Hispanic Heritage Month, which began as a way to promote the history, culture, and contributions of Hispanic-Americans, specifically those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America, is celebrated from September 15 through October 15.
Each year, Americans celebrate this month by appreciating the community’s history, heritage, and contributions, and one way in which they do this is by supporting all of NYC’s delicious Hispanic-owned restaurants. Here are 10 Hispanic-owned restaurants in NYC that are must-visits on any ordinary day, but especially during Hispanic Heritage Month.
1. BALVANERA, LES
Latin Chef and Owner Fernando Navas are the masterminds behind the Lower East Side’s BALVANERA, which serves guests delicious authentic Argentinian cuisine. As a Bueños Aires native, Chef Navas has become an expert in Latin cooking, and among the dishes are cauliflower and rice croquettes and empanadas.
Where: 152 Stanton St.
2. Chocobar Cortés, South Bronx
The Cortés family opened their first restaurant in Puerto Rico’s Old San Juan in 2013 with chocolate as their star ingredient, and in December 2021, they opened their first brick-and-mortar location in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx and have been giving NYers a taste of their chocolate-filled dishes ever since. Here you can dig into dishes you couldn’t even imagine, such as chocolate grilled cheese and ham croquettes with a dark chocolate dipping sauce.
Where: 141 Alexander Ave.
3. Aldama, South Williamsburg
Aldama pays homage to the diversity from Mexico to Brooklyn, serving delicious dishes cooked up by Chef Gerardo Alcaraz who spent his childhood in León, Guanajuato, and showcases a menu inspired by the street foods of Central Mexico. Each dish is elevated yet casual and paired with a cocktail program from owner Christopher Reyes. Here you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Mexico City.
Where: 91 S 6th St.
4. Ñaño Ecuadorian Kitchen, Hell’s Kitchen
For delicious authentic Ecuadorian food in New York City, Ñaño Ecuadorian Kitchen in Hell’s Kitchen is the place to go. From chicken stew and ceviche to empanadas and seafood dishes you seriously can’t go wrong regardless of what you order.
Where: 691 10th Ave.
5. Fresco’s Cantina, Astoria
Fresco’s Cantina is a Latinx-owned modern Mexican go-to spot in Astoria operated by Brian Martinez and Adrian Suero. Each dish on the menu is equally delicious, but their chicken tacos especially are a must-try. Plus, they often host a drag brunch which we suggest everyone checks out.
Where: 12-14 31st Ave.
6. Arepa Lady, Multiple Locations
Originally from Colombia, Arepa Lady owner Maria Piedad Cano began selling arepas out of a cart on Roosevelt Ave. many years ago before opening her first brick-and-mortar location in 2014. She now has two locations in Queens and one in Brooklyn, and people can’t get enough of her arepas.
Where: Jackson Heights – 77-17 37th Ave. / Brooklyn – 445 Gold St. / Astoria – 34-41 31 St.
7. Sofia’s Taqueria, Staten Island
Ignacio Garcia, who was born in Mexico, runs one of Staten Island’s most popular taquerías serving dishes like carnitas tacos, adobo pork burritos, and crispy chicken flautas. Pair your meal with a delicious cocktail, like a coconut mojito, and you’re good to go!
Where: 977 Bay St. / 4370 Amboy Rd. / Staten Island Mall Level 2
8. Puerto Viejo, Prospect Heights
This Dominican Bistro founded in 1986 serves delicious Dominican cuisine while transporting you to an old port in La Hispaniola, which today is known as the Dominican Republic. Their authenticity won’t be lost upon you and they’re a must-try spot.
Where: 564 Grand Ave.
9. Love, Nelly, Ocean Hill
Minority and women-owned business, owner Stephanie Gallardo, born in Queens to South American parents, shares her recipes which are playful, bright and stem from memories of eating at family friend’s bakeries in Jackson Heights and vacations to Cartagena. Savory lovers will find several different empanadas while the cake and cookie menu will make a sweet tooth’s mouth water.
Where: 53 Rockaway Ave.
10. La Morada, Mott Haven
La Morada is an award-winning Mexican restaurant known for their Oaxacan cuisine. Looking to preserve and share indigenous Mexican cuisine with their neighbors and friends, they serve flautas, gorditas, tacos, chilaquiles, and more
Where: 308 Willis Ave.