- Where to Go
- The Best of the Dominican Republic
- A Nature Lover’s Dominican Trek
- The Sexiest Dominican Beaches
- Historical Dominican Road Trip
- A Dominican Culture Tour
- Carnaval and Its Masks
- Planning Your Dominican Wedding
- Dominican Adventures
- Golfing the Dominican Republic
- Dominican Music and Dance
- La Ruta del Mango
- Day-Tripping in Monte Plata
- The Best Small Resorts
Playa Cabarete is a romantic and charming area, and many of the restaurants here provide that sort of atmosphere as well. Many offer beachfront dining, but be prepared to pay higher prices than at the venues farther from the beach. Some of the restaurants also turn into lively nightlife spots after dinner.
Pandería Repostería Dick (on the west end of town, tel. 809/571-0612, 7 a.m.–3 p.m. Thurs.–Tues., US$3–6) is a great breakfast spot very popular with the locals and tourists alike. It serves international breakfast favorites and freshly baked bread. The coffee is phenomenal and just the kick in the pants you need. Breakfast is served until 1 p.m., so that those late-rising kiteboarders can get some before they go out on the water.
La Casa del Pescador (Playa Cabarete, tel. 809/571-0760, 8 a.m.–11 p.m. daily, US$6–17) might not be much to look at, but the seafood and fish are excellent. This is a celebrated mainstay in Cabarete. Specialties include seafood spaghetti and paella.
Reservations are essential at Blue Moon Retreat (Los Brazos, tel. 809/223-0614, noon–midnight, US$18), best known for its East Indian/Caribbean restaurant, which requires a minimum of eight people per party. Enjoy your dinner served in the traditional manner on comfy cushions on the floor. Tandoori chicken, curried goat, vegetable curries, and homemade chutneys arrive on banana leaves as plates. Blue Moon is east of Cabarete on the highway to Sabaneta. Turn right toward Jamao al Norte and go through Los Brazos, where you’ll see a sign directing you to take a left up a hill.
La Casita de Juana “El Tigre” (Callejón de la Loma, tel. 809/801-1338, open 2 p.m.–1 a.m. Wed.–Mon., US$1–8) is a favorite with the locals, serving famous seafood stews, a killer fish in garlic sauce, savory sancocho, and a phenomenal chivo in salsa picante. All dishes come with rice and salad with fried plantain. The owner, Juana, is so welcoming she just may sit at your table or dance with you (even though there is no designated dance floor) in this lively and friendly establishment she has created.
The owners of La Otra Cosa (La Punta, tel. 809/571-0607, 8:30 a.m.–11 p.m., closed Tues., US$15–35) have created the perfect recipe for romance. The menu has French-Caribbean influences with a smattering of other international touches. The mahimahi on a bed of saffron rice is spectacular. A full bar is able to make any favorite drinks you have (with all the good Dominican rums in stock), and there is a generous wine list. If dinner didn’t woo you, then dessert will make you fall further in love. But it’s the view and the ambience that push it all over the edge, and isn’t that half the dining experience anyway? The open-air restaurant is in full frontal of the sea, and at night, with the candles lit, there is no more romantic place on the beach since this place is on the quiet end of Playa Cabarete.
Pomodoro (Calle Principal, tel. 809/571-0085, US$7–14) is a casual pizza joint that serves up the best pies on the beach using quality toppings. Try one with fresh seafood on top or one of the many calzones. Since the owner is a music-loving Cabarete festival organizer, there is often live music here.
Centrally located Helados Bon (Calle Principal, 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m. daily, starting at US$1.50) is open late. Somehow ice cream just tastes better here. Maybe it’s the heat or maybe it’s the ingredients. One thing is for sure; it is the stuff that Dominican childhoods are made of, with flavors like bizcocho (cake) and mantecado, which is a rich buttery vanilla.
At Janet’s Supermarket (Carretera Gaspar Hernández, 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 8 a.m.–1 p.m. Sun.) you can find almost all of your grocery needs, including dry goods, produce, and sundries.
© Ana Chavier Caamaño from Moon Dominican Republic, 4th edition