A Foodies’ Guide to the Dominican Republic

January 20, 2021Tom Spruce
Take our foodies guide to the Dominican Republic

Join us on our foodies guide to the Dominican Republic, we’ll take you through some of the tastiest treats in this amazing country and where to find them.  

We had to put together our foodies guide to the Dominican Republic because the diversity of flavour found across this incredible nation is immense.  

Tastes of the world  

The range of incredible fresh ingredients, geography and cultural influences on Dominican Republic cuisine make for an exciting meal. Image from Right to Health via Flickr

The Dominican Republic may only be a small country, but the diversity in its cuisine is striking and delicious. Influences on the country’s menus have come from a combination of topology and outside ideas.  

With African, Asian, and European infusions permeating the cuisine of the Dominican Republic, the nation eats extremely well.  


Geography never tasted so good  

However, it’s not just people who’ve influenced the cuisine of the Dom Rep. You’ll also find as you travel across the great nation that the natural geography has caused recipes to develop too 

As you would imagine from a country which boasts superb coastlines as well as mountain ranges, the depth of flavours across the land is vast. Stews and broths dominate the higher, cooler regions. Whereas fish and lighter bites become more prevalent the closer you get to the coast. 


Find out more about the amazing things to do and see with out Dominican Republic Travel Guide

The North 

First stop on our foodies guide to the Dominican Republic is the north of the country. Many dishes created in the north are ubiquitous across the region. In northern Dom Rep you’ll find somof those stunning Caribbean beaches. Which ensures the diet is suitably light.  


Pescado Frito

Pescado Frito is the perfect accompaniment to a beach day. Image: Mariela Morales via Flickr

Translated as “fried fish” and usually served with tostones (we’ll get to these) and a cold drink. This is the Dominican version of fish and chips 

Find plenty of vendors across the stunning beaches serving up delicious seabass, grouper and snapper in this fried fashion. Enjoy a fish supper on the beach.  


Chivo Guisado  

If you can keep up with Ana Pimental’s sub titles you can make an incredible Chivo Guisado

One of the delicious charms of Dominican cuisine is the herds of wild oregano-fed goat. Chivo Guisado is a dish which showcases the bold flavours of goat by pairing it with stunning spices, rice, beans and yet more oregano.  


Central  

Next stop on our foodies guide to the Dominican Republic is: Cibao, and the elevated geography of the central region 

Home to the tallest peak in the Caribbean, Pico Duarte, in an area known as the “Dominican Alps” this mountainous terrain means the cuisine in the centre of the country becomes a little heavier.  


Yaroa

We could definitely imagine scoffing this after a big night out. Check out QuickCooking Food’s guide to awesome Yaroa

Coming from the northwest you’ll probably encounter the Santiago province where yaroa is served. Something of a Dominican version of a kebab, it’s an especially favoured dish with those returning home after a night out 

A casserole-type dish, chicken, beef and pork are added to mashed plantain, cheese and fries. Imagine tucking into that on your way home after the club.  


Sancocho

The brilliant Chef Zee takes us through bringing together a perfect sancocho. Learn something new in lockdown!

Whilst sancocho is a delicious dish which is enjoyed throughout most regions of Dom Rep, it’s in the mountainous regions where it becomes most prevalent – especially in chilly towns like Jarabacoa 

Traditionally seven types of meat hit the pan to make this stew! Including chicken, goat, pork and beef. A carnivore’s dream! Then pumpkin, yams and other root vegetables go in to create a rich and meaty broth. The protein-rich stew is then served with rice and avocado for added healthier fats for those cold nights in the hills.  


Chapea

Vlogger Jessica Ashley takes us through this terrifically tasty meatless version of Chapea

Another hearty stew, Chapea combines rice, beans, onions, peppers, squash, coriander and either sour orange or lime juice.

You can devour Chapea with some slices of avocado to garnish, or top it off with your choice of longaniza sausage (essentially salami), ham or pork.  


Southeast

Moving into the south of the country and on to the more popular tourist spots. The capital of Santa Domingo and, further east, the stunning beaches and incredible resorts of Punta Cana both reside here 

It’s also in the southeast where we see more of the varied cultural influences moving into the cuisine of the Dominican Republic.  


Kipes 

Kelvin’s Kitchen shows a great way to try creating your own Kipes or Quipes at home

A dish of Lebanese influence, kipes or quipes are popular in both the Dom Rep and Brazil. The dish sees bulgur balls stuffed with a combination of beef and vegetables. In the Dominican they’re typically enjoyed with sauces and condiments, whereas the Brazilians tend to scoff theirs with lime wedges.  

Generally, the Kipe is served as finger food at parties and celebrations like birthdays, weddings or even famous Duarte Day.  


Arroz Con Fideos

An offshoot of an Egyptian import bil shareyah, Arroz con Fideos is a rice and toasted noodlebased dish which is typically served as part of a wider meal with meat or fishArroz Blanco is another white rice-based dish which is hugely popular in the Dominican and forms the base of the immensely popular La Bandera Dominicana delicacy. 


Chicharron

How awesome do these Chicharrones look from Salty Tales

This delicious dish sees chunky deep-fried pieces of pork typically paired with tostones. Brought to the country by the Spanish colonizers, now you can enjoy a delicious plate of Chicharron in the northern area of Santa Domingo. 


Southwest

If southeast Dom Rep benefits from Arabian and Asian influences then the southwest pulls its character from African fusion.  


Chen Chen 

Take a look at this super Chen Chen recipe from MAM Caribbean Food

It may come as no surprise that, because of the prevalence of rice-based dishes, some regions sought out alternatives to rice in their cooking. Chen Chen is just that to the people of San Juan.  

In fact, this cracked-corn pilaf delicacy is so popular in some areas it’s even served as an alternative base to the rice-dominated national pride La Bandera dish


Moro de Guandules Con Coco 

Santo Domingo’s finest Norberis R shows us how to make a stunning moro de guandules con coco.

Created in the Samana Province, moro de guandules is a rice dish cooked with pigeon peas and coconut milkThe deliciously moreish delicacy takes pride of place at dinner parties across the region.  


Enjoyed all over  

Although every region in the country has its own influences which prevail as a result of cultural or geographical nuances. There are a plethora of dishes enjoyed throughout the country, from the highlands to the coast.  


Tostones

This video’s an oldie but a goodie when it comes to making perfect tostones. Thanks to CaribbeanPot

We’ve spoken about tostones a couple of times. They are the stable accompaniment to many-a-Dominican delicacy. From fresh fish to pica pollo (fried chicken). But what are they? 

Unripe plantains are chopped and deep-fried to result in delicious crispy snacks which feature on tables across the country from local cafés to upscale restaurants.  


Pollo Guisado

Belqui’s Twist takes us through how she’s been tackling cooking amazing dishes in lockdown with her Pollo Guisado

favourite on lunch menus up and down the country due to its relative inexpensiveness. Pollo guisado sees tender chicken cooked in a plethora of herbs and spices to create a truly delicious experience.  


La Bandera 

Take a crack at La Bandera this week! Check out this amazing recipe from Four Blessings, feeling hungry yet?

The only dish you need to know about in the Dominican Republic. La Bandera translates to “the flag” and, apart from being a national dish, was meant as a filling lunch to help keep the hard-working people of the country going.  

Consisting of rice, beans, meat, salad and avocado, La Bandera can also be served with tostones to become a virtual mix of all the flavours we’ve come across so far on our foodie guide to the Dominican Republic. Better make sure you have an empty belly if you’re attempting this national treasure.  


Mangu

Mangu is another plantain-rich dish. Fried plantains are accompanied by caramelised onions to create the delicacy, mangu. This is then coupled by tres golpes, (three strikes or punches) salami, eggs and fried cheese to create another national favourite. 


Yaniqueque

As her name suggests Simple by Clara make cooking yaniqueque look super easy

A beach day classic, yaniqueque is salted dough which is then fried to create a snack enjoyed across the country usually with fresh grilled fish and a cool beer. The story goes that the yaniqueque got their name after an American started selling them from his bakery in the 1800s under the name “Johnny Cakes” which is the literal translation of yaniqueque 


Mamajuana

Mamajuana is the only drink you need to try after all these incredible recipes

If you don’t try some mamajuana when you visit the Dominican Republic, then you haven’t really done the trip.

Originally invented as a herbal tea, the Spanish then added alcohol to create a mix of honey, red wine, rum, tree bark and herbs.  

Along with being an alleged aphrodisiac, mamajuana poses healthy properties which have been proven to aid digestion and improve blood circulation 


There are some incredible dishes waiting for you here. But if you want to find out more about this awesome countrymake sure you check out our Dominican Republic travel guide. Here we’ll take you through all the amazing things it has to offer.  

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