The foods of the Dominican Republic are among the many cuisines the Latin American community offers to South Florida.
Dominican food is influenced by African, Spanish, Taíno Indian and Middle Eastern cultures, using milder spices than their ancestral cuisines. Looking at a menu can be overwhelming for those inexperienced with the food, so here are the best options for those with a curious palates.
- Llego El Sabor
18505 NW 75th Place, Hialeah
Sunday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 1 a.m. Better known as chimi among natives, this is a sandwich made with beef or chicken, topped with shredded cabbage, tomato and salsa rosada. It is a popular street food in D.R. and a common find in restaurants in Miami. The chimi can be found for $8 at Llego el Sabor in Hialeah, where it is a customer favorite, according to manager Tito Gomez. The restaurant is known by locals for its fast-food style of meals. And it is now re-opened for dine-in.
7817 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines
Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Mofongo is made from fried green plantains that are mashed with garlic and mixed with fried pork cracklings. The churrasco is a grilled skirt steak cooked on a barbecue grill. The dish is often considered Puerto Rican, though herbs and spices used in the D.R. such as oregano, sofrito and cilantro distinguish them from their P.R. counterpart, said Mariana Abreu, co-founder of Puritas Restaurant & Lounge in Pembroke Pines. The mofongo can often be served with chicharron (pork cracklings) or longaniza (sausage). It’s a filling meal sold for $20 at Puritas, so come hungry.
La Yarumba Restaurant
4740 NW 167th St, Miami Gardens
Sunday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
The word regionally means snacks, this is a mixed sampler platter of fried cheese and salami, longaniza (sausage), and chicharron with tostones served on the side. With several meat options per plate, this is a must for any meat-lovers out there. It’s often shared among groups as an appetizer, though some restaurants offer personalized portions. The cost of a picadera for three to four people is $30, while a personal platter costs $12.
Nuevo Amanecer Cafe
3553 W 76th St
Monday – Saturday: 6 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Sunday: 7 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Nobody makes mangú but Dominicans. It’s a dish made by boiling plantains and mashing them with butter. The butter gives it the appetizing flavor and without it, you may think you’re on a diet. The tres golpes (three hits), with fried cheese, eggs and salami is a breakfast favorite. Some restaurants sell them all day like El Nuevo Amanecer or Mangu Cafe, both in Hialeah Gardens. A plate sells for under $10 at the local neighborhood restaurant.
El Rincón De Papa Restaurant
7250 W 24th Ave, Hialeah
Monday – Tuesday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Wednesday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Seen all over Latin America, sancocho is considered a national dish in the Dominican Republic. This broth is made with blends of different meats, potatoes, corn, cassava and mixed with white rice. Sancocho is found in every Dominican restaurant in South Florida with variants such as sancocho de siete carnes, which includes seven different types of meats, habichuelas (beans) and gallina (hen). Older generations favor the dish and continue to convince younger people that it’s the best.