"Puerto Ricans don't do spicy," said Rivera, "but you can add hot sauce if you want."

With one exception, appetizers at El New Yorican are fried and priced at $3 and under, making it easy to start with several and fill up fast. There are fried plantains, prepared as flattened chips or sliced, sweet, and glistening; the tamale-like pasteles; and cocoons of pastelillos, thin, bumpy pastry skins filled with steaming ground beef that I wished had a stronger presence of onion and garlic. Ditto for the alcappurria, in which the meat inhabits a long, fried fritter stick made with grated green bananas.

It is said that Puerto Ricans adore chicken, and this is evident in entrées of pollo frito and pollo guisado. The former is chicken fried without batter, generously rubbed with adobo, and lightly seasoned with onion, garlic, and salt. The latter is a stew thick with peppers, onions, and chicken meat still clinging to parts of the skeleton (Rivera says this is purposeful, done specifically for "bone suckers").

Cocina criolla, or Creole cooking, makes for tasty Puerto Rican dishes at El New Yorican.
Jackie Mercandetti
Cocina criolla, or Creole cooking, makes for tasty Puerto Rican dishes at El New Yorican.

Location Info


Puerto Rico Latin Grill

2714 W. Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85009

Category: Restaurant > Latin

Region: West Phoenix


El New Yorican
2714 West Thomas Road
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday

Mofongo camarones: $10.99
Pollo frito: $9.99
Pernil: $9.99
Plantanos maduros: $2

Skip the bistec encebollado (sautéed steak with onions) and opt instead for the aforementioned camarones en salsa criolla or the classic Puerto Rican pork roast called pernil, a value-size heap of tender, slow-roasted pork shoulder covered in onions (a Christmas tradition in the Rivera family, he says).

And don't miss out on the flavorful side of habichuela rojas (stewed red beans with chunks of potato and sofrito, the thick, herbed, and peppery vegetable sauce found in many of the dishes). Along with white rice or yellow rice with pigeon peas, it's a hearty meal in itself.

I asked Rivera, given his nomadic ways and penchant for experiencing the new and different, how long the Valley can expect to enjoy El New Yorican.

He laughs and says, "I'm not lettin' go. This is headquarters. This is home."

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My Voice Nation Help

We Love This Restaurant!

Delicious Traditional Puerto Rican food!

Very reasonable prices ranging from $2 - $11

My husband is from Puerto Rico and the food reminds him of his mom’s.

We Recommend:

Tostones al mojoPernil with yellow rice and red beansBistec EncebolladoMofongo con Camarones al Alajillo

El New Yorican2714 W. Thomas Rd, PhoenixHours: Tuesday – Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.602-314-4330


Loved it! Food is delicious! Will be going many times more & taking people there!


El New Yorican Rest is a own family business, great hospitality and is a beautiful feeling to see this family team working to provide and serve the most delicious, authentic Puerto Rican food. Just like went i was growing uo in new york. Mr Alberto Rivera aka Solo ihis present is always there to welcome everyone with a warm hand shake like the old times. He has been very support to the Puerto Rican Community and hispanic in general. Opening his business for fundraising events and cultural events too. The Grand opening July 4th 2011 was such a sucess and it was celebrate with music, singing and dancing of Bomba y plena. Congratulations Mr. Rivera and thank you for bringing a piece of our beautiful island ot Puerto Rico the the dessert valley of the sun Phoenix, Arizona where the Puerto Rican community is growing rapidly. and to educate a little Puerto Rico is a commomwealth a US colony Puerto Rican are American Citizen.

November 19 a huge celebration of Puerto Rico Discovery day let's go and visit El New Yorican Restaurant anc celebrate and embrace our discovery day con um buen plato de comida criolla Boricua!.