Experience the Dominican Republic through your taste buds. Start with the markets for stocking up on fruit so sweet you won’t believe it is real. Pineapples, papayas, melons, guavas, soursop, passion fruit, tamarind, strawberries, mangos and even dragon fruit… Taste the fruit bars and sherbets, macadamia and organic chocolate ice cream at the Helados Bon ice cream shops located all around the country.
Take note that lunch (noon to 3pm) is the big meal of the day, with many restaurants in cities and towns offering “executive lunch” or “dish of the day” deals. Dominicans are faithful to the so-called “Dominican flag:” stewed or fried meat with rice and beans and fritters. Rare is the tourist who is not hooked on chilly Presidente beer that goes so well with Dominican food. Head to the supermarkets to pick up locally produced rum, coffee and macadamia nuts to take back home.
Cooking from around the world is represented here. Foreigners who first came as tourists have opened restaurants to share their culture. If you need your shot of American fast food, no problem: the chains are here. In Santo Domingo, head to Winston Churchill Avenue and the city malls. In resort areas, many have also opened to cater to US tourists who make up the largest visitor segment.
It could well be said that the Dominican Republic has more restaurants than all of the rest of the Caribbean combined. How to choose? Don’t. Go with the flow. Chances are the restaurant near you will be good. Browse the menu for fusion cooking, where innovative chefs have taken popular recipes and given them a Dominican twist with local ingredients.
When in the Dominican Republic make it a point of looking for places where you can dine with a view. There are many. Take time to dine overlooking expansive grass fairways, towering native pine trees, seaside horizons or 500 years of history.