Food & Drink
Where to Eat in Santo Domingo (on Any Budget)
Maraca restaurant in Santo Domingo
Photo: Anton Lau
Savor the flavors of Santo Domingo at the city's best restaurants. From traditional Dominican cuisine to international fare, our top picks offer something for every palate and budget!
Looking for places to eat in Santo Domingo?
Santo Domingo's food scene is a melting pot of flavors and influences, with a range of local and international cuisines to choose from. Whether you're looking for a fine dining experience or a cheap diner, you'll find something to suit your taste and budget.
To help you navigate the city's culinary offerings (and avoid the tourist traps), we've put together a list of our favorite restaurants in Santo Domingo. From high-end restaurants to affordable spots that only the locals know about.
Buche Perico restaurant in Santo Domingo
Photo: Buche Perico
1. Buche Perico
Buche Perico is a contemporary Dominican food restaurant featuring an exotic and delicious menu, with dishes such as goat risotto, sweet plantain ravioli, and crackling pork belly. They also offer a range of mouthwatering cocktails, including Piña Titi, Sangría del Huerto, and mojito Campo Abierto.
You’ll be treated to a unique and sophisticated atmosphere, while seated in a beautiful courtyard filled with tropical plants and a waterfall. The service can be a bit slow, however, and the prices are somewhat high compared to other places in the area.
But the food at Buche Perico is worth it and presented beautifully, with a focus on contemporary Dominican cuisine. The trifongo appetizer is a standout, as is the chicken breast stuffed with sweet plantains. The restaurant also offers a range of desserts, including a cassava dessert and a bread pudding with chamomile ice cream.
Dining area at Maraca restaurant in Santo Domingo
Photo: Anton Lau
Maraca is a fine dining restaurant located in the heart of the colonial zone of Santo Domingo. It can be slightly tricky to find, as there is no sign outside, but it’s well worth the effort. Once inside, guests are greeted by a very elegant vibe. The decor is very impressive, with both indoor and outdoor seating available. And depending on where you’re seated, you might feel you’re on the set of a Wes Anderson movie or deep inside a Dominican jungle. Even the bathrooms are worth a visit.
The food is extremely tasty and creatively presented, with an array of pasta, meat, and fish dishes available in small, medium, and large portions. Though you should expect prices to be considerably higher compared to other restaurants in the area. The service is excellent, with attentive staff appearing just when needed. A highlight of the dining experience is the ceviche, which is served in a dish on a bed of dry ice.
Despite its popularity, Maraca operates under a strict curfew, so be sure to make reservations in advance and arrive early in order to ensure that you have time to enjoy your meal before they close.
Maison Kreyòl, Santo Domingo
Photo: Angel Rosario
3. Maison Kreyol
An authentic Haitian restaurant known for its spicy, savory flavors, Maison Kreyol offers classic Haitian dishes, including goat, red snapper, and djon djon rice.
The goat dish, in particular, is highly recommended by guests, who rave about its flavors and generous portion size. In addition to its main dishes, the restaurant also has a long list of natural fruit juices and appetizers on offer.
You’ll find a simple and welcoming ambiance, with Caribbean music playing in the background. The interior is decorated with colorful Haitian paintings and sculptures adorning the walls and tables. The staff are knowledgeable about the menu and are happy to make recommendations based on diners' preferences.
This is a great option for any traveler looking to sample some authentic Haitian cuisine while visiting Santo Domingo. The restaurant's spicy, flavorful dishes and affordable prices make it a popular choice with both locals and tourists alike. And despite being a bit off the beaten path, Maison Kreyol is definitely worth seeking out for its delicious Haitian cuisine.
Don’t know what to order? Ask for any of these Haitian Street Food dishes you Have to Try.
Falafel, Santo Domingo
Photo: Angel Rosario
A tiny Middle Eastern restaurant located in Santo Domingo's Zona Colonial, this spot is one of the city's favorites for vegetarian options and has been serving up its delicious dishes for several years.
The food at Falafel is excellent, with the hummus being a must-try. They also offer chicken shawarma for non-vegetarians, along with a selection of beers and natural juices. The atmosphere at the restaurant is cozy and welcoming, with a home-like vibe. It's a great place to visit before or after a night out partying with friends.
It’s also a great choice for those looking for healthier food with a taste of Middle Eastern cuisine. The falafel dish is outstanding and has been praised by many. The only downside is that it's a very small place with only three tables available. However, customers can also order food from Falafel at the cozy bar next door, La Teatrera, which has better seating options and a wider selection of drinks.
Read our Guide for vegetarians and vegans in the Dominican Republic to keep you munching away during your stay and avoid a hangry episode.
Neux Tacos in Santo Domingo
Photo: Angel Rosario
5. Neux Tacos
Neux Tacos is a family-owned budget-friendly Mexican-Dominican fusion restaurant that has been around for almost as long as anyone can remember. The little joint has a homey feel and delights customers with popular dishes, including tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. The nachos are a favorite, and there are also good combos available like the taco, burrito, and nachos mix, with your choice of fresh homemade juice. It’s a popular spot among local students and is usually crowded on the weekends.
The food is simple but tasty and made fresh to order. The servings are large, and the prices are very affordable. The specialty of the house is probably the quesadillas and their smaller sister, sincronizadas - a vegetable tortilla sandwich. The drinks are also very good, with plenty of brand beers available and a selection of cocktails, including a piña colada and margaritas.
The atmosphere at Neux Tacos can best be described as casual and relaxed, with Latin music videos playing on a tv in the background. It is a good option for a quick and delicious meal and is also a good choice for a small party.
La Cafeteria, Santo Domingo
Photo: Angel Rosario
6. La Cafeteria
One of those hole-in-the-wall kind of places, La Cafeteria is a historic diner located right on the busy pedestrian street Calle Conde. Opened in 1932, this restaurant is the oldest of its kind in the city, and has been a popular hangout for local artists, intellectuals, and politicians over the years.
Despite its age, the place has retained its old-fashioned charm, and stepping inside is like taking a step back in time. The decor is nothing to write home about, and the staff can seem somewhat slow and preoccupied - but that’s all part of La Cafeteria’s downplayed charisma.
This legendary spot is known among locals for its delicious and affordable food, such as sandwiches and burgers or breakfast dishes like fried eggs, ham, and tostadas, available for just a few dollars. The coffee is particularly noteworthy, with many praising the rich, aromatic cappuccinos and other espresso drinks.
All in all a great place if you’re looking to experience a piece of Santo Domingo's history while enjoying a tasty straightforward meal that doesn’t pretend to be fancier than it is.
Also see the best Dominican street food you have to try and get a feel for the urban menu.
Written by Diego Angeles.
Published December 2022.
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