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Five places to eat like a local in the Dominican Republic

Put the guidebook away – these are the foodie secrets you need to know about

Time Out in association with British Airways
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Jalao
YummyPixels / Alamy Stock Photo

Jalao

Set on the main square of the colonial city, Jalao is currently the top restaurant with locals and tourists alike, both for its local fare – from chicken wings in local Mamajuana barbecue sauce to fish with rice ‘n’ peas – and for its incredibly energetic (and loud) live merengue music.

Santo Domingo

El Conuco

El Conuco

Conuco means ‘country’ in Dominican Spanish, so you can expect creole décor, waiters wearing straw hats and traditional costume, and the best in local fare – fish cooked in coconut milk or a churrasco steak with chimichurri sauce. Look out for the waiting staff regularly putting down the plates and doing a dance routine.

Santo Domingo

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Travesias

Travesias

Chef Tita is in the vanguard of ‘New Dominican’ cuisine. At her restaurant Travesias, a pretty creole building in the capital, she takes traditional recipes using local ingredients and updates them in new ways. Try duck confit with a guava sauce or a ginger plantain goat risotto.

Santo Domingo

La Casita de Yeya
Clara R. Gonzalez / Alamy Stock Photo

La Casita de Yeya

The place to dine with the Dominicans on an open-air deck with the best home cooking. Start with chicken or prawn fritters made with local yucca and follow with a mofongo – smashed green plantain with garlic and crackling in a broth.

Punta Cana

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Jellyfish

Jellyfish

This chilled spot lies within a beach club in Bavaro, on a pretty stretch of white sand. Lounge quietly in a daybed until roasted, then cool off in the sea, and repeat. The menu is mainly seafood, so take the calamari followed by snapper, grouper or mahi mahi.

Playa Bavaro near Punta Cana

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