Like its diverse population, the Dominican Republic’s cuisine is a wonderful blend, with Spanish, African and indigenous Taíno influences coming together to create flavors like nowhere else in the world. While you’re staying at the all-inclusive Barceló Bávaro Palace, Occidental Punta Cana or Occidental Caribe. Make sure to try at least a few of these Dominican Republic favorites.
Los Tres Golpes
Breakfast is, of course, the most important meal of the day – and Dominicans get their mornings off to a hearty start with Los Tres Golpes (“The Three Strokes”), consisting of eggs with a side of fried salami, mangú (boiled/mashed plantains with red onion), and queso frito. Don’t forget the coffee! A strong cup of Café Santo Domingo is recommended.
La Bandera + Tostones
One of the Dominican Republic’s tried-and-true staples, La Bandera (“The Flag”) is a winning mixture of white rice, stewed beans and your meat of choice (beef, chicken, fish or pork). For an authentic twist, ask for a side of tostones – plantains that have been fried to a delicious crisp.
This dish goes way back. The recipe for casabe, a crispy flatbread, has been carried down over the centuries from the Taínos, the pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Dominican Republic. It’s still extremely popular, whether for a quick snack, dipping or even with just a sprinkling of salt and olive oil.
A burger – Dominican-style! The delicious street food known as the chimichurri (“chimi” for short) is not to be confused with the Argentinian sauce. It’s usually made of pork or beef topped with cabbage and a sweet 1000 Islands-style dressing. The chimi goes great with an ice-cold Presidente Black, the DR’s preferred cerveza.
Want to experience a true Dominican delicacy? Pescado frito (“fried fish”) is a Caribbean favorite that you’ll find on menus all over the country. Rubbed with salt and pepper and coated in flour, Pescado Frito is as simple (and delicious) as seafood gets. Take note: the traditional way of serving the fish is whole – head and all.
Also known as empanaditas, pastelitos are the ultimate Dominican finger food. They’re a perfect package of buttery, flakey goodness, with various stuffings – ground beef, onions, peppers, cheese and more. It’s not a party in the DR until the pastelitos are brought out!
Dulce de Coco
Decadent, creamy and sweet, Dulce de Coco is a beloved sweet treat in the Dominican Republic. It’s basically coconut fudge, best prepared with fresh coconut. Careful, though: once you’ve eaten one piece, you won’t be able to stop yourself from eating another …
A sponge cake soaked in three types of milk and topped with whipped cream? Yes, please. Similar to the Italian tiramisu, Tres Leches is a rich and satisfying dessert available in Dominican bakeries and restaurants. Indulge and enjoy.