Local Dominican Food in Cabarete
Cabarete has a range of local eateries that serve delicious food to fuel your active vacation. Whatever the adventure, Cabarete’s local restaurants have got your back.
As well as traditional Dominican food, you’ll find German schnitzel bars, tapas places, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Tex-Mex, sushi, US-style steak houses. A doner kebab shop just opened up this summer.
Even with something simple like pizza, you have the pick of the town. You can head to Roma for your fancy Italian pizza and focaccia, or to Antonio’s or La Chabola for a chill-vibes local pizza bar. Of course, there’s also your standard late-night takeaway fare.
With all this variety, you could almost be forgiven for not sampling any Dominican food. Almost forgiven, but not quite.
Comedors are all over town. If you potter along the main road, you won’t have to walk far before finding one.You can also journey into the Callejon (Callejon de la Loma, by the traffic lights) for an immersive Dominican experience.
Here’s what you need to know about typical Dominican food around town.
Basics of local food
The bread and butter, if you will, of local cuisine is the cafeteria-style Dominican comedor meal.
It’s cheap and cheerful food, made with love and a good deal of oil. Sometimes you serve yourself, other times you are served over the counter.
Expect big portions of rice, chicken and beans for just a few dollars.
On that note, don’t forget to carry smaller Dominican notes to pay for meals in comedors. They won’t be too keen on you if you present a 1000-peso note for your 75RD meal.
Key words when ordering Dominican food:
arroz blanco: white rice
bacalao: cod. Served in comedors as a tasty, tomatoey stewed dish.
berenjena: aubergine or eggplant
chicharrón: fried pork belly or rind
coco: coconut. Pretty obvious, but important in the Caribbean.
empanadas: deep-fried dough pockets, filled with chicken, cheese or sometimes curried vegetables.
At 15-30RD each, empanadas are a cheap but sustaining option. Seek out these semi-circular treats early in the morning, up until around noon, from little stands on the street. Exception: the empanada guy on the beach, who wanders with his plastic box of goodies well into the afternoon.
Here’s a blog about Dominican street food, where you find more details about empanadas and co.
ensalada verde: green salad. It’s not super recommended that you eat this at comedors, especially if you have a sensitive stomach.
frito: fried. Another important word here.
la bandera: the classic Dominican meal of baked chicken, rice, red or pinto beans and some sort of salad. Tostones and avocado, too, if you’re lucky.
Called ‘The flag’ because it contains the colours of the DR flag, and is central to Dominican culture. Also referred to as ‘el plato del dia’ (dish of the day), or just ‘el almuerzo’ (lunch).
mangú: mashed plátano, topped with vinegary onions. Key component of the Dominican breakfast, along with the ‘tres golpes’ (three hits or blows) of egg, cheese and salami (all fried).
mofongo: mashed plátano, with garlic and chicharrón. Sometimes made with chicken, fish, or seafood. Read this article from Dominican Cooking for a fantastic Mofongo recipe!
moro: spiced rice and beans
papas fritas: French fries or chips
pedazo: piece. e.g. un pedazo de pollo
pica pollo: Dominican fried chicken. Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside. A mouth-watering local staple.
plátanos: plantain. Remember this word, as you’ll hear it a lot around town. Watch out for the pick-up truck filled with plátanos, blaring its sales pitch over loud speakers! Read more about the power of plátanos, and how to prepare them at home.
pollo guisado: stewed chicken that falls off the bone. This deserves a special mention, as it’s what you ask for to order the standard chicken, rice, and beans lunch.
puré: mash. e.g. puré de papa or puré de yuca.
queso frito: fried cheese
sancocho: brothy meat and vegetable soup, served with rice alongside or straight in the bowl.
servicio: a serving, portion, or helping
tostones: twice-fried plátano slices, Dominican equivalent of French fries. A must-try.
yuca: cassava. Very widely eaten in the DR.
Top tip: Watch out for diminutives, they are used all the time when talking about food. Or anything, really.
So, pollo becomes pollito, pescado might be pescadito, empanadita, platanito. Don’t let it throw you, it just means ‘little’ and is an affectionate mannerism.
Dominican Cooking is a great place to find recipes, if you fancy recreating your vacation comedor meals at home.
The local Dominican food in Cabarete is delicious and cheap. Make sure to take note of comedor culture, while you shovel yummy rice into your mouth.
Stick around for a bit, absorb the sounds and smells. The real Dominican cultural experience comes when you tune into the local banter, bop along to the bachata or merengue music, and try to master the art of not flinching at every moto horn beep.