Tropical paradise Punta Cana is a true highlight of the Caribbean region. A holiday in the Dominican Republic would not be complete without a tour of its fantastic restaurants. From high-class venues run by famous chefs to establishments that focus on Asian, French or Mexican cuisine, the resort’s diverse restaurants are not to be missed. Find out where to eat out in Punta Cana with a guide to the ten best restaurants.
Passion by Martin Berasategui at Paradisus Palma Real
The winner of Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice Award in 2013, this restaurant is an absolute must for visitors in search of signature dishes and exotic refinement while holidaying in Punta Cana. Run by Martin Berasategui, winner of seven Michelin stars and one of the most acclaimed international chefs in the world, the restaurant offers a high-class dining experience and an unforgettable evening at the beautiful Paradisus Palma Real hotel. Spanish cuisine is the star of the menu, and guests can choose between à la carte dining or enjoying a full tasting menu, complete with freshly sourced ingredients and beautiful presentation.
Sushi, seafood or Italian? La Palapa by Eden Roc offers them all while delighting guests with the captivating sight of the Caribbean Sea. La Palapa by Eden Roc has a reputation for being one of the best restaurants in Punta Cana and the whole of the Dominican Republic. Its eclectic menu includes mouth-watering dishes such as grilled octopus with boiled parsley potatoes, homemade pasta with tomato sauce, eggplant, dry ricotta and mint, grilled baby lobster; and new-style red tuna sashimi with hot sesame oil.
La Cava is the perfect place for those in search of a more exclusive and private experience. La Cava is the right spot for wine connoisseurs, offering its guests the rare opportunity to enjoy a dinner accompanied by one of the best wine collections in the Caribbean region. Thousands of bottles from all over the world – French, Spanish, South American and Italian, among others – create a memorable atmosphere and provide an opulent evening of fine food and beautiful wines. Only six people at a time can dine in La Cava, making this a unique and romantic spot.
As its name suggests, Zen brings Asian cuisine to Punta Cana. Specializing in Chinese and Japanese dishes, the restaurant provides visitors with a complete and one-of-a-kind gastronomic experience, as its chefs put on a real show by cooking the dishes in an open space in front of the guests. The menu is a treat for anyone who loves Chinese or Japanese food, and includes sushi, miso soup, yakimeshi, beef and teppanyaki, or fried ice cream.
La Yola recreates the magic of Caribbean stories with its boat-style design offering panoramic views of the marina and the surrounding sea. Built on a shipping boat, the restaurant is the place to go for those looking for less conventional decor and original experiences. Winner of Trip Advisor’s 2013 Certificate of Excellence and the AAA Three Diamond Award, La Yola specializes in Mediterranean cuisine with a solid focus on seafood. Its menu is diverse and inviting, with dishes ranging from Galician-style octopus, crab cake, pasta, sea conch quesadilla, baked tropical lobster or beef fajitas with mango.
Jellyfish is one of the most popular restaurants in Punta Cana among tourists visiting this part of the Dominican Republic. As its name suggests, the restaurant offers fresh fish and shellfish dishes, and does so in a scenic location and at reasonable prices. A winner of Trip Advisor’s 2013 Certificate of Excellence, Jellyfish also adds a good selection of international dishes to its fish-based menu. This romantic restaurant is a great attraction for couples, and is considered to be one of the top wedding destinations in Punta Cana.
Refined and with a solid reputation for being the best bakery in Punta Cana, Las Leñas is an unmissable stop for those who enjoy sophisticated pastries. Opened in 1998 as a small cafe and bakery for the local community, Las Leñas quickly became a reference point for Punta Cana’s culinary scene, and an excellent chance for tourists to step into an authentic local meeting place. Renowned for its strong, aromatic coffee and signature wedding cakes, Las Leñas offers its guests traditional breakfasts, sandwiches and, of course, a long list of decadent and tempting pastries, from flans, tarts and cakes to pies and choux to more local recipes.
Los Gallos is a great restaurant for tourists looking for Mexican dishes while holidaying in Punta Cana. A top location, Los Gallos is famous for its delicious dishes and excellent service. Its menu is a treat for anyone with an appetite for the delicacies of spicy Mexican cuisine, and offers a complete range of appetizers such as golden chicken tacos or chicken tamal with tequila sauce, fajitas and tacos, traditional lime and tortilla soups, as well as specialties like turkey enchiladas and tampiqueña steak with chili emulsion.
A trip to the Dominican Republic would not be complete without a culinary tour of the country and the wider Caribbean region. Carbon Caribbean Cuisine, a small restaurant tucked away in the thriving Punta Cana Village neighborhood, provides its guests with a tasty journey that passes through Dominican, Puerto Rican, Cuban and Jamaican cuisines. An informal, laid-back spot, Carbon is the perfect place for those wishing to go beyond the tropical beaches and turquoise sea and get the real, in-depth Caribbean experience. Its menu is a captivating blend of traditional Caribbean dishes like Cuban black beans with rice, Dominican stew, Jamaican chicken or shrimp stew.
Chez Mon Ami offers a glimpse of far-away France in the heart of the Dominican Republic, guaranteeing great quality at reasonable prices. Awarded with Trip Advisor’s 2013 Certificate of Excellence, Chez Mon Ami is the best choice for those wanting a respite from Caribbean cuisine and who are craving European-style dishes. The restaurant serves up a number of continental delicacies, including escargots, Caesar salad, beef carpaccio, shrimp cocktail and fondue bourguignonne, along with a number of seafood specialties such as the dorade du chef or fresh lobster, cooked depending on each customer’s preferences.