New York is full of amazing restaurants and has a thriving Latino culture. As you can imagine it was no easy task compiling a list of must-eat Latin restaurants. In order to narrow it down, some guidelines were established. Each restaurant was nominated by a panel of locals. Restaurants were then evaluated based on authenticity, quality of food, and accessibility to anyone regardless of budget. After much labor, it is a pleasure to present this fantastic list. A beber y a tragar, que el mundo se va a acabar!
Flor De Mayo
484 Amsterdam Avenue (Upper West Side)
This somewhat divey favorite is one of the few remaining Chino-Latino restaurants in New York. The interesting brand of cuisine was birthed when Chinese that immigrated to countries like Peru and Cuba fled conditions in South America and came to New York. History aside, the restaurant's pollo à la brasa, a Peruvian rotisserie chicken, could go head to head with any Latino offering in the city. The savory, flavor-packed bird won't set you back too far either. Be sure to try a glass of the red sangria.
El Parador Café
325 East 34th St # 1 (Midtown East)
Originally opened in 1959, this sleeper of a Mexican restaurant serves some of the best contemporary Mexican to be found in New York. Diners can enjoy a variety of exceptional dishes including a braised shredded flank steak, mole pablano, paella or for the less adventurous quesadillas and enchiladas while sipping on El Parador's strong but tasty margaritas.
236 West 52nd St # 1 (Midtown)
Another oldie but goodie, Victor's Cafe has been serving Cuban food to New Yorkers since 1963. This theatre district favorite maintains an upbeat environment with live salsa music without falling into the trap of most of the area's restaurants which sacrifice food quality for atmosphere. Delicious offerings include lechon asado, ropa vieja, roast suckling pig in sour orange, olive oil, garlic and herbs, and florida red snapper. If you're drinking, you can't go wrong with their mojito.
Several locations, visit http://www.piopio.com
You may think it odd to include two restaurants which specialize in rotisserie chicken on one list. But Pio Pio presents their signature rotisserie birds in a unique and equally delicious way. Enthusiasts pack their several locations for crispy and moist chicken that's been marinated in a mixture of cumin, garlic, and Peruvaan beer that is served with an addictive spicy green sauce made from cilantro, lime and huacatay, an Andean mint. Don't forget to have a pisco cocktail.
400 East 57th Street (Midtown East)
This Puerto Rican eatery could almost be mistaken for a nightclub. When you first walk in you'll likely notice the trendy backlit bar and the pulse of hip-hop music before you spot the tables. Don't misunderstand though, Sofrito serves up authentic dishes that make just as much of a statement. Large portions of mofongo al pilon, whole fried red snapper with coconut rice, empanadas, and Cazuela de marisco, a delicious seafood stew, keep diners content even if they think it's too loud. If you're still perturbed by the volume, their pina coladas make it difficult for anyone to not have a good time.
About the Author
Matthew Falber is an actor and a licensed New York City tour guide. He started his career as a journalist and eventually found himself in publicity. He currently works for a company that gives Central Park tours in New York City.
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