Where the Río Las Terrenas meets the Atlantic Ocean is a cluster of fishing shacks known as El Pueblo de Los Pescadores that have become the most popular dining spot in town. Most open to the road and have waterfront seating.
El Cayuco (Pueblo de Los Pescadores, noon–11 p.m. daily, US$5–15) is a Spanish restaurant that will serve you an eye-catching paella filled with fresh seafood and tantalizing tapas. It is a casual restaurant and a good value for the prices.
A French restaurant right in front of the sea, La Salsa (Pueblo de Los Pescadores, tel. 809/240-6805, cell 809/816-2970, 7 p.m.–midnight daily, US$11–20) transforms local products like lobster and fresh fish into tasty dishes. There is a good selection of red meat dishes as well.
Le Terrasse (Pueblo de Los Pescadores, tel. 809/240-6351, noon–2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.–11 p.m., RD$350–700) is a cozy and romantic upscale restaurant that sets itself apart from the rest along the row of dining choices in the Pueblo de Los Pescadores. The whitewashed cottage is appointed with white linen tablecloths and red tropical flowers and candles on the tables. Fresh seafood is bought right off the beach and prepared every day in the restaurant with a Mediterranean flair. Try the tuna carpaccio salad (RD$320). There is also a wide variety of meats and pastas and a good wine list.
El Mambo Social Club (Av. 27 de Febrero, tel. 809/240-5312 or 809/877-8374, 7 p.m.–1 a.m. daily) doubles as a luxurious lounge bar filled with stylish couches, billiard and card tables, and a bevy of good whiskies. It is also a top-rate restaurant whose chef, Willy (a former Michelin-starred chef), concocts recipes with rich Caribbean flavors and savory sauces like crab in a coconut Creole sauce. Feel the need for something in the raw like sushi and sashimi? You can make reservations for that here. The music is superb and rounds out the whole evening. If a restaurant can be sexy, this is it.
Barrio Latino (Calle Francisco Alberto Caamaño Deño, tel. 809/240-6367, 7:30 a.m.–midnight daily, US$2–13) is a great place to go if you need to please a lot of different tastes, as it’s popular with both Europeans and Americans for breakfast. Other satisfying dishes include burgers, pizzas, salads, and sandwiches. Häagen-Dazs ice cream for dessert or a fresh fruit juice might help cool you down. The restaurant is open-sided and a great place for people-watching.
La Yuca Caliente (Calle Libertad 6, tel. 809/240-6634, noon–midnight, US$10–25) is a Spanish restaurant located right on the beach serving tapas, pizzas, and wine.
If you didn’t expect to find a fine dining experience on your beach vacation, you will be pleasantly surprised at Mi Corazon (Calle Duarte 7 and Carretera Cosón, tel. 809/240-5329, www.micorazon.com , 7:30 p.m.–late, closed Sundays and Mondays May–July, closed Mondays November–April, closed all of October, US$8–25). This French- and Swiss-owned and -operated restaurant has a stylish interior set in an open-air courtyard with a bar/lounge on the second level perfect for pre-dinner cocktails and stargazing on plush sofas. Terra-cotta floors and iron railings give the whole place a colonial feel. On the first level, the courtyard is luxurious and glowing with candles and white tablecloths, but the food is the real star here. The menu changes often, with dishes like crayfish carpaccio and a tomato caviar with truffled olive oil ice cream, or ceviche made with mahimahi, swordfish with wasabi caviar and soy sauce jelly, or beef tenderloin with a red wine jus. Mouth watering yet?
You’ve had your seafood, your Italian pizzas, your steak and cocktails, now what? Craving something sweet? Heladería Bruno (Plaza El Paseo, Calle Francisco Alberto Caamaño Deño) has that glorious Dominican coffee that can’t be duplicated when you get home as well as sweet cooling ice cream—good opposites that go well together on a hot day.
Super Mercado Rey (Av. Duarte 57, tel. 809/240-6010, 8 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Sun.) has basic provisions like canned goods, bread, and water. It’s a good place to buy long-distance phone cards. There may be a small fresh fruit vendor on the other side of the grocer’s parking lot.
Supermercado Lindo (Plaza Rosado, Av. Duarte, tel. 809/240-6003, 8 a.m.–9 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 8 a.m.–6 p.m. Sun.) is yet another market with canned goods, produce, and more.
But if you are here for a long time, Supermercado Ignacio (Av. Nuestra Señora Del Carmen 146, tel. 809/240-6243) is a good bet since it is the biggest and busiest in town with the best variety.