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Get a taste of Santo Domingo, Dominicana

Get a taste of Santo Domingo, Dominicana

by George Black

The largest city of the Dominican Republic and the largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean by population, Santo Domingo is many things, from a cultural hub to the centre of finance and social life for many people of the region and from other countries. The country's most important industries are also located within the city. The city's harbor at the mouth of the Ozama River accommodates any type of vessel coming in or going out. With a lively and healthy pulse like that it's only natural that a developed gastronomical scene exists in the city.

1. Quipes - a local start.
Quipes - a local start.
Quipes

Quipes are deep-fried cutlets with bulgur and juicy filling. This dish is perfect for a family dinner or for a buffet table. They are prepared quite simply, but their taste will certainly please guests.

#148 of 4802 restaurants in Santo Domingo
Fusion
Plaza Andalucía 2, Av. Gustavo Mejía Ricart, con, Av. Abraham Lincoln, Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominicana
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Dominicana is a country where hot food is deep fried as a rule. One of the most recognizable dishes in the local cuisine would be the fried beef and bulgur meatballs called quipes or kipes. The dish dates back to colonizers and has a touch of Middle Eastern influences, it has acquired almost vernacular presence and is frequently served in social occasions. As part of a meal, qiipes are usually offered often as a starter along with other regional delicacies, including empanadas, deditos, etc.

The aptly named Tu Quipe will offer wonderful quipes.

2. Chicharrón - great pork
Chicharrón - great pork
Chicharrón

Chicharrón is a dish made from the fried pork skin. Sometimes, it can be cooked with chicken, lamb or beef. These are usually eaten with tostones, especially the chicken variant.

#87 of 4802 restaurants in Santo Domingo
Dominican
Calle Heriberto Núñez 11A, Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominicana
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Another offering on today's list is a dish originating from the recipe popular in Andalusia and Canarias in Spain, Latin America and other places with Spanish influence. There are various regional variations of chicharrón. In Dominicana, chicharrón is usually eaten with tostones. Local chefs prepare it by washing and drying pork and cutting it into small pieces, which are seasoned with a mix of lemon juice and salt. The result is an easily digestible and delicious combination with local flavour.

Chancho Gusto is a great choice here.

3. Mofongo - a fried wonder
Mofongo - a fried wonder
Mofongo

It is a traditional dish of Caribbean cuisine, the main components of which are ripe and solid green plantains. Mofongo can be served separately, as a garnish or with different fillings.

#8 of 487 BBQs in Santo Domingo
Caribbean, Latin American, Barbecue, Seafood
F497+76R, Paseo Presidente Billini Pte. Francisco a Caamano Deno, Ciudad Nueva, Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominicana
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Next is a dish that originally became popular in Puerto Rico but reached other regions and countries. Mofongo is made with fried plantains as its main ingredient. Plantains are picked green and fried, then mashed with salt, garlic, broth, and olive oil in a wooden mortar and pestle. The result is a tight ball of mashed plantains absorbing the attending condiments and including either chicharrón or bits of bacon inside. A cute and tricky kind of food to male, but an interesting culinary discovery.

D' Luis Parrillada is a decent option.

4. Tostones - flat but not bland
Tostones - flat but not bland
Tostones

These are twice-fried plantain slices. These are also known as tachinos or chatinos, fritos verdes, bananes pesees, and patacones. Unripe plantains are used for the dish. They are peeled and sliced (length-wise, diagonally, or width-wise), and fried twice in butter. They become golden in color, then flattened with a special hinged utensil, called tostonera, and fried again. They are eaten with salt, like potato chips.

#8 of 837 seafood restaurants in Santo Domingo
Caribbean, Latin American
C. Hostos 302, Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominicana
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This Dominican dish consists of twice-fried plantain slices commonly found in Latin American cuisine and Caribbean cuisine. Tostones are salted and eaten much like potato chips or French fries. In the Dominican Republic, the slices are commonly served with fresh lime wedges to squeeze over them and salt for sprinkling. Sometimes, tostones are topped with cheese as an appetizer, or with shrimp ceviche, pulled chicken, or avocado salad. Individual combinations are worth seeking out.

Mesón de Bari is the first name that comes to mind here.

5. Pasteles - wrapping things up in the middle
Pasteles - wrapping things up in the middle
Pasteles

Dominicans usually use banana tubers, malanga (a kind of the root vegetables), and squash. The tubers are rubbed into what is called masa. Masa is then placed in a banana leaf. The masa is then filled with meat. Various meats and seasonings from all over the island can be used.

#44 of 493 coffeehouses in Santo Domingo
C. Lorenzo Despradel 20, Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominicana, 20
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Here's another traditional dish in several Latin American and Caribbean countries. Dominican pasteles actually look like tamales but stand out due to their undeniable uniqueness. They are filled with ground beef and known as "pasteles de hojas". Dominican pasteles added cassava to the already existing Puerto Rican recipe, and the dish itself actually became a traditional type of food to be consumed during Christmas celebrations - another adopted tradition.

Fresco del Horno Pasteleria is an obvious destination in this case.

6. Empanadas - beloved everywhere
Empanadas - beloved everywhere
Empanadas

Empanadas refer to pies with fillings - the dish is usually cooked from wheat flour, beef fat, and cheese. The name of the stuffed bread comes from the Spanish verb 'empanar' which means 'wrap' in bread.

#35 of 1079 fast food in Santo Domingo
Fast food
F3HV+MWR, Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominicana
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This item on our list is particularly popular in Spain in Latin America, but it made its way across the globe to every corner of the world over the years. The baked or fried turnovers consisting of pastry and filling can be found in most big cities, they are called empanadas and offer a compact and particularly tasty combination of ingredients. It's only natural that a cultural and internationally attractive city like Santo Domingo will have quite a lot of places where you can get empanadas.

D' Boli Empanadas is one of such places.

7. Churrasco - a natural guest dish
Churrasco - a natural guest dish
Churrasco

In Brazil, churrasco is called meat dishes prepared on the grill. Brazilian churrasco contains a variety of meat products and offal prepared on a regular barbecue grill.

#5 of 4802 restaurants in Santo Domingo
Latin American
Calle Andrés Julio Aybar, Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominicana
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In a place like Santo Domingo, an Argentinian influence on how people like their grill is not the least nor the most obvious thing. Indeed, people love local churrasco precisely because they can make it in whatever way they want. That's the whole point of churrasco, if you think about it - grilled meat prepared specifically and placed together to be served on a special plate. This is both simple in concept and tricky in execution, as the meat needs to be grilled quite carefully.

Laurel has churrasco of different kinds, Korean being the most praised.

8. Tacos - another cool guest
Tacos - another cool guest
Tacos

Сrispy and tasty, tacos are a popular street food in Mexico and other parts of the world. The dish consists of small tortillas topped with meat, beans, cheese, and vegetables.

#102 of 4802 restaurants in Santo Domingo
Mexican
Calle Lic. Carlos Sánchez 14, Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominicana
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Everyone has heard the name of our next dish at least once in popular works of art and public writing. Tacos have become associated with Mexico and Mexican cuisine. However, this fame is well-deserved as the dish is both tasty, cheap, simple, and flexible in terms of the recipe. A good chef can make different kinds of tacos by changing the formula: a small hand-sized corn or wheat tortilla topped with a filling. What you fill a taco with, what you add to it, and how you eat it - all up to you.

El Corrido is a great place for tacos.

9. Croquettes - a side of greatness
Croquettes - a side of greatness
Croquettes

Croquettes, especially stuffed with jamon, are often served at tapas bars. The dough is mainly made with stuffing (jamon, ham, seafood) and with the béchamel sauce.

#11 of 4802 restaurants in Santo Domingo
International
Downtown Center, Av. Núñez de Cáceres, Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominicana
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Since the list is close to its end, it's only natural to mention the most popular side dishes and desserts in Santo Domingo. Aside from the usual variety of available dishes, the ever-present croquettes are particularly beloved. Maybe it's due to their usual fillings, which include meat, or the observable tendency of local eaters to choose compact and universal foods that can be consumed quickly and enjoyed without too much fuss. But the fact is croquettes fit the rhythm of the city perfectly.

SBG KITCHEN is one of the best places for croquettes.

10. Nacho chips - just for the fun of it
Nacho chips - just for the fun of it
#20 of 1695 cafes in Santo Domingo
American
Blue Mall, Av. Winston Churchill 80, Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominicana
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We all know what nachos are - a Tex-Mex dish consisting of fried tortilla chips or totopos covered with melted cheese or cheese sauce. The modernized standards of living fast and eating fast made nacho chips a separate kind of food. Small, crispy, and easily combined with different kinds of cheese, a mix of spices and sauces - nacho chips are the simplest and most flexible. Of course, it's not the classiest kind of food, but for a place that requires so much exploration, they are amazing.

Hard Rock Cafe Santo Domingo is the right choice here.

As you can see, Santo Domingo is full of life. Enjoy some of it when visiting the city and its restaurants!

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Get a taste of Santo Domingo, Dominicana