There’s a well-known phrase in the Dominican Republic: “El amor entra por la barriga” or “love enters through the belly.” It’s not surprising, considering that food is one of the quickest ways to become acquainted with a country’s culture. So when you book your stay with us, just know that you’re in for a gastronomical adventure when you get a taste of Dominican dishes.
Did you know that Santo Domingo received the honor of being crowned the Capital of the Gastronomic Culture of the Caribbean by the Academia Iberoamericana de Gastronomía? We may be a small nation, but we’re BIG on taste.
Let us guide you on some authentic Dominican dishes that you need to try on your next vacation here.
Empanadas or Dominican pastelitos are a popular street snack. There’s nothing like that sizzling sound when the chicken and cheese lands in the pan. As far as street food goes, they are very reasonable, and are quite filling.
Dominicans are huge fans of chicharron, a crunchy, savoury snack that’s basically fried pork rinds. Yes, it’s fatty, but it’s such a guilty pleasure. Plus, you can always work it off in our Tiki gym.
These are popular fruit snacks that are sold on the beach. You squeeze or bite the little green balls to open them. Then, you pop the fleshy ball into your mouth, and scrape the fruit off the pip with your teeth.
Quipes are little fried balls of bulgur wheat and meat, such as beef, chicken, or pork. They are so yummy. Don’t be fooled by the size. They’re extremely filling. Vegetable quipes are also available for vegans and vegetarians.
This street food originated from kibbeh, Lebanese bulgur-based fried treats, which were adopted into the Dominican cuisine. They’re now a hit throughout the country.
Yaniqueques are crispy, flaky, deep-fried dough. They are round and flat, and can be as large as a vinyl record, or as small as a saucer. Another name for them in the Caribbean is “Johnnycakes”, which are cornmeal flatbreads. All you need to know is that they’re scrumptious.
Los Tres Golpes
“The three hits” is a Dominican power breakfast. It’s mangu (plantain purée), sautéed red onions, fried eggs, salami, and cheese. You’ll never skip breakfast again after you’ve tried this dish.
Follow that breakfast of champions with a traditional Dominican lunch. La Bandera means “the flag”, so you’ll see the Dominican national colors—red, white, and blue— in the meal. White rice, red kidney beans and chicken or beef, along with a salad, is the epitome of a traditional Dominican dish.
Have them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You’re bound to see plátanos, or plantains, in most Dominican dishes. Cut them into slices and fry them, or into chunks and boil them in their skin. They’re yummy either way. And healthy, too!
It’s hard to say which one Dominicans love more—plátanos or yuca (cassava). Yuca pairs well with meat dishes, and is especially tasty with a generous topping of sautéed red onions.
Don’t leave the DR without trying sancocho. It’s a traditional stew that’s usually prepared for special occasions. We cook it using yuca, corn, and auyama (West Indian pumpkin), among other local vegetables. Beef is normally the first, but not only, meat choice.
Get ready for your gastronomical adventure
Foodies, which Dominican dishes caught your fancy? We assure you that you won’t be disappointed, whatever you choose. Just consult your fitness trainer before indulging in any of these meals because some of them might not be the best for your healthy lifestyle goals. And leave room for seconds.