Zoneo Fest 2019 – A street food festival in Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone

Dominican Republic, English, Foooooood, Journal

Following the worldwide trend of mobile gastronomic supply in the form of food trucks, there was a whole festival organized in Santo Domingo. I’m not sure, how many editions it had before. But I saw a few days before its promotion on Instagram from the Dominican magazine ‘Zoneo’, which was at the same time the organizer of the ‘Zoneo festival’. As a food lover, food blogger and food eater, it was a must for me to attend and check everything out. It all took place in the Colonial Zone, to be more exact in Fort Ozama. And I was surprised about this street food festival and the good food I had there. Please lean back and enjoy this article about Zoneo Fest 2019 and it’s tasty street food as I did during my consumption.

What is the Zoneo Fest?

Sometimes, humans are contradictory and inconsistent in their aspirations. On the one hand, they want to have everything cheap and always available. On the other hand, they are striving for exclusive moments and personalized experiences. The same holds true with food. One can always choose between the cheap solution and readymade fast food or high-priced food and tasty experiences in restaurants. I always like to pay a little more for good food, but can’t do that all the time.

Hence, I look for these good and tasty moments and special occasions, such as the Zoneo festival. This food truck and street food festival took place for two days on June 29 and June 30. Thanks to the geographic area at the Fort Ozama, there was enough space for a lot of activities for children, little artesian markets, a music stage and – of course – the food trucks. Especially children had a good time with all the games and activities.

A bouncer castle for the children
Many activities for children during the Zoneo festival

An entrance ticket cost 200 DOP and was valid for the whole day. You had the chance to leave the festival area and come back ‘for free’. Which was okay, because spending all day under the sun wasn’t a pleasure. I didn’t envy the food truck operators, who prepared all day the food while it was up to 95°F (35°C) hot. Not even considering their ovens, fireplaces and gas cookers they were using and made them suffer more…

Of course, I haven’t had the opportunity to try every food at the festival. It wasn’t a question of hunger, because I can eat like an elephant if I want. It’s more a question of the budget because good and qualitative food has its price. Thus, I had to select wisely what I should try. With some food trucks, it was an easy decision. Here you can find my tastings and why there were good or bad:


High tech doughnuts

One of the arguments for food trucks is to be able to observe its preparation. A little stand offered high tech donuts with a form of preparation I haven’t seen before:

Really amusing to see the whole linear process of preparing the doughnuts live and in color!

Not only the raw preparation of the doughnuts but also the gastronomic refinement was worth to see:
I never saw a more dedicated and lovely preparation of Doughnuts!

Venezuelan food: Casita Venezolana

The Venezuelan kitchen is not unknown to me, but I had until now only a very few opportunities to try its food. I don’t know a lot of Venezuelan food – But would be very happy if someone introduces and invites me one day to have a deep conversation about their food. Even better than talking about their food would be to cook and try it together!

The only thing I tried before this festival was Arepas. I am not 100% sure if it is an original Colombian or Venezuelan dish, but I associate it with Venezuela. All Colombians should be indulgent with me if I don’t concede Arepas to be Colombian food. If you would like to convince me of your national heritage, please prepare a Colombian version of Arepas for me.

I visited the food stand ‘Casita Venezolana’ and ordered – of course – Arepa with beef.

Casita Venezuela
‘Casita Venezolana’ offered food from Venezuela

A salute to all Venezuelans in the world!

Orgulloso Venezolano!
Greets to all the nice people I know from Venezuela!

Arepas consist of ground maize dough and my version was filled with ground beef and cheese. I forget to ask, which type of cheese it was. But it wasn’t molten and still had a solid consistency.

Arepa con carne de res y queso
This picture was captioned a few moments before biting in the Arepa

Still good, still tasty. If you tend to be hungry and looking for a real stomach filler. I would be happy to learn more about the Venezuelan kitchen. So far, I only know their fast/finger food but would love to try more!

Peruvian food: Peru Street Food

For me personally THE highlight of the festival from my perspective. Kids might prefer the bouncer castle, drinkers the rum bars. But as a foodie, you must love Peruvian food. I spend almost one and a half years of my life and had the joy to get to know the best kitchen in the world. You can find the previous articles in my database, but I would like to recommend one article in particular to all readers to read later. You might get an idea, why Peruvian food is the best food in the world.

I wrote several articles about Peruvian food, maybe my perception is a little biased and other food trucks didn’t have the same fair opportunities to convince my hungry stomach. However, Luis Pacheco runs this little food truck and can be found at the Malecon. He prepared ORIGINAL PERUVIAN Ceviche what I was missing since the last time I tried it in the street markets in Lima.

Luis invested not only a high dedication and effort to prepare good food, but he also uses original Peruvian ingredients. Well, except for the fish and lemon. But all the spices and sauces are 100% Peruvian quality. Check out how the make of Peruvian Ceviche.

A picture with Luis Pacheco from 'Peru Street Food'.
A picture with the Peruvian Chef Luis Pacheco from ‘Peru Street Food’ during the Zoneo Fest 2019. Dishes, ingredients, and decoration were 100% Peruvian!

He announced to have on Sunday as well Anticucho to offer. That was predominantly my main reason to come back to the festival. Where else do I have the chance in this Caribbean country to taste a cow’s heart? It might sound disturbing to a lot of people to eat a cow’s heart – But you don’t know what you miss if you reject this wonderful food.

🐮 💗

For me, number one of all!

🐮 💔

Anticucho es la carne del corazón de una vaca
The original Peruvian specialty ‘Anticucho’ (The heart of a cow – no joke)

Chinese/US (?) food – Omnifoodie

Omnifoodie food stand @Zoneo Fest 2019
A picture of the food stand from ‘Omnifoodie’

I am not quite sure, what type of food that was. In comparison to the ones before, their nationality wasn’t clear. I affiliate the dumplings (which I ordered) with the Asian kitchen, but all the other ingredients tend to be Chinese or US-American. I suspect them to be a Chinese/American food stand, although there people weren’t looking Chinese at all and it wasn’t 100% defined.

Anyway, I tried their dumblings:

In fact, I paid 250 DOP (which is $5.00) for four little dumplings. That’s the saddest food tourism trap I stepped into since I am here in the Dominican Republic. The taste was good and the sauce handmade but are 4 dumplings this really worth $5? That’s $1.25 each dumpling. Next time Dumb Phil should ask, how many dumpling units are included in that menu!

To finish the evening with a tasty drop, I ordered Oettinger Black Beer:

Oettinger beer served in a can
Original German Black Beer

All in all, it was a cool festival and quite good organized. I wish, to have had even more variety of food trucks, but it was okay. The only minor things I would have to criticize would be the following:

  • The official begin of the festival was at 12AM – But even at 3PM, some stands were still building up and thus, food wasn’t ready to have lunch there.
  • I didn’t see a possibility to pay entrance tickets for both days
  • More Dominican food and drinks, please! I saw many thrilling and fancy international varieties, but very little local specialties 🙂

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