When planning a trip to a Caribbean Island like the Dominican Republic you have always the white sandy beaches, the tropical fruits and fresh seafood in mind. But you don’t want to fight with other tourists on the crowded hotel buffet or go to those tourists traps where they serve you over priced food.
We figured, since we live here in Puerto Plata, we can give you the best tips on local restaurants. We tell you here they serve not only great food, but give an excellent service for great value and offer each a unique experience to the visitors of Cabarete. These are places, where we locals like to go, when we crave a plate of fresh fish with a hint of sea breeze and Dominican flavor.
When reading this post you are most likely a nature lover and adventurer like us, with the plans to join the Outback Safari Cabarete for a ride to explore the countryside of the north coast, better known for it’s perfect off shore breeze and it’s endless white beaches.
You have probably signed up already for our Terracross Adventure Tour to hit the paddle and ride your own buggy over country roads to visit local families and discover the wild side of Puerto Plata. Well, than you will enjoy reading about those 5 restaurants you have to visit if staying in Cabarete and love seafood as much as we do.
La Casita de Papi- Fresh Seafood Since Generations
It is a local seafood restaurant that has been established more than 20 years ago, it is very family friendly, known for fresh ingredients that have been treated and seasoned the right way to serve you tasty plates with heart.
How to find it: When driving from San Juan, look out on your right hand side, facing the ocean around 500m after passing Janet’s Supermarket and you will see the sign. Located right at the beach, it is a perfect setting to enjoy the freshest seafood with the salty sea breeze, it can get a bit crowded at night since this charming restaurant is well known by locals and tourists that come here to enjoy one common pleasure- Seafood!
Menu: Nice small menu to choose from, with a few vegetarian options. People who are looking for gluten free dishes will be pleased to find them here as well. There signature dish is camarones a la Papi- shrimps Papi’s style.
Prices: fair prices starting at 5 US$ for starters and around 10.00 US$ for main dishes
Local Tip: Come here around 5 and get a table, so you can enjoy the sunset while having a freshly prepared cocktail. Try the mixed seafood plate if you are travelling with family or friends and it is definitely enough to share and fill everyone. To avoid disappointment, just call the owner and make a reservation if you don’t want to wait for a table. (809) 571-9244
Outback’s rating: both thumbs up!
Casa Mami- Authentic Meat And Seafood Dishes
It is not a fancy restaurant and you will not find big promotions or signs, most likely you would just drive by. But you have to stop here and enjoy amazing 100% authentic, delicious and homemade Dominican dishes, prepared by the owner Venisia, that everybody just calls here Mama.
How to find it: Right next to the police station in Sabaneta de Yasica, a small little sign will point you the way. The restaurant Casa Mami is small and cozy. Even tough it is know by many locals, you always gonna find a free seat around lunch time here. Enjoy the ocean view with a cold beer, since he is right across the street.
Menu: The daily menu varies depending on the season and what is available on local market, but this makes it even more special as you can come back a few times and try different dishes. You can find great choices for meat like fresh liver, goat stew or “pastellito de platano” what you would describe as filled plantain dumpling, with either chicken, beef or vegetables. The oven chicken and fresh paella are a hit among surfers and residents. The owner is preparing homemade flan every day, so if you have space in your tummy after your meal, you should have one of those sweet treats too.
Prices: great prices for a fantastic value, most of the dishes are less than 5.00 US$
Local Tip: Try the fresh catch of the day with one of the sides- like the deep fried Chillo ( sea-bass) with tostones ( fried plantain chips) or ask Mami for a recommendation!
Outback’s rating: You can’t resist and have to come back for more – it is that delicious!
Casa del Pescador – Pick Your Own Catch
Another great restaurant, recommended by locals and visitors of Cabarete is Casa del Pescador- The Fisherman house.
How to find it: this restaurant is located between the hotel Viva Wyndham Tangerine and the Surf camp Vela right at the beach of Cabarete. Walk down the main road towards Helado Bon, close to the little street “Paseo Don Chiche” you will find it right hand side.
Menu: includes a fantastic variety with all kinds of fish, lobster, shrimp, calamari, conch, clams, mussels and everything else you might want to try from the ocean. The food here is always fresh and really tasty and you should definitely have the daily fish plate on your list.
Prices: The prices here are a bit more higher than the others restaurants we have been to, since tourists come here too, but still good for the portion size. Be warned that the portions are huge, but knowing that lots of surfers eat here after a day out on the sea, riding fantastic waves, understandable. You will appreciate the fact that all prices include already the 18% tax and you don’t get the surprise at the end of the dinner like in other places along the beach.
Local Tip: Pick your fresh lobster right from the aquarium and let them prepare it to your liking. I suggest just with garlic butter, very delicious.
Little downside: ignore the sometimes very aggressive owner that will try to get you to eat there, while you walk by and offers free drinks and some brochette if you stay. Don’t let this scare you. Just tell him you are here to have a great time and that’s all he needs to get you, is the best tables on the beach and you will see, he will serve you with a big smile.
Outback’s rating: great restaurant with fantastic value for delicious food!
Mesa Taina- Fresh And Organic Seafood
You can learn how to kite surf in the morning and when hunger hits you, take a break and refuel at this rather rustic but really neat restaurant. Don’t let the simple decor fool you. The kitchen brings out some real tasty and inspiring food.
When coming here you should take the time to meet the staff and learn about their passion of organic food growing. Almost all you find on the menu is coming straight out of their gardens and produced by Taino Organic farms.
How to find it: This is a truly hidden gem only very view tourists get to visit and enjoy. The restaurant is part of Taino organic farms and Xtreme hotel Cabarete located right on the kite beach of Cabarete.
Menu: Choose from a great variety of fresh salads, organic grown meat and fresh seafood. You find freshly prepared juices and cocktails on the menu and should consider to take advantage of the daily special of Mojitos. Raul is Chef here and prepares with lots of passion sushi and Asian influenced dishes with the freshest and most organic food he can get from the gardens right behind the house.
Prices: are very reasonable considering that you will find gluten-free and 100% organic food on the menu, around 10-12 US$ per dish.
Local Tip: Each day you find different dishes of the day. We had “Ensalada Gucci” and it was a great starter for a even better lunch- almost everything on this plate is organic even the honey caramelized walnuts.
Try Taina’s Tilapia – steamed Tilapia with a sauce that is finger-licking delicious and enjoy it with home grown grilled veggies.
Cool extra: Free Wifi to stay connected to the world if needed.
Outback’s rating: We did not know that healthy food could taste so good – a Must-Visit that should be on your list of things to do in Cabarete.
Los Nativos’ Cafe- More Than Just Seafood
Underrated as a cafe and more like a hangout place for locals that look for the perfect ambiance to have a great time and fantastic food, you should stop by and try some of the chefs creations.
The owner, Alexander, speaks great English as he lived for a while in America and Jamaica and loves to share his stories and local news with you.
Don’t say no to an invitation to try the local Mamajuana drink!
How to find it: Find this new comer right in from of Ocean Dream Plaza on the main street of Cabarete.
Menu: If you where looking for a place to feast on authentic Dominican food, than this is the place to go. They pride themselves for their delicious Sanchocho, a typical and very tasty meet stew and their Mufongo – a plantain dish with lots of garlic and lots of flavor. But our actual favorite was the fried fish with coconut sauce and fried plantains.
Prices: Plates cost between 5-8 US$ and therefor you get a good plate of food that fill your stomach.
Local Tip: Like all good Dominican restaurants and bars you will have sometimes a bit loud Bachata and Merengue music playing, but if you are not bordered by this you will have a great time at night, enjoy dinner and finish off with a little bit of Karaoke that is offered here several nights of the week.
Outback’s rating: a really nice neat restaurant with lots of flair and charming owner, that we would love to com back to.
As always, these are our own opinions and we invite you to try on your own. Come here and leave once in a while the hotel or resort you are staying in. They are fine for a while, offer luxury and pampering for your soul. But you haven’t visited Dominican Republic if you haven’t been out at least once, to discover the beauty of the surrounding nature, get to know some locals and learn about their customs and cultures.
If you are coming in groups, check the Tours Trips Treks & Travel website. They can organize excursions in Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, Samana and other beautiful places in Dominican Republic; 4T work with educational institutions, special interest groups and manage educational, adventure, and community service programs in the Dominican Republic.
Be an adventurer and visit this neat places to dine out, join the most exciting tours in Cabarete for sightseeing and intercultural exchange and make memories for a life time!