Is Cabarete a good warm destination for digital nomads?
What’s Cabarete like?
Cabarete is a town on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. Temperatures in the winter range from around 65 F at night to 85 F during the day. During the winter, or between November and March, there isn’t a ton of rain, it’s warm and breezy and really comfortable. The DR is a perfect destination for escaping winter when you live in the Northern Hemisphere.
Cabarete is home to lots of expats, which surprised us, but now we see why. Canadians, Germans and French people are the largest groups of expats here, and they tend to be either in the retired community or the younger remote worker type.
Why is Cabarete a fun place to be? There are lots of cafes and restaurants with yummy food, and the beach is always a quick walk away. In fact, Cabarete itself is a town focused around a single road that hugs the coastline, so any restaurant or cafe near this road will have a beach-front location or will be close.
One of the nice perks of Cabarete are the number of places with WiFi where you can spend a morning of afternoon doing work at a cafe. There are various cafes and restaurants that make good places to get work done, and the fact that the beach is usually your view makes these spots relaxing for remote workers.
Are you interested yet? You can take a week-long trip like we did, visiting a few locations on the North Coast and making Cabarete your base. Pick any of the locations below to stop by with your laptop, and you’ll be productive in your digital nomad trip or lifestyle, in no time.
You will notice that places in Cabarete don’t exactly have addresses when you look them up in Google Maps, or other handy location apps we use while traveling. Most places will have “Cabarete 57000” in Google Maps, and no street address. We mostly mapped everything and did not use addresses at all during our time in Cabarete.
Vagamundo is a cafe in Cabarete. This was our favorite spot for working, on a daily basis in Cabarete.
It’s famous for its waffles and has a great selection of excellently-brewed coffee to choose from. The cafe is open, breezy and bright. It’s a great place to escape the heat from the beach or start your day.
How is the food at Vagamundo?
We tried the avocado toast (before we knew about the waffle menu) and a smoothie bowl on our first day here. We met up with a friend here and got to try a small bite of the waffle. Everything that we tried here was great.
It was a slice of familiarity to what we can expect in NYC. We wouldn’t say that this is a local Dominican food experience, but it’s for sure unique. In USD, the avocado toast cost about $3.29 and the smoothie bowls are about $6. The waffles start at around $2.35. Keep in mind that there is 28% tax in the Dominican Republic on mostly everything, unless you’re paying in cash at a bodega or paying small change for a guagua ride.
How are the coffee drinks at Vagamundo?
We love a good cold brew coffee. In fact, every time we came to Vagamundo, we got cold brews. They were excellent. You can choose from cold brews, americanos, French press, pour overs, lattes, cappuccino and all of the other normal favorite specialty coffee drinks. They do have a few of their speciality drinks that we wish we tried.
How is Vagamundo for working remotely?
A big part of us traveling is being able to get work done. Whether or not we’re working a full-time day, or checking a few emails or writing articles, we like finding a place with good WiFi and a good environment. Vagamundo has all of that!
The WiFI is the best that we found on the north coast. We were getting download speeds of 43 Mbps and upload speeds around 10 Mbps. This is a great place to back up photos or take a video call.
There are plenty of large tables to work with some friends and there are smaller tables around the entire cafe. You can sit outside or inside depending on what your working style is. We found that the bugs were a little easier to deal with when we sat outside.
For charging your laptop, the power outlets are all inside around the walls. We started our day working outside and finished working inside to charge our laptops as needed.
Would we recommend Vagamundo to you?
Yes. Absolutely. We like cafes that don’t get too crowded and have a relaxing and inspiring vibe. There are plenty of places to spread out and relax, read a book, work on your laptop, enjoy a great cup of coffee, eat a waffle and more. If you’re in Cabarete or Sosua, come check out Vagamundo for a morning or afternoon.
Get the loyalty card if you think you’ll be going to Vagamundo a few times! They only stamp for buying drinks, but if you fill the card with 10 stamps, your 11th drink is on the house (we got the nitro brew).
Fresh Fresh Cafe
Like its name, Fresh Fresh is where expats, visitors and anyone else goes for healthy fresh food, which is an easy way to keep an eye on health while traveling. The cafe-restaurant, which is located in ‘central Cabarete,’ is open from 8 am to 10 pm daily, which means you can head there most of the time you’re awake.
This is one of the best vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options for health food lovers in Cabarete. There are wraps, smoothie bowls, some Middle-Eastern themed food choices, kombucha and other organic food products.
Fresh Fresh also sells goods that you can take home, like soaps and teas.
Most remote workers recommend Fresh Fresh because it’s open until 10 pm, unlike other places around that either close or turn into expat bar scenes. The cafe gets popular, especially in high season and around meal time, but you can find some space for yourself on the terraces.
The WiFi is typically alright, and there are several communal tables where digital nomads and people with laptops sit and get work done. You can also apparently have a meeting at Fresh Fresh if you like, because the ambiance is nice and full of plants and natural light.
Try the brownies.
Villa Taina Hotel
Villa Taina Hotel is located on Cabarete beach next to the Front Loop Café and Grill. Villa Taina is a nice hotel, and is better-known than others. It has a clean pool, a bar, and a patio that’ll separate you from the sand.
You can feel free to set up with a laptop here, and you can even use a laptop stand. No one will really bat an eye, as it’s usually not terribly crowded. For WiFi, you have to ask a server to bring you a code (they call it a ‘coupon’) to enter in the WiFi pop-up you’ll get on your screen. Don’t worry, though, because there’s no time limit.
While the WiFi might not be strong enough to take a video call or a meeting, it might be better if you sit closer to the interior. We chose to sit as close as possible to the beach because the weather was beautiful and looking at the waves roll in is a can’t-beat view from your office of the day.
If you come during breakfast time or until around 10:30 am, coffee is self-serve with the rest of the hotel buffet, and will cost about $1.80 (80 Pesos + tax). We could definitely see ourselves spending a bunch of the day here, having a meal and then staying for a drink, all while watching kite surfers and beach volleyball players.
Belgium Bakery is located near Banco Popular and is typically regarded as the best breakfast in all of Cabarete.
This bakery is a wonderful bakeshop with big portions for breakfast and lunch, rolls, breads, fruit salad and treats. Service is good, the food is tasty and… there’s WiFi!
Is this a good place to work? Yes — the WiFi is reportedly strong (when the town has power, which it did, the whole time we were in Cabarete!). You can typically get a whole lot done here, because the seats are comfy, the coffee is strong and there is Dominican breakfast all day.
Cabarete Coffee Company
Cabarete Coffee Company is located a bit toward Kite Beach, and it’ll be convenient for you if you’re staying in a time-share or residential property at the western end of Cabarete. This cafe has vegetarian and gluten-free options, juices, smoothies, macchiatos and what most regard as “the best Dominican coffee ever.”
This is a prime spot if you want to have a lot of space to yourself, because, given its location, not many visitors get out to this area of town. If you’re staying in the hotels at the commercial center of Cabarete, this coffee shop will be a short motoconcho (motorcycle) ride away.
Not too many people stay for hours on end to do work here, so you can have a bit of quiet. The coffee is organic and sustainably-grown, and the owners even operate in conjunction with a charity called Mariposa Foundation, which supports education of young girls.
The WiFi is strong, there’s air conditioning and friendly staff. What’s not to love? This place should be at the top of your list of where to work remotely at cafes in Cabarete.
Shhh though… this might be the hidden gem of the bunch.
Cabarete Coffee Company opens at 7 am and closes at 3 pm.
With a view of Cabarete Bay, Pala-Chinka has vegan and vegetarian crepe options, along with breakfast and homemade banana ice cream, for cooling off.
Pala-Chinka is located in a beachfront condo complex and has a 5/5 star rating (impressive) for its service, food and value. If you are into a beautiful view to go along with your work time, this is going to be it.
This cafe has a relaxed vibe, good WiFi and friendly servers who will remember you. It’s a friendly place for couples, travelers, families and digital nomads alike. For healthy and happy eating, along with space to work remotely, it seems like an obvious place to try out for a work day.
Velero Beach Resort Restaurant
Velero is located on the beach at the western end of the Cabarete main commercial strip and single road. If you’re already staying there, then lucky you! If you’re not, you can still hang out at their outdoor beachfront pool (beautiful) and restaurant.
There is WiFi throughout the whole property, so as long as you grab a seat at the restaurant and in the shade, you can enjoy working all day til dark. What better place is there to have a drink, be by a pool and work on your creative or business projects?
Velero is located conveniently near Janet’s Supermarket, so if the restaurant food isn’t tickling your fancy, you can grab supermarket goodies before or after. Convenient!
Friends Cafe Cabarete
Another French cafe in town, Friends serves up French, international, vegan and vegetarian-friendly options for travelers and digital nomads. Croissants and the breakfast burrito come highly-recommended, as do the crepes, muffins, omelettes and detox juices.
WiFi is free, but note that the place is sometimes crowded and noisy. It’s not necessarily a digital nomad hot spot, but it’s a restaurant where you can set up with a laptop and no one will mind, especially if you stay long enough to have a cocktail later on.
The hours at Friends Cafe are 7 am to 5 pm. Friends is one of the highest-rated French restaurants in the entire country of the Dominican Republic.
There’s also a book-borrowing club here! So, if you’re traveling for a while and you’ve finished your reading book, swap it and start a new one!
Vitamin D Cafe (Agualina Hotel on Kite Beach)
Vitamin D Cafe is owned by Dare2Fly Cabarete Kiteboarding School, and it’s an impressive place, considering the constant carnivorism of the cuisine in the Dominican Republic.
Boasting vegan and gluten-free options for customers, they don’t cook foods with salt, sugar or any gluten at all. This establishment is 100% gluten-free, and we wish we had known about it sooner! It’s places like this that could put the DR on our list of gluten-free travel destinations.
Reviews commend Vitamin D Cafe for being so health-conscious and for its high-quality always-fresh ingredients in everything that comes out of the kitchen. But, let’s get to if this is a good place to do work!
The answer is yes, Vitamin D Cafe is a great and lesser-known option for digital nomads and remote workers in Cabarete. Located right on the beach, there are great views of kite surfers, paddle-boarders and other water sports fanatics having a great time in the sea.
Does it have the actual fastest WiFi in all of Cabarete’s laptop-friendly cafes and restaurants? You’ll have to see for yourself (but reviews point toward maybe yes).
Vitamin D Cafe’s hours are 8am - 3pm.
Janet’s Cafe, in Janet’s Supermarket
Janet’s Cafe is not necessarily ‘digital nomad work vibes,’ as it’s located up a staircase in a large supermarket (Janet’s Supermarket), but it does provide function.
It’s true that this cafe is not really on the digital nomad trail, because it’s not brightly-lit or Instagrammable… at all, but in any case, you can buy groceries and eat them here, or take them home.
The menu consists of the Dominican usuals — meat, rice, beans, fried plantains and some strong espresso.
The bright side of working with a laptop on the WiFi at Janet’s Cafe is that there are not many distractions. In fact, when we went up, there wasn’t really anyone there at all. The WiFi is good enough for no one to really complain about it, and it’s free.
Other places for working remotely in Cabarete
Ali’s Surf Camp
Ali’s Surf Camp is best known as a budget backpacker accommodation and highly-rated steak restaurant. While there is WiFi here, it’s not particularly noteworthy, but it does exist.
If you show up for the restaurant, enter the property through the (unlocked) gate, and turn right toward the covered restaurant and river boardwalk dock area (it’s pretty). While we probably wouldn’t recommend spending hours here, it is an OK place to check your emails or take some calls while waiting for your food to come.
Order the churrasco, the muslo de pollo (grilled chicken) or a cocktail.
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