Must-Try Latin Restaurants in Hoboken + Jersey City

The beauty of Latin cuisine is that every country and island has its own way of cooking, its own signature dishes, and many of these countries and islands make dishes that are completely unique in their composition {and they’re pretty delicious, too}. If you’re in the mood for some comida Latino, we’ve got you covered.

The bulk of the restaurants on this list are what people would consider “hole-in-the-walls,” but those quaint, unexpecting gems are packing delicious, savory, and authentic cuisine that would be found in their native countries. One thing that all of these restaurants have in common is that they all serve their food in generous portions. It’s not about profit for them, it’s about providing meals to customers that they would provide for their own families — hearty, flavorful food that leaves you full and happy. Although the cooking techniques in the Latinx community are distinctive, the community as a whole is united through the common appreciation for comida deliciosa. Here are some local places to try ASAP.

latin restaurants hoboken jersey city

Hoboken

Baja Mexican Cuisine {104 14th Street} 

Cuisine style: Mexican

Recommended dish: The Jalapeño and onion rings with jalapeño sauce

This restaurant, located at 104 14th Street, has been the charbroil Tex-Mex destination for locals since 1987. This is the place to go for delicious Mexican grill combinations, top-notch margaritas, and blue agave tequilas.

Chango Kitchen {301 Willow Avenue}

Cuisine Style: Cuban

Recommended dish: Chuleta ahumada with white rice {smoked pork chops}

Chango recently added outdoor dining at this downtown eatery, and there are lunch specials served five days a week plus brunch on weekends. A major overhaul took place in this new spot, including a new kitchen, dining room, counters, and bathrooms. The vibe is now updated and modern, with an expanded menu and more specials.

Charritos {518 Washington Street} 

Cuisine style: Mexican

Recommended dish: Fresh guacamole made tableside, served with salsa

The menu at this beloved restaurant boasts authentic and vegan {yes, you read that right} Mexican cuisine with vegetarian items {and for those that contain dairy, that is clearly marked on the menu}. Owned by the Arias family, some of the popular dishes are the Enchiladas Verdes, a sweet corn chowder, and the Chilacayota.

Coco Loco {32 Newark Street} 

Cuisine Style: Cuban

Recommended dish: Chorizo Salteado {an artisanal Spanish sausage sauteed with onion, garlic, and white wine}

This cafe and lounge offers authentic Cuban and Latin fusion cuisine in a casual, inviting, and lively environment. Sip on a delicious oversized drink {like a classic mojito}, while showing off your salsa skills when the restaurant transitions into a dance space with a live DJ spinning classic Spanish tracks {pre-covid}.

East LA {508 Washington Street} 

Cuisine Style: Mexican

Recommended dish: Frozen margarita of any flavor

This is one of the OG Hoboken spots, best known for its margaritas {the frozen ones, in particular} that has a colorful selection of flavors to choose from {and to mix}. This spot has no-frills casual Mexican food like endless chips and salsa, lots of apps, and tacos.

Empanadas Cafe {123 Washington Street} 

Cuisine Style: Argentinian

Recommended dish: Sweet plantain and cheese empanada

Here, the empanadas are pre-baked, and then warmed up for a delicious dining experience upon ordering. There’s an empanada for every kind of craving, all of which is on display in a display case when you enter this local spot — you have your pick of the lot! A few flavors to consider are the spicy chicken, spinach, dulce de leche with bananas, pork, and fig. 

Read More: Dos Amigos: Delicious, No-Frills Food in West New York

La Casa {54 Newark Street} 

Cuisine Style: Latin fusion

Recommended dish: Sancocho {traditional broth with large pieces of meat, tubers, and vegetables}

The food here is made to order and the menu includes daily lunch specials, sandwiches, fresh salads, dessert, breakfast, and a kid’s menu. The menu reads, “el amor empieza por la cocina” which means “love starts in the kitchen,” and you can tell with every delicious bite.

La Isla {104 Washington Street +  25 12th Street} 

Cuisine Style: Cuban

Recommended dish: Pan Con Bistec {thin steak, lettuce, tomato, onions, and potato sticks}

This family-owned spot has been around for over 20 years and has a cult-like following in Hoboken and beyond. The restaurant serves traditional, authentic Cuban food made from the freshest, most genuine ingredients. Some of the most popular and beloved dishes include the ropa vieja and churrasco con chimichurri.

Orale Mexican Kitchen {1426 Willow Avenue, Hoboken + 341 Grove Street, Jersey City} 

Cuisine Style: Mexican

Recommended dish: Breakfast Nachos for the table {with crisp duck confit, salsa, cheddar, black beans, radish, crema and pico de gallo, + two fried eggs}

Orale’s unique, diverse menu and cocktails have been a draw to the restaurant since its inception. And, the ambiance is pretty cool too — the interior design is vibrant and eye-catching in both locations. The OG margarita is called Nuestra Casa, which translates to “our house,”  but the bar has a colorful array of different marg flavors and offerings.

Pico Taco {70 Hudson Street} 

Cuisine style: Mexican

Recommended dish: Chilaquiles {fried corn tortilla chips simmered in a brothy sauce}

With hand-crafted tacos and freshly-made tortillas, Pico Taco provides customers with the freshest ingredients and highest-quality meals. The Mexican eatery also offers sustainable packaging for to-go options, as well as a menu of $3.50 tacos and authentic Mexican beverages.

The Cuban {333 Washington Street} 

Cuisine style: Cuban

Recommended dish: El Clásico {roasted pork shank, rice, garlic orange mojo, yuca con mojo, sweet plantain, and pickled red onions}

Aside from apps, entrees, and dessert, this spot also offers Cuban brunch and family platters. This locale has an extensive menu that caters to everyone, as well as well-made drinks, and live Spanish music. 

Jersey City

Angel Azul Bakery {460 Central Avenue} 

Cuisine style: Colombian and Ecuadorian

Recommended dish: Ecuatoriano {green plantain patties stuffed with cheese, two eggs any style, and a roll}

This local spot is a staple in the Jersey City Heights, so much so that the morning line spans down the block with locals waiting to get their hands on the delicious coffee and treats. From Colombian coffee to authentic Latin American dishes and pastries, this bakery is unmatched.

See More: Cocina Candela: Authentic Puerto Rican Food in Montclair

Cupcakes By Jeannie 

Cuisine Style: Puerto Rican & American

Recommended dish: Tres leches cupcake

Cupcakes by Jeannie is a pastry truck that parks in Jersey City, mainly in the downtown area or McGinley Square. Owned by Jeannie Colon and operated alongside her sister Sonia Vasquez, the Jersey City BNR sisters create unique cakes, cupcakes, and other treats for personal and corporate celebrations as well as holidays. The truck carries cupcakes of all flavors, some of which include tres leches, dulce de leche, salted caramel, chocolate cookies and cream, and much more. To locate the truck, follow the sisters on Instagram, as they post where they are parked.

Casa Latina {112 Ocean Avenue} 

Cuisine style: Dominican

Recommended dish: Mondongo {Dominican-style tripe stew with beef tripe, onion, garlic, peppers, carrots, potatoes, tomato sauce, and cilantro}

Albeit a small space,  the food here is packed with flavor. The employees are very welcoming and willing to help with any suggestions or questions, and the restaurant also offers family-size dishes that are perfect for when you don’t want to cook at home. The meals here average at $8 per person and the portion sizes are generous. 

Dulce de Leche Bakery {376 Central Avenue}

Cuisine Style: Argentinian 

Recommended dish: Dulce de leche chantilly {chocolate cake with layers of dulce de
leche and whipped cream}

This gem is a modern Argentine bakery-cafe that has been thriving in the heart of Hudson County since 2007. Inside there is ample seating and chic ambiance where you can grab a quick bite or sit down and stay awhile. They offer custom cakes, freshly-baked sweets, and catering services.

El Gordo {291 Central Avenue} 

Cuisine Style: Peruvian

Recommended dish: Pollo a la brasa {Peruvian roasted chicken}

After 15 years in business, the Armero family is still serving authentic Peruvian food in Passaic, Union, and Jersey City. The menu is extensive, offering appetizers, traditional Peruvian dishes, soups, entrees, seafood, and side orders. 

El Pio Pio {449 Central Avenue} 

Cuisine style: Cuban

Recommended dish: Picadillo Criollo {ground beef in creole sauce}

This local gem serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and also offers weekday specials. The dishes are inexpensive, substantially sized, and come with two sides, some of which are rice, beans, and maduros. The restaurant even delivers to the opposite side of the city in the downtown area. The atmosphere is cozy, and there’s almost always a soccer game playing in the background.

El Pollo Supremo {254 Central Avenue} 

Cuisine Style: Mexican, Venezuelan, and Cuban

Recommended dish: Roasted chicken and maduros

This staple has been serving cities across the country for 30 years, four restaurants in Hudson County alone. The chicken is marinated overnight with the original top-secret Alvarez family recipe and is char-broiled to perfection in the grill. Aside from the house specialty, El Pollo Supremo offers freshly-prepared local favorites such as churrasco steaks, authentic rice and beans, yuca, tostones, light salads, kid-friendly options, and much more.

El Rinkoncito Peruano {501 Central Avenue} 

Cuisine Style: Peruvian

Recommended dish: Jalea {crispy mixed seafood served with fried cassava}

This restaurant boasts Peruvian cuisine with a large menu that consists of Peruvian chicken entrees, Peruvian seafood, Peruvian grilled dishes, salads, soups, and dessert. The combo options are great for when you’re in the mood for a full meal and a reasonable price.

El Sabor del Cafe {31 Martin Luther King Drive} 

Cuisine style: Puerto Rican, Mexican, and American

Recommended dish: Chicken nachos

The food and hospitality here are wonderful and the story behind it is unique. The restaurant owner Candido Ortiz was granted a clemency {a pardon} on a 49-year term by former President Obama in 2014. After years of experience as a chef in several prisons, Ortiz opened his own establishment and has been serving the community for the past four years.

Read More: 6 Delicious Colombian Restaurants on Bergenline Avenue

El Sabroso {414 Central Avenue} 

Cuisine style: Puerto Rican

Recommended dish: Mofongo {fried green plantains mashed together with garlic and crackling pork rinds, also known as chicharrón}

Patrons can enjoy authentic Puerto Rican and Caribbean food at inexpensive prices at this long-standing establishment. The restaurant is spacious and casual with friendly service, and although the place gets busy on weekends it’s worth the wait for the savory dishes.

El Rey del Sur {115 Bowers Street} 

Cuisine style: El Salvadoran and Honduran

Recommended dish: Pupusa mixta {corn tortilla stuffed with beans, cheese, and pork}

Pupusas {thick griddlecake or flatbread made with cornmeal or rice flour} are sacred in the El Salvadoran and Honduran cultures. They are a staple, and yet, not everyone can master them. However, this spot has done just that. This restaurant is known for its authentic, homemade pupusas that come in several flavors.

El Sazón De Las Américas {305 Grove Street} 

Cuisine style: Dominican

Recommended dish: Dominican arepa {cornmeal and coconut cake}

From breakfast to entrees, seafood, and fresh-pressed juices, there’s something for everyone here. The family combos include a whole or half of a rotisserie chicken, a large portion of rice, a medium serving of beans, green plantains, salad, and a 1-liter soda for $22.95. Desserts include Dominican cake, tres leches, bread pudding, and more — go on, indulge a little.

El Sol de Caribe {150 Sterling Avenue} 

Cuisine style: Dominican

Recommended dish: Oxtail with rice

This spacious restaurant allows patrons to sit back and enjoy a home-cooked meal, but if you’re in a hurry, fret not, the staff pumps the food out quickly here. From beef stew to empanadas, the kitchen makes all of the classics found on the island of the Dominican Republic. 

Gusto Latino {745 West Side Avenue} 

Cuisine style: Dominican

Recommended dish: Pernil {shredded pork} with rice

Serving up delicious Latin comfort food, Gusto Latino offers large portions for low prices. Every meat dish comes with two sides, some of which include rice, beans, maduros, tostones, yuca, mac and cheese, and more. Oh, and everything here is freshly made for some serious authenticity.

Hard Grove {284 1st Street}

Cuisine style: Cuban

Recommended dish: Cuban sandwich

The restaurant features a brunch, lunch, and dinner menu filled with many popular Cuban dishes as well as some classic delights that showcase the incredible work of owner Carmen Mendiola and chef Evelyn Padin.

Kikiriki {301 Central Avenue} 

Cuisine style: Peruvian

Recommended dish: Pork ribs with fried rice

This quaint restaurant nestled on the busiest street in Chilltown has a crowd most days, and that’s thanks to the food. The dishes are straightforward and simple, but sometimes that’s all you need, a no-frills, simply satisfying meal Pro tip, always ask for the green sauce, it’s made in-house and compliments every dish.

La Concha {384 Central Avenue}

Cuisine style: Dominican

Recommended dish: Beef stew

This longstanding, neighborhood favorite had been turning out savory Dominican cuisine for years. It’s best to visit earlier in the day, as a lot of the food they prepare the morning of, is sold out in the evening. The lunch specials are a great option to try a dish at a low cost.

Los Cuernos {499 Washington Boulevard}

Cuisine style: Mexican

Recommended dish: Enfrijoladas {warm tortillas covered in bean sauce + chorizo + creama + queso}

The vibrant interior here sets the scene at this local joint with vintage movie prints, iron chandeliers, and hand-painted walls that give off a California vibe. Everything is curated by the husband-and-wife team/owners. The large restaurant has three separate sections where patrons can enjoy a sit-down dinner, grab drinks at the bar, or host a private event in the upstairs loft equipped with a private bar.

Los Tres Chilitos {456 Central Avenue} 

Cuisine style: Mexican

Recommended dish: Chicken gorditas {shredded meat simmered in spicy tomato salsa}

This Mexican gem is one of the best-kept secrets in The Heights. This popular restaurant is known for Mexican comfort food, large portions, and low prices. Plus, the flavors here are authentic and will have you going back for more.

Mi Mariachi {213 Sip Avenue} 

Cuisine style: Mexican

Recommended dish: Tacos dorados {fried tacos}

Not only does this vibrant and colorful space serve up authentic Mexican cuisine, like tacos, chilaquiles, tamales, fajitas, huaraches, and tostadas, it also makes classic breakfast sandwiches and platters to satisfy any food craving any time of the day. 

Noches de Colombia {231-233 Central Avenue} 

Cuisine style: Colombian

Recommended dish: Pechuga empanizada {breaded chicken, rice, house salad, soup or bean}

A Colombian staple through and through, Noches de Colombia along with its other locations throughout NJ is a favorite among locals. The restaurant includes items from the bakery, salads, appetizers, sides, as well as chicken, beef, and seafood options.

O’LaLa Empanadas {600 Communipaw Avenue} 

Cuisine style: Latin fusion

Recommended dish: Aztec empanada {shrimp and chipotle sauce filling}

One word — empanadas. Family owned and operated since 2014, the here mission is to pay tribute to the world’s cultural infusion and flavors by sharing the family matriarch delicious, classic, and unique recipes. This gem brings over 20 delicious empanadas and Latin fusion dishes to the neighborhood. Many of the meals were inspired by Latin countries but also have Italian and Asian influence depending on the dish. 

Restaurante y Panaderia Guatemalteco {311 Pacific Avenue} 

Cuisine style: Guatemalan

Recommended dish: Mangonada {a spiced up slushie made with mangoes}

This spot doesn’t stop at hot and hearty meals, it also whips up beautiful cakes and pastries from its bakery. It’s a one-stop-shop for all of your party needs. The restaurant itself is spacious and bright with a large mural adding to the ambiance and a TV for entertainment. 

Rinconcito Copaneco {15 Jordan Avenue} 

Cuisine style: Honduran

Recommended dish: Carne asada {seasoned skirt steak}

The vibe here is lively, with bright orange walls and white touches. The menu is impressive, as it boasts several options for breakfast, entrees, soups, and sides like pupusas, soup, and baleadas {Honduran taco}. Needless to say, the options are endless and the meals are hearty.

Rumba Cubana {235 Pavonia Avenue}

Cuisine style: Cuban

Recommended dish: Tostones Rellenos {stuffed plantain chips}

Patrons come here for three reasons — the food, the vibe, and the friendly service. The Lopez family came to America from Cuba in 2000 with a dream of using their family recipes to serve the community and judging by the almost-nightly full-house, they have succeeded in bringing that dream to fruition.

See More: Latinx-Owned Businesses to Support in Hoboken + Jersey City

Sabor a Maiz {408 Central Avenue} 

Cuisine style: Venezuelan

Recommended dish: Cachapa {pancake-like cake made from fresh corn batter with some pieces of corn kernels}

This spot is serving up authentic Venezuelan meals and street snacks, perfect for when you’re on the go or looking to relax in a spacious, bright, and airy backyard space. From arepas, cachapas, pastelitos, and traditional desserts, this restaurant has the perfect finger-food option for any mood.

Sol Azeteca {328 Montgomery Street}

Cuisine style: Mexican

Recommended dish: Enchiladas

Sol Azteca originally started its journey at 239 Barrow Street, but then moved to Montgomery in 2017. From enchiladas to tacos to burritos and bowls, there’s something for everyone at this authentic Mexican spot.

Tacos Victoria {324 1/2 7th Street} 

Cuisine style: Mexican

Recommended dish: Chicken quesadilla

The vast Mexican food options here keep customers coming back for something new. Additionally, the owners have a food truck that is usually parked near Exchange Place and serves up fresh and flavorful lunch dishes to the business crowds.

Torico {20 Erie Street} 

Cuisine style: Puerto Rican

Recommended dish: Passion fruit sorbet

For 52 years, this Puerto Rican-owned ice cream shop has become a staple for tasty homemade ice cream in the area. The name Torico loosely translates in Spanish to a slang term for “todo rico” {meaning, “it’s all good”}. Inspired to create the same delicious flavors found on the island, Torico makes ice cream using tamarind, passion fruit, and coconut — all authentic, tropical flavors.

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Written by:

Victoria is a fourth-generation Hoboken native, BNR in the Mile Square, and Jersey City. Through playing softball in town for fourteen years, playing the trumpet for the Hoboken High School Redwings Band, and graduating from New Jersey City University, these two cities have a special place in her heart. When she isn’t Style Assisting or volunteering at Symposia Bookstore, Hoboken Fire Museum/Hoboken Historical Museum, she’s exploring everything the Concrete Jungle has to offer. You can catch her at art exhibitions, local festivities, traveling, diving into a new book, thrifting, or indulging in some form of arts and crafts.