The Dominican Republic has a wide mix of cuisine, which makes it one of the best countries in the Caribbean for experiencing new food. There, restaurant goers can find restaurants that specialize in French, Spanish, Creole, Italian cuisine as well as many restaurants that utilize the natural resources of the island to provide unique dining experiences.
Don Pepe has been operating for three decades and is one of the most traditional restaurants in the Dominican Republic. Ranked as one of the top restaurants in Santo Domingo, Don Pepe specializes in traditional-Spanish cuisine but also offers international recipes. Some of its best recipes include its grilled beef and its numerous seafood recipes. It is also well-known for having over 500 offerings of red wines from Spain.
El Mesón de la Cava opened in 1967 and can be found in a natural-limestone cave carved by waves crashing along the coastline for millions of years. Before becoming a restaurant, this cave used to be home for a group of Taíno Indians who discovered the island as well as pirates and buccaneers who used it as a hideout. It is well known for its unique dining experience, and it serves a wide variety of seafood and international cuisine.
Passion’s owner and lead chef, Martín Berasategui, comes from San Sebastián in the Spanish Basque. He brought some of the recipes that he learned to the Dominican Republic with the purpose of creating the best fine-dining experience in the country. One of the best options is the seven-course tasting menu, where patrons may encounter meals such as truffled ravioli, crusted salmon with fennel beads, chocolate olives and basil, slow-cooked pressed veal cheek with romesco sauce, and more.
La Yola is a AAA Three Diamond Award-winning restaurant. Well known for serving fresh Mediterranean cuisine, seafood, and vegetables grown from their own in-house organic garden, guest can enjoy a wide range of meals in a beautiful seaside setting. Located on the perches near the sea at the Punta Cana Resort & Club Marina, La Yola overlooks the sparkling-turquoise waters.
A small, natural restaurant, Le Papillion offers a unique atmosphere: big aquariums, driftwood, and historic and eccentric decorations all work together to offer an interesting experience. The owner and chef, Thomas Ackermann, is an executive chef in Germany and Switzerland and has experience serving on international cruise lines. His menu is full of international cuisine that caters to all sorts of tastes.
Rafael R. Vasquez-Heinsen runs Mares Restaurant & Pool Lounge. He specializes in using the island’s ingredients to create very traditional Dominican food. It is known for having an atmosphere that promotes pure enjoyment. Unlike other restaurants, guests aren’t encouraged to eat quickly. Instead, guests are expected to relax, enjoy the food, atmosphere, and the afternoon.
Bliss offers a menu of a fusion of Italian and International cuisine. Known for its tranquil atmosphere, patrons will see a small Buddha statue overlooking a small-swimming pool when they enter the restaurant. It’s a great place to have a quiet, peaceful evening.
Otra Cosa is a French-Caribbean restaurant that offers a pleasant dining experience. Its location in a secluded spot overlooking the sea makes it a great place for late-night dining experience. Some of the best items to try include the warm goat-cheese salad, salmon tartar, duck breast in a cognac sauce, and tandoori in a Marsala wine sauce with shrimps and crabs.
Le Tre Caravelle was inspired by Christopher Columbus and Hispaniola’s discovery. Decorated similarly to the three caravels used in Columbus’s first journey to the New World, visitors can enjoy Italian pasta and meals made from imported meat and fish that are then usually prepared on the grill.
Mi Corazon offers a wide variety of foods including French, Italian, and Swiss-German cuisines. With meals made from fresh ingredients and cooked on the premise, patrons can enjoy their food in a romantic colonial-style courtyard. At night, its great view of the stars provides a great night-dining experience.