We're here to tell you all about the best empanada stand in Puerto Plata that needs to be on your agenda while you're living in the Caribbean.
There are a lot of hidden gems around the DR that you're sure to find, but these delicious empanadas are really close to the home to Puerto Plata which is someplace you'll probably find yourself visiting if you're spending time in the Dominican Republic. The coastline is a fringe of gorgeous beaches and resorts but tucked away in the local neighborhoods is a surprise our volunteers have totally fallen in love with.
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You really have to make sure that these empanadas are one of the first things you try when you arrive in. Here's a bit more about the city of Puerto Plata complete with a few more of our favorite activities, but this post is all about the empanadas.
Finding The Stand
The empanadas are located in a tiny yellow stand ... and yep, that's pretty much how addresses work around here. Since we don't have an address, we'll give you walking directions: The stand is on the way to Costambar Beach. It will be on the right side of the road right before you turn right to go up the main road to the Costambar Gate. If you'll be volunteering in the DR, these directions make a little more sense as you get to know sections of the island.
A Few Tips For You
The best time to go get the empanadas is 8:00 AM. There is a surge of people getting them as the kids come in to go to school, so getting there AFTER the kids start to come is key.
The empanada man normally makes a batch early in the morning and will sell those first. If you wait until after the surge of kids have come through and bought all of that first batch, he will be making a second batch ... that means super fresh, hot empanadas!
You want to make sure you at least go before 9:00-9:30 AM though because that is normally when he starts to run out of ingredients and you may not get the flavor you want (or any at all)!
How Much Do They Cost?
Each empanada is around 20 pesos (which is a little less than 50 cents USD). You can't really beat that.
These empanadas are about the size of an adult hand! If you're not really hungry, I'd suggest only getting one. But if you are very very hungry, feel free to order up two. I mean, they're only 50 cents each, right?
What Are The Flavors?
There are three flavors you can chose between: egg, cheese, and vegetable.
Most of the ILP volunteers go for either the egg or cheese (or maybe one of each). Not many are fond of the vegetable option, but give it a try -- you never know which will be your favorite.
Word of advice: order them without the sauce. The locals get them with mayo and ketchup on top, but our American volunteers typically prefer it without, so if you're not into mayo and ketchup, just order it dry.
Bring This Secret Ingredient
These empanadas are delicious, but are even more tasty with a bit of Sriracha sauce or hot sauce! Bring a bottle from home with you or try and find some at the local grocery store.
The empanada man is a wonderful guy and will always joke around with the volunteers -- he will always tell you that your empanadas will be ready in 100 minutes and then laugh at his own joke! We love supporting this guy, so make sure you look for him on your ILP semester!
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