AOL Travel
Print

Best Punta Cana Restaurants

AOL PICK from our Editors

The food in Punta Cana mostly caters to travelers, and you'll find everything from pizza to sushi at your fingertips. When staying in an all-inclusive resort, be sure and make your reservations for the on-site a la carte restaurants on the first day, as they tend to book up. A five dollar bill at the host stand can make a difference if you happen to forget. If pasta in the tropics isn't your style, stick to the original influences of the island: Spanish gastronomy and recipes passed down from the native Taíno Indians. You'll find plenty of familiar Latin cuisine, but the Dominican Republic tends to use less spice and more goat, as the goats are abundant. Punta Cana was developed with the environment in mind, so to prevent overfishing, much of the seafood is imported. Nevertheless, we've never tasted one scallop there that wasn't fresh. Ceviche and conch salads are available in a wealthy, mouth-watering supply.

Chez Palace

Neighborhood: Bávaro Price: Expensive

You'll need to dress up to dine at this elite, gourmet French spot at Barceló Bávaro Palace (not included with the all-inclusive plan if you are staying there). For doing so, you'll be able to feast on filet mignon and foie gras in an atmosphere reminiscent of the south of France. And if that's wrong, we don't want to be right. Yes, you can eat here even if you are not a Barceló Bávaro Palace guest, but you must call in advance for reservations. And you better do so well in advance as Chez Palace located at one of the largest resorts in Punta Cana.

More Details on

Chez Palace  

Akai Lounge & Sushi Bar

Neighborhood: Palma Real
Price: Expensive

This presentation of the sushi and other Japanese dishes here are so beautiful that you should bring a camera when you dine at Akai. It's hard to get out of here for under $25 per person, but if you love sushi, you know it can get a lot higher than that. All things considered, the prices here are kind of reasonable. Not only will you find your favorite classics made with fresh, melt-in-your-mouth seafood, but they incorporate tropical ingredients to make inventive dishes with bright colors and unexpected flavors to tickle your senses.

More Details on

Akai Lounge & Sushi Bar  

La Yola

Neighborhood: Higüey Price: Expensive

Be sure to make a reservation in advance for this gorgeous restaurant right on the water at the PUNTACANA Marina. You'll be instantly charmed by the rustic decor and grand palapas, and the fact that you can see the ocean and fish swimming by your feet through the glass floor. "Yola" means a small fishing boat, and you'll feel just as if you are on one as you enjoy the luscious, fresh ceviche, catch of the day or juicy steak as you feel the salty breeze coming in off the water. It's open for lunch and dinner (except Tuesdays), you can also stop by here just for a drink during the hours of 11AM-3PM and 7PM-11PM. Do not miss this place.

More Details on

La Yola  

Noir Beach Lounge

Neighborhood: Bávaro Price: Moderate

Noir Beach Lounge offers upscale seaside dining without the hefty price tag. They have a more expensive menu with caviar and carpaccio or a "Beach Menu," which offers up casual fare at low prices. You'll hear relaxing music as you dine at this open-air deck-like restaurant, feasting on seafood and their delicious mojitos. Every Sunday, Noir hosts Family Beach Day, which is great if you're traveling with kids. Basically, they entertain your kids on the beach with games while you sit back and relax, perhaps on the sexy couches in the bar area. How great is that? Answer: pretty great.

More Details on

Noir Beach Lounge  

Capitan Cook

Neighborhood: Bávaro Price: Moderate

This casual beachfront restaurant offers a tried-and-true recipe for success: sand, water, drinks, white plastic chairs and excellent seafood. While some regard it as something of a tourist trap, others can't get enough of the huge metal platters of lobster, shrimp, calamari and king crab legs. Besides, some tourist traps are just fun. Some resorts actually offer an official "excursion" to visit Capitan Cook. Be sure and try a shot of the herbal liquer mamajuana here. But beware the hawkers on the beach afterward; you may walk out with a lot of jewelry and braided hair.

The Jellyfish

Neighborhood: Bávaro Price: Moderate

At this treehouse-like beachfront restaurant, you can dine inside or out on the deck. The lighting here is designed to look like a jellyfish after dark, so visit or pass by at night to see the full effect, which is quirkily and unexpectedly romantic. Though mostly famous for their seafood, which is hit-the-spot delicious, there are some tasty chicken entrees to accommodate all palates here. Husband-and-wife owners Gabriel and Wanda are often on hand to tell stories. Our favorite thing is to come here by water taxi—call ahead and they can arrange it for you.

More Details on

The Jellyfish  

Cafeteria Las Leñas

Neighborhood: Bávaro Price: Budget

This local cafe is known to many as the best bakery in the area. They serve a variety of muffins, croissants and sandwiches but there's also free Wi-Fi so you can sit inside or outside a the little tables and take care of some web browsing. It's also a great place to get a cake if you happen to need one for a special occasion while you're here. Be sure to ask for the strawberry juice.

More Details on

Cafeteria Las Leñas  

Soles Chill Out Bar

Neighborhood: Los Corales Beach Price: Budget

This bar (with absolutely decent food) is right on the beach and is indeed a fabulous place to "chill out" and watch the hot bodies go by from morning (8AM!) till night with a drink in your hand. You'll find an attractive crowd here, terrific music and a happy staff with a laid-back attitude. Go for the seafood, stay for the drinks.

More Details on

Soles Chill Out Bar  

Taqueria El Burrito

Neighborhood: Carretera Price: Budget

Look no further for your fill of kitschy Mexican fare. Taqueria is full of all your favorite tacos and Mexican beers, as well as tasty margaritas at reasonable prices. There are occasionally parties with live music (Mariachi band, anyone?), so check the Facebook page to see if there will be an event while you're in town and, well, go, or avoid, depending on how loco you want to get.

More Details on

Taqueria El Burrito  

Palma's Sand Beach Club

Neighborhood: Bávaro Price: Budget

Palma's Sand can be entered from the beach or the street. You'll love the quirky wicker chairs that look like birdcages, the open air and the view of the sea. It's a great place for pizza and beers (and shade) in the middle of a hot day. They have good pastas, too, and it's a great family-friendly joint if you're traveling with kids.

ADVERTISEMENT

RESTAURANTS IN NEARBY CITIES