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Best Latin American Eats In The Twin Cities

June 15, 2011 6:30 AM

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From salsa and guacamole to pupusas and picanha, all the way to the decadent dessert flan: Where to find the best Latin American food in the Twin Cities.

Cocina Latina

(credit: Cocina Latina website)

Cocina Latina

3764 Nicollet Avenue
Minneapolis, MN

Directory Listing

You’ll have to give yourself at least 15 minutes to peruse the huge menu — this cozy restaurant’s offerings are diverse and plentiful. Their specialties are Colombian and Ecuadorian dishes, but Mexican delicacies are on the menu, as well. For meat lovers, we recommend the Latin Meat Platter — a plate full of grilled beef, pork, sausage and chicarron (crackling), served with plantains, but the tamales and tacos are also fresh and flavorful, definitely a must-try. If you want real “mom and pop” style home cooking, Cocina Latina delivers offering a warm atmosphere after a long, hectic day.

Brasa Rotisserie

(credit: Brasa Rotisserie website)

Brasa Rotisserie

777 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN

600 E. Henenpin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN
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Serving up a tasty combination of Latin American-style meats and American soul food, Brasa Rotisserie’s dishes are made from high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients. This is evident in the juicy, flavorful pork and delicious sides (we love the crispy yucca with mojo and rustic cheese grits). Meats get the spotlight in the menu, but vegetarians will be happy to know that Brasa’s vegetarian (and gluten-free) options get rave reviews as well — we recommend the vegetarian bean fritters. If you decide to go on a weekend, get there early as it does get crowded.

Samba Taste of Brazil

(credit: Samba Taste of Brazil Facebook page)

Samba Taste of Brazil

922 Main Street
Hopkins, MN

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Looking for a taste of Brazil (with a dash of Europe and Africa)? Then this gem in Hopkins is the place. Enjoy traditional dishes such as Feijoada (black bean stew with pork meat and sausages), Moqueca (seafood stew with onions, garlic, tomatoes and cilantro), and of course, Picanha (grilled top sirloin). For the less adventurous, there are dishes such as pasta and baked salmon. Remember to leave room for dessert and try some of their cakes, especially the luscious coconut and pineapple cake. And if you want to take the taste of Brazil home, the restaurant also features a grocery store selling authentic Brazilian food items.

ALM Corner Cafe

(credit: ALM Corner Cafe Facebook page)

ALM Corner Café

3301 Central Avenue NE
Minneapolis, MN

ALM Corner Café On Facebook

This quaint, newly-opened restaurant offers specialties from Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Mexico and possibly, one of the best cups of coffee in the Twin Cities. If you’re craving cachapas (Venezuelan corn pancakes stuffed with “De Mano” cheese) and arepas, they have it. With a good variety of tasty sandwiches (including a delicious Cuban sandwich), pastries and coffee drinks, ALM Corner Café is a good option for breakfast or brunch in the neighborhood.

El Centro Pupuseria

(credit: El Centro Pupuseria website)

El Centro Pupuseria

1532 E. Lake St.
Minneapolis, MN

The El Salvadorean pupusa — a fresh hot pocket made of handmade corn tortilla stuffed with cheese, cooked pork meat or beans — may just be the perfect snack. And El Centro Pupuseria may just be the perfect place in the Twin Cities to enjoy one (or two, or three). You can have your fill for less than $3 each, so try a variety of them — queso, chicharron con queso (pork with cheese), frijol con queso (beans with cheese) or our favorite, the revuelta (a mix of cheese, pork and beans).
Want more Latin American eats in the Twin Cities? Also check out: Mercado Central (Minneapolis),  La Colonia Restaurant (Minneapolis), Los Andes Restaurant (Minneapolis), Manana Restaurant y Pupuseria (St. Paul), El Burrito Mercado (St. Paul)

What are your favorite Latin American restaurants in the Twin Cities? Let us know in the comments section below.

View Comments
  • Josie Malone

    Yummy! Also a good place: Los Andes, in uptown. Cute, small family place with enough choices for everyone. Even my picky little eaters found a few things they loved!

  • Marilia Feliciano

    Visited Minneapolis for Memorial Day weekend and bumped into ALM Cafe. Not your conventional coffee place, for sure! Scrumptious sandwiches and salads, and a coffee that leaves Starbucks wondering why I don’t go there any more. And a lemonade (called papelon or panela) that is exactly what I craved under the hot weather of the weekend. Very clean, awesome food at reasonable prices (including international specialties), great atmosphere, attentive and down to earth staff, and just a few minutes from downtown. For sure in my list for my next visit!

  • Kelsey Geyer

    You forgot El Loro! Fantastic food, yummy drinks, and amazing low prices!

  • Emily

    Madly in love with Homi at the corner of University & Victoria in St. Paul! Wonderful place and lovely owners!

    • Brittany

      Sounds delish. Thanks for the tip Emiy!

  • Me

    *sigh* There is a big difference between Sonoran food and Colombian or Puerto Rican food. You can’t just lump all foods together because they come from a country that speaks Spanish. Sonoran is what we eat in the US. It’s from the area of the country that used to be Mexico. Puerto Rican is very tropical and hey, it’s the US, too. Colombia is a whole ‘nother continent! It’s like putting all the German and Swedish places together just because they’re both European.

  • Jaylynn

    I wanted to spend a mnuite to thank you for this.

    • Me

      Thanks for reading my soapbox rant. I grew up in Arizona. Seeing a brown person was the norm. I move here and it’s like no can figure the reason there are Taco Bells around.

  • Irish in EP

    Latin America? Mexico and Puerto Rico are not part of Latin America. In fact, Puerto Rico is part of the US.

    • me

      Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages (those derived from Latin such as Spanish, Portuguese and variably French) are primarily spoken.
      America (the whole continent) is subdivided into several subregions based on geography, politics, demographics and culture; North America, South America, Central America, The Caribbean, Latin America, Anglo America, Hispanic America, Portuguese America, Southern Cone, Andean states, among others.
      In fact, Puerto Rico is a latin american country, unincorporated territory of the US, located in the caribbean (based on geography), and part of hispanic america as well.
      Mexico is a latin american country, located in North America, and part of Hispanic America.

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