8 Best Restaurants in North Coast, Dominican Republic

Lucía

$$$ | Playa Dorada Fodor's choice

With a setting as artistic as a gallery—befitting its location within Casa Colonial, a refined boutique hotel—and an ambitious Caribbean-fusion menu, Lucía is successful on all fronts. In a room with orchids galore, crisp white linens, and waiters in white guayabera shirts giving impeccable service, guests love the delicious appetizers and signature dessert, the molten chocolate volcano. When the digestif cart is rolled over, be daring with a Brunello grappa or the local Brugal Unico rum.

Puerto Plata, 57000, Dominican Republic
809-320–3232
Known For
  • The ultimate date-night venue
  • Marinated tuna appetizer
  • Remarkable main courses are rack of lamb and Caribbean lobster
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: No lunch, Reservations needed

Babanuco Bar & Restaurant

$$

If you are looking for a rustic hideaway with great food, this may be your place. The "furniture" might be a tree stump, decoration a cow horn; tablecloths are raw burlap; the floor is dirt. Men sidle up to the bar, which looks like a western movie set, smoking Dominican cigars (bought here). The food served up by chef-owner Juan Alberto, is why they come: flavorful and authentic, the seafood is always a star. Look for langoustines and lambi (conch), pulpo (octopus) and land crab, not to mention the freshest fish. Juan goes that extra mile in his preparations, far beyond the ubiquitous creole sauce you find in most Dominican fish joints. If you come with a group, Juan may even hire musicians to entertain.

Off Carretera Río San Juan–Cabrera Entrada de Saltadero, Cabrera, Dominican Republic
829-338–8707
Known For
  • Vintage license plates hanging in the bar
  • Mixed crowd---locals, expats and tourists
  • Steak and shrimp are the primary proteins in this funky place
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues., No credit cards

Bliss

$$$
The tables at this tranquil Italian restaurant flank a night-lit pool, offering the kind of intimate, romantic setting tailor-made for a wedding proposal. The young Italian owners have embraced slow food, offering delicious antipastos, carpaccios, and tartares to start and excellent house-made pastas, including feather-light gnocchi and tender half-moons in a sage-and-butter sauce. Paired with a vibrant Tuscan red, this is the ideal meal. Perfect panna cotta is the kind of dessert you hope to find. End your evening with a mild grappa or Sambuca. The chic set come to dinner and may leave with a new painting under their arm—an adjacent room is an unexpected gallery.
Callejón de la Loma 1, 57000, Dominican Republic
809-571–9721
Known For
  • "waterfront" dining in a courtyard overlooking a pool
  • Mahi and salmon carpaccio with rasberry citronette
  • Linguini with lobster fra diavlo
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. No lunch

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Natura Restaurant

$$$

If you're staying at this beachfront ecoparadise, you'll likely take most of your meals here; if not, it's worth the trip, not only for the freshest seafood but also for the soothing ambience. The menu changes seasonally but holds tight to some perennial favorites. Most vegetables and herbs are grown in Natura's own organic garden or are procured locally. If you aren't into seafood, Natura offers one of the area's best filet mignon. But don't miss the rich, flavorful soups and vegetarian (and vegan) dishes that round out the menu. Almost everything—including the gluten-free bread, burger buns, pastries, etc.—is made from scratch. Desserts are seasonal, but anything chocolate is a judicious choice. Service is warm, caring, and efficient; the international music, atmospheric. 

Paseo del Sol 5, 57000, Dominican Republic
809-571–1507
Known For
  • Oceanfront—listen to the waves
  • House-made pastas are delectable
  • Wines are French, Spanish, and Chilean

NLB Nelson's Lounge & Bistro

$

This family-run restaurant is a local favorite among Cabarete and Sosúa expats. The food is good, if unimaginative, and the atmosphere is warm and inviting. The menu is varied including seafood, meats, and pastas with international influences and local flair. There are sure to be options to please everyone, even picky eaters. Families will love the children's zone where kids can play in a towering castle with slide within view of outdoor seating and select tables inside. The owners are often around and when you see how they interact with their regulars, it's not hard to figure out why it's so popular; here it feels like being part of an extended family. When busy, service can be slow, as in most places. 

The Beach Club at Sea Horse Ranch

$$$

Overlooking a craggy shoreline with unobstructed ocean vistas, this renovated restaurant with a global menu is hitting all the high points, offering both delicious food and a fun atmosphere. The menu runs the gamut from pizza to fragrant Tandoori chicken from deliciously light gnocchi to hearty Ethiopian zilzil (a dish of braised beef and peppers). Ingredients are high quality, from the pancetta to the house-made gelato. The music nights are sceney.

Reservations are essential when there's live music, the best time to be there; otherwise just tell the security gate that you are going to the Beach Club.

Carretera Principal Sosua-Cabarete, 57000, Dominican Republic
809-571–4995
Known For
  • A gathering place for expats, young bucks, and Sea Horse residents
  • The view when the ocean is pounding
  • Safe secure haven with free parking
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. in low season

Tuva Restaurant & Lounge

$$

The oceanfront vantage point of this Cabarete Beach restaurant is one of its main selling points, but the whimsical kids' corner with its Alice in Wonderland theme doesn't hurt either. The menu features house-made pasta, seafood and grilled meats, all prepared with Mediterranean flair. For dessert go for the panna cotta and/or the tiramisu al limoncello.

5700, Cabarete, Dominican Republic
809-571–0526
Known For
  • Sophisticated fine dining atmosphere
  • House-made pastas
  • Desserts from panna cotta to tiramisu al limoncello

Woke Foods

$

This cute spot tucked away in Cabarete's residential zone is popular among tourists and locals alike. Owner Ysanet Batista Vargas is a U.S.-born Dominican powerhouse known for food justice activism and her catering business operating in New York City; her Cabarete restaurant, a co-op, brings this same level of intensity to an ancestral, plant-based menu that highlights fresh, sometimes raw, organic, and locally sourced food. Staff is well-trained and efficient, and slight delays around peak hours are worth the wait as this is the only restaurant catering specifically to non-meat eaters in the area. Choose from hearty veggie remixes of traditional favorites like sancocho, guisados, and chowfan that can be washed down with local, fresh fruit juice or coconut water. Prices are in Dominican pesos, but U.S. dollars are accepted. Join the restaurant's WhatsApp group for information on cooking classes and workshops.