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10 Best Traditional Dishes in Dominican Republic [Best Local Food in Dominican Republic]

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor July 22nd, 2020 Posted in Caribbean Travel Blog, Restaurant and Recipes, Travel Blog One Comment

To have a taste of the best local food in Dominican Republic, you should make your way to Punta Cana. These dishes are absolutely mouth-watering.

Did you know what the word “Dominica” means? It’s derived from Latin that means “Sunday.” That is because of the legend Christopher Colombus arrived in this place on Sunday. Another fun fact about the Dominican Republic is that their flag is the one and only flag in the world that has bible drawn on it.

The Dominican Republic is also a tropical country, and as you know, tropical places always have their own charm to attract tourists to explore their areas. A country that is popular with its coffee and tobacco products mostly is inhabited by European and African descendants. A small part of other ethnicities is migrants. With those influences, the Dominican Republic has similar cuisine with those places. Here we have a list of best local food in Dominican Republic, especially in Punta Cana, about 200 KM from Santo Domingo, the capital city.

1. Sancocho


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Sancocho is a kind of soup that’s not only popular in Punta Cana but also all over Dominica. This soup is usually made from 7 kinds of meat and mixed it with vegetables and need a long time to prepare it. This local food in Dominican Republic is usually served on a gathering with colleagues or family.

The vegetables they used in Sancocho usually are sweet corn, yucca, cilantro, auyama or pumpkin, and many others depending on the vegetables available. The mix of meats and vegetables produces a balanced diet in terms of protein, fat, and fiber. This is healthy food.

2. La Bandera


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Adopting from their national flag, La Bandera means flag in English. This dish is quite popular and locals made it their daily main menus. La Bandera is consists of several types of food. The main ingredient is white rice, and then they add some kind of side dishes like boiled beans, and meats (it can be chicken or beef). The most important part of cooking this white rice is it has to be crunchy at the bottom of the pot, or in local’s words, they say “concón”.

Dominicans usually enjoy this dish as a lunch menu, although not closing the possibility to serve La Bandera at other times. There is quite a combination to eat La Bandera. Some places serve it with vegetable salad, others serve it with Avocado and many other ways. Almost every place in Punta Cana has this dish on their menu list. It won’t be hard to find.

3. Mangú


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Mangu has the same role as white rice in Dominica. It’s made from mashed steamed plantain and served it along with fried shallots. Depends on the side dish they served, Mangu can be a part of other dishes. Mangu for Dominican is basically the white rice for Asian or Bread for Western.

It is said that Mangu came from Africa and brought to Dominican by the colonials centuries ago. Mangu often enjoyed as breakfast menu.

4. Los Tres Golpes


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Los Tres Golpes is an expansion of Mangu. The side dishes which make Mangu be Los Tres Golpes usually are an omelet, salami, ham, or cheese. It can be a combination of all those side dishes. Sometimes they also add avocado on the combination and make Los Tres Golpes cannot be more perfect.

Not different from Mangu, Los Tres Golpes mostly can be seen on the table at breakfast time. Many cafes and restaurants sell this dish on their menus. Try this, and your day in Punta Cana can be started with a happy tummy!

5. Pescado Frito

Best Local Food in Dominican Republic
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Visiting the coast won’t be complete without trying their seafood. One of the menus that you have to try in Punta Cana is this Pescado Frito. It’s basically a fried fish with authentic Dominican spices on it.

In Punta Cana, you can go to Macau to try the best Pescado Frito ever. It’s made with dipping the fish onto the seasoning flour solvent and deep-fried it until it has a goldie looks. The hot Pescado Frito is best served with lemon and fried plantains or locals call it as tostones.

6. Bacalao


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Another seafood dish from one of the Carribean coast, Bacalao. This dish uses cod and potatoes as the main ingredient. Cod is very popular among Carribeans. There are many types of Bacalao, but the most popular one is the Bacalao Guisado.

This dish is usually served during special days like Easter or Lent. But don’t worry if you want to try it, though it’s not Easter or Lent you can still find it in so many seafood restaurants in Punta Cana.

7. Mondongo


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This dish can be included in the list of extreme food. Because not many people would be willing to try tasting Mondongo. Even not all Dominicans are able to enjoy this dish. Then you might be wondering “Why are people not eating this food? It looks delicious!” Of course, it has a delicious appearance like any other stew, but once you know the main ingredient of Mondongo maybe you’ll be stepping down. Or even feel challenged?

Mondongo is tripe that made from cow or pig intestines. Although not all people can easily try or enjoy this dish, Mondongo is Dominican’s traditional dish and has a delicious and heavenly flavor. If you love challenges, you have to try this one!

8. Chivo


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A tasty and flavorful appearance, that’s what you’ll say when you see Chivo unless you’re a vegetarian. If you’re a meat-lover, then you should add Chivo on your list of dishes you have to try. Chivo is another way to say Goat in the Dominican Republic, and you must know by now that this dish main ingredient is goat meat.

The most popular Chivo around Dominica is Chivo guisado. This dish is basically boiling the meat along with spices in a slow-cook type until the meat becomes savory, tender and delicate.

9. Habichuelas con Dulce


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Now we come to the Dominican Republic’s most popular dessert. This dessert is called Habicuelas con Dulce or sweet beans cream in English. Although the combination of cream and beans is not quite familiar for us, Dominicans love this mixture.

Habichuelas con dulce is made from red beans and evaporated milk. This dish is an important dish for special occasions like Lent and locals make it on a big scale then share it with families and colleagues. Every family has their own special recipe for this dessert. Some of them use sweet potato, coconut milk, sugar, or any other ingredients based on their tastes. But all of those recipes are delicious.

10. Mamajuana


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Don’t get this wrong with Marijuana. It has a similar pronunciation and word, but both are completely different. Mamajuana is the Dominican’s most popular liquor made from a mixture of rum, wine, honey and soaked it in a bottle full of spices. Besides fun, Mamajuana is also believed to have a medicine and aphrodisiac quality. Some even say that it can be used as viagra as well.

Mamajuana is often served on the room temperature after filtered out from the spices. You can find it easily in every bar, restaurant, cafes, supermarkets or even convenience stores. Don’t forget to bring it home as a souvenir for relatives at home.

With lots of local food in Dominican Republic, don’t you getting motivated to explore this country, especially Punta Cana? Your holiday will be so perfect along with the beautiful Carribean beach in Punta Cana. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your bag and passport!

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One thought on “10 Best Traditional Dishes in Dominican Republic [Best Local Food in Dominican Republic]

  1. Ive tasted most of these foods and they are exquisite. I am looking for a dish that I believe is of dominican cuisine, where it’s a bunch of different types of meats served on a cutting board or platter cooked to perfection, and I was told I should try it the next time I visit the DR. But I cannot remember the name. Does this sound familiar? and if so what is the name. Thank you!

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Written by Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor

Two Monkeys Travel Group – Community Travel Blog is a travel blog and website. We quickly grew into a valuable source of inspiring travel stories, advice, itineraries and travel guides, with the aim of demonstrating how to live a sustainable life of travel, whilst living your own definition of success. If you'd like to contribute and write a guest post, contact us at [email protected]