Dominican cuisine is an electrifying fusion of flavors, shaped by a blend of Spanish, Taino indigenous, African, Middle Eastern, and Chinese influences. At its heart, this culinary journey is guided by three essential ingredients: rice, beans, and meat.
The traditional Dominican diet is very vegetable-rich, with an emphasis on fresh vegetables, spices, and homemade ingredients. In a lot of these flavorful dishes you will also find the endlessly versatile plantain, whether they're fried, boiled, mashed, or sweetened into maduros. The national dish, La Bandera Dominicana, is a vibrant trio of rice, beans, and meat, complemented by zesty salads and beloved plantains.
With staple menu items that are deliciously diverse, what truly sets Dominican food apart is the passion and soul poured into every dish, weaving together herbs, meats, onions, tomatoes, and sazón. This cuisine also embraces healthy elements, rooted in the agricultural traditions of the Dominican people. Historical influences, from Spanish colonization to Middle Eastern kipe and Taino cassava-based casabe, have left their mark. African rhythms pulse through dishes like the beloved mangú. Chinese immigrants have infused their culinary traditions, which you can taste in the delightful chofan.
Expand your Caribbean cuisine by visiting one of the many Dominican Restaurants in Elizabeth, New Jersey. We’ve gathered some of the local favorites and hidden gems to kick-start your culinary adventure.