Food & Drink

Our Favorite Restaurants in Santiago de los Caballeros

The Deck Restaurant in Santiago, Dominican Republic

Photo: Angel Rosario

Explore the Flavors of Santiago de los Caballeros

Are you on the hunt for an unforgettable culinary experience in Santiago de los Caballeros? La Ciudad Corazón (the heart city) of the Dominican Republic beckons you to uncover its diverse gastronomic treasures.


From low-key family-run eateries to upscale dining establishments, the restaurants in Santiago offer a feast for the senses, catering to every taste and budget.


Keep reading to discover the best dining spots in Santiago

Calcalí Café & Restaurant in Santiago

Photo: Angel Rosario

1. For breakfast and coffee lovers: Calcalí Café

Calcalí Café masterfully blends the relaxed ambiance of a café with the culinary excellence of a top-notch restaurant, creating a pretty laid-back dining experience. This fusion spot, with several locations in Santiago de los Caballeros, is perfect for those who seek quality without pretense. The most central location can be found in Villa Olga, providing a cool, comfortable atmosphere and fresh, hot coffee roasted in-house.


The menu at Calcalí is a celebration of freshness, featuring ingredients predominantly sourced from their own farms. Signature dishes like the homemade caramelized queso camembert, buttermilk lemon pancakes, and the flavor-rich pastrami sandwich showcase their commitment to quality.


If you’re the coffee aficionado type we recommend trying the Mojito de Cafe, a novel fusion of coffee and cocktail. While renowned for breakfast and lunch, Calcalí also welcomes diners in the evening, making it a versatile choice among Santiago restaurants. Check menu and opening hours here!

Noah Restaurant, Santiago

Photo: Angel Rosario

2. Noah Restaurant: Upscale dining with a Dominican twist

Right in the heart of Santiago, Noah offers a unique dining experience that combines the rich flavors of the Dominican Republic with the sophistication of international cuisine. Situated near the towering Monumento de Los Héros de la Restauración, Noah not only provides a stunning view of this iconic structure from its outdoor seating area but also solves the city's notorious parking challenges with convenient valet service.


The menu at Noah is a diverse palette of tastes, featuring an array of meats, pastas, risottos, and their signature Dominican-style sushi infused with Caribbean flavors. We recommend the gratén de berenjenas (eggplant gratin), a perfect starter for sharing.


Whether you choose to dine al fresco or inside with air conditioning, the vibe is always welcomming, especially during weekends when live music and dancing bring the place to life. While Noah is on the pricier side, the quality of the food and the great dining experience justify the expense. Please note that there is a strict dress code for the indoor dining area at Noah.

Cafeteria Central comedor in Santiago

Photo: Anton Lau

3. Eat like a local at Cafeteria Central

For a genuine taste of local life and pocket-friendly Dominican cuisine, Cafeteria Central stands out among Santiago's restaurants as the place to be. This comedor (a term for small, family-owned restaurants integral to the culture of this island nation) offers a no-frills dining experience and an authentic glimpse into the local way of life. Here, the essence of Dominican dining is preserved in its simplest and most traditional form.


Stepping into Cafeteria Central is like entering a different era, where the interior radiates a retro charm reminiscent of the 1970s or a scene from a Wes Anderson film. Don't expect to be handed a menu here. Instead, the day's offerings are handwritten on a sign on the back wall, showcasing the plato del día – a simple yet hearty meal typically featuring rice and beans accompanied by a choice of meat such as chicken, goat, beef, or pork.


For those looking to explore beyond the traditional, you can opt for local favorites like yucca, yautia, or plantains as substitutes for rice. The cafeteria also delights with a variety of homemade juices and Dominican desserts and cakes, perfect if you’re seeking a sweet complement to your meal.

The Deck Restaurant in Santiago, Dominican Republic

Photo: Angel Rosario

4. Visit The Deck for healthy eats & Santiago’s best vegetarian dishes

Known for its extensive and health-conscious menu, The Deck is a tranquil retreat tucked away at the end of a private street amidst Santiago's bustling cityscape. Offering the freshest salads, creative vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes, this serene spot is a perfect blend of nutritious and delicious dining options.


The atmosphere, reminiscent of a tranquil jungle enclave with lush plants and relaxing tropical vibes, contributes to a unique dining experience, making it a sought-after destination for both locals and visitors in search of a peaceful city escape.


The Deck's reputation for serving some of the best food in Santiago is well-deserved. Whether you're craving a truffled panini, a savory spinach dip, or one of their renowned smoothies and desserts, the menu caters to a wide array of tastes. A must-try is their Anti-Bloat smoothie, a refreshing blend of coconut water, banana, cucumber, kiwi, and ginger, perfect for a healthful indulgence.

Saga Restaurant in Santiago

Photo: Saga

5. Saga: Santiago's premier fine dining restaurant

Every visit to Saga is an experience in unparalleled luxury and culinary excellence. This is not just a restaurant; it's Santiago's answer to the world of fine dining. Here, the Tomahawk Ribeye isn't just a dish, it's a statement – served on a Himalayan salt block, it's a must-try for any meat lover.


The menu is a carefully curated selection of the finest dishes, each a testament to the chef's skill and creativity. And for wine enthusiasts, the extensive list offers a journey through some of the best vineyards from Europe and South America.


At Saga, every detail contributes to an atmosphere of sophisticated luxury. From the elegant interior to the serene garden terrace, the setting is perfect for those special occasions or when you simply want to treat yourself to the best. The cigar lounge adds a touch of exclusivity, providing a refined space for aficionados. Whether you're here for the exceptional food, the exquisite wines, or the luxurious ambiance, Saga promises an experience that's not just a meal, but a celebration of the finer things in life.

After savoring Santiago's culinary delights, why not let the city's nightlife 'spice' up your evening? Dive into our guide on Santiago's buzzing after-dark scene and discover where the night takes you!

Written by Maria Mena.


Published November 2023.

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