Hudson County residents don’t need to cross the Hudson River to find authentic, delicious Latin food when Union City is known for having some of the best Latin cuisine in the area. Whether craving Mexican, Cuban, Colombian, Dominican, or other Latin American food, Union City has it covered. We made a stop at one of Union City’s popular spots, Mi Islita, located at 520 39th Street. This restaurant serves up some seriously delicious and affordable Cuban and Puerto Rican food. With its brightly-colored lime green walls, instrument-filled space, and friendly wait staff, it’s certainly a fun + inviting atmosphere — not to mention it serves amazing food, like empanadas and maduros. Read on to learn about Mi Islita and its authentic Latin cuisine.
All About Mi Islita
Mi Islita, which translates to “My Little Island,” serves Cuban and Puerto Rican food. While the location has served as a Latin American restaurant for several years, it has recently switched management and taken on this new name. According to the manager, Alma, the restaurant has undergone a few different name changes and owners over the years.
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The restaurant greets its customers with a well-lit, friendly exterior, inviting customers inside for authentic, homemade meals. The staff welcomes customers in with a smile, and the brightly colored interior gives the restaurant a tangible energy.
Entering the restaurant, the walls are painted a bright green that immediately sets a positive vibe for the outing. The counter displays freshly-made soups and Latin dishes that can be ordered for dining in or taking out. The back dining area offers plentiful seating for those wishing to dine in. The decor highlights the restaurant’s culture — the walls are lined with popular Puerto Rican instruments such as a güiro and púa, a Cuatro, and maracas.
The menu is easy to read in both English and Spanish — dishes are described in both languages, making for a smooth ordering experience. The service was notably quick and the food was absolutely delicious.
Mi Islita serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so it’s a great place to stop by at any time of day. Breakfast is served all day, and smaller portions are available for lunch options. Plus, for all of the indecisive people out there (we get it),, this spot has combo meals for an easy mix-and-match selection of dishes. The children’s menu includes chicken wings and mozzarella sticks, so picky eaters will also be easily pleased — making this a great place to bring the whole family for a night out.
Some traditional dishes that are a must-try include: the mango juice, maduros — fried sweet plantains — chicken or beef empanadas, and the Baby Churrasco steak. The maduros are a showstopper and truly a must-have for the table to share. The steak is a small skirt steak, topped with onions, served with salsa verde, and it cuts — we kids you not — like butter. If you still have room for more, end the meal with tres leches cake or a dark chocolate layer cake. The best part is that after you’ve left happy and full, you’ll also be pleasantly surprised at the affordable check.
Mi Islita is a one-size-fits-all type of restaurant. The spot is great for anyone looking for authentic Latin cuisine, hoping to enjoy their meal in a pleasant environment, and not spend the next month’s rent on the bill. Next time that Latin cuisine craving hits, stop by Mi Islita in Union City — and do yourself a favor and don’t forget the maduros.
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Mi Islita is open every day from 11AM to 9PM except on Sundays when it’s closed.