Here’s 20 Bucks: Spend It At Paraiso Cocina Dominicana, Montclair’s Delicious Dominican

Paraiso Cocina Dominicana is a tiny, hidden gem serving tasty Dominican cuisine on the corner of Dey and William Street in Montclair, off Valley Road.

Open the door and you are greeted with the aroma of cooking meats and vegetables mixing into one deliciously harmonious scent.

There are just three tables inside, so the restaurant is good for a quick lunch or take out. If you stay and dine in, you’ll be treated to upbeat music playing with the restaurant owner singing along. His name is Johan, and you can tell he loves what he does because it shows in the food he serves.

Top: Meatballs over white rice with cabbage and platanos (plantains).Bottom: Chicken stew/ sausages over vegetable rice with cabbage and platanos.

Paraiso Cocina Dominicana caters to Montclair High School students and has a $6 student special which includes a hefty plateful of food and a soda. Johan offers stew chicken, roast pork and empanadas every day, as well as daily specials, such as beef stew, steak and onions, oxtail and BBQ ribs.

Expect a healthy portion of rice (white, vegetable, or black bean), then add vegetables (such as yuca or cabbage), and whatever meat you want. The steak was tender and pairs with the sauce perfectly. Although there was an abundance of rice, it was surprisingly flavorful. One drink you can try is “Inca Kola”, which has a bubblegum like flavor.

Many students go out for lunch during school, swapping chicken tenders and fries for authentic Dominican food that is less than a 10 minute walk from Montclair High School. Check out Paraiso Cocina Dominicana and you’ll know why.

(Top): Black beans with rice, chicken, potatoes and cabbage; (Left): Black beans with rice, yuca, and steak and onions. (Bottom): Black beans with rice, steak, cabbage and onions.


  • You must sample the $6 student special! Comes with a plate of food and a soda!
  • With three tables, it is perfect for you and a couple friends to get a quick bite or takeout.
  • Lots of music and lots of high school kids if you go during lunch.

Paraiso Cocina Dominicana, 25 William Street, Montclair, (973) 707-2528.

Georgia Chen is a sophomore at Montclair High School. Here’s 20 Bucks explores affordable and adventurous eats around town for students.

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