Typical Dominican cuisine is centred around brown beans (habichuelas) and rice, accompanied by chicken, beef, pork or goat, cooked with only very mild spices (most Dominicans will not eat hot, spicy dishes). The most popular local beer is Presidente, which is of high quality and more than acceptable for most tourists. The Dominican Republic is also know for its excellent rums, including those made by the local Barcelo and Brugal companies.
The Punta Cana area offers a wide range of restaurants representing many different international cuisines. There are well-known chains like Hard Rock Café and Tony Roma’s; Mexican, Cuban, Asian and Italian; fine dining and formal options and of course plenty of places to sample the local cuisine. Be sure to try la bandera dominicana (literally “the Dominican flag”), a plate of rice, beans and stewed meat that is the country’s national comfort food. Dominican food in general uses simple seasonings like salt, garlic and oregano; common side plates include fried plantains, cassava fritters and fresh salad. Of course, fresh seafood is readily available and very delicious.