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Oct 21, 2007 06:52 AM


Long time fan of Ruben's ham and cheese. Not authentic but good with lots of hot sauce. Empanada Mama's pernil was delicious. Used to love Havana Pie's "cuban sandwich" empanada when they opened on 14th street. Are they still on 23rd(?) street? I would give high marks to BarFry's "beignet"-really a beef empanada. Jamaican Flavors on Sullivan makes a good jerk chicken patty. I've had some good ones at Argentinean restaurants around the city. What's the best?

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  1. Unfortunately, the 23rd St. Havana Pies closed several years ago.

    1. Look for a Colombian restaurant. Their empanadas are sooooo good!! Very thin corn meal dough exterior deep fried crisp with yellow potato, onion and ground beef filling. You bite the end off and spoon the spicy sauce - cilantro, spring onion, hot pepper and vinegar - down into the filling and YUMMMMM. We used to make a meal of them quite regularly and still have a couple of local US Colombian restaurants that make a pretty good empanada.

      1. There's an Argentinean bakery on the corner of 13th and 8th Ave. The empanadas are surprisingly good.

        3 Replies
        1. re: JungMann

          Great call! Couldn't drive by a place with a handwritten sign claiming to have the best most authentic empanadas in the city without stopping. The spicy beef empanada was the best I've had. Didn't even get the name of the place. How long has it been there? Which other empanadas are good there?

          1. re: JungMann

            How crazy! I was literally in the middle of eating my first empanada from this place when I read this! I am far from an empanada expert but, I really liked it - I had the spinach and ricotta and a pumpkin ricotta. Both were pleasantly spicy and weren't overly stuffed with filling. My boyfriend liked his though he didn't think it had enough chicken in it, too many beans. Have to say, I liked them better than Ruben's, Pasita and Caracas Arepa Bar; they were cheaper, too.

            The place is called Sweetheart Bakery. I have avoided it in the past because it doesn't seem like the cleanest place in the neighborhood but I think I am more willing to risk it now.

            1. re: JungMann

              SWEETHEART BAKERY is not argentinian, the guys are cuban. well, maybe one is argentinian, not sure, i have cut down my visits and there are a few changes. regardless, they have recently upped their game and expanded the empanada options a bit, including argentinian styles. i am not a fan of the meat versions, esp the chicken (yuck), but the veg versions are ok, like the spinach.

              for me the real buzzkill is that the crust is too thick and bland.

              as for cleanliness, they are ok, as clean as anything else around there. ive not gotten sick on anything, going in almost daily over many years. although keep in mind i do have a reputation of having an iron stomach - lol!

              for meaty snacks i greatly prefer the SUCELT empanandas down the block at 14th st & 7th avenue.

            2. i absolutely love Sophie's beef empanadas. They are perfectly juicy and stuffed with whole green olives, raisins and it's the perfect combo of sweet, salty and spicy. For $1.50 hard to go wrong too!

              1. Havana pies closed on 23rd.....SUCH a shame..they truly had the best.

                2 Replies
                1. re: kcijones001

                  yeah, that was a decent place. i loved their variety.

                  1. re: mrnyc

                    The best empanada I've had thus far was from the restaurant Cuba on Thompson. The beef ones aren't anything mind-blowing, but the chicken are AWESOME. A chicken empanada, cuban sandwich and a mojito... yes please!