24 Hours in Santo Domingo: A Livin’ La Vida “Local” Guide to Dining

Santo Domingo

Over 500 years post Columbus’s arrival in 1492, Santo Domingo has left its mark as the tres chic, cosmopolitan capital of the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean’s second largest Spanish speaking country after Cuba.

Boasting exotic waters, flavorful cuisine, beautifully friendly people, historical sites and architecture, unbelievable tropical weather and a fascinating passion for baseball, Santo Domingo offers an experience for tasteful travelers willing to explore beyond the usual all-service resort hotels. We recently ventured to this beloved colonial city and asked local Santo Domingo hipsters to give us the lowdown on unique hot spots for delicious food and drinks. Here’s what we discovered.

BREAKFAST.

Copyright La Dolcerie

Copyright La Dolcerie

La Dolcerie Cafe Bistro (Piantini). Known for its romantic vintage decor and comfortable atmosphere, the popular La Dolcerie provides an ample breakfast menu that pleases the pickiest of local brunch-goers. The home-made churros topped with Nutella and dulce de leche are a mouthwatering delight. Or, opt for the traditional Dominican mashed plantain “mangù” dish with a modern twist. If you’re in the mood for healthier fare, go for the protein shakes and prepare to feel fantastic.

What to order:
Signature Dolce Breakfast
Caprese Eggs Benedict
Bizcocho De Chocolate, Nutella Y Helado De Vainilla

Good to know:
Make a Reservation
8:30PM is the busiest hour

Website

LUNCH.

Copyright Miguel Tomás Pérez Ortiz

Copyright Miguel Tomás Pérez Ortiz

Barra Payán (Zona Colonial) is the ultimate Santo Domingo fast food hangout. Described as a foodie “landmark” by locals, this hallowed neighborhood haunt is plainly unassuming and offers delicious fast food in a no-frills, old-school setting, complete with 1950s countertops, bar stool seating and drive-in service. Barra Payán’s menu is great for a quick bite, offering a selection of sizzling panini sandwiches and delectable tropical fruit and carnation-milk shakes. Best of all – your tab will run merely $5 USD per meal. For you fast-food junkies, this place is satisfaction guaranteed.

What to order:
Completo Danes Sandwich
(Chicken, Ham, Danish Cheese)
Batido de Lechosa con Ca
(Papaya Milkshake)

Good to know:
Open 24 Hours

Website

DINNER.

Copyright Meson de Bari

Copyright Meson de Bari

Meson de Bari (Zona Colonial). A local baseball celebrity favorite, this two-story, eclectic and cool restaurant offers traditional Dominican fare with a colorful and tasty twist. Their dishes are a seafood lover’s delight, with options including crab and conch empanadas and grilled crabs. Or try the tostones (fried plantains) and chivo guisado with white rice and red beans for a more traditional yet mouthwatering local dish.

The venue is brightly colored, decorated playfully with scattered wall art (from Che Guevara pop art to traditional Dominican landscapes) from local artists. The reclaimed colonial architecture screams of the history of the place. Oh, and the live merengue, bachata and salsa music? Love. And, yeah, the food simply rocks.

What to order:
Onion Steak, Red Beans, Rice
Cangrejo and Congri Empanadas
(Crab and Conch Empanadas)

Good to know:
Make a Reservation
Parking is hard to find!

Website 

LATE NIGHT.

Copyright La Chismosa

Copyright La Chismosa

La Chismosa (Piantini). Literally meaning “the Gossip Girl,” La Chismosa is a sexy tapas restaurant and bar know by locals as the most exclusive place to see and be seen. Its deconstructivist modern architecture, sleek lounge decor, and killer out-of-town DJ beats will keep you and your entourage entertained for the entire night.

From their tasty margaritas, to playfully named signature cocktails like “Kiss and Tell” and “Passion and Peace,” the drinks are likely to keep the young and hip crowd refreshed and ready for action. Try the outdoor terrace seating for fresh Caribbean air. This place has the atmosphere of a New York City lounge and the music of a European nightclub. Go for it.

What to order:
Signature Sangria
Jalapeño Margarita
Passion Fruit Mojito

Good to know:
Open 6:00PM – 1:00AM
Closes later on weekends
Valet Parking Available

Website

Whether you’re in Santo Domingo for business, pleasure or a little bit of both, be sure to bring your appetite!

Olga Abinader proudly hails from a family of Caribbean and Middle-Eastern self-taught culinary experts. Her rich heritage inspires her to pursue all things creative and remain curious about culture, food and travel. A fanatic of urban places, Olga's profession is in urban planning and design in the New York City metro.

Be first to comment

Leave a Reply