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Where to eat in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Marnely Rodriguez-Murray is the author of the food blog Cooking with Books. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, she has worked as an overnight bread baker in Colorado and a chocolate maker in Virginia. She currently resides ...

Eat your way through Santo Domingo!

Once you land in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, you're welcomed with amazing sights and sounds, but most importantly, smells.
Santo Domingo on a map

The great aroma of the street food makes your mouth water, and when you step inside the restaurants, you're swirled into a world of fusion cuisine, where Caribbean meets the world.

Santo Domingo is a city of many loves, and one of them is their love of food. Dominicans strive to have some of the best home cooking known to man, and even better, the restaurant scene in the capital of the island is developing at a rapid rate. You can find everything from Thai to French, with Italian and American as well. When Dominicans go out, they go all out and love to eat great food, and we've found the best restaurants to showcase their cuisine.

1

Gallo Pinto

A casual and creative restaurant, Gallo Pinto offers a variety of food with no set cuisine. They’re known for theme menus throughout the months, and some of the past menus have been based on Paleo eating, risottos and lighter fare. As you enter, you’re immediately surrounded by the creativity of the place — one of the walls is an endless work of chalk art, where patrons can draw and design. The lighting is tucked under the bar, which creates the tone for their innovative menu.

What to order

Manchego croquettes and their signature “mofonguitos” (plantain baskets stuffed with pulled pork).

2

Mitre

One of the top restaurants for fine dining in Santo Domingo, Mitre is the perfect spot for dinner on the weekends. It’s located at a popular intersection of the city, busy and crowded, but well worth the hassle for parking (you can always get valet parking). The service is impeccable and the menu showcases a variety of both local and international items.

What to order

Understandably (since we're not in New England), they are the only restaurant that serves a classic New England clam chowder and it’s amazing. Also worth mentioning is their eggplant gratin with a lamb ragu and their classic "penne Mitre."

3

Chef Pepper

This is the orange in a bushel of apples, that is, it’s inexpensive — not fine dining — but has some of the best food on island. Chef Pepper is a local chain restaurant that's creating a new concept out of fast food. Their entrees are based on traditional Dominican items, but with a fusion of either Asian or American flair. Also, their natural fruit juices are divine — try the cherry, made from natural local cherries!

What to order

Their yucca mash, simple as that. It’s a cheesy and decadent mash unlike anything you’ll ever order. I promise you, it will change your life.

4

Pat’e Palo

Known as the first tavern of the New World, with 500-year-old walls, the Brasserie Pat’e Palo is a restaurant unlike any other. Located in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo and less than 500 feet from the late home of Christopher Columbus, it’s a splurge that everyone should experience while visiting the city. Their chef, Saverio Stassi, is the creative mastermind behind the detailed menus with great European influences.

What to order

Ask what the specials are; ask the chef to cook anything he wants for you. It’s that good.

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