Tag Archives: street food


Quesero / Cheese Vendor

The Quesero street vendor walks the streets with a covered plate on his shoulder filled with a wonderful tasting white cheese. He sells a very popular cheese called Queso de Hoja. This popular cheese is a white string type cheese similar to mozzarella but a little stringier. It has a slightly stronger taste that leaves a squeaky feel in the mouth.

Quesero selling his cheese and he even has some salami on his tray.
Quesero selling his cheese and he even has some salami on his tray.

The cheese vendor can be seen carrying a large platter. He has a plastic grocery bag hanging off his arm that is filled with bags and large crackers to accompany the cheese. The Queseros plate is usually covered with a piece of clear plastic underneath the wedges of this wonderful flavorful white cheese are impaled with little wooden toothpicks.

Queso en Hoja
Queso en Hoja

The Quesero will give you a wedge of cheese and a round cracker to go along with the cheese. The price is usually around $35 pesos (as of 1/19)


Cocoero/ Coconut Street Vendor

El Cocoero street vendor can be spotted pushing a cart laden with coconuts (called coco here). At times this vendor will have a permanent spot and will not move his cart.

Cocoero selling coconut water in the streets of Colonial Zone
Cocoero selling coconut water in the streets of Colonial Zone

Coconut water is very fulfilling on a hot day and will give you a little energy boost.

Purchasing one of these green fresh coconuts can be tasty as well as entertaining and a little bit frightening. The vendor will grab the nut of choice firmly in his hand. He then will pull out a very sharp machete. Swinging the blade with great precision he commences to cutting off the top of the coconut by making slices in an angle around the top leaving a little point. One swift swipe across the top makes a small opening making the sweet water accessible. This water is called coco de auga.

Cocoero selling coco de auga ready to cut with his machete
Cocoero selling coco de auga


the sweet liquid can be one directly from the coco, which can be messy, or you can use a straw. You can also choose to have the man pour it into a foam glass. If you wish you can add ice (which will cost a little extra) and sugar to the liquid.

While you are enjoying your beverage the vendor may offer to cut the coco in half there is any meat inside. Out comes the machete again and with amazing skill he will chop the coconut in half. This will make accessing the white, semi-slimy meat inside easier. Eating the meat can be done directly from the shell using a piece of the shell that was cut away earlier or it can be placed in a cup.

The cost

is about $40 to $60 pesos, maybe a few pesos more if you want ice or sugar (as of 12/12).


Yaniquequero/ Johnny Cake and Empanada Vendor

El Yaniquequero (pronounced yon-e-kay-key-ero) and his helper usually have a permanent spot to sell these hot treats and does not walk around much. You will see these vendors selling Yaniqueques (Johnnycakes), Empanadas and/or Pastelitos on many street corners. They are usually located in front of places where people gather.

Yaniquequero rolling out the dough

The Johnny Cake vendor will have a little table where he rolls out the dough. Some only sell the dough which is the original Yaniqueque. Other vendors will have containers on the table holding assorted fillings for filling the little dough pockets. Some of the fillings could include eggs, ham, beef, shrimp, cheese, mixed vegetables or other special items. Beside the table is a pot filled with boiling oil where the dough will be dropped into for frying.

Yaniquequero cooking Empanadas con Huevos boiling in the pot.

Popular and tasty these fried dough pieces and little stuffed pie type morsels are a must try item for a snack on the go.

The prices

for the plain piece of dough Yaniqueque are usually around RD$5 pesos. The filled pockets prices may range from around $25 to $50 pesos and sometimes more depending on the filling (as of 11/2017).