These great restaurants in Santo Domingo are mainstays in the city’s ever-evolving gastronomic scene. Dominican cuisine is a superb clash of flavors from around the world, with influences that stretch from Spain to Africa. To experience some of the country’s very best restaurants, you won’t be surprised to learn that the capital of Santo Domingo is teeming with options.

    Whether you want to sample traditional dishes that explore local flavors or an extravagant feast that showcases a global perspective, there's no shortage of world-class restaurants to consider. Here, we highlight some of the most renowned spots for when you want to experience the best offerings by Santo Domingo's chefs.

    1

    El Mesón de la Cava

    Exceptional Caribbean and French cuisines in an inventive setting

    • Food

    Dinner at El Mesón de la Cava is undoubtedly a unique experience for diners visiting Santo Domingo. Opened in 1967, this long-standing institution sees Caribbean and French-inspired dishes served inside the depths of a natural limestone cave. On the menu, you'll find everything from wood-grilled octopus and Monterrey chicken breast to seafood paella.

    Accompanying your meal is an extensive wine list that brings together remarkable bottles from local and international vineyards. Throughout El Mesón de la Cava’s numerous spaces, including an attractive outdoor terrace, you’ll come across a wide variety of genuine trinkets left behind by pirates and guerrilla fighters.

    Location: Av. Mirador Sur 1, Santo Domingo 00000, Dominican Republic

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 809-533-2818

    Map
    2

    Laurel

    Incredible fine dining without the massive price tag

    • Food

    Laurel is widely recognized as one of Santo Domingo’s top fine-dining restaurants. Providing visitors with a world-class culinary experience that doesn’t feel overly uptight, it’s the ideal place for a lavish yet relaxed lunch or dinner with your loved ones. Renowned for its inviting atmosphere and stellar service, diners are spoilt for choice when picking something to eat.

    With a wide variety of options on the menu, including seafood, pizzas and salads, there's also a selection of vegan and vegetarian meals to ensure there's something for everyone. To start, consider the Memphis Nachos, while ginger- and soy-glazed salmon and the signature Laurel burger are outstanding mains.

    Location: Calle Andrés Julio Aybar, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

    Open: Friday–Saturday from midday to 1 am, Sunday–Thursday from midday to midnight

    Phone: +1 809-908-0200

    Map
    3

    Buche Perico

    Fresh Caribbean dishes surrounded by greenery

    • Food

    Bucho Perico ensures diners feel like they haven't left behind the Dominican Republic's pristine landscape. Situated in the historic district of Ciudad Colonial, lush plants stretch from the towering glass ceiling all the way to the floor. There's even an indoor waterfall to complete the restaurant's tropical atmosphere.

    Having found a suitably cozy spot, you’ll be presented with a refined Caribbean menu featuring a wealth of delicious dishes. Ranging from fresh tuna and ripe banana ravioli to shrimp pasta and pork ribs, you won’t be disappointed when the plates arrive. There’s also a stellar wine list offering award-winning bottles from around the globe.

    Location: Calle El Conde 53, Santo Domingo 10210, Dominican Republic

    Open: Monday–Friday from 11 am to 9 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +1 809-475-6451

    Map
    4

    Pat’e Palo

    Meaty feasts broiled to perfection in a historic location

    • Food

    Pat’e Palo is undeniably one of the most popular restaurants in Santo Domingo, beloved for its considered European-style cuisine and warm tavern setting. With the building dating back around 500 years and described as the first tavern in the Americas, you’ll find landmarks such as Alcazar de Colón and Columbus Park within close proximity.

    There are 3 individual spaces at Pat’e Palo – the main restaurant, the bar, and the patio. Here, you can enjoy classics like beef ribeye, fire-roasted pork ribs or traditional mashed plantains. With Pat’e Palo open for brunch, lunch and dinner, head along and experience unbeatable flavors any time of the day.

    Location: Plaza Espana, Santo Domingo 10210, Dominican Republic

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 1 am

    Phone: +1 809-687-8089

    Map
    5

    Don Pepe

    The city’s best seafood for over 30 years

    • Food

    Don Pepe is the place to be in Santo Domingo when you’re craving top-notch Spanish cuisine. Situated in the upmarket neighbourhood of Piantini, this luxurious location is reflected in the restaurant itself, with lavish interiors and inventive dishes on the menu. Having opened its doors more than 30 years ago, Don Pepe is a go-to destination for tourists in search of the city’s best flavors.

    For lovers of broiled and seafood dishes, ensure this place is high on your dining shortlist. There are incredible lamb chops and suckling pig, alongside traditional plates such as arroz con calamares (Spanish rice with squid) and arroz con pollo (Spanish rice with chicken). With a red wine list containing over 500 bottles from Spain’s top regions, dinner is bound to be unforgettable at Don Pepe.

    Location: Calle Porfirio Herrera 31, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

    Open: Daily from midday to midnight

    Phone: +1 809-563-4440

    Map
    6

    Jalao

    Enjoy unforgettable dining, dancing, and live music

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    Jalao is where locals and tourists head to experience vibrant Dominican culture. Spread throughout a massive space, this much-loved restaurant features 5 distinctive bars and a huge stage so you can dance the night away in style. With traditional Dominican details adorning virtually every surface, Jalao is a hugely popular spot for a reason.

    Alongside this colorful, tropical-inspired design, the food is just as special. To start, yucca flower empanadas are a great choice before diving into mains such as handmade gnocchi, Dominican stew, spicy red wine oxtail and pork ribs. For a lively night full of local food, dancing, and live music, don’t miss your chance to experience Jalao.

    Location: Calle el Conde, Ciudad Colonial, Santo Domingo 10210, Dominican Republic

    Open: Monday–Friday from 6 pm to 2 am, Saturday–Sunday from 12 pm to 2 am

    Phone: +1 809-792-1262

    Map
    7

    El Conuco

    Live music and authentic Dominican dishes that are bound to impress

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    El Conuco is great for experiencing the Dominican Republic’s famous hospitality as you’ll be presented with great food and entertainment as soon as you step inside. Although it’s on the more touristy side of restaurants in Santo Domingo, that doesn’t mean the flavors on display aren’t as authentic as anywhere else in the city.

    You’ll find a top selection of tacos loaded with Dominican-style steak, goat stew or roasted pork ribs. There are also delightful seafood options, such as cod served with Creole seasonings and Atlantic shrimp served with mango and dates. As you enjoy your meal, talented merengue and bachata artists will keep you entertained late into the evening.

    Location: Calle Casimiro de Moya #152, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to midnight

    Phone: +1 809-686-0129

    Map
    8

    Eggplant

    Escape the city for European-inspired cuisine and unmatched views

    • Food

    Eggplant might not be located within the bounds of Santo Domingo, but it’s assuredly worth a trip into the hills. Situated in the tiny town of La Colonia, among the San Cristóbal mountains, this charming restaurant offers first-rate dishes and panoramic countryside views from a lofty terrace.

    Drawing on culinary inspirations from across Europe, Eggplant represents a striking change from many other restaurants in town. Highlights on the menu include salmon with ricotta cheese, mozzarella chicken breast and the restaurant’s modern spin on sushi. For a refreshing dessert that rounds out your entire dining experience, try the avocado ice cream.

    Location: Paseo del Manantial KM 6, Cambita Garabitos 91000, Dominican Republic

    Open: Friday–Sunday from midday to 6 pm (closed Mondays to Thursdays)

    Phone: +1 809-729-9364

    Map
    9

    La Briciola de Santo Domingo

    Cuisine and ambience best shared with friends and family

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    La Briciola de Santo Domingo is the perfect spot for when you want to experience the romance of Santo Domingo. First opened in 1994 in a bustling part of the city, the Italian and Mediterranean cuisine on display ensures the restaurant has remained a popular destination over the following years. Alongside regular jazz concerts and live pianists, dinner is often a dreamy affair.

    With several luxurious open-air dining neighborhoods surrounded by plants and Spanish decor, spending a night here with your closest companions will leave a lasting impression. La Briciola de Santo Domingo keeps customers coming back for more with its extensive menu of homemade pasta and seafood classics.

    Location: Calle Arzobispo Meriño 152A, Santo Domingo 10210, Dominican Republic

    Open: Monday–Saturday from midday to midnight, Sunday from midday to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 829-719-2078

    Map
    10

    SBG Sophia's Bar & Broil

    Glamorous dining with strong cocktails and delightful international plates

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    Sophia's Bar & Broil is set in a trendy neighbourhood among Santo Domingo’s top landmarks. The restaurant’s interior combines leather sofas, dark wood accents, and imposing pillars to generate an undeniably classy atmosphere. Its menu caters to international tastes, with dishes derived from cuisines from around the world.

    While succulent broiled dishes are undoubtedly a highlight, diners at Sophia's Bar & Broil will also find delicious carpaccio and an innovative sushi bar. You can also enjoy some of the best cocktails in town, with a range of unique beverages packing a big punch.

    Location: Calle Paseo de los Locutores 9, Santo Domingo 10149, Dominican Republic

    Open: Monday–Friday from midday to 9 pm, Saturday–Sunday from midday to 7 pm

    Phone: +1 809-620-1001

    Map
    Hudson Brown | Contributing Writer

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