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I love food, but am not much of a cook, which is probably why I travel everywhere to get my culinary fix.

Food in the Dominican Republic is on my list because of the Spanish and African influences. Here’re five of my favorite dishes by region.

Get ready to be hungry!

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo is one of the oldest European cities in the Dominican Republic, so imagine the quality of food you can find! Take time out in the Colonial Zone and nibble on Spanish tapas and drink sangria while watching the sunset at the restaurant, Pura Tasca. For local fare, try to find a charming coffee shop and sample some Santo Domingo coffee.

Boca Chica

Sunning and swimming on the sandy shores of Boca Chica will have you working up an appetite. The best spot to grab grub is along the beach. A popular Italian restaurant is Restaurante El Puerco Rosado. They have delicious pasta, but the main draw is the fresh seafood. Try the pasta with sautéed shrimp, or treat yourself to a lobster. A typical local food is La Bandera. The dish has white rice, stewed beans and a meat dish that’s typically stewed or roasted.

Bayahibe

Bayahíbe is a fishing village that has now since become a tourist destination. If you want to try a local snack, enjoy a hot Casabe. The traditional way is by grating yuca into a flour and then cooking it on a hot plate. Get one fresh and enjoy the crunchy texture! If you want something more familiar, try the Saona Café. They serve tasty burgers and sandwiches, as well as fresh juices.

Puerto Plata

Puerto Plata is best known for its amazing beaches, beautiful resorts, and an 18-hole golf course. But, the food is also pretty darn worthy. Since you’re in such a gorgeous, romantic place combine that with some real, authentic Dominican dining. El Pilon is a well-established restaurant that serves buffet style or table service lunch or dinner. (Of course, breakfast, too!) I’m told the steak is very tasty. One dish they serve up in abundance is Sancocho, a traditional Dominican stew that’s an ecstatic medley of meats, vegetables, and broth that’s slow cooked for several hours. Sancocho is a vital dish shared among family and friends.

Other Notable Local Dishes/Drinks

The Caribbean is not complete without eating some coconuts. A lot of eateries will sell dulce de coco, a creamy, coconut and milk dessert. it’s a quick and easy fix to any sweet tooth craving. If you don’t drink much alcohol, a cooling local drink available at every single eating spot is Jugo de Chinola aka, passion fruit juice, which is similar to orange juice back in the States. A common drink. Something thoroughly Caribbean and Dominican is tostones. Feast on fried plantains, the Dominicans do!

I’m currently writing for Hipmunk and would love for you to check out some of the other Hipmunk content that I’ve written!

Image by Nader Balata via Trover.