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CABARETE - Where to Eat, What to Do & a few Hot Tips

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

I had the opportunity to spend two fun-filled, sun-filled, beautiful weeks in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. It was my first time visiting the island and I'm so glad we got to go. Cabarete is a town in the province of Puerto Plata and is well known for its tourism and beaches. It's only about a 30 minute drive from the Puerto Plata airport and if you've ever thought about going, go.

Cabarete is small and easy to find your way around. There is really only one set of lights in the town, so I'm using that as a the main reference point for locations.


WHERE TO EAT


Parrilla Luis

This tiny little restaurant is located right by ‘the lights’ in Cabarete. With a small menu consisting of just a few items; mainly barbecue chicken, rice and fries, they do it right. I’m still dreaming about that chicken. Absolutely delicious.

Hot tip: don’t feed the cats. However, I did in fact feed the cats. The cats took this as an invitation to sit with us. Hopping up onto the empty seats at our table and mewing for a few scraps. Do I regret feeding the kitties? No. No I do not.

When you get to the lights, turn right and Parrilla Luis is there on the right hand side of the road.


Le Bistro


Another sweet little restaurant in the heart of Cabarate, hidden down a gorgeous little alleyway that is decorated with beautiful murals by the super talented Julita Chulita (you can check out her IG and artwork here: https://www.instagram.com/julitachulita/)


Le Bistro is a traditional French restaurant offering a super sweet atmosphere, delicious food, and very reasonable prices. I had the poultry skewer with lime and rosemary sauce, and James had a the Beef Bourguignon. Yummy!!


Tuva Tuva Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/TuvaCabarete/


Tuva is located right on Cabarete beach. Let’s take a moment for their decor - upside down lamps hanging from the ceiling, a variety of beautiful antique mirrors, and gorgeous royal blue couches.

It’s eclectic and charming.


Tuva is an Italian restaurant and I have to say firstly, the service was incredible. Definitely a little more on the pricier side, but the food was really, really good too, and absolutely worth it if you’re looking to spoil yourself to an atmosphere and meal that will tickle all your senses.


Just a couple pals, eating, drinking and being merry.


Gordito’s

Gordito's Website: https://gorditosfreshmex.com/


Okay. Gordito’s. We ate here 3x at least. It’s not fancy, but hot damn, it’s good. Specializing mainly in tacos, you cannot go wrong. We tried the chicken, beef, and fish (mahi mahi) tacos, which were all amazing. But the one unique thing they sell at Gordito’s that will change your life is their Big Mac Burrito. It’s no secret that I love McD’s, so seeing a Big Mac Burrito on the menu - I obviously had to try it. It’s so good you guys. Like… I’ll be dreaming about it until I have it again. Gordito’s is found just before ‘the lights’ in Cabarete - on the left hand side of the road. The food is good, the prices are good, the service is good. If you’re "hangry", Gordito’s is where you need to go. Upon ordering, your food will be at your table within 10 minutes.


Sorry, no pictures of the food. I ate it too fast.


Kite Club - Coco Loco


We ate here probably 10x. Mostly because it was right next door to where we were staying on Kite Beach. I think between the 4 of us we tried everything on the menu. The prices were pretty good, service was awesome, and the view, well, what more can you ask for; a view of the ocean AND it’s the hot spot for kiting. I don’t want to sound like a schmuck, but I think my favourite thing on their menu was their coffee. They must brew it with cinnamon in with the coffee grinds or something, but my gosh it’s good. I’ve never had a coffee like that before.

I ordered the pancakes more than once too, so yummy! Highly recommend.

I also had the chicken tacos, they were good, but maybe a little bland. I would have loved more spice!

The burger and fries were delicious, but please note - if you’re starving and end up here, don’t order anything deep fried. They only have one small deep fryer and because they’re located on the beach, with the wind constantly blowing, it takes awhile to get the fryer to heat up to cook everything.

The chicken burger and fish burger were also very good. Oh! And the Bruschetta - YUMMY. It was delicious. You know what else they do well? The Creamy Chicken Pasta (insert drool face).


Raro Pizza


This was one of my favourite places we went to eat, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, pizza. Secondly, “Raro” Roberto Miele, the owner, is an absolute gem. Raro Pizza is located on what I have nicknamed Pizza Corner Cabarete. Take a right “at the lights” and it’s there on the right-hand side of the road. Right beside Parrilla Luis!


Again, the prices are good here, the servings are huge, the food is delicious, and the atmosphere is fun. I got a regular pepperoni pizza, probably was about 14” and I ate the whole thing. Hot damn. Yum. There are also 3 other pizza restaurants right there. Take your pick!



Yalla Tapas Bar


Okay this place was one of my favourites too. We only got a few apps, but man oh man, they were so good. I’m still thinking about the jalapeño poppers. We also got the burger sliders and deep fried cauliflower. Everything was delish!


This is the view from the restaurant at Tapas Bar. You can get to it from the beach, or take a left as you're driving into Cabarete when you see Tony's Food Truck (which is on the right-hand side of the road). It is found on the Millennium Resort.


Tony’s Food Truck

Every time we went into Cabarate there were at least 20 people standing outside this food truck. And you know what that means. Lots of people = yum yum food. So, of course we had to try it. We ordered the burgers, fries, yaroa (which is kiiiiiiind of like poutine, but at the same time, not really like poutine at all), a hot dog, and burritos. Everything was really good except the hot dog. There was shredded chicken on it, which was unexpected and weirded me out. If I had known there was chicken, I would have ordered it without, and just had the good old fashioned hot diggity dog with a little mustard, but (insert shrug) I didn’t know! The thing that was probably the best (or my favourite at least) was the Yaroa. GET IT.


You can find Tony's food truck on the right-hand side of the road as you drive into Cabarete. It's across from the Millennium Resort (where Yalla Tapas Bar is) It's only there at night though FYI.


“The Lady Across The Street”

Okay I don’t think this restaurant had a name, but it was diagonally (left) across from The Watermark where we were staying.

If you want to eat a true Dominican-style meal that will rock your world and change your life, please eat here. Good lord. God bless.

It’s a tiny little spot that serves mainly barbecue chicken, beef, rice and beans. You can get 2 huge plates of food, plus a couple of Coca Colas for $9 USD. I’m still thinking about the beans. Like how good can beans be? I don’t know what she put in there, but man…DELICIOUS. Did I lick the bowl? Yes I did. Shamelessly.


HOT TIPS

A few other fun hot tips from yours truly: Coca Cola is cheaper than water. There is no Pepsi here. Don’t drink the water from the taps. Learn a bit of Spanish before you go (it’ll make your life so much easier), tip the locals. They work hard and are providing delicious food, and amazing service.

Motos are definitely the way to get around (in my opinion). They are little motorcycles and scooters. All you have to do is stand on the side of the road and someone will stop to take you where you want to go. It typically costs100 pesos (per person) to get from where we were staying to ‘downtown’ Cabarete (5 minutes drive). You can definitely walk to town, but take the beach, not the highway (unless it's nighttime) Then definitely don't take the beach, that's common knowledge though right? They drive crazy in Cabarete, literally anything goes; driving on the wrong side of the road? You betcha. Passing people on the shoulder? You know it. You can definitely get a cab, but it takes longer and costs more. Live like the locals my friends - motos.


WHAT TO DO


Kite Beach - Learn to Kite Board!

We stayed right on Kite Beach and let me tell you - they call it Kite Beach for a reason. When the wind blows, the kiters are out and in big numbers!

The beach is beautiful, the water is warm. There are a number of Kite Schools along the beach and the Kite Community (as always) is incredibly welcoming. There are lots of beginners just learning to kite, so don’t be afraid to try it out.

I had the opportunity to take my first kite lessons in the flat, shallow water of Malpeque Bay (Kite Point) in Prince Edward Island, Canada. The water at Kite Beach in Cabarate is definitely wavy and deeper than what I am used to.

There are lots of Kite Schools to choose from, but I'm partial to the Eleveight Kite School - https://mahalokite.com/


Ojo


Beach restaurant by day, dance club by night. It was so much fun. I had never really been “out” to a bar in another country before, so this was an experience and a half for me. Cheap drinks, good music and amazing vibes.

Right on the beach in ‘downtown’ Cabarate, it’s a must if you want to go dancing. If you’re from PEI you can imagine it something like a Peake’s Quay… but way better, way bigger. It’s 2 levels, with the bottom level being a little more ‘tame’ than the top. Obviously, we hung out in the top! There was a DJ, who played an incredible mix of music over 6 hours or something crazy like that. I think we Shazamed his whole set. There was probably 1000 people there and everyone was in a great mood. Hashtag, good vibes only. The locals were friendly and it was so easy to feed off their energy. Highly recommend for a night out!


Eleveight Kite School & Mahalo Sunset Beach Club


Located on Kite Beach as well, but a little further down the beach (towards Sosua). On Wednesdays and Fridays they have a DJs at their super cool beach bar. It’s small, cozy and jam-packed with cool, friendly people. If you’re looking for a fun beach party, you won’t be disappointed here. Yes, this is the same place I noted above for Kite Lessons!


Monkey Jungle

Monkey Jungle Website: https://monkeyjungledr.com/


Monkey Jungle was inspired by the Haitian and Dominican Assistance Corporation (HADAC) formed in 2008 by Chuck and Candy Ritzen. Both entrepreneurs from Nashville, Tennessee, they created the Leon/Laraoche Medical Clinic. The need for the clinic was obvious and it grew exponentially - by 2009 it was apparent that there was a need to expand and maintain these free clinics and this was where the idea to open a Monkey and Zip line attraction was born.


Tragically, in October of 2016, Chuck & Candy were flying back to Puerto Plata after delivering medical supplies, tarps and food to the people of Haiti after Hurricane Matthew when their single engine sea plane was caught in a storm. Everyone on board was lost at sea.

Their dream lives on through the continued support of everyone who visits Monkey Jungle, along with the dedicated volunteers, doctors and friends. Profits and donations are deposited to HADAC, where the proceeds go to fund medical and dental care, medicines, food programs, training and educational programs.


River Float


As fun as it sounds! Two options: The Full Experience or Tubing Only. Basically the difference is that the Full Experience will provide you with transportation to/from, alcoholic & non-alcoholic drinks and lunch. Float down the slow-moving Yasica river and take in the beautiful landscape that Dominican has to offer.


Watermark

Watermark Website: https://www.sg-watermark.com/


This was my first time visiting Cabarete, so I only have one place to review. I’m going to be honest and give you the good, and the not so good.

Let’s start with the good. The building itself is beautiful in design, white with lots of glass. Lots of tile and it was clean.


There are 8 units in the building and each one offers an incredible, unobstructed view of the ocean. The units are very big. I’m no expert, but I’m guessing they are close to 2000 square feet each, maybe more?!. There is a full kitchen, dining and living area, 2 large bedrooms, 2 large bathrooms, and a balcony off of each bedroom.

There are 2 hot tubs located on the roof, as well as a nice big pool overlooking the water.


The Watermark offers a concierge service, which is provided by “Tony” who is a really great guy. He drives a fancy, tinted out, SUV so you feel like a total baller when he’s driving you around. But, fancy wheels equals $$$. That being said, it’s nice to have someone waiting for you at the airport to take you where you need to go. He speaks English too, so that is helpful.

The cleaning help and maintenance man were great. Very friendly and always happy to help. No complaints there!

There were a few issues we experienced during our stay, but for the most part, everything was fixed or corrected when an issue was brought up and there were no major issues.


The first thing I remember is the toaster of death. Literally, I popped some bread in and within 30 seconds the toast was BLACK and the unit was filled with smoke and well, we all know what burnt toast smells like right. Anyway, we got a new toaster. Easy peesey.


The freezer in the fridge simply did not work. We didn’t get a new fridge though. We had to live with that one. There was an oven, but no cooking sheets to actually put food on, (to put in the oven, know what I mean?) So that was unfortunate, because we couldn’t really re-heat our food.


The TV in the living room had a ghost in it. Well, maybe not a ghost, but the volume would work fine for a few minutes and then just not work at all. What did we do? Well turned the volume up to max of course. It didn’t help. And then without warning the volume would kick back in and scare the pants off ya because the volume was up all the way.


The two main things that caused us a bit of annoyance were that the a/c stopped working for a few days during the trip. No one likes to be a sweaty Betty when they’re trying to sleep. However, it was only for a few days and we all survived.


The other thing that happened was that our electronic key swipe to get into our room died - at 1am. The Security Guard closed up shop at 11pm, so we were in panic mode, not knowing if we were going to be able to get back into our room for the night. We prayed to the electronic key gods and by some miracle we were able to get in, but then the door wouldn’t lock. In the end it wasn't a big deal, because we did get back in our room, but it was stressful for an hour or so. We notified the front desk first thing in the morning and they had it sorted and fixed for us within a few hours.

So you see? The things that went wrong weren’t that bad really. It’s a nice place. It could certainly use a little TLC, but who can blame them really. Tourism has been challenging since Covid and clearly there was not a lot of money coming in. For the 15 days that were were there, only 2 other couples arrived, and at separate times. When we were getting ready to leave, it was obvious they were starting some major renovations to the units.

I’d still recommend The Watermark and absolutely stay there again!


Janet’s

Janet’s! It’s a grocery store. I don’t know why I loved this particular grocery store so much, maybe it’s because it is named Janet’s. They have everything you need (except taco seasoning - haha). It’s further down past all the restaurants in Cabarete on the left-hand side.


La Rosa Grocery

About half-way into town on the right-hand side is La Rosa Grocery. Another cute little grocery store, but much smaller than Janet’s. Selling just the essentials. I’m just going to go ahead and be honest here. I loved La Rosa because of the dog that lived there, “Paloma”. Talk about a sweetie bo-beetie, cutie-patootie. If you ever end up there, please give her a pat for me.


Okay that's all I can think of for now folks. Let me know if you have any questions! If you've been to Cabarete and want to add/share something, don't be shy to drop it in the comments.


It would also mean the world to me to give me a "like" by clicking the heart if you enjoyed this post or found it useful. Feel free to share with a pal, if you think they'd like to check out the Cabarete scene.

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jicorish
jicorish
Dec 27, 2022

Wow! Love the detail! You made me feel like I was “ right there with you” even felt like I was “ eating too”! Lol Great review, who knows someday I may get there.

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