One of our favorite Santo Domingo restaurants is Falafel in the Colonial Zone or “Zona Colonial”. We are always drawn back to this restaurant with thoughts of delicious falafel plates and the Classic Hummus, which is about the best we have tasted. We also love Falafel for it’s unique and inviting ambience.
Falafel is owned by Isaak, who also runs the Bio Bar acrosss the street on Calle Sanchez. Isaak has an unerring sense of aesthetics. His Falafel restaurant is housed mostly in the courtyard of a 16th century Spanish Colonial building that still retains a faded and elegant glamour. This courtyard area now holds about twenty tables on various mezzanine levels, nestled among plants and illuminated by subdued ambient lighting. The music is usually great, too. Interesting, but not too loud for conversations.
Once you get settled in and begin looking around, it is difficult to imagine a more relaxing and beautiful setting for a restaurant. Gorgeous architecture, cool open-air dining, nice lighting and good music. Great for couples, but also for larger groups, and as the night gets on you will see more and more university students too.
The food offerings are somewhat limited but always very good, with an emphasis on Mediterranean dishes like hummus, falafel and kebabs. They also have pescado/fish a la plancha, lamb sandwiches and dishes, chicken or Mediterranean flatbread, eggplant and satay rolls appetizers and specials. Prices are very reasonable. We recommend the Classic Humus to start with and perhaps a falafel sandwich or Mediterranean flatbread. The coffee is unusually good, too, and who can resist a brownie with ice cream for dessert?
If you are an art lover or just curious about one of the most controversial Dominican artists, take a look upstairs in the Goico Room. Carlos Goico was a homeless, mentally ill and incredibly gifted artist who spent many years painting on the streets of the Colonial Zone. That is, until Falafel’s owner Isaak gifted Goico his own studio/residence just across the street next to Bio Bar. The Goico Room at Falafel dispalys some amazing paintings by Goico. A must-see for art enthusiasts!
So, the next time you are looking for a great Santo Domingo restaurant, consider Falafel in the Colonial Zone. You won’t regret it!
Falafel is located on the corner of Calle Padre Bellini and Calle Sanchez in the Colonial Zone.
See more Goico paintings at Dominican Art.