If you’re heading to Punta Cana for your next vacation, I highly encourage you to get off the resort and explore the island a bit. One of the best ways to do this is by checking out the local cuisine. Yes, I know, your resort is all-inclusive… But trust me when I tell you there is better food out there. By the middle of the week, I’m sure you’ll be craving something other than the resort buffet anyway. So why not check out some of the best restaurants in Punta Cana.

There are a ton of amazing places to choose from! Whether you’re craving a big, juicy burger or a real Italian-style pizza, you’ll find something delicious just around the corner. How about trying some authentic Dominican food? Of course, you’ll be able to find that here! The options are endless for a great meal! Here are my top 7 favorite restaurants in Punta Cana.

La Bruja Chupadora

This restaurant is always at the top of my list when family and friends come to visit. They have an awesome atmosphere, good service, and even better food! Their menu is huge, but everything I’ve tried is amazing!

There are some unique items (like octopus salad or goat stew), but you can also order any of the classics, like nachos, burgers, steaks, or seafood. Extra hungry? Try the “maldito gordo burger”. I won’t give it away, but it’ll blow your mind.

If you’re open to spending a little extra on dinner, try the short ribs! They’re roasted for 96 hours and will melt in your mouth. They’re any foodie’s dream come true.

And you definitely have to order a cocktail or two from their signature menu. The drinks are incredible!

Citrus Restaurant

Citrus is one of the classic restaurants in Bavaro. It’s been around for years, and it’s one of the most popular restaurants in the area. It gets really busy so the service can be hit or miss, but the food is always good. There’s something for the whole family here. Sandwiches, salads, seafood, pasta, steak, and much more. Their menu is huge and everything tastes great.

If you want to try some Dominican sushi, head to Citrus on Monday for their 2×1 special. Otherwise, avoid Mondays at all costs because the place gets packed! 

Bella Napoli

Bella Napoli is the best pizza spot in town. Some may debate me on this… but they would be wrong. This pizza is soooo good! The owners are from Naples, Italy so they know good pizza! Now, if you’re hoping for Dominoes or Papa John’s style pizza, then this isn’t your spot. Here, we’re talking fresh ingredients, a stone oven, and thin-crust pizza. 

My recommendation:

Try the Napolitana Argentina. It has freshly-sliced tomatoes and full leaves of basil, topped with a garlic-infused olive oil. I swear I could eat this pizza every day! It’s that good.

I’ve heard they also have amazing homemade pasta, too, but I’m all about the pizza so I’ve never tried it. But you might as well give it a try if you’re only here for a short time! Eat your heart out.

Pranama

Pranama is an authentic Indian restaurant in Punta Cana. It’s simply delicious! Everything on the menu is great, and I recommend getting a few different dishes to share with the table. The tikka masala, chicken vindaloo, and mango rice are some of my favorites. Plus you have to order some naan! They also have a ton of vegetarian options so be sure to ask for those.

Oh, and you may be surprised to know that Pranama has some of the best mojitos in town! They have a bunch of unique flavors, but my go-to is the rose mojito. Although the hibiscus mojito comes in at a close second. 

Now I’ll be honest:

This restaurant is a little pricey for Indian food and the portion sizes they serve, but it’s so worth it! It’s the only place to get Indian food in Punta Cana, and honestly, your taste buds will thank you.

Jellyfish Restaurant

Jellyfish is one of the best beach restaurants in Punta Cana. It’s located right on the shores of Bavaro Beach so you’ll enjoy a gorgeous view of the ocean while you savor your meal. The easiest way to get there is by walking on the beach from your resort – it’s right between Melia Caribe and Lopesan Costa Bavaro.

It’s a little on the pricier side as all prices are in US Dollars, but it’s definitely worth it!

They have the best lobster in Punta Cana! It’s smooth and creamy and melts in your mouth. If you go with a group, order the seafood platter. It’s meant to be shared, and you’ll get to try a little bit of everything. Fish, shrimp, squid, lobster, conch. You’ll have the entire sea on your plate. And it’s delicious!

 If this is your wedding venue, don’t be shy! Feel free to come any time to enjoy a meal here. The team is awesome, and the restaurant is beautiful so it’s definitely worth more than one trip.

Noah Restaurant & Lounge

If you’re looking for a spot for brunch in Punta Cana, then Noah is the place to be. They have a cute patio with a really welcoming environment, and the breakfast menu is delicious! Try the eggs benedict with salmon. A classic for a reason.

Noah also has an amazing menu for lunch and dinner. If you want something fresh, try the passionfruit salad. The ceviche is good too. If you’re looking for something a little heartier, they have amazing pastas and risottos. But you can never go wrong with seafood or a good steak.

They have the same owners as La Bruja Chupadora, and these guys really know what they’re doing! Everything on the menu is delicious!

Macao Beach Restaurants 

We’re going to flip the coin here and take you somewhere completely different. Forget about dressing up and going out to eat. Jump into your swimsuit and let’s head to the beach. 

When you want a traditional Dominican meal, you’re going to want to head to Macao Beach. There’s only one resort on this beach (Dreams Macao Beach) so you’ll have to take a taxi to get here, but it’s definitely worth the trip. Most resorts are only about 20 minutes away. 

I’d recommend planning a day trip for your group so you can enjoy the beach before your meal. Hint: Macao Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Punta Cana! But this is for lunch only. You won’t want to go for dinner since everything closes around 6pm.

Now here’s the thing:

When you arrive at the beach, you’re not going to find any big, fancy restaurants. Actually, you might even feel a little lost. But just walk down towards the vendors and you’ll see a few different huts. You can also ask one of the beach vendors and they’ll guide the way. All of these little huts offer the same food, so pick whichever feels best. I tend to choose the ones who are friendly, but not too pushy. They don’t have printed menus, so here’s what you’ll do:

Order the fried fish. You can even pick out the exact fish you want – if you’re feeling bold. The price is based on the weight of the fish so choose carefully. You’ll tell them how many people it’s for, and they’ll prepare everything for you. It comes with rice and salad, and I recommend requesting avocado too. They’ll fry up the fish for you and serve it whole. It’s an experience for sure, and so tasty!

Closing Thoughts on Restaurants in Punta Cana

Are you getting hungry yet? I know I am! The next time you are on vacation in Punta Cana, be sure to get off the resort and to one of these amazing restaurants. You won’t be disappointed!

There really is so much to do and see on this beautiful island. Of course it’s great to relax at the resort, rest, and enjoy some downtime. We all know life has been pretty crazy for the past couple of years, so you deserve that! But I really encourage you to try some of the restaurants on this list.

If you’re feeling extra adventurous, try one of the Top Ten Activities for your Wedding Week.

I hope you have an amazing time in Punta Cana!