You’ve likely heard that the fastest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Well, in the Dominican Republic, you are in luck. Homemade meals are pretty much the standard in the traditional family. If you’ve ever wondered what makes those sexy Dominican girls move the way they do, it’s got something to do with their diet.
It’s a mixture of rice, fried foods, and beans. Well, that’s pretty much the foundation of many of the national favorites. To make it easy on you, we have categorized our list and narrowed it down to the top ten Dominican Republic food choices you have to try at least once.
C’mon, admit it. There’s a good chance you’ll be in a Dominican home just in time for breakfast. We’re not here to judge, but we will suggest a couple of choices well worth whatever it was you did the night before to wake up where you did.
1 – Mangu
Sure, the name may not be all that romantic but this is a truly multi-purpose meal. You’ve been to a restaurant that serves breakfast all day, right? Well, Mangu is a breakfast that can also be enjoyed at other times of the day. It consists of boiled plantains that get mashed to smithereens then topped with red onions that have been sautéed. There are variations that include eggs and cheese.
2 – Los Tres Golpes
This is a full-meal deal right here. It’s a man-sized platter of breakfast goodies that includes eggs, fried cheese, salami, and mangu. Yum!
3 – Concon
Here’s a twist on leftovers. You know how there’s typically a layer of browned rice that is stuck to the bottom of the pan you used to cook or fry up some rice? Well, that stuff is loaded with flavors collected from the cooking process and is eaten as the delicacy known in the DR as concon.
4 – La Bandera
This very well-known staple of Dominican Republic traditional food happens to go by several different names. The ingredients are always the same. It’s a mixture of rice, meat, and beans. It’s on every menu throughout the country and is just one of those dishes everyone loves.
5 – Sancocho
You’ve heard of Kitchen Sink stew, right? That’s where you add everything in the kitchen to the pot except the sink. Well, this is a lot like that. If you were to look up Dominican Republic food facts you would discover that sancocho contains no less than seven different meats and assorted vegetables. It takes a few hours for this to be ready but it is well worth the wait.
6 – Habichuelas Guisadas
This is basically stewed beans. Again, not very appealing in romance but highly packed with proteins and another very common Dominican Republic traditional food. This mixture is usually served on rice but is just as much fun alone.
7 – Ensalada Verde
The words to the name of this dish translate directly to mean green salad. It’s a staple in Dominican households and restaurants. The variations range from lettuce or cabbage as the base. Tomatoes are always included with all other vegetables left to choice but often include bell peppers, cucumbers, onions, and radishes.
8 – Chimichurri
Basically, this ‘sandwich’ is a Dominican street burger. It’s tasty and often topped with cabbage and a sweet flavored sauce that resembles a mixture of ketchup and mayo.
9 – Tostones
There are many great fried foods to taste and enjoy in the DR. However, if you are going to visit and say you tried the best foods available, then you better make sure that tostones are on that list. You could call these a Dominican Republic traditional food and that would be just fine. These are actually fried plantains which can be prepared in countless ways. However, the most popular method is as tostones. Essentially you fry plantains, smash them up and fry them again. Tah-Dah! Then you have tostones.
Well, our list would be incomplete if we didn’t mention a dessert item and this one happens to be as traditional as it gets. The name literally translates to Dominican cake and if you were to imagine a yellow cake with meringue frosting that is both light and fluffy then you’d know what this kind of dessert is all about. Usually, it contains a pineapple filling and there are variations but the locals say this is not an easy cake to make so don’t expect to steal a recipe that you’ll be successful at reproducing any time soon.
Dulce de Leche
This is a sweetened milk (the name actually translates to ‘sweet of milk’) that is thicker in consistency than milk. Think white caramel for a better visual sense of this. It is insanely delicious and is used as a dessert, a topping, a spread, a flavoring and in parts of the country, it is manufactured into a candy. Try it on a cake, drizzled on cookies or ice cream and you will be instantly hooked. Consider yourself warned.
Batida De Lechoza
Well, when you consider that the papaya grows like weeds in the Dominican Republic, there had to be a unique way to prepare it for consumption. This particular method is quite simply a milkshake. Sure, you may like your papaya peeled and cut into wedges but once you try it as a milkshake you’ll never eat one whole again.
Get In My Belly!
There you have it. Our top ten must-try Dominican Republic foods (plus a couple). It was not easy whittling down the massive cuisine to just a handful of choices but if you stick to this list, you’ll be able to enjoy some of the best foods the country has to offer. It’ll also give you a head’s up if you end up in a DR restaurant and can’t figure out the menu. Enjoy!