Traditional Dominican Foods You Must Try

by Crissandra Ayroso

Full flavour dishes made with simple, fresh ingredients, traditional Dominican food is hearty, satisfying and most of all, delicious. There’s something for every taste. From the Dominican Republic’s national dish to bite-sized national treasures, here’s a list of mouthwatering traditional Dominican dishes you must try:

1. Mangú

pickled red onions fried cheese and a poached egg top a pile of mangu

Mangú, a plantain mash, will likely make an appearance in Dominican households every morning at breakfast. The breakfast staple is often served with eggs, fried Dominican salami and queso frito (fried cheese!) – also known as Los Tres Golpes (The Three Strikes). Yum.

2. Pastelitos

a plate of pastelitos topped with cheese and herbs

Pastelitos are small, stuffed pastries made with all kinds of fillings, like meat, cheese, vegetables and potatoes, and then fried to crisp perfection. Similar to the empanada but smaller, they’re bite-sized appetizer foods.

3. La Bandera Dominicana

beans rice and shredded meat on a plate

Translating to “The Dominican Flag,” La Bandera Dominicana is the national standard lunchtime dish. The Dominican’s tricolour flag inspires La Bandera’s patriotic namesake, a proud display of red, white and blue that frames the national insignia. Red beans, white rice and a side of blue meat, usually chicken or beef. It’s a simple dish beloved by many.

4. Tostónes

four pieces of tostones surround a sauce dish

The plantain that fries so nice, they do it twice. Twice-fried and then salted, tostónes are made from unripened plantains and most commonly served as a side dish, as part of a larger meal, or simply enjoyed as a delicious snack.

5. Sancocho de Siete Carnes

a warm bowl of soup next to a smaller bowl of white rice

Sancocho de Siete Carnes, or seven-meat stew, is considered one of the Dominican Republic’s national dishes, if not the national dish. Seven different types of meat make up this sancocho, including cuts of chicken, beef, goat and pork, slow cooked until tender in a soup base of root vegetables like sweet potato and cassava, plantain and corn cob, and then seasoned with garlic, cilantro and lime. It’s a satisfying, hearty stew that may become your next favourite.

6. Surpiritos

a close up view of suspiritos

Dominican meringue kisses are fresh, simple, and hit the spot! Made with egg whites, lime juice, and powdered sugar, these sweets are very light and very addictive. Pick some up at a bakery, market, or off the dessert menu at a local restaurant.

7. Yaroa

fries are loaded with meat sauce and cheese

When you’re busy exploring Old Town and your belly starts to rumble, this street food favourite is just the ticket. Made from mashed plantain or fries, yaroa is loaded with shredded meat and smothered with cheese and sauces. Don’t bother with a napkin, go ahead and lick your fingers.

Remember to save some room for dessert. Bizcocho Dominicano, anyone?

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Traditional Dominican Foods You Must Try