Dominican Republic holidays first became popular thanks to the storied streets of Playa Dorada and its sunny beaches. As one of the first resorts to rise in this country of contrasts, it stands to reason that there's plenty to see, plenty to do, and perhaps best of all, plenty to eat. Legions of restaurants are yours for the taking, from coastal cafes to plush places serving veritable banquets. To help you choose, here's a selection of the finest.
Translating directly as 'Latin Flavour', this street venue is readily recognisable by its bright greens and blues, as well as the crowd of laughing locals and talking tourists you'll inevitably find congregating outside. Dominican street food gets taken up a notch here, where salads and smoked meats – prepared by the chef before your eyes – make for cheap yet flavoursome eating.
As the name suggests, you're going to be dining out on a sunny plaza overlooking the Caribbean Sea at La Veranda. The crisp white umbrellas and tropical tableware of this appealing venue have given it a solid reputation. This is further backed up by its famous selection of fruit salads, nutritious breakfasts, gourmet burgers and sumptuous quesadillas.
This family run restaurant is instantly recognisable for its classic thatched roof and open plan layout, with stone walls and wooden furniture that sings of Caribbean chic. The English-speaking owners will make sure you've got plenty to eat during your visit here. The options range from upmarket lobster through to toasted sarnies and gourmet burgers.
Who knew mixing Mexican and Japanese cuisine together could work to such fantastic effect? It's the recipe for success they've cooked up with style over at Tostacos & Sushito, located a few streets inland from the coast. Flavours and portions are big and wholesome here, where sashimi, sushi and tempura sit proudly on the menu beside burritos, fajitas and tacos.
Ducking inside Kilometro Zero, you'll be greeted at the door by cheerful staff and guided to your seat in this warm, open-plan diner. The menu takes plenty of cues from the Italian classics, but also has a fair few local treats to consider, as well as a wide selection of seafood and vegetarian options. The fried shrimp and prawns are particularly noted for their flavour.
Lunch and dinner options here are well received by both tourists and locals, and nobody can argue with the seafront location. Eat some Caribbean traditional treats at the cool stone bar outside, and you'll have the chance to watch the world go by along one of the most stunning beaches in the world. Head inside, and a cosy venue with warm smiles awaits, which is going to soothe your spirit after a long day under the hot sun.
By bringing home-grown Italian values to the sunshine and splendour of holidays to the Dominican Republic, Sebastian is a venue where a cool limoncello and some handmade pizza will round off your day tremendously. The interior unites everything you've come to love about good old fashioned Italian restaurants, yet with a slick Caribbean twist that makes it right at home in Playa Dorada.
With its distinctive blue and white appearance, this venue is totally open plan, which lets in sea breezes and keeps the warmth of the day yours to enjoy. Crisp mojitos are bound to accompany a selection of grilled dishes, while the smiles on both sides of the bar serve as a perfect reminder as to what makes this place such a fine getaway.
With frequent live music events and a warm ambience of purple and cool blue neon, Bottles Club has a massive selection of beers by the bottle, coupled with a wide variety of delicious grilled and fried meals. Gourmet burgers and massive sharing platters of meats, fries and more round off an all-American menu that also factors in Caribbean seafood and Mexican burritos.
Like many restaurants in the area, Eskina is open air, which is always a good thing in a hot place like the Dominican Republic. Delicious meals served with care and passion are backed up by jazz and calypso music brought forward by Eskina's owner, who's a talented musician in his own right.