Although most of us like to take our frozen refreshments in the form of piña coladas, and daiquiris while visiting tropical islands sometimes an ice cream will hit the spot. The Dominican Republic has a number of different ice cream brands to choose from including Haagen-Dazs, Baskin Robins and the local favorite Bon ice cream (Helados Bon). So which to choose? If you are looking for more restaurants in Santo Domingo check our Santo Domingo Restaurants page.
As far as taste goes there is little competition for Haagen-Dazs. We recently stopped by a store in Santiago and yes it is just as good as in the States but also just as expensive if not more. A dish with three scoops of ice cream some cookie garnish and some caramel topping went for about $10 USD. Excellent ice cream but probably not somewhere I would go regularly.
Haagen-Dazs is also only available in a couple of the largest cities Santo Domingo and Santiago. Santiago was not listed on their website, but yes there is a store there which means there could be other locations that are not listed and I have not found yet.
You find Baskin Robins ice cream in most of the malls in the larger cities. While it is good and a bit more affordably priced in my opinion it is not as good as the local favorite Bon Ice Cream.
Bon Ice Cream
Bon stores are in pretty much every reasonably sized town that I have been to in this country. They are pretty much everywhere. While the ice cream doesn’t quite match up to Haagen-Daz, it is still very good. I’ve found it to be better than most of the brands commonly found in grocery stores in the States. Price wise it is about half the price of Haagen-Dazs.
Over the last couple years we’ve visited many different Bons in the country. Usually they are very clean and well kept, often one of the nicer stores in town, especially the smaller towns. As with eating food in any location in the DR (outside the large resorts) it’s a good idea to watch a minute or so and see how they handle the food. Some places are cleaner than others.
My favorites: Among my (and my families) favorites is the Dulce de Leche (sweet milk), ron con pasas ( Rum Raisin), coco (coconut), and bizcocho (cake). They also have all the usual flavors of vanilla, strawberry, chocolate and usually 7-10 others. Like most ice cream stores you can ask for samples of one you want to try. It’s worth trying a few of the ones you’ve never had before you choose.
You can have any of the ice creams made into milk shakes (I like the Dulce De Leche) and they serve the ice cream in various sized cups or waffle cones (my favorite).
If you’re coming to the DR hunt down a Bon store for a taste of local Dominican Ice cream. You’ll be happy you did.