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20 Delicious Hidden NY Latino Food Gems You Need to Try

New York City is known for its vibrant culture — after all, it’s the city that never sleeps. The night life, Broadway shows, museums, but the best part about visiting New York? The food! Specifically, the Latin food gems.

Not only are these restaurants serving up delicious plates of the most incredible Latino dishes, but they’re also bettering their neighborhoods and giving back. Which is something the world totally needs right now.

Here are 7 mouth-watering NY spots totally serving up pure goodness.

1. Hecho En Dumbo

Latin food gems

CREDIT: Yelp / Allison Y

What started out as a pop-up Mexican joint in Dumbo, Brooklyn has now flourished into a full restaurant, thanks to Chef Danny Mena. This place will satisfy all of your small-plate cravings, from Gorditas de Chicharron Prensado to Salbutes de Pollo, there is something for everyone.

2. Because they feature delicious foods.

CREDIT: mitu / Youtube.com

Along with several other New York restaurants, Hecho En Dumbo donated food that went to about 500 soup kitchens and community food programs in the five NYC boroughs.

3.The best part about this eclectic Mexican restaurant?

CREDIT: mitu / Youtube.com

City Harvest helps to feed the almost 1.4 million New York residents that face starvation every single year. 

4. The fact that it was part of City Harvest’s food rescue donation.

CREDIT: mitu / Youtube.com

It’s pretty amazing to see a business journey  from a mere pop up dream of Mexican cuisine to helping feed people in need.

5. Oaxaca Taqueria

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CREDIT: Oaxaca Taqueria / Instagram

Talk about a restaurant that encourages community with its patrons – Oaxaca Taqueria has several locations in New York that are absolutely dedicated to spreading the goodness, by bringing New Yorkers authentic food with the flavors and culture of Oaxaca.

6. What’s unique about this restaurant is that they are dedicated to cultivating a community.

CREDIT: deliverydotcom / Instagram

Which is why they have an entire merchandise section on their website. Yup, you can totally rock a Oaxaca Taqueria T-shirt that reps a place which prides itself in being locally sourced.

7. So not only will you look fashionable…

CREDIT: deliverydotcom / Instagram

but you can feel good about eating food that is positive for our environment and earth.

8. FONDA

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CREDIT: FONDA / Instagram

Ask anyone about FONDA in New York and they’re sure to all say the same thing: GO!

9. Roberto Santibañez is the genius behind FONDA (located in Park Slope, East Village, and Chelsea)…

CREDIT: theyumdiaries / Instagram

And his dishes such as Taquitos San Andres, or the sublime Tostadas de Carne are worth visiting. The team at FONDA also does something incredible: they founded the Mexican Heirloom Corn Initiative, aka “Farm to Fonda.”

10. All of FONDA’s tortillas are made with 100% heirloom corn from family farms in Mexico, GMO-free, all natural, all organic.

CREDIT: feedyourbae / Instagram

The initiative is all about bring good to the hood, by supporting independent Mexican farmers, and also providing FONDA’s patrons with healthy, sustainable, delicious food.

11. Chavela’s

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CREDIT: Chavela’s / Instagram

Chavela’s is a staple to Brooklyn cuisine, and its founder is the definition of the American Dream. Arturo Leonar has an inspirational journey; he was born and raised in Mexico City and moved to New York when he was just a young man. 

12. He worked his way up and worked hard.

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In 2007, he and his wife, Desiree, opened up a tiny little restaurant and worked every single aspect of it. Just them hustling hard, no team, 

12. In 2011 he upgraded to a bigger space and Chavela’s began to take off.

CREDIT: cescaxo / Instagram

It’s a place that brings family and friends together, and for a moment you completely forget you’re in Brooklyn at all. That’s the beauty of Chavela’s – with its bright colors, exquisite menu, and excellent service, Leonar has created a place that feels like home to so many. Which is why Chavela’s totally brings the good to the Brooklyn hood – its positivity radiates out of its doors.

13. La Esquina NYC

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CREDIT: La Esquina / Instagram

It’s hard not to fall in love with La Esquina, the New York joint that takes Mexican Street food to a whole other level.

14. It’s a mysterious place, one with a secret underground restaurant…

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And a menu of vibrant tacos that makes anyone’s mouth water (bistec, tinga de pollo, and carnitas tacos, anyone?)

15. A cool aspect about La Esquina is that it offers live Latin music to it’s patrons, a huge proponent of bringing Mexican culture to NYC.

CREDIT: eatingaroundnyc / Instagram

Not only that, but they have an “art” section on their website…any restaurant that supports the arts is a place worth dining and giving your money to. They keep Mexican culture and history alive by submerging customers in a rich, authentic experience — which is an excellent way to educate the community.

16. El Atoradero Brooklyn

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Credit: El Atoradero Brooklyn / Instagram

A Latino restaurant owned and operated by a woman is so much inspo! Denisse Lina Chavez’s journey to becoming a restaurant owner is truly an inspiration, and she’s the mastermind behind this awesome place that started out as a street bodega. Chavez’s specialty is her blue-corn tortillas, shipping in a custom masa machine from Jalisco to nixtamilize them.

17. The menu is out of this world – boasting dishes like chorizo tacos and burritos, to enchiladas de mole poblano con queso.

CREDIT: infatuation_nyc / Instagram

The most impressive thing about this place? Chavez herself. She went from her street bodega, to El Atoradero, which went out of business. But she didn’t give up – she kept working, and then opened the flourishing El Atoradero Brooklyn. Every time you eat at this place, you’ll be reminded that hard work DOES pay off, to keep going, work hard, and to pursue what fulfills you.

18. The Black Ant NYC

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CREDIT: The Black Ant / Instagram

Who knew food that involved insects could be so delicious? That’s right – The Black Ant NYC, uses ants, chapulines, and numerous other insect ingredients to serve up tasty dishes.

19. There’s the enchilada de conejo, a braised rabbit and queso fresco specialty, as well as the croquetas de chapulin, whose main ingredient is grasshoppers.

CREDIT: eatingaroundnyc / Instagram

The masterminds behind it all? Jorge Guzman, who grew up in the Dominican Republic, and chef Mario Hernandez.

20. Their mission is to bring the history of Mexico and Quetzalcoatl to the modern Mexican cuisine of New York City.

CREDIT: wayfan / Instagram

Again, another place bringing history and education to residents – which only helps better the community in which it thrives.


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California Stopped Forcibly Sterilizing People Less Than 40 Years Ago And Now They Might Not Pass A Bill Offering Reparations

things that matter

California Stopped Forcibly Sterilizing People Less Than 40 Years Ago And Now They Might Not Pass A Bill Offering Reparations

Film Independent / YouTube

California lawmakers are working to pass a bill that could potentially change the lives of the remaining survivors of state-sponsored forced sterilization. The bill, Senate Bill 1190 Eugenics Sterilization Compensation Program, would entitle victims of the former sterilization program to monetary compensation for the forced sterilizations they experienced under a California law from 1909 to 1979.

After 40 years since the practice ended, victims of California’s forced sterilization program might get monetary compensation.

CREDIT: Sugree / Flickr

Senate Bill 1190 Eugenics Sterilization Compensation Program would be “implemented by the California Victim Compensation Board for the purpose of providing victim compensation to any survivor of state-sponsored sterilization conducted pursuant to eugenics laws that existed in the State of California between 1909 and 1979,” according to the bill.

California’s eugenics law allowed for medical professionals to prevent certain people from reproducing if they were believed to be undesirable. According to The Washington Post, the practice of eugenics in the U.S. began in Indiana state prisons and spread to 32 states. The programs began by targeting people with mental illness, disabilities, or anyone showing abnormal behavior. The practice then morphed to include people of certain races and ethnicities. The practice was often referred to as ‘better breeding.’

Doctors sterilized many of the women without their consent or knowledge.

CREDIT: Film Independent / YouTube

California targeted low-income, immigrant Latinx families that couldn’t speak English in order to manipulate them into signing forms to approve sterilization procedures. When pregnant women arrived at hospitals to give birth via C-Section, the mothers would wake up and find out their tubes had been cut without their consent. The mothers were left feeling ashamed, often hiding what had happened from their family members.

A group of Mexican-American women brought a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California (LAC + USC) Medical Center in 1975 because of the sterilizations.

CREDIT: Film Independent / YouTube

In 1975, Dolores Madrigal and her attorney, Antonia Hernandez, took the LAC + USC Medical Center to federal court after Madrigal found out she was forcibly sterilized by doctors. Unfortunately, Madrigal wasn’t the only person to experience forced sterilization. More than 20,000 others had similar stories. Unfortunately, the court ruled that the charges weren’t true and left the women with no justice for what they had endured.

The documentary No Más Bebés chronicles the lives of these women, the case and the women who continued to be be sterilized without consent.

The law changed four years later in 1979 under the leadership of Gov. Jerry Brown. Gov. Gray Davis formally apologized for the eugenics law that devastated thousands of Californians.

SB 1190 has been placed on a appropriations suspension. According to the California League of Cities, “suspense file is a holding placing for bills with significant fiscal impacts. Bills are generally held on the suspense file before each fiscal deadline so that each House can evaluate the total impacts to the state. Bills which are moved out of suspense then go to the floor while bills held in suspense die.”

California would join other states in rectifying previous eugenics practices if the bill is passed.

CREDIT: Allen Allen / Flickr

North Carolina and Virginia passed similar legislation in 2013, setting aside $10 million and $25,000 for sterilization victims, respectively.

On April 30, 2018 the California bill was placed on the Appropriations Suspense file, or in other words, “where bills go to die.” There may be little chance of it passing this legislative session.


READ: A New Documentary Tells the Story of Latinas Who Were Sterilized Without Knowing It

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