Most people who visit Jarabacoa  do so because they want to play hard and be adventurous all day long. By the time dusk sets in, they are ready for dinner and a relaxing evening.
D’Parque Galería Pizzeria (Calle Duarte 37 and Calle Hermanas Mirabal, tel. 809/574-6749, 9 a.m.–midnight daily, US$3–17) sits on prime people-watching real estate in Jarabacoa, directly across from the Parque Central. And the menu has great variety: It’s as if they were afraid to be labeled a “really great pizza joint,” so they threw in a wonderful variety of other tasty dishes like grilled steak, fillet of grouper, mofongo, and various sandwiches and salads.
Not only do they specialize in fantastic pizzas cooked in a special oven, but also in comida criolla, which is the national cuisine: characteristically flavorful without being spicy. The Creole food is mirrored by paintings depicting the pastoral countryside scene and pilones— mortar and pestles used for grinding spices in Dominican homes. The restaurant has a family-friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
Restaurante El Rancho (Av. Independencia 1, tel. 809/574-4557, 9 a.m.–11 p.m., US$8–15) is one of the oldest restaurants in Jarabacoa and is also part of the Rancho Baiguate family. It has a good assortment of international food and comida criolla. Locals and tourists have been praising this as the best place in town. Try the goat mofongo or a Dominican favorite, asopao. Food is made from locally grown products.
Aroma de la Montaña (Independencia 43, tel. 829/452-6879, www.jamacadedios.com , Mon.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri.–Sun. 11 a.m.–11 p.m., US$3–15). Whether you sit inside or out on the patio, you will realize why they say that “While God may be everywhere, He sleeps in Jarabacoa” when you see your view. Aroma de la Montaña is situated on the crest of a mountain within the gated community Jamaca de Dios, overlooking the valley and all of Jarabacoa .
Michael and Lisa Ballentine, the very hospitable American expat owners, have created quite a stir in El Cibao  with their country-club-meets-thatched-roof, bohio-style restaurant with the awesome view. House specialties are from the grill with Asian sea bass, steak Italian style, and eggplant tortini with red sauce. Salad portions are served with generosity using organic-grown products grown on the Jamaca de Dios land whenever possible. Culinary presentation is stellar, as is the attentive service (a rarity in the Dominican Republic ).
Nights can be chilly in this open-air restaurant, so take an extra layer and make sure to drive a car capable of maneuvering up steep hills. Entrance to Jamaca de Dios is on the Carretera de Palo Blanco. Tell the guard you are going to the restaurant and follow the main road all the way up the mountain until you reach it.
Maybe dining in the restaurant of a hotel doesn’t sound very adventurous, but Hotel Gran Jimenoa (Av. La Confluencia, tel. 809/574-6304, www.granjimenoa.com , 7 a.m.–11 p.m. daily, US$12–35) is one of Jarabacoa’s best bets. Its best feature is a fantastic view, as it’s situated right alongside the Río Jimenoa’s roaring waters. The food is not as good as the view, but it’s not bad either. International choices include some very good fish dishes.
At the Jarabacoa River Club (Carretera Jarabacoa–Manabao Km 4, tel. 809/574-2456, www.jarabacoariverclub.com ) you can purchase a day pass (RD$700) to swim in the five pools and eat at the buffet restaurant. You can eat in the à la carte restaurant, El Bambú, for extra cost. Every Monday night dance to live merengue or bachata music. When finished, this resort will be a beauty as it is built around the Río Yaque del Norte with a panoramic view of the mountains. The rooms were not yet complete.
Supermercado Jarabacoa (Av. Independencia 39, tel. 809/574-2780, 8 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Sun.) is a good all-purpose grocery store where you can get provisions for an independent hike or day at the waterfalls.