Dominican Republic Food
Typical food in the Dominican Republic is very similar to many Latin American countries. The main staple is of course, rice and beans, usually accompanied by a protein (meat, chicken or fish), maybe a coleslaw style salad, and of course, tostones – fried green plantains that might remind you of potato wedges, eaten with every meal (including breakfast).
Traditional breakfast in the Dominican Republic might be something like rice, beans, a fried egg and tostones. In Cabarete, there are plenty of other options for breakfast – or you can make your own using some of the island’s great natural products, listed below.
Due to a thriving cattle industry, fresh yogurt and cheese is both easy to come across and very cheap. You’ll typically find both being sold on the roadside or in small quesarias – or of course you can get a branded version of many local products for a markup at the local supermarkets.
Coffee, Honey & Cacau
Coffee, Honey and Cacau are all foods produced in the Dominican Republic – and if you know what you’re buying they all can be of amazing quality and aren’t too expensive. For coffee, there are amazing small local growers with organic options – the Mariposa Foundation sells a great organic coffee (you can find it at the Cabarete Coffee Company; or try Fresh Fresh in town for many organic or natural products. The Honey Company in Cabarete is a fantastic honey producer (we go to them when we’ve eaten all of our honey from the Taino Organic Farm.
As it is an island, it’s easy to find many varieties of seafood, although if you’re eating at a local restaurant it’s unlikely to find anything but the fried version. If you’re eating out in Cabarete however, the quality and selection of seafood is really quite amazing. Check out our restaurant guide for more on eating out in Cabarete.
Meat Lovers Rejoice
The same goes for meat- if you’re a steak lover, welcome to paradise. There is a thriving cattle industry on the island, and due to the expense of grain-feeding, all of the cattle are free-range and grass fed. Chickens are primarily free range as well – especially if you’re eating at a local restaurant. Pica-Pollo places are everywhere- and will normally serve you a heaping plate of chicken, rice & beans, salad and tostadas for about 150 pesos. Free range eggs can be found almost everywhere – they won’t be labeled so, as it’s considered normal. Just look for the eggs that are a variety of different colors and/or sizes – and buy locally, rather than from the big chain grocery stores. For those who worry about the ethical treatment of their food, it’s a pretty safe bet that your meal in the Dominican Republic was locally sources and doesn’t contain traces of hormones.
Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables are also typically locally sources and if not organic, very close to it. Fruits are sold in small fruit stands by families who have their own trees or small fruit plantations. Fruits are typically very cheap when they’re in season, as there will be limited time to buy them before they go bad. Outside of the normal season, the same fruits might become very expensive or almost impossible to find outside of a grocery store. Mangoes, avocados and pineapple all fall into this category.
The best fruit and veg comes from our our Taino Organic Farm. The aquaponics and permacutlure systems at the farm are cutting edge in the Caribbean – even students from the big universities in Santiago and Santo Domingo come to our farm to study sustainable agriculture techniques. You can ask the front desk for a list of what fruits and vegetables are available for purchase from the farm when you arrive – or just enjoy them in the delicious dishes at our farm-to-table restaurant (which can be a very welcome relief from the fried dominican food options).
Read more about our farm-to-table restaurant here or check out our tips for Eating out in Cabarete on our blog.