Updated: Sep 15
Beginning September 15, National Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of Hispanic identity and culture throughout the country. It was created in 1988 to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic Americans.
The celebration begins on the 15th---the anniversary of several Latin American countries' independence: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Additionally, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and 18, respectively.
Easily one of the country's premier Hispanic cultural enclaves, much of the vibrancy of South Florida can be owed to its international population. From Palm Beach to Miami, Hispanic representation throughout the region is strong and proud. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we asked our South Florida Agents which Hispanic-owned restaurants they love the most. Here are their recommendations.
Panizza Bistro (South Beach)
Located just a block away from the famed Lincoln Road, Panizza Bistro is a family-owned-and-operated restaurant and bakery founded by Karina Panizza of Argentina.
"She [Karina] has run the restaurant for over 20 years, and it is still as authentic and genuine as when it started." --- Pamela Diaz-de-Leon
A true menu standout are the restaurant's Argentinian-style empanadas. Also known as criollas, the pastries are stuffed with mouthwatering beef, poultry, or cheese mixes before being baked to golden-brown perfection.
Capri Bakery and Restaurant (West Palm Beach)
A family-owned Cuban restaurant with some of the most authentic fare you can find north of Miami, Capri has proudly served Cuban cuisine in West Palm Beach for nearly 30 years. "The food at Capri reminds me of my family's homemade meals in Cuba," said Jasmine Rodriguez, BHS Palm Beach Designer and Marketing Strategist
The founders, the Alfonso family, came to South Florida in 1994 with the dream of opening up a restaurant that paid homage to their home country. Tradition is always top of mind in their kitchen, which churns out everything from croquettas and guava pastelitos to more complex dishes.
El Taquito (Coconut Grove)
"El Taquito has some of the best tacos in town, and their customer service is exceptional!" --- Leslie Bettison
With a location on Miami's iconic Calle Ocho, as well as two others (one in Kendall and one in Fort Lauderdale), El Taquito is has earned a loyal following among South Floridians.
Serving exclusively Mexican fare, it's a great place to feast on tacos or cool down from the Florida heat with a margarita.
S&N Vegetables (Hialeah)
Despite what the name might imply, S&N is not a grocer or market. Rather, it is a classic Cuban ventanita, or walk-up restaurant window. Recommended by BHS Miami Graphic Designer Ron Alen for their "amazing, authentic Cuban sandwiches, pastries, and shakes (batidos)," it is nothing short of a beloved local institution---and one of Miami's best-kept secrets.
Finka Table and Tap (Miami)
The concept for Finka Table and Tap was brought to life by Chef, Owner, Founder, and Cuban-American Eileen Andrade. The restaurant is unique in that its dishes are rooted in Cuban tradition but incorporate both Peruvian and Korean influences. Take, for example, the Dak Galbi fried rice, which is made with queso frito and spicy cochujang.
Polo Norte (Miami)
The philosophy of Polo Norte is simple: to serve authentic, home-style Cuban cuisine with fresh, high-quality ingredients.
Recommended by Cristina Menendez, the restaurant was founded by the Basquet family, who arrived in the U.S. in the early 80s via the Mariel Boat Lift.
After a over a decade of hard work, the family finally opened the original Polo Norte location in 1992---only to have it destroyed by Hurricane Andrew. They nevertheless persevered and reopened, going on to helm one of Miami's premier Cuban dining institutions.