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Puerto Rico is the smallest Caribbean island in the Greater Antilles, but its size has never limited the great things it offers the world.
This archipelago turned out to be the cradle of musicians, athletes and abuelas who perpetuate its culinary history with their delicious recipes.
With influences from Taino, Spanish, and African cuisine, Puerto Rican dishes are at the forefront of festivities and family gatherings on and off. The Island of Encanto.
Here we present you with a list of the best Puerto Rican restaurants in South Florida, those that have managed to cross the ocean without losing that Puerto Rican flavor.
In the heart of Little Havana is Mofongos Restaurant, a space that promises to transport you to Puerto Rico with its signature music and authentic dishes.
Upon arrival, diners are greeted by friendly staff dressed in jibaros, as the peasants who worked the land in the mountains of the island are called. The restaurant’s name alludes to the famous Puerto Rican dish of fried green plantains that are mashed with garlic butter, spices and served with your protein of choice. Served in a giant wooden pot, the available topping options are churrasco, prawns, chicken, lobster, octopus, fried meat, chicken pork or vegetables. Choose between creamy garlic sauce, Creole sauce or cream of mushroom sauce to bathe this delight.
Accompany the meal with a refreshing piña colada served in a large fresh pineapple. For dessert, choose between the flan of the day or the flan of the day. At the end, the bill comes with a shot of coquito, so you can transport yourself to the Christmas season on the island any time of the year.
1644 SW Eighth St., Miami; 786-542-1645 or https://www.facebook.com/mofongosrest
Sunday to Thursday: 11am-10pm; Friday and Saturday: 11am-11pm
The Kanbumbo Food Truck
This little food truck offers tasty food and the perfect outdoor space for the whole family.
We recommend the picada, a dish to share that includes a wide variety of typical Puerto Rican fried foods such as corn sorullitos, tostones, fried chicken, pork rinds, mofongo, among others. If you go there on a Saturday, you can’t leave without trying the alcapurria, a typical Puerto Rican fried dumpling made with plantain and yucca paste stuffed with beef or pork.
17100 SW 184th St., Miami; 305-747-3963 or https://www.instagram.com/elkanbumbofoodtruck
Monday to Wednesday: Closed; Thursday: 12 p.m.-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday: 12 p.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday: 2 p.m.-9 p.m.
El Bayu de Wela Sara
Inspired by his grandmother’s cooking, Chef Iram Ayala set out to bring authentic Puerto Rican flavor to South Florida.
One of the most popular orders is the cheese-filled mofongo croquetas with guava sauce. This reinterpretation of the traditional Puerto Rican dish captivated diners. Other delicacies include the signature Kan Kan pork chop, mofongo stuffed with lomo saltado, and bacon-wrapped chicken breast stuffed with mofongo.
1917 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood; 954-367-2706 or https://www.elbayudewelasara.com
Closed on Mondays; Tuesday to Thursday: 12pm-10pm; Friday and Saturday: 12 p.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday: 12 p.m.-10 p.m.
Bori’s Food Truck
This food truck is the perfect place to satisfy late-night cravings. It offers a wide range of empanadillas to choose from stuffed with pizza, pionono, lasagna, tripleta, cheese meat and cream cheese guava. Try their famous pastrami sandwich or the traditional tripleta which contains chicken, steak, ham, mayo-ketchup, cheese and potato sticks.
If you love seafood, try their Surf N’ Turf, a bed of fries topped with shrimp, steak, onion, peppers, lemon, bathed in a spicy cilantro and mayonnaise sauce. It also offers a variety of mofongos and tacos. Keep an eye on social media for inventory at Donas Aymat, a Puerto Rican sweet shop loved by everyone on the island.
3814 NW Second Avenue, Miami; 305-778-1111 or https://www.facebook.com/ELBORIFOODTRUCK
Monday and Tuesday: Closed.; Wednesday to Saturday: 5pm-midnight; Sunday: 3pm-11pm
This restaurant specializes in traditional homemade dishes. This is the perfect place to visit if you miss Abuela food.
Try the pigeon pea rice with pastels, pork loin and sweet plantains. White rice with cooked beans and fried meat promises to transport you to Puerto Rico. In addition to mofongo, they also serve trifongo, made from green plantain, yucca, and ripe plantain. This version has a smoother consistency and a sweet finish. For dessert, order a piece of Puerto Rican cake or bread pudding.
4820 N Dixie Highway, Oakland Park; 754-200-6151 or https://www.laempanadaloca.com
Closed on Mondays.; Wednesday to Saturday: 11am-8pm; Sunday: 11am-6pm
This story was originally published March 28, 2022 12:42 p.m.