New York’s attractions are as multicultural as its inhabitants. From dance clubs to museums, cultural centers to restaurants, the local Latin American community has made its mark on Manhattan. Here, the Culture Trip profiles ten Latin American restaurants that you’ll just love.
Los Tacos No.1 brings the ‘authentic Mexican taco’ to your own backyard. Choosing flavor and freshness over frills, the pork, chicken, and grilled cactus tacos at this relaxed restaurant are some of the best in the city. Los Tacos’s homemade chips with guacamole, flavorful salsas, and creamy horchata just might earn the place its status as New York’s ‘No.1’ taco joint.
Authentic Peruvian cuisine comes to Park Slope courtesy of Surfish Bistro head chef and Lima native, Miguel Aguilar. With exciting tapas and ceviche options, including chicharron sliders, mahi mahi taquitos, and pineapple-ginger tuna, Surfish’s small plates steal the spotlight. Playful entrées like cinnamon-roasted pork, Japanese-style risotto, and skirt steak tacu-tacu are excellent options for diners who find that Surfish’s cuisine is just too good to share.
Providing East Village locals with Latin fusion cuisine for over a decade, Yuca Bar knows what New Yorkers like. Drawing inspiration from more than a dozen South American countries, Yuca Bar’s menu boasts only the best; Brazilian skirt steak skewers, Colombian coffee-rubbed ribs, and of course, plenty of yuca fritas, it will take you on a culinary tour of Latin America.
Café Habana’s celebrated Cuban-Mexican cuisine raises the bar for fusion fare. Popular menu items like the gooey, Mexican-style grilled corn, citrusy Cuban sandwich, and salsa-slathered fish tacos have catapulted Café Habana to foodie and Instagram fame. With locations in Nolita, Brooklyn, and beyond, it’s easier than ever to explore and enjoy the flavors of Latin fusion.
Nouveau-Latin restaurant Yerba Buena lends an upscale edge to your favorite South American foods. Chipotle-brisket tacos, coffee-glazed pork belly, and tuna ceviche with peanut butter aioli are just a sampling of the spot’s foodie-oriented offerings. The restaurant’s lively late-night scene pairs well with its creative cocktail list, featuring ingredients like sugarcane, golden berries, and organic egg whites.
Bringing Venezuelan home-cooking to a conveniently local zip code, Caracas specializes in South American staples with a New York attitude. The house specialty, arepa (or Latin sloppy Joe), comes stuffed with everything from smoky pork to sweet plantains, allowing you to satisfy any craving that comes your way. Cheesy tequeños, citrusy fried green plantains, and rice with black beans round out the spot’s menu of boarder-bending cuisine.
For healthy Latin fare that doesn’t skimp on flavor, look no further than Tabaré, a Williamsburg hot spot that caters to health-minded foodies. Using organic and locally sourced ingredients, this Uruguayan restaurant creates elevated comfort food dishes, such as grilled octopus casserole, grass-fed filet mignon sandwiches, and gruyère-fontina empanadas.
One of many Latin restaurants in New York’s El Barrio neighborhood, Café Ollin stands out for its super-sized portions of creative menu items. Spicy goat tortas, cow tongue nachos, and the fan-favorite cemitas are just a sampling of the menu’s mouthwatering-and eyebrow-raising options. Daunted diners can’t go wrong with a pick from the café’s menu of Mexican beverages and a side of freshly fried chips with guacamole.
Puerto Rican restaurant La Fonda has been serving and satisfying Spanish Harlem residents for over 25 years. Sample the spot’s traditional fare, including dishes like arroz con pollo, fried pork chops, and garlic-shrimp mofongo. We can say with confidence: La Fonda’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Catering to a loyal foodie following for over 20 years, New York’s famous ‘Arepa Lady’ has traded her curbside kitchen for a brick-and-mortar business in Queens. At Arepa Lady 2, the corn cake–slinging superstar continues to delight with Colombian chorizo, patacon pisao, and, of course, New York’s favorite arepa.