Phoenix may be teeming with Mexican restaurants to try -- but don't stop there. Just like Chinese food isn't the only type of Asian food, Mexican isn't the only type of Latin food. There is overlap among regions, making the process a little smoother, and less confusing when it comes to ordering.
Here are five Latin American restaurants in metro Phoenix you should try.
Cuban Foods Bakery and Restaurant Potatoes and meat are staples in the Latin American's diet, so Cubans did right when they created papas rellenas. They are potato balls stuffed with hot, seasoned beef. Get your dose of them at Cuban Foods, and don't skip over their selection of Cuban sandwiches. And don't leave without trying some Cuban desserts from the pastry cases.
Puerto Rican Latin Bar and Grill This place is a little underrated in our opinion. The entire menu is full of authentic Puerto Rican food like mofongo, tostones, and pasteles (Puerto Rico's take on the tamale). Owner Wesley instantly makes you feel like you're eating in his home, constantly checking to make sure your food tastes good, and is happy to talk to you about any of the food on the menu. During Spring Training you can even catch some of the ball players eating meals from back home.
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El Chullo Peruvian Restaurant and Bar Peruvian food has always been delicious and distinct, but it's just now being appreciated. El Chullo is a great place to get your feet wet in the Peruvian cuisine. Ceviche is a pretty common dish (or dip), and El Chullo differs from what we're used to by using tilapia instead of all shrimp. If seafood isn't your favorite, arroz con pollo is a staple in Peruvian restaurants. El Chullo also has a vegetarian menu so no one is left out.
Guanaquito Restaurant The sign outside the restaurant is faded and worn down, making it look closed, but the parking lot in the back is always full, with people heading in to enjoy homemade pupusas. Pupusas are traditional and most well-known Salvadorian food that is made from a thick corn tortilla filled with some type of meat and cheese. Also on the menu is whole fried tilapia and plenty of plantains.
Mi Comida Restaurante Latino This restaurant may seem a little far, but the menu offerings make it worth the drive. Think of this place as a good starting point if you still need some help making your way from Mexican food to Latin. The menu is a mixture of Mexican, Ecuadorian and Colombian, Peruvian and Bolivian. Traditional Mexican and Ecuadorian tamales are on the menu, as well as arepas which come from Colombia and resemble the pupusa, without any meat. Different styles of empanadas, or turnovers, are offered from different regions, including Bolivia.