Where to Find the Best Dominican Food in Boston Right Now
From chimichurris in Jamaica Plain to empanadas in East Boston, here’s where to go for Dominican-style dishes that pack a flavorful punch.
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With a culinary identity as rich as its history, food from the Dominican Republic reflects influences from all over the world. From Africa, Dominican cuisine adopted mangú, or boiled and mashed green plantain; from Spanish colonization came sancocho, a kind of meat stew. Meanwhile, dishes like la bandera Dominicana ( “The Dominican Flag,” a meal of meat, rice and beans) bring all these inspirations together into something inimitable and distinctive. Where to get great Dominican food in Boston? Luckily, you won’t have to travel far.
A Jamaica Plain favorite since it opened in 1998, Alex’s Chimis is known for generous portions of Dominican comfort food—including, as its name implies, sauce-dripping chimichurri, or Dominican-style burgers. The chimis, served on baguette-like bread, come in combinations of beef, chicken, pork, ham, and cheese (sometimes, yes, all in one sandwich). But they’re not all Alex’s serves. The restaurant also prides itself on its rotisserie chicken, so check it out via combo plates serving traditional sides like cassava, fried rice or green plantains.
358 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-522-5201, alexschimisrestaurant.com.
If you’re looking for a friendly neighborhood spot bursting with vibrant Dominican cuisine, Bani has you covered. The restaurant’s simple, no-frills (and no-fuss) atmosphere provides plenty of room for flavor-packed portions to steal the well-earned attention. Snack-sized appetites can snatch up Bani’s popular sweet plantains stuffed with ground beef and cheese, while excellent fried pork strips and beef stew make for a heartier meal. Either way, be sure to save room for tres leches cake for dessert, of course.
4541 Washington St., Roslindale, 617-469-0294, banirestaurant.com.
Guira y Tambora
Although made with simple (and fresh) ingredients, Guira y Tambora’s Dominican dishes pack a big punch—and that’s exactly what makes the restaurant a mainstay in Roslindale. Enjoy the outdoor patio this summer, or lounge at a socially distanced booth inside, while diving into Dominican sausage served with fried cassava or salami and cheese. For your main, maybe move on to a seafood-stuffed lobster tail or deliciously seasoned steak. Pro-tip: Try the oxtail stew, too.
014 Washington St., Roslindale, 617-327-7555, guiraytamboraboston.com.
If you’re looking for chimis sandwiches and yaroa, La Esquina boasts some of the best. Yaroa, a popular street food in the Dominican Republic, is either mashed sweet plantains or French fries loaded with toppings like shredded meat, cheese, ketchup, and mayonnaise—La Esquina serves the dish in eye-popping portions bearing chicken, pork, beef, or all of the above. Besides yarao, you’ll also find classic pork or chicken Dominican chimis, cheese sandwiches, Dominican clubs and a “Super Hot Dog” loaded with lettuce, sauces, and ground beef.
624 Blue Hill Ave., Dorchester Center, 617-822-0200, laesquinama.com.
La Parada Dominican Kitchen
Right in the heart of Egleston Square, decorated with bright yellow walls and colorful artwork, La Parada is a spot that’s hard to miss. You wouldn’t want to miss it, either—or the restaurant’s most unique item, “banana canoes,” which can be stuffed with shrimp and served with a side of tostones, or fried plantain fritters. For something more traditional, try appetizers like papas rellenas (fried stuffed potatoes), Dominican sausage and cassava turnovers. And carnivores, take note: BBQ-style ribs, stewed pork chops and breaded steak dominate the main section of the menu.
3094 Washington St., Roxbury, 617-942-7599, laparadadominicankitchen.com.
Mangu Dominican Bistro
Four years after opening in Forest Hills, Mangu has established itself as go-to for great Dominican cuisine in Boston. The restaurant is named after the most common dish in a traditional Dominican breakfast, mashed plantains—so naturally, it’s a standout when served alongside fried white cheese, Dominican salami, and fried eggs, all the fixings needed for the most important meal of the day. By lunchtime, though, you might be craving the MDB Club Sandwich, stuffed with shredded chicken breast, pork shoulder, ham and other toppings, all served with a massive stack of French fries.
264 Hyde Park Ave., Boston, 617-522-2455.
Merengue is part of a family of restaurants focused on different Caribbean cuisines: For instance, its South End siblings Vejigantes and Doña Habana look to Puerto Rican and Cuban dining, respectively. Over in Roxbury, meanwhile, Merengue offers a brightly colored interior and a menu filled with everything from fried sweet plantains to fried whole red snapper; beef and pork burgers with mofongo (or mashed plantains); and lobster and shrimp gumbo. Between the good vibes and great food, Merengue will leave you dancing out the door.
160 Blue Hill Ave., Roxbury, 617-445 5403, merenguerestaurant.com.
For Dominican empanadas and sandwiches washed down with a whole slew of smoothies, look no further than Pikalo. Sure, you could go straight to the super-popular chicken and cheese empanada, but don’t miss spins like the cheese pizza and “seafood fiesta” empanadas. (Sandwiches like the pork chimi and three-cheese melt are worth your attention, too.) Whether you wind up at Pikalo’s East Boston or Jamaica Plain location, top your meal off with one of Pikala’s signature smoothies, which range from traditional strawberry to papaya and passionfruit flavors.
386 Chelsea St., East Boston and 378 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 857-256-2673, pikalo-empanadas.com.
Never failing to deliver on what its name promises, 100×100 Delicias more than holds its own against other Dominican restaurants in Boston. The Roslindale spot’s stellar plates run the gamut, from lobster and shrimp gumbo to mashed plantains stuffed with lobster and oxtail stew. (You’ll find excellent mango shakes and fried chicken, too.) Over in Jamaica Plain, meanwhile, try sister restaurant 100% Delicias Express: It’s a smaller space, but offers just as many (entirely different) options. The big draw here is the empanadas, offered in five different varieties—including one filled with Nutella.
100×100 Delicias, 635 Hyde Park Ave., Roslindale, 617-477-4546; 100% Delicias Express, 660A Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 857-273-4962, 100x100delicias.com.