.
Yaniques are a flour version of Johnny cakes. You can’t visit the Dominican town of Boca Chica without munching on some crunchy, flaky Yaniqueques. These deep-fried Dominican Republic foods are said to get their name from Johnnycakes brought over by English-speaking migrants in the 19th century.
Dominican Republic Foods: Fruits and Vegetables
Let’s not forget about the amazing fruits and vegetables that are grown right here on the island itself. The tropical fruits of the Dominican Republic are some of the most varied in the world and the Dominican Republic is abundant in fruit, which makes the choices even better. Mangos, papaya, bananas, pineapples, avocados, you name it, they have all types of delicious fruits and vegetables here. It is also very common for them to serve fruits slightly glazed with watered-down honey for dessert in many of the local Dominican restaurants.
Well If You Can’t Eat It, Drink It!
Dominican Republic Drinks
Sweets in the Dominican Republic are a fantastic start to any Caribbean vacation but it does get even better. Pairing those desserts with good Dominican Republic drinks makes them twice as delicious. Just like anywhere else, the Dominican Republic has many different takes on drinks. You can enjoy a cocktail with a Caribbean twist or a cup of hot cocoa in a whole new way.
Café Santo Domingo Coffee
The coffee detective reviewed Cafe Santo Domingo’s coffee.
Due to banana mama’s delightful flavor, it’s one of the most prepared drinks in the Dominican Republic’s beach resorts.
Coca Cola, local Dominican rum, with a slice of lime
Dulce de Coco
Batido de Lechoza | Smart Little Cookie
Mamajuana is a drink from the Dominican Republic that is made by allowing rum, red wine, and honey to soak in a bottle with tree bark and herbs. The taste is similar to port wine and the color is a deep red.
Dulce Frio | Dominican Cooking
Desserts and drinks that are common in the Dominican Republic:
Majarete Pudding | Pizzazzerie
Habichuelas con Dulce | Goya
Maicena Pudding | All Recipes
Arepa Dominican | Dominican Cooking
Mason di Bari
And remember that specific restaurant I loved? You can go here anytime, but I love having a traditional Dominican dinner at a classic Dominican restaurant like Mason di Bari (after having a few Cuba Libres or Mamajuana, as I always stay in the city of Santo Domingo that is within walking distance to this classic Dominican restaurant.)