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  • Writer's pictureNaureen Chhipa

Where to Eat in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | My Favorite Restaurants

Updated: Dec 24, 2023

After eating at a handful of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic restaurants, we narrowed it down to the four best restaurants in Santo Domingo, offering delicious and authentic local food. It's no secret that I'm a big-time foodie; I love eating around the world and was ready to embark on an epic Caribbean foodie adventure. I combine local food, fine dining, and the island's best cocktails in this restaurant guide to Santo Domingo.

Foodie Guide to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Santo Domingo.
Your Ultimate Guide to Eating in Santo Domingo

On this solo trip to Santo Domingo (the Dominican Republic's capital), I added a few restaurants to explore in La Zona Colonial and the beautiful, culture-full Santo Domingo. Exploring the culinary scene was missing from our last trip to Santo Domingo due to COVID restrictions, so this time, I made sure to indulge in the best fine dining Santo Domingo has to offer! Here's your ultimate guide on where to eat in Santo Domingo.

I made sure to indulge in the best fine dining Santo Domingo has to offer!

Where to Eat in Santo Domingo at a Glance

Where to eat in Santo Domingo 1. Lila Modern Cuisine

Lila Modern Cuisine | Foodie Guide to Santo Domingo

Best Restaurants in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Lila Modern Cuisine

Our first stop is Lila Restaurant. Lila offers modern Asian cuisine with a Dominican twist. I found Lila chic and contemporary in decor, with outdoor dining and fantastic food available. We ordered The Nachos (pork shoulder, guacamole, queso, jalapeño, tomato, and spicy gochujang sauce). Tiradito Pulpo Rocoto (Pulpo marinado en vinagreta de ahi amarillo rococo, aguacate y cilantro). Yellowtail Hamachi Tiradito (pescado hamachi, ponzu, puerro, y tobiko). Lila restaurant has delicious seafood platters to share! It's the perfect lunch spot to get epic with amazing cocktails like the traditional pina colada, a refreshing Moscow mule, or the playful whiskey sour. You must travel a bit to reach this restaurant, so I recommend visiting if you rent a car while exploring the island.

Restaurants in Santo Domingo. Best Place to eat seafood in Santo Domingo Lila Modern Cuisine.
To Share Dishes at Lila Modern Cuisine: The Nachos, Tiradito Pulpo Rocoto, and Yellowtail Hamachi Tiradito.

We also had a Dominican sushi roll topped with sweat plantains-- I love Maduros! This Dominican sushi roll's savory, crunchy, sweet mixture is pure perfection! Lila Restaurant is an excellent location if you're looking for where to eat traditional Dominican sushi. The combined flavors with al fresco dining make for an extraordinary lunch afternoon.

Best place to eat Dominican Sushi in Santo Domingo, Lila Modern Cuisine. Dominican Sushi Roll.
Dominican Sushi Roll at Lila Modern Cuisine

El Meson de la Cava | Foodie Guide to Santo Domingo

Underground cave restaurant in Santo Domingo El Meson de la Cava.
El Meson de la Cava | Cave Restaurant in Santo Domingo

El Meson de la Cava is a romantic, hidden-spot cave restaurant with delicious traditional Dominican cuisine visited mainly by locals for a special occasion or celebration. I had the local goat stew meal (chivo guisado), and it was so flavorful it took me back to the authentic taste of the old-time Dominican cuisine I grew up eating. I love the ambiance and food of this restaurant and highly recommend a visit if you want to venture outside of La Zona Colonial and explore other restaurants in Santo Domingo. El Meson de la Cava has the perfect setting to unwind, sipping on an old-fashioned or negroni and fine dining with a local, traditional meal. El Meson de la Cava is one of my favorite Santo Domingo restaurants, and this list of the best restaurants in Santo Domingo had to include this staple establishment as it is one of those foodie restaurants that's not to be missed!

Top 5 Restaurants in Santo Domingo El Meson de la Cava
Goat Dish at El Meson de la Cava

Valiente Restaurante | Foodie Guide to Santo Domingo

Top 5 Restaurants in Santo Domingo Valiente Restaurante.
Valiente Restaurante | La Zona Colonial | Santo Domingo

Valiente Restaurante is sexy, trendy, and modern with an old-school flair. What's cool about a handful of these restaurants in La Zona Colonial is that some of the original colonial zone walls were kept and used in the modern architecture and design of the current restaurants/hotels. This wall, for example, is from the 1400s.

Historic restaurants in La Zona Colonial, Valiente Restaurante Santo Domingo.
Old Colonial Zone Wall at Valiente Restaurante

Valiente Restaurante is within walking distance of many hotels in La Zona Colonial. If you're looking for accommodations in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo, check out my hotel crawl, where we stay at three beautiful hotels that won't break the bank.

Maraca | Foodie Guide to Santo Domingo

Top 5 Restaurants in Santo Domingo Maraca. Epic Painting inside Maraca Restaurant in La Zona Colonial.
Maraca | Where to Eat in La Zona Colonial

Maraca is currently the trendiest restaurant in La Zona Colonial. Everyone who walks in wants to take their Instagram photo in front of the epic painting at the entrance, so there's usually a line-- because, you know, you never take one picture for the gram; you take like 20!

Trendy Bar Maraca in La Zona Colonial, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Where to Eat and Drink in Santo Domingo.
Bar at Maraca Restaurant | La Zona Colonial

After seeing this restaurant all over Instagram, I had to see for myself what all the hype was about. Maraca is a stunning restaurant with well-crafted cocktails and even better food!

Food in Santo Domingo Steak Tartar at Maraca Restaurant.
Wagyu Beef Tartare

The cuisine at Maraca is more modern and creative than traditional. One of my favorite appetizers was the Wagyu Beef Tartare, topped with a Quail yolk marinated in soy sauce. Maraca is a fantastic restaurant where you can share a few dishes with friends over live entertainment (on selected nights) and cocktails.

Thanks for reading! Have you been to Santo Domingo? We want to hear from you. Let us know your favorite restaurants and bars, and we'll visit them next time!

If you go to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic:

Santo Domingo General Info:

Zona Colonial Self-Guided Walking Tour:

Restaurants On Our List | The Best 4 Restaurants in Santo Domingo:

Lila Modern Cuisine
El Meson de la Cava
Valiente Restaurante

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Fine dining in Santo Domingo. Food travel guide.

Top Restaurants in Santo Domingo | Maraca Restaurant

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