The 5: Gastor Almonte’s Top Five Dominican Foods (and where to get them in NYC)

On April 4th, Gastor Almonte will drop his debut comedy album “Immigrant Made” on 800 Pound Gorilla Records, followed by a video special version on Amazon April 12th. Gastor was raised in the East New York section of Brooklyn by his immigrant family and shares his experience in his signature easygoing, down-to-earth style, which has garnered him appearances on Comedy Central’s This is Not Happening, VICE Live, and PBS’s Stories from the Stage.

He also has a double album release show with Jess Salomon on April 7, go to eventbrite for tickets.

Order Immigrant Made today, and follow Gastor on Social Media. @gastoralmonte on Twitter,  @gastoralmonte on Instagram and visit  In celebration of the new album, Gastor gave us his own personal edition of “The 5” introducing you to the very best that Dominican food has to offer.

So many cultures are famous for the foods they’ve given to us. Dominican food is great and in my opinion, doesn’t get nearly the love that it deserves. You can go a full day and have incredible food from there that will cover all your hunger needs. Trust your boy!


#1 Tres Golpes. You gotta start the day off right! Dominican breakfast is no joke. “3 hits” is a filling meal, centered around smashed plantains covered in onions that we call Mangu. Mangu itself can make a filling meal but what really sets this plate off is the 3 sides: eggs, fried salami, and fried cheese. After you have this, you can skip lunch and work straight through to dinner time. Estrella Del Mar in Queens is my favorite for this. They run a nice lunchtime special on this that will put most fast food chains to shame.

#2 Morir Soñando. The name translates to “die dreaming” and it’s super fitting. Facts! It’s an almost dessert like beverage made with orange juice and condensed milk. It’s sold at most Dominican restaurants but my favorite is from El Gran Mar De Plata in the Cypress Hills section of Brooklyn. Had a rough day at work? Hope off the J train on the way home and pick one up. Get it spiked if it’s Friday ya heard!

#3 Chimichurri. When most people hear this, they think of an equally impressive green sauce from Argentina. But if you ask for this in a Dominican spot, they’ll give you our take on the burger. Well seasoned, thin beef patty served with a special ketchup/mayo/mustard sauce, cabbage and tomatoes on a roll, it’s a messy late night food that people stand in line at food trucks to order at 3am after leaving the clubs. You know your food truck is great when they have plastic chair on the sidewalk so people can wait patiently. My personal favorite is at Chimi Monumental in East New York. Late nights only though, as they don’t start business until 9pm.

#4 Asopao. This is my personal favorite. It’s Dominican soul food. At a glance it shares a lot of similar traits with American gumbo; it’s a thick stew made with rice and vegetables and usually chicken, beef and on occasion, shrimp. It’s a warm dish that I always crave after a long day, whenever I’m sick and need a pick-me-up and whenever I have a hangover. Nobody makes it like my mom, but for the rest of you, Zoralie in the city is awesome!

#5 Empanadas. Can’t forget to mention this street food staple. It’s the perfect food. It’s filling, it’s cheap, it’s tasty, and you can eat it with one hand! It’s also an easy thing for kids to order and enjoy at a restaurant while the adults try some more adventurous meals. Picking up one (or 3, let’s be real) of these at El Malecon is always dope. While you’re there, check the rest of the menu because it’s always fire, but the empanadas are good move when you’re not trying to wait long to eat and want more of a fast food experience. Holla!

Order Gasator Alamonte’s debut album, Immigrant Made, now.  Watch the trailer below.

Photo: Chad Griffith

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