One of the things that tourists love about travelling to the Caribbean is the mesmerizing varieties of food. Each island has its own special cuisine.
There is so much to try, from tropical fruits and salads to lavishly prepared meats, seafood and sumptuous desserts. If you are not careful, you could possibly gorge on everything in sight.
While you cannot eat everything from all the islands at once, we suggest that you try one island at a time. So let us start with the best Dominican dishes that you have to try. These will captivate your taste buds and thrill your epicurean mind.
Let’s Explore the Dominican Republic
Millions of people travel to the Caribbean islands every year. They often go to enjoy the tropical weather, friendly people and the heaps of good vibes oozing from the culture.
Well-liked locations include Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados and Puerto Rica.
One of the popular destinations is also the Dominical Republic. It is one of the few Spanish-speaking islands in the zone, including Cuba.
This island shares its landmass with Haiti, which borders it on the West.
It is filled with redolent and majestic architecture, intricate landscapes, spiraling mountains, desert like expanses and a plethora of sunny beaches. It is truly so diverse, geologically.
If you travel on the coast, you can explore hundreds of miles of flora and fauna. They look out on the aquamarine waters lapping on the white sand beaches. There are also thousands of palm trees filling up the coastlines in unending rows. Be careful of the perilous rocky cliffs and natural mangroves.
For the earnest marine enthusiasts, you can even visit a few of the coves and bays and possibly witness the humpback whale migration.
It is not hard to visualize the irate pirates of the past, ravishing the land and pilling their ships full of bounty.
The Dominican Republic has many locations, which you can explore.
They include Bavaro, Boca Chica, Las Terrenas, Sosua, Cabarete, Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo, Punta Cuna, Santiago de los Caballeros, La Romana and many others.
Everyone can find some fun activity to enjoy on this island paradise.
You can start with a Monkeyland safari and coffee plantation tour from Punta Cana. There are frequent day trips and excursions that you can enjoy with your family and your kids will love it.
Ask your hotel concierge to set up a thrilling Punta Cana dune buggy ride and catamaran cruise. On the island, you will find that there are a great many water tours, sailing activities and cruises to take pleasure in. There are also parasailing, snorkeling and Catamaran tours.
Do not forget the lovely horseback riding activities and thrilling zipline tours.
Dominicans enjoy good sultry music and meringue is often heard playing from corner shops. You can choose from a wide array of bars and nightclubs.
How about starting your nightly excursions with those locations in Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata?
You will find that the average Dominican loves relaxing and unwinding with family and friends. This is evident by the grand Carnival parties and road marches. So, set your vacation time to visit when these celebrations are in full swing.
Food in the Dominican Republic is heavily influenced by African, Taino, Middle Eastern and Spanish cultures.
There are some culinary dishes that are also shared with Cuba and Puerto Rico. Try out the official national breakfast in the Dominican Republic.
One of the more popular breakfast meals is made up of avocado, fried cheese, fried salami, fried eggs and mangu. Dominicans fondly refer to this has “los tres golpes.” This African dish is a national cuisine that is common in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Colombia and Africa.
People in Africa call this fufu.
There are many more Dominican foods, which a tourist would be happy to try, on vacation. With its Spanish influence, Dominican dishes are a thrill for the tongue.
Enjoyable Dominican Food from other Cultures
With the mix of ethnic foods from the Taino, African, Middle Eastern, Chinese and Spanish people, the tables and kitchens of the Dominican Republic is generally filled with a plethora of options.
Here are some of the best Dominican dishes you have to try.
Taino Dish: Casabe
Dominicans consume a lot of starchy foods. One of which is Casabe. This is basically is a yuca type bread. You can snack on this at anytime or incorporate it as a side dish.
Taino Dish: Guanimos
Another dish that is linked to the Mayan culture is Guanimos. It is also referred to as hallaca or tamales. This is made from corn flour or cornmeal.
It is prepared into a masa and then a banana leaf is used to wrap it up.
Spanish Dishes: Crème Caramel
This is one of the flan dishes called crème caramel. It is made with a sweet egg custard. There is also quesillo de coco, which is coconut flan.
The other Spanish dish is a rice pudding called arroz con dulce.
Middle Eastern Dishes: Kipes
In the 19th century, many immigrants moved to the country. They brought with them a food that was prepared by deep-frying a bulgur roll. This is known as quips or kipes.
It is a form of kibbeh, which is still prepared in the Middle East.
Lebanese Dishes: Arroz con Almedras y Pasas
One popular dish prepared around Christmas time is the arroz con almedras y pasas. This is made from raisins, almonds and rice.
Puerto Rican Dishes: Mofongo
This meal is typically served with a light broth. But it is made up of green plantains that are fried and then seasoned with some pork cracklings, olive oil and garlic. It is mashed also.
You can substitute the plantain with yuca.
Chinese Dishes: Chofan or Chow Fan
With thousands of Chinese living in the Dominican Republic, there was bound to be some influence on local Dominican foods. One such is the Chofan.
This is how the people of this country prepare a version of Chinese fried rice. It has peanut oil, carrots, bell peppers, red onions, green peas, soy sauce, chives smoked pork and celery.
Try These Best Dominican Dishes
Those dishes already mentioned are some of the country’s popular local cuisine. There are many more to try that are ingenious to the island, people and culture.
Pollo Guisado (Braised Chicken)
Chicken is plentiful, uncomplicated, fast to cook, and reasonably priced. As it is in many countries, it is also as popular in the homes of Dominicans.
But the island people put their own spin on their Pollo Guisado.
It is prepared with a variety of mind-blowing sauces and overwhelming flavors that makes you want to devour everything, including the bone. Generally, it is served at lunchtime.
Sancocho (Meaty Stew)
Hotels often prepare a sumptuous adaptation of the Sancocho meal. Some people refer to it as the king of Dominican food.
The easy version sometimes has plain chicken and beef. However, it is often prepared with as much as seven different types of meats. The Sancocho de Siete Carnes is a sumptuous meaty stew that includes plantain and root vegetables as well.
Ensalada Verde (Green Salad)
You can travel the island to the most unassuming island fonda or local restaurant, and Dominicans generally offer a salad along with your meal.
This is often referred to as the Ensalada Verde. It is prepared in many ways. But, usually, the people incorporate radish, bell pepper, boiled beets, cucumber and onions.
But all of these salads will have tomatoes, lettuce and cabbage.
Habichuelas Guisadas (Stewed Bean)
You will find that an economical, rich supply of protein, beans and pulses are used often in many Caribbean cuisines.
This is also true of the meals that are prepared in the Dominican Republic.
Habichuelas Guisadas is one Dominican food that is prepared with rice or arroz blanco. The people may prepare it differently depending on the household preference and spices used.
Tostones (Twice-Fried Plantains)
More than a few other Latin American countries have Tostones. But it is a popular Dominican food.
This dish is prepared from green plantains. However, it can be used as a side dish to accompany a larger meal. For example, you can have it with meats or seafood.
Tostones is a favorite of every Dominican Republic person. And the same goes for anyone who tries them.
La Bandera Dominicana
At lunch time, you will notice that this is a commonly served meal.
The name La Bandera means “the flag.” It incorporates a roasted or stewed meat with stewed beans and white rice.
Jugo De Chinola
There are just some juices, which are more popular in some countries than others. And the same can be said of the Dominican Republic.
Their favorite is the Jugo De Chinola, which is passion fruit juice.
This is often used as a side dish. It is a starchy and sweet cassava that is prepared mashed, fried or boiled. Whichever way you prepare it, it is enjoyable.
Dulce de Coco (Sweet Coconut Cream)
If you have a sweet tooth, then check out the dulce de coco. It is a mixture of milk and young coconut pulp. Also, remember to add a cinnamon stick and vanilla.
This is taken as a dessert.
Another popular Dominican staple is batata frita. This is a fried sweet potato. It is not like the orange-fleshed potato that is sweeter. This type has a slight flavor and is generally fluffier.
This is a Haitian inspired meal. It is a flavorful pudding prepared from cornmeal. But it is influenced by the Dominican preparation style.
This is Dominican fried chicken. It is prepared by seasoning the chicken with oregano, garlic and lemon.
Please note that it is not the type of oregano used in the United States. Rather it is Lippa micromera, which is Dominican oregano.
Dominican Chimichurris or Street Burgers
Get your ketchup and mayonnaise ready for a popular Dominican food served on the streets. Dominican chimichurris or street burgers incorporate cabbage and sweet sauce. It is very tasty.
Refresco De Merengue
Cool down with a refreshing drink of Refresco De Merengue. It is a champagne cola soda offered by Refresco Country Club. There are several flavors but most people love the Refresco De Merengue flavor.
Your tongue will be salivating over this mind numbing dessert.
Ensure that you try the tres leches, which is a variety of sponge cake prepared in three types of milk. This delicious dessert is often topped off with some whipped cream.
It is like heaven in your mouth.
Asopao de polo
Another opulent delicacy is the asopao de pollo, which resembles a rice gumbo.
It is neither a stew nor a soup. But you can rest assured that it is quite tasty. Usually, this is prepared with chicken, but you can use other types of meats, including seafood.
Book your Trip to the Islands and Remember to Try the Best Dominican Food
So, now that you know all that the Dominican Republic has to offer, get your vacation date locked and prepare to dine on some of the best meals on the island.
As you have seen, there are many great desserts, drinks and specific local dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
If you plan a seven-day trip, you could have one of these dishes for every meal. And some can be repeated, as they are side dishes.
For certain, this is not the full extent of Dominican dishes. There are so much more on offer. Ask your concierge or just go through the restaurant menus. Feel free to walk about and visit the different towns and cities.
Some are known to have a particular dish in abundance.
Look out for the street burgers and make sure to grab a cool drink of Refresco De Merengue.