There's no need to be fluent in Spanish to love all things Latino, especially the food, which offers something for every palate. The flavors of Latin America, a region which includes South and Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean, are as expansive and diverse as its people, with each country pulling from a unique cultural history and local ingredients.
Thankfully, we South Floridians are blessed with plenty of eateries serving up these diverse delicacies. From Mexican taquerias to fine Chilean dining to backyard Brazilian feasts, here’s where you can find Broward and Palm Beach's best Latin food. We promise you will be saying
1. Regina's Farm. Food is strongly tied to memory. Since 2006, Regina and Eliseu Rodrigues have been cooking Brazilian comfort food in their little farm's backyard in Fort Lauderdale, invoking the nostalgia they feel for their native cuisine. Three Saturdays a month, they prepare meals at their outdoor kitchen, which includes a hand-built cement oven fueled by burning wood. Guests are greeted by the couple and then gather at picnic tables; the welcoming atmosphere a prelude to a family-style, full-flavored feast. For a $45 donation, which benefits the Las Olas Worship Center where Eliseu is a pastor, you can eat as much food as you like. Recent dishes include fresh pão de queijo, a variety of soups, chicken with okra, red and black beans, vegetables, polenta, and moqueca de peixe, a Brazilian fish stew. For dessert, there are flans, cakes, pastries, pies, and other sweet treats, served with fresh-brewed coffee. Reservations are booked months in advance, so make sure you get on the list now. 101 Middle St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-465-1900; reginasfarm.com.
2. El Tamarindo. This unpretentious, neighborhood-favorite eatery is where the Amaya family showcases their own brand of no-frills Latin fusion. The five siblings hail from El Salvador, but their food also draws on influences from Mexico, Cuba, and Argentina. Among the eclectic list is a selection of sandwiches, tamales, tacos and fajitas, entrees like churrasco, carne asada, a pork roast, and the hearty mariscada soup with clams, mussels, calamari, langostino, shrimp, scallops, crab, and tilapia. Another highlight is the coal-fired pizza, a thin crust delight of homemade sauce and fresh ingredients. Whatever you order, ask for their delicious chimichurri on the side and you will get it with plenty of parsley, olive oil, red pepper, garlic, and vinegar. The sweet coconut flan is the perfect finish to your meal. 712 Atlantic Shores Blvd., Hallandale Beach; 954-456-4447; eltamarindocafe.com.
3. Legado. Chilean food lovers who have been longing for one of the most diverse cuisines of Latin America will find the cure for their woes at this snug Hollywood spot. The northern Chilean Montenegro-Guggiana family is behind the magic here, serving up delicacies like the rabbit in white wine, sea urchins with green sauce, crab au gratin, and the legado lamb marinated in honey, black beer, and rosemary. There's also a quinoa and olive tapenade salad, with goat cheese and sides of olive mashed potatoes and roasted tomatoes. It's worth leaving some room for a savory dessert of papayas with nectar juice, almond
4. Tacos al Carbon. Tacos al Carbon has been wowing South Florida foodies since
5. Latinos Restaurant. Expect a full scope of Latin American dishes at this restaurant, which has been offering something for every Latin food aficionado in Deerfield Beach for the past 17 years. The mix of experiences includes soup options like the shrimp-based chupe de
7. El Balcón de Las Americas. Colombia native Alvaro Tobar came to Florida with a bag full of dreams and culinary recipes. His ambitions blossomed and twenty years later, the Tobar family runs six restaurants across South Florida, with menus that are a combination of their many chefs' talents and an atlas of Latin flavors. At any of their locations, start your meal with refreshing fruit juice such as the blackberry, guanabana, or the
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8. Runas Peruvian Cuisine. This Hollywood restaurant takes it back to the important basics of Peruvian cuisine, with a traditional variety of ceviche, cooked in lemon juice and served swimming in
9. 925 Nuevo's Cubano's. This charming Fort Lauderdale eatery was built in 1976 by Luis Valdes Sr., in the front portion of the family home where he raised his children. Four decades later, he's still offering the neighborhood a great taste of homestyle Cuban food, now cranked out of a tiny open kitchen surrounded by a bar. Fourteen legs of pork are roasted daily here in low heat for sixteen hours - and then pulled by hand to keep its juices. The menu is made up of a roster of sandwiches including steak, pork, ham and cheese, a Cuban burger, and platters like the pork chunks, tilapia, and carne asada, which come with black beans, rice, and a choice of sweet plantains, tostones, fries or salad on the side. 925 N. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-806-8375; nuevoscubanos.net.
10. Agave Taco Bar. This Mexican taqueria was born from a tiny taco shop with a healthy mix of modern and traditional dishes from chef-owner Ivan Alarcon's hometown of Monterrey. Start with the guacamole or the queso