Experience a taste of Latin America in LA

Enjoy delicious authentic cuisine while supporting Latine-owned businesses.

Sarita’s Pupuseria uses family recipes to create a daily variety of homemade pupusas along with vegetarian options. Fans of Salvadorian cuisine will absolutely adore this local restaurant. (Alia Yee Noll / Daily Trojan)

Shopping at Latine-owned businesses this (and every) month is a great way to honor all of the countless contributions Latines have made. From downtown Los Angeles to Granada Hills, here’s a list of restaurants that feature quintessential Latin American cuisine.

Villa’s Tacos

Victor Villa started his business five years ago, initially selling tacos in a cart. He has made a name for himself after coining his signature queso taco, and his tacos are most recognizable because of their handmade blue corn tortillas. He uses a variety of meat options, even having vegan options. The salsas and guacamole are as heavenly as the tacos and make the perfect pair. It is no surprise this business has a spot on California’s Michelin Guide.

Rocio’s Mexican Kitchen

Rocio’s is most notable for its mole. The restaurant has 10 incredible flavors to choose from; after all, Chef Rocio Camacho is known as the “Diosa de los Moles,” or “The Goddess of Mole.” This excellent restaurant is also on California’s Michelin Guide. 

Mariscos Jalisco

A perhaps unassuming taco truck is home to the best shrimp tacos in L.A. Having started the business more than a decade ago, Mariscos Jalisco has won many accolades and was deemed L.A. Taco’s Madness 2012 winner.

El Rincon Criollo

Located in Culver City, this relaxed Cuban eatery brings authentic Cuban cuisine to its diners with various homemade ingredients. The restaurant itself is decorated with original oil on canvas works, showcasing a vibrant and tropical island feel.

Versailles Cuban Restaurant

The restaurant has three locations in Culver City, L.A. and Encino that are all home to excellent food and service. One of Versailles’ more notable food items is the Pollo Versailles, which the Los Angeles Times regarded as a “masterwork.”

Tainos L.A.

Operating as a ghost kitchen, Tainos L.A. offers delicious food you would find in someone’s Titi’s home. They have a variety of fan favorites, including the arroz con gandules and mofongo — a great restaurant when you want a night in.

El Churrasco Chapin

Located on Western Avenue, this restaurant has made a name for itself because of its authentic Guatemalan cuisine. Every dish is made to order, so the food quality is exceptionally fresh, and customers can find a variety of antojitos that would make any Guatemalan feel right at home.

Amalia’s Restaurant

A multi-generational establishment that started in 1994, Amalia’s Restaurant is home to traditional and delicious Guatemalan food and features homemade corn tortillas. If you’re there on a weekend, be sure to check out their live music.  

California Grill Restaurant

California Grill Restaurant features a variety of options, including breakfast, pupusas and many other options. They offer $1 pupusas on Mondays and Wednesdays, making it a cheap and delicious restaurant to try out.

Sarita’s Pupuseria

Located in L.A.’s Grand Central Market, this pupuseria uses family recipes and makes homemade pupusas with a variety of fillings every day of the week. It even has a variety of vegetarian options available.

Los Angeles features cuisines from Mexico, Salvador, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Honduras, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and Argentina. (Alia Yee Noll / Daily Trojan)

Chamo Venezuelan Cuisine

An ideal restaurant to take a date, group of friends or family, Chamo Venezuelan Cuisine offers a variety of traditional Venezuelan foods — chief among them are the arepas. The food offers a variety of flavors that are the embodiment of warmth and family.

Amara Café and Restaurant

Amara Café is one of the best breakfast spots someone can go to, whether you are trying its pancakes (which the L.A. Times raves about) or any of its delicious lunch and dinner options. Amara Café and Restaurant is sure to make you fall in love with Venezuelan food. You can even purchase their signature hot chocolate blend on Amazon.

La Fonda Antioqueña

A 21-minute drive from USC, authentic Colombian food and personable service are La Fonda Antioqueña’s main strengths. Its more popular dishes like empanadas, churrasco and pastel de yucca have restaurant-goers raving.

La Troca Catracha

La Troca Catracha is a delicious food truck operated by a married couple who offer generational cuisine and use fresh ingredients, making it a great stop for breakfast or lunch. They have lots of restaurant experience — they both worked at Jar before the coronavirus pandemic, and have taken their skills to create tasty eats.

Doña Bibi’s

Doña Bibi’s is a comforting little restaurant offering different kinds of homestyle cuisine. A notable plate is its Parrillada, which acts as a sort of sampler platter offering various tastes synonymous with those of Honduras.

Pampas Grill Brazilian Churrascaria

Offering an authentic churrascaria experience, this restaurant utilizes Brazil’s common tradition of “pay by the pound,” ensuring customers are only charged for what they eat. At less than $16 a pound, Pampas provides great cuts of meat and a bang for your buck.

Carlitos Gardel Argentine Steakhouse

A marvelous Michelin Guide’s “The Plate” recipient, this steakhouse is known for its quality, operating for nearly a quarter of a century. Carlitos Gardel offers a unique 17-page wine list and prime beef options. 

Mercado Buenos Aires

A restaurant, bakery and market, Mercado Buenos Aires is a one-stop shop for all Argentine cuisine, offering food, wine and groceries that is sure to have everyone from first-time visitors to regulars excited to try something new.

© University of Southern California/Daily Trojan. All rights reserved.