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Apr 30, 2008 06:25 PM

Latin food- Clifton, NJ area

Does anyone know where I can find some good home cooked style latin food (Dominican, Puerto Rican, etc) near the Clifton, NJ area? I just moved over and have no clue where to go. Thanks!

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  1. I cannot give you any specific restaurant recommendations, but I can tell you where to look. In Paterson, on Main Street, there are a lot of Latin American places. There are also a lot of Arabic and Turkish places on Main in Paterson as well.

    In Passaic, you can also find a lot of Latin American places.

    Sorry, now specific recommendations. I live in Bloomfield and have been looking for a good Mexican place.

    1. There's a place in Rutherford called Sabor Peru that gets great reviews...haven't been yet, but I'm told they have some really authentic food.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Curlz

        Sabor Peru is my favorite. Hands down. I was there over the weekend, and enjoyed myself immensely. Haven't had a clunker yet.
        But I do need a place in the area for cheap, pernil, and rice and beans. Addresses are helpful.

      2. Yes!

        Best Peruvian: Pollos el Chevere (228 Washington Pl, Passaic). Obviously by the name of the restaurant you can tell that they specialize in roasted chicken. I've had that dish, which is good--but I recommend chuleta el pobre, which is three pork chops, a mound of white rice, two fried eggs, french fries, and sweet plantains. It is a feast--and fantastic tasting!! Very inexpensive. I always order the empanadas which are really good--they are Peruvian style with the raisins inside. The sangria is great too!

        Best Columbian: Villa de Columbia (12 Mercer St, Hackensack). Love it!! Everything is good here. My favorite is the churrasco. My husband's favorite is the paisa sirloin steak. Empanadas and arepas are out of this world good. Mango shakes are awesome! The salsa picante is so good I wish I could buy a bottle of it to take home with me. And I love their coffee and flan. Best I've ever had. This is one of my favorite places.

        I would also recommend Banana King (various locations in Paterson and Passaic) for fast food style. They have great shakes.

        I would love to hear other recommendations from hounds for more latin food.

        5 Replies
        1. re: kimie

          just further south of mercer on main street is pollos mario. the bandeja mario is enough for 2 but you must love meat and their columbian beans are great. also the chicken, not peruvian which i prefer but still very good. i also LOVE sabor peru. a bit of a drive but the cerviche is unbelievable.

          1. re: dock

            i can attest to hackensack's Pollos Mario which i'm assuming is kin of the Pollos Mario in's probably the best rottiserie chicken i've ever eaten and served with a very spicy green sauce (cilantro and jalepenos?)

            1. re: sixelagogo

              My experience with Pollos Mario (hackensack location) was really bad. I went with another family member who is basically an expert in this cuisine--and they were really upset by the lack of quality. But that was my experience.

              1. re: kimie

                wow! totally disappointed to hear that...did you have the chicken? Been going there myself for the last 3 years and have never had a bad bird...what was wrong with the meal?

                1. re: sixelagogo

                  It was a while ago, but I remember the chicken was ok, but not as good as other Peruvian places I've been to. But I do remember the beans were weird, the rice was not done right, and the tostones were not fresh (kind of like the Goya frozen ones you can buy in the supermarket and reheat at home). Overall, I was disappointed because I had heard good things and the price was right! My brother was with me, and like I said, he is basically an expert on Latin foods--mostly Peruvian, Ecuardian, and Columbian cuisines--and he was really upset. Perhaps I should give it another try, since it's coming so highly recommended.

        2. Try El Sol Del Caribe in Lodi. It's a tiny place (about 5 tables) tucked away in a strip mall next to Walgreens on Main St. It's pretty good. Service and delivery are not consistent-- it's a pretty new place that's family owned business (PR & Dom) and they're working out the everyday nuances. Food is excellent though!! Mofongo, skirt steak, pernil, etc. are really good!

          1 Reply
          1. re: JTM821

            If you want real Latin food, go to a place owned by native people and not Americans trying to capitalize on cheap food by selling it at ridiculous prices. In Clifton, we go to two awesome places that have the best and most authentic food you'll ever have. One is Peruvian and the other Colombian. Be aware that most of the employees only speak Spanish and only occassionally will you get lucky and have someone that can speak English. That said, don't avoid it because of the language barrier. The menus are in both languages and you can simply point. The Colombian place is called D' Colombia and is at 1055 Main Ave in Clifton. I don't know the name of the Peruvian place, but if you are at the Colombian place, continue on Main Ave and it will be on the same side about a block, two at most, down from it. Try the arroz con pollo at the Colombian place. It's the best you'll ever have.