September 23, 2020

23 Essential Latin-Owned Restaurants in Cleveland

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs through Oct. 15, here are some of our favorite Latin-owned restaurants in town. Support them before then, and all year round.

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 Barroco 
Multiple Locations
If you’ve never had an arepa before, you need to head to Barroco ASAP. Arepas, which hail from Colombia and Venezuela, are grilled white tortilla’s stuffed with a variety of ingredients. The ‘La Gringa’, stuffed with braised beef, feta cheese, avocado, chimichurri, greens and mozzarella, and the ‘Buffalo Chicken’ arepa are two of our absolute favorites. Barrocco also has fantastic live Latin music three nights a week. 
Photo via Barroco/Facebook

Barroco

Multiple Locations

If you’ve never had an arepa before, you need to head to Barroco ASAP. Arepas, which hail from Colombia and Venezuela, are grilled white tortilla’s stuffed with a variety of ingredients. The ‘La Gringa’, stuffed with braised beef, feta cheese, avocado, chimichurri, greens and mozzarella, and the ‘Buffalo Chicken’ arepa are two of our absolute favorites. Barrocco also has fantastic live Latin music three nights a week.

Photo via Barroco/Facebook
 La Plaza Supermarket
13609 Lakewood Heights Blvd., Lakewood
All it takes to get your hands on what many deem the best tacos in Cleveland is venturing to the far back corner of a supermarket. This small hot food station cooks up barbacoa, carnitas, chorizo and al pastor tacos in front of your eyes. They’re served up as-is, but load up on diced onion, cilantro, guac and salsas to your heart’s desire. Tip: You can pre-pay for your tacos at the front counter, but keep it simple and just carry cash.
Photo via La Plaza Supermarket/Facebook

La Plaza Supermarket

13609 Lakewood Heights Blvd., Lakewood

All it takes to get your hands on what many deem the best tacos in Cleveland is venturing to the far back corner of a supermarket. This small hot food station cooks up barbacoa, carnitas, chorizo and al pastor tacos in front of your eyes. They’re served up as-is, but load up on diced onion, cilantro, guac and salsas to your heart’s desire. Tip: You can pre-pay for your tacos at the front counter, but keep it simple and just carry cash.

Photo via La Plaza Supermarket/Facebook
 Rincón Criollo
Multiple Locations
Offerings of Puerto Rican cuisine here reflect African, Indian and American influences. Fritters are popular, and Rincón’s appetizer list features two kinds: relleno de papas (potato balls) and alcapurria (banana balls). Specials include mondongo (tripe stew), chuletas fritas o en salsa (pork chops fried or in red sauce), and mofongo con chicharrones (mashed seasoned plantain ball with fried pork).
Photo via  Rincón Criollo/Facebook

Rincón Criollo

Multiple Locations

Offerings of Puerto Rican cuisine here reflect African, Indian and American influences. Fritters are popular, and Rincón’s appetizer list features two kinds: relleno de papas (potato balls) and alcapurria (banana balls). Specials include mondongo (tripe stew), chuletas fritas o en salsa (pork chops fried or in red sauce), and mofongo con chicharrones (mashed seasoned plantain ball with fried pork).

Photo via Rincón Criollo/Facebook
 El Señor's at La Mexicana Grocery
170 East Washington St., Painesville
We promise your trip to be Painesville will be well worth the drive when you get your hands on El Señor’s tacos. A small restaurant attached to a supermarket, seating here is limited but flavor is plentiful. Choose from pork, beef, beef tongue and pork stomach. For a little refreshment, cool down with a Jarritos.
Photo via Scene Archives

El Señor's at La Mexicana Grocery

170 East Washington St., Painesville

We promise your trip to be Painesville will be well worth the drive when you get your hands on El Señor’s tacos. A small restaurant attached to a supermarket, seating here is limited but flavor is plentiful. Choose from pork, beef, beef tongue and pork stomach. For a little refreshment, cool down with a Jarritos.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Tapatias Taqueria
12501 Lorain Ave., Cleveland
The great thing about this relatively new West Side taqueria is the amount of different offerings available for your taco or burrito. Choose from chicken, steak, chorizo, carnitas, tripa, lengua, barbacoa or pastor. They also have a dozen delicious big plates built around items like grilled steak, whole fried fish and grilled shrimp all come with Spanish rice, refried beans and a short stack of warm tortillas. 
Photo via Tapatias Taqueria/Facebook

Tapatias Taqueria

12501 Lorain Ave., Cleveland

The great thing about this relatively new West Side taqueria is the amount of different offerings available for your taco or burrito. Choose from chicken, steak, chorizo, carnitas, tripa, lengua, barbacoa or pastor. They also have a dozen delicious big plates built around items like grilled steak, whole fried fish and grilled shrimp all come with Spanish rice, refried beans and a short stack of warm tortillas.

Photo via Tapatias Taqueria/Facebook
 El Rinconcito Chapin
3330 Broadview Rd., Cleveland 
The Guatemalan eatery, owned by Engel Godinez, had briefly wowed diners at its original spot a couple of miles away on Pearl Road before rolling down the shutters in advance of the big move. Attracted by the promise of soul-satisfying pupusas, adventurous customers who expanded their comfort zones left as newly minted fans of a much broader, compelling cuisine. And if they happened to land on the garnachas, they likely became Rinconcito groupies for life.
Photo by Doug Trattner

El Rinconcito Chapin

3330 Broadview Rd., Cleveland

The Guatemalan eatery, owned by Engel Godinez, had briefly wowed diners at its original spot a couple of miles away on Pearl Road before rolling down the shutters in advance of the big move. Attracted by the promise of soul-satisfying pupusas, adventurous customers who expanded their comfort zones left as newly minted fans of a much broader, compelling cuisine. And if they happened to land on the garnachas, they likely became Rinconcito groupies for life.

Photo by Doug Trattner
 Pupuseria Katarina
1409 Brookpark Rd., Cleveland
Authentic El Salvadoran cuisine in Cleveland? Sign us up. Naturally, Pupuseria Katarina excels at El Salvadoran pupusas, thick corn pancakes stuffed with various fillings and fried on a griddle. They offer a full slate of options, from simple cheese to “Pupusa Loca”, which is kind of like the kitchen sink version stuffed with every filling on the menu. Simpler is better, in my opinion, with cheese or maybe cheese, beans and pork rising to the top. Fried to order, the pupusas arrive hot, crisp and corny. 
Photo via Scene Archives

Pupuseria Katarina

1409 Brookpark Rd., Cleveland

Authentic El Salvadoran cuisine in Cleveland? Sign us up. Naturally, Pupuseria Katarina excels at El Salvadoran pupusas, thick corn pancakes stuffed with various fillings and fried on a griddle. They offer a full slate of options, from simple cheese to “Pupusa Loca”, which is kind of like the kitchen sink version stuffed with every filling on the menu. Simpler is better, in my opinion, with cheese or maybe cheese, beans and pork rising to the top. Fried to order, the pupusas arrive hot, crisp and corny.

Photo via Scene Archives
 La Placita
2511 Clark Ave., Cleveland
At this Hispanic-themed open-air market in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood, street food vendors sling tacos, empanadas and more. Tacos that are cooked up in front of you are a staple here. Enjoy it with a side of plantains and live music. The plan or La Placita is to evolve into a permanent indoor, year-round operation that houses micro-retail businesses within La Villa Hispana – which means tacos in every season.
Photo via La Placita/Facebook

La Placita

2511 Clark Ave., Cleveland

At this Hispanic-themed open-air market in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood, street food vendors sling tacos, empanadas and more. Tacos that are cooked up in front of you are a staple here. Enjoy it with a side of plantains and live music. The plan or La Placita is to evolve into a permanent indoor, year-round operation that houses micro-retail businesses within La Villa Hispana – which means tacos in every season.

Photo via La Placita/Facebook
 La Morenita
3156 W. 25th St., Cleveland
When the Fish Shack and Grill packed up and moved across the street to a larger spot, its former home was quickly snatched up by a Dominican restaurant called La Morenita. The cheery little eatery, which has been open since 2017, serves breakfast, lunch and early dinner. A full Dominican breakfast is no joke. Called “Los Tres Golpes” – or the three hits – the plate always contains fried eggs, fried cheese, fried salami and mangú. Like Puerto Rican mofongo, mangú is made from plantains and are a staple of the cuisine.
Photo via Scene Archives

La Morenita

3156 W. 25th St., Cleveland

When the Fish Shack and Grill packed up and moved across the street to a larger spot, its former home was quickly snatched up by a Dominican restaurant called La Morenita. The cheery little eatery, which has been open since 2017, serves breakfast, lunch and early dinner. A full Dominican breakfast is no joke. Called “Los Tres Golpes” – or the three hits – the plate always contains fried eggs, fried cheese, fried salami and mangú. Like Puerto Rican mofongo, mangú is made from plantains and are a staple of the cuisine.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Nuevo Acapulco
21750 Lorain Rd., North Olmsted
Too many margaritas? Too full of tacos to move? Never fear, you’re already in a restaurant connected to a motel! Coincidence? Don’t ask questions, just down another chorizo, steak, chicken, beef or cheese taco. It’s an unexpected location for Mexican cuisine, and coupled with the occasional roaming magician it’s delightfully quirky.
Photo via Nuevo Acapulco/Facebook

Nuevo Acapulco

21750 Lorain Rd., North Olmsted

Too many margaritas? Too full of tacos to move? Never fear, you’re already in a restaurant connected to a motel! Coincidence? Don’t ask questions, just down another chorizo, steak, chicken, beef or cheese taco. It’s an unexpected location for Mexican cuisine, and coupled with the occasional roaming magician it’s delightfully quirky.

Photo via Nuevo Acapulco/Facebook