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45 Things To Eat & Drink In The Dominican Republic

Warning: reading this might induce strong cravings and spontaneous trips to your local Dominican restaurant.

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3. Café Santo Domingo

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Dominicans love a good cup of joe — strong, black with LOTS of sugar. The DR has a variety of brands to choose from but most households are loyal to Café Santo Domingo.

Learn how to make the perfect cup here. Grab a greca and start brewing!

7. Sancocho

This hearty stew is Dominican comfort food at its finest. The medley of seven meats and varied veggies is usually enjoyed during special events and gatherings with family and friends. It may take several hours to prepare but the result is more than worth it.

Recipe here.

12. Quipe

Thanks to a wave of Middle Eastern immigrants that came to the island at the end of the 19th century, Dominicans now have the pleasure of enjoying quipes — a Dominicanized version of Lebanese kibbeh. These deep fried bulgur rolls are usually eaten as finger food at get togethers and celebrations.

Recipe here.

14. Morir Soñando

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If you like orange creamsicles, you'll LOVE this! The name of this drink translates to "die dreaming." In other words, it's bliss in a glass.

15. Mofongo

Mofongo is made with fried plantains, garlic, and chicharrones (fried pork skins) that are mashed together in a mortar and pestle known as a "pilón." Although it's originally from Puerto Rico, it's become a staple of Dominican cuisine.

Recipe here.

16. Moro De Habichuelas

Moro is one of the most common side dishes eaten in the Dominican Republic. It's rice cooked with black or red kidney beans and is a popular dish not only in the Dominican, but throughout Latin America and several countries of the Caribbean as well.

Recipe here.

18. Con-Con

Concón isn't really something you cook on its own. Instead, it's a byproduct of cooking rice. Simply put, it's the layer of burnt rice left behind when cooking in a caldero (iron pot). It contains the most flavor and due to it's scarcity is usually fought over at the dinner table.

Recipe here.

20. Pica Pollo

Pica pollo is Dominican fried chicken that's been seasoned with lemon, garlic, and most importantly: Dominican oregano. Dominican oregano (Lippia micromera) is different from that usually sold in the US and is sometimes known as "false oregano" because it does not belong to the oregano genus Origanum.

Recipe here.

23. Refresco De Merengue

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Wash down that chimi with a cold, refreshing soda. And no other soda screams Dominican Republic like Refresco Country Club! As for what flavor to get, be sure to try Merengue — a tasty cream soda known in other countries of the Caribbean as "champagne cola."

If you don't see yourself visiting the DR anytime soon, you can always order it online here.

24. Tres Leches

If you've never had tres leches I feel VERY sorry for you. This mouth-watering dessert is made with sponge cake that's soaked in three kinds of milk and topped with whipped cream. It's popular throughout Latin America and is one of the most delicious things on Earth. Do yourself a favor and try some today!

Recipe here.

25. Asopao

Asopao is a yummy, one-dish meal that resembles a chicken and rice gumbo or jambalaya. It's not quite soup, and quite a stew, but one thing it is is DELICIOUS. I like to think of it like this: if stew and paella had a baby, it would be asopao.

Recipe here.

26. Mondongo

Mondongo is a tripe stew that most people usually love or hate. If you didn't grow up eating tripe (cow stomach), this might not be the meal for you. But if you're not squeamish, you'll be pleasantly surprised when you dig in to this hearty soup.

Recipe here.

27. Yaniqueques

You can't visit the Dominican town Boca Chica without munching on some crunchy, flaky yaniqueques. These deep-fried treats are said to get their name from Johnnycakes, brought over by English-speaking migrants in the 19th century. However, yaniqueques are made with flour instead of cornmeal and are completely different from American johnnycakes.

Recipe here.

29. Memelos

When people think of street food, sweets don't usually come to mind. But memelos — also known as churumbeles and coquitos — are a perfect exception to the rule. These tiny pops are made of creamy coconut centers covered in a thin layer of crunchy, candied caramel.

Recipe here.

31. Batida De Lechoza

You haven't had a papaya smoothie until you've had one made in the Dominican Republic. The secret? Evaporated milk. Even if you're like me and don't like to eat papaya, give this smoothie a try. Trust me, there's something highly addictive about this wonderful beverage.

Recipe here.

32. Lechón Asado

Lechón asado is cooked by roasting a whole suckling pig on a spit. It's usually made to feed large crowds and is a common staple during Christmas. But luckily for you, this dish can be made at home during any time of the year by using pork shoulder.

Recipe here.

33. Flan

Introduced by Spanish settlers, flan is a custard dessert enjoyed throughout Latin America and known in France as crème caramel. It's a Dominican favorite that can be cooked with different flavors such as coconut and pineapple but the classic is a simple, caramel flan.

Recipe here.

34. Pastelón De Platano Maduro

This dish is a sweet plantain casserole. Mashed sweet plantains are layered with savoury ground beef and topped with melted cheese. Think of it as the Caribbean version of shepherd's pie.

Recipe here.

35. Locrio

Locrio is the Dominican equivalent of Spanish paella. It's made by cooking rice and meat — usually chicken or pork — all in the same pot so that the rice is infused with the meat flavors. Variations of the dish are enjoyed throughout Latin America and the Caribbean and is known in Saint Martin as lokri or locreo.

Recipe here.

36. Majarete

Majarete is one of the island's most cherished desserts. It's a silky, sweet pudding made with freshly grated corn off the cob. Cuba and Puerto Rico also have a dish called majarete. While the Dominican version is similar to the Cuban dessert, the only thing that Puerto Rican majarete has in common with Dominican majarete is its name.

Recipe here.

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38. Pasteles En Hoja

Pasteles are a traditional dish served in the Dominican as well as several other Latin American countries including Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Panama. They look similar to a Mexican tamale, but instead of using corn masa they're made with plantain, malanga or squash, and cooked inside a plantain leaf instead of a corn husk. The filling is also very different and is made with ground meat cooked with Dominican spices.

Recipe here.

39. Mamajuana

Combine rum, red wine, tree bark, spices and herbs and what do you have? Mamajuana! Mamajuana is a native drink that won't only grow some hair on your chest but is also rumoured to be an aphrodisiac. Locals joke about how it's liquid viagra, so if you need a little boost in your love life why not take a shot of this strong Dominican elixir.

Read more about it here.

40. Galletas Martín (Galletas De Suspiro)

Martín cookies are a family business from the Dominican city of Moca and have been around since the 1930's. These tiny, ginger cookies topped with suspiro (meringue topping) are a coveted treat for locals and are the epitome of culinary nostalgia for any Dominican living abroad.

If you can't buy a bag of these bite-size wonders, learn to make your own at home! Recipe here.

42. Rum: Brugal & Barceló

The Caribbean is known for rum and when it comes to Dominican brands Brugal and Barceló are the way to go. If you think rum is too harsh you should give Dominican rum a taste. These brands place a high importance on producing a smooth drink thanks to an original distillation and aging process done in American white oak kegs.

Buy them here.

43. Pastelitos

Dominican pastelitos are the ultimate picadera (finger food) at any party or get together. They're savoury turnovers usually filled with ground beef, shredded chicken or cheese. Though they're similar to Jamaican meat patties or South American empanadas, pastelitos are much more buttery and flaky, and are served in small, bite-size portions.

Recipe here.

45. Presidente

There's nothing better to combat the heat than an ice cold beer. And when you're in the Dominican you better be drinking Presidente! Make sure you get it "vestida de novia" which translates to "dressed as a bride" and refers to beer covered in a thin layer of ice. Keeping beer as cold as they do in the DR is nothing less than an art form.

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