Why haven’t you been to my country? That’s what Tony’s Dominican friends kept repeating him back in New York City. Finally, he’s included the Caribbean country in his travel plans. Most people know the Dominican Republic for its pristine white beaches, all-inclusive resorts, and tropical drinks. But this small island hides stunning culinary delicacies that unveil a mix of Spanish, African, and original Caribbean influences.
Anthony Bourdain visited the Dominican Republic to film season 9 (episode 17) of No Reservations, making it one of the last episodes of that show. While it was his only trip to this country, he did also visit Haiti on an earlier trip.
If you’re planning a trip to the Dominican Republic and want to eat well, you’ve come to the right place. Below you’ll find a list of all the places visited by Anthony Bourdain in the Dominican Republic, and what he ate or drank at each one. This can serve as a guide or inspiration for your own trip to this (half of the) Caribbean island.
In this post, I promote travel to a destination that is the traditional lands of the Macorix, Taíno, and Ciguayo peoples, among others. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.
Mesón de Bari (Santo Domingo)
Mesón de Bari in the Zona Colonial is the place to go for careful and delicious preparations of beloved Dominican standards.
First, Tony enjoys longaniza, which is pork seasoned with bitter orange and oregano, and empanadas, Dominican pies made with yucca dough. Now, it’s time for the house special: chivo guisado, goat stew. The chivo guisado is accompanied by guandules, Dominican peas cooked with coconut, avocado salad, and arepitas de yuca.
D’Wendy Sabor (Playa Boca Chica)
You can’t go to República Dominicana and not spend at least a few hours lazing out at the beach. Boca Chica in Santo Domingo is the locals’ favorite beach to escape the chaos of the big city. And for Dominicans, a day at the beach isn’t complete without pescado frito, deep sea fish fried whole in coconut oil.
Tony visits D’Wendy Sabor, one of the best seafood places specializing in pescado frito. The restaurant uses captain and grouper to prepare the dish. As for the sides, Tony gets yaniqueque, the number-one snack in Boca Chica, sweet potatoes, and avocado.
Lechonera “El Monumento” (Santo Domingo)
Lechoneras, traditional spit-roasted pork eateries, are a staple of Dominican cuisine. Tony pops by Lechonera “El Monumento” along the beach; the place is known for using a machete to break down their pigs after roasting.
Before sitting down, a local explains to Tony that first, you have to ask to try the cuerito (skin). If the cuerito is good, you’re ready to order.
Cacheito’s Place (Santo Domingo)
What’s for breakfast in the DR? Cacheito’s Place has the answer: deep-fried salami and tostones. Tostones are fried plantains found across the Caribbean – and they’re a delicious and healthy way to start the day… relatively speaking…
Unnamed Beach Joint (Playa Rincón)
During his visit to Playa Rincón, Tony samples traditional Dominican seafood from one of the many beach restaurants; this one is unnamed in the episode, so if you know its name, please share in the comments below.
He gets a lobster, basted with orange marinade grilled over coals, with fried sweet potatoes, coconut bread, and moro de guandules – the rice and beans you must have with just about everything. And for dessert: piña colada in a pineapple.
El Cabito (Las Galeras)
El Cabito is a gorgeous restaurant perched atop a cliff overlooking the turquoise Atlantic waters. The place is run by a couple of European expats and specializes in seafood. Here, Bourdain gets a salad of fresh conch, cuttlefish, and some grilled shrimp.
Barra Payan (Santo Domingo)
Photos courtesy of Bocao.com.do
Tony wants a late-night counter packed with locals where he can get some meat, fat, and grilled cheese. In a few words, a sandwich.
Barra Payan is where Dominicans know where the good sandwiches are. Tony has a payana especial, which is pork meat, sliced tomatoes, mustard, and cheese. He also tries morir soñando, a popular beverage in the Dominican Republic, to wrap up his time on the island.
Have any questions about these places visited by Anthony Bourdain in the Dominican Republic? Let me know in the comments below!