Looking For All-You-Can-Eat Buffets in Santo Domingo

We love to go to buffet restaurants once in a while to enjoy variety. In the Dominican Republic finding one was not easy. Most restaurants offer a buffet-like selection of dishes during the lunch time, but you choose what you want to eat and pay accordingly, while fixed price all-you-can-eat alternatives are missing. Fortunately, international hotels serve buffet breakfasts in all big cities in the world, and Santo Domingo was not an exception.

Buffets and vegan food are not part of the local culture

At first we limited our search to vegan options. We tried a Chinese-Caribbean restaurant offering a broccoli dish, but we soon discovered it also included chicken. After visiting a few more places it became clear that plant-based food is not part of the local culture. The Happy Cow directory of vegan restaurants directed us to Raices restaurant which is run by a church. It was vegan and affordable but not a buffet and not much variety: a small plate cost DOP $165 (US $3).

We did not give up our search but decided to proceed with non-vegan hotel buffets trusting that if we find one with large enough selection, there will be some vegan food as well. Lunch and dinner buffets were not available so we ended up checking breakfast buffets. They are served starting from 6-7am until 10-11am, and walk-in prices vary from US $10 to $27 per person including taxes.

Holiday Inn breakfast buffet

While there are plenty of international hotels around, Holiday Inn in downtown Santo domingo offered us the best choice regarding variety and price quality ratio. The Dominicans usually eat plantain or yuca with sausages and various kind of brown sauces for breakfast, but here the selection was more varied. Men chose omelettes, sausages, bacon and toast on their plates while women ate fruits, muffins and croissants.

We found the selection of cold and warm vegetables a welcome change. There were raw mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes and kale (which were meant for making a customised omelette, but we were allowed to take them raw) as well as cooked broccoli and carrot. The buffet also featured a small healthy corner that had salad-filled tortillas with green sauce. For vegans, there were various nuts and dried fruits.

The bread table was sumptious. There were different kinds of white, integral and brown bread available including bread rolls and baguette. The toaster was a bit tricky. It was a roll-in roll-out model where timing was of essence. When rolled in once, the bread got very lightly toasted but if rolled in twice, it nearly burned.

Fruit section was as great as can be expected in the Caribbean. The most common fruits here are pineapple, papaya, watermelon, cantaloupe, and bananas. Päivi loved Claudio's detox juice that was a blend of pineapple and mint, and of course coffee. The local pride, Santo Domingo blend, was served. It is the most loved and consumed coffee in the Dominican Republic that is usually made in an Italian style Moka, a stovetop espresso pot.

  • Walk-in rate: DOP $955 + 28% taxes (US $24)
  • Time: 6:00am - 10:00am
  • Address: Av. Abraham Lincoln 856, Santo Domingo 10148, Dominican Republic

We were happy to end the breakfast with a digestive walk. The air was cooler than usually and it drizzled a bit when we strolled leisurely back home. Not a bad way to start the day!

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