The Dominican Republic was formerly a Spanish colony, so it makes sense that good food Dominican Republic-style has Spanish influence. This cuisine has also been influenced by indigenous Taino, African and Middle-Eastern traits.
Dominican food has similarities to other Latin American countries, although names of the dishes are different. One thing is for sure, this is seriously tasty food and it packs loads of flavour!
Let’s go! 10 most popular food in the Dominican Republic
Chivo guisado is a tasty Dominican goat stew. Typical ingredients used to prepare this meal are onions, bitter or sour oranges, garlic, tomatoes, wild oregano, scotch bonnet peppers for a spicy kick and of course goat meat.
The stew is cooked on low heat for many hours until the meat is tender and falling apart. Served on top of cracked corn pilaf (chenchén), this is delicious home-cooked food Dominican Republic style.
Chenchén is like rice in Dominican cuisine and is served with many stews and meaty dishes.
2) Lechon Asado (Grilled Pork)
Roasted suckling pig that has first been marinated in some great ingredients. This is a very popular food in the Dominican Republic that is packed with flavour! The marinade is a blend of orange juice, fresh garlic, olives, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. The pork is roasted until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
A whole suckling pig or large cuts of pork can be used to make Lechon Asado, and it’s a dish that can feed a large crowd at once.
This dish is equally as popular in Cuba and this Cuban recipe to make Lechon Asado by epicurious.com is wonderful.
Sancocho. Delicious soup in Dominican Republic. Credit: blog.amigofoods.com
Sancocho is a traditional broth in several Latin American cuisines. A hearty soup of potatoes, meats, corn, and plantain, this dish is much-loved food in the Dominican Republic.
Yaroa. The best snack food Dominican Republic. Credit: Wikipedia
Let’s talk about traditional food Dominican Republic. Yaroa is a traditional casserole dish that is prepared in many different variations across the country. This dish is often made with pork, beef, chicken, sweet mashed plantains or fries, cheese and condiments such as ketchup or mayonnaise to put on top.
This is the best street food Dominican Republic snack ever!
The mashed sweet plantain or fries are topped with shredded meat and covered with cheese and different sauces. Usually found from street food vendors and food trucks, it’s certainly not healthy, but go for it anyway!
Another simple food in the Dominican Republic that makes great use of plantain! Mangu is a plantain mash, usually eaten as a breakfast food in the Dominican Republic.
This meal is a staple in the country and it’s usually served with eggs, fried thick salami and fried cheese.
Get Connected in the DR with eSIM!
Get connected the easy way when you’re travelling in DR – and buy an eSIM.
An eSIM works like an app: Buy it, download it, and get connected within minutes!
It’s easy, affordable, and convenient. Keep your original mobile phone number too!
Read more about how an eSIMs works or click below to view this 1GB eSIM for $9.50 for your adventure. Use our referral code: MARTIN9009 to get $3 off your first purchase!
If you don’t know what Pica pollo is before beginning your search for delicious food in the Dominican Republic, you’ll certainly discover it when you’re there! Pica Pollo is Dominican fried chicken, and it’s sooo good! It’s usually served with a side of fried plantains.
Talking from experience, order a cold beer or soda with your pica pollo to have the best food experience.
The secret of this tasty deep-fried bird is in the marinating stage. Lots of fresh lemon/lime in there with parsley, onion and garlic.
And then when it comes to the frying stage, the chicken pieces are rolled into flour combined with secret herbs and spices before hitting the fryer. Bliss!
Tostones or fried plantain is essential to Dominican cuisine, and this tasty dish is made by merely cutting ripe plantain, then frying the slices in oil.
Fried plantain is a filling meal, and it’s ideal to eat at any time of the day. Dominicans will often eat fried plantain with typical Dominincan foods like meat, salami, cheese, rice or eggs. It’s basic food Dominican Republic-style, but it’s super versatile and affordable.
Tasty food Dominican Republic is all about empanadas!
While empanadas are a staple food appreciated across Latin America, in the Dominican Republic they’re incredibly popular. Empanadas are the most popular snack food in the Dominican Republic and you can find them everywhere!
Street food vendors, bakeries, small stores and supermarkets too – the only decision to make is which one to choose?
Empanadas are baked parcels of buttery pastry that has been filled with spiced meat (usually beef), chicken, cheese or vegetables.
I pretty much lived on these when we travelled across South America in 2009. The perfect snack food because they’re cheap, filling and available on every corner at all times of the day. Easily my favourite street food in the Dominican Republic.
9) La Bandera
A staple Dominican dish of stewed meat, red beans, and white rice. You could say that this is Dominican Republic traditional food. A reliable, affordable and readily available food in the Dominican Republic. La Bandera, or ‘the flag,’ is named after the nationwide flag as it matches the colours on the tricolour flag.
The meat in this dish can be fried or stewed, it all depends on personal taste. La Bandera is a hugely popular food throughout the Dominican Republic and you will likely enjoy it on more than one occasion during your visit.
10) Dulce De Leche
Sweet food Dominican Republic. Dulce de leche
This sweet dish is found across Latin America, and it’s loved by all. Dulce de leche is a sweet, rich, and thick caramel-like sauce.
This oh-so-delicious food in the Dominican Republic is created by slow-melting sugar and evaporated milk. Over time, the sauce thickens and you can choose how to enjoy it. Dulce de leche can be eaten on its own, but it’s usually served with desserts, on top of muffins, waffles, cakes or pastries.
I ate so many wonderful pastries in many wonderful bakeries in Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic.
Mid-Range Hotel – Colonial 154 H Boutique hotel is in an excellent location. This 4-star hotel offers room service and a concierge service. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool and a 24-hour front desk and free WiFi. Check prices here.
Find all of our best travel tips, advice, and things we use and recommend to travel the world on our Travel Resources Page.
Make sure you get travel insurance before hitting the road. Trust us, it’s one of those things you don’t want to leave home without. We recommend either World Nomads or SafetyWing, depending on the type of traveller you are.
We hope you have enjoyed learning about the best food in the Dominican Republic. Have we missed your favourite Dominican dish on our list? Tell us what it is in the comments below.
🚌 Transportation: To book trains,Trainline is the best and cheapest website. To book transport in Europe, USA & Canada, we useOmio & FlixbusUS. For travel in Asia, we use 12Go.For all other countries, we use BookaWay to compare and book Bus, Ferry, or train tickets to get around.
💰 Send Money Anywhere: WISE is the best online account that lets you send money, get paid, and spend money internationally. It’s so easy to use and way cheaper than any bank transfer.
📶 Stay Connected: Airalo eSIM allows you to get connected the moment you land at your destination and you can avoid those expensive data roaming charges. We LOVE this product! Use promo code VHN20 for a 20% discounton ALL eSIMs (new Airalo users only – Read Terms & Conditions) OR use promo code VHN15 for a 15% discount on ALL eSIMs (for existing Airalo account users – Read Terms & Conditions)
Rach is a self-confessed travelling foodie. Her passion for food and culture has seen her eat her way through 190 countries. She's currently on a big food adventure to visit EVERY country in the world!
When Rach isn't travelling, you can find her at the beach, drinking coffee or wine with friends or chowing down on the best eats around her home city of Melbourne, Australia.