Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Feb 28, 2009 10:09 AM

Colombian empanadas

I posted on the home cooking board in search of recipes for these tasty empanadas. No responses yet. To be honest, the few I have found look quite labour intensive. I have read on other posts that they are available at Colombus Bakery on Dufferin -- are there any other places that sell Colombian empanadas? I used to get my fix at El Bodegon and Mi Tierra but am now looking for places closer to me in central/north east of toronto....haven't been to Edgar's yet....


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I drove by this place in Long Branch today:
    I think they're Chilean, though...

    1. la paisa, i've posted about this place in other threads.

      1 Reply
      1. re: pinstripeprincess

        LA PAISA!

        good call princess. colombian friends of mine actually said they are better than the ones they have back home.

      2. I think the Segovia clan is Colombian. They do the amazing selection of south American chorizos, and a branch of them do the selection of empanadas at El Gordo next door on Augusta. Many flavours, great selection. Best in town (he says, ducking, waiting for the bandwagon yahoos to start throwing bricks).

        8 Replies
        1. re: Snarf

          thanks, Snarf, but do they do the colombian empanadas? the kind with the corn dough that are deep fried so they are crunchy-chewy on the outside and filled with roughly mashed potatoes and meat? these are the recipes i've found on the net so far but am a bit daunted to undertake as yet:

          i ask because i don't recall ever seeing colombian empanadas in kensington market, only the chilean/argentinian....

          1. re: berbere

            I haven't seen anywhere that does this particular recipe. El Gordp do baked flour based pastry with a variety of fillings, ranging from different chorizo varieties to also including non-traditional ingredients such as kimchi. As the owners are Colombian, I have made the grand leap of faith that the empanadas are Colombian. Empanadas are eponymous in central American cultures, and the varieties and variations are endless, even within regional or national boundaries. This article discusses some of that:


            1. re: Snarf

              thanks for that link - I assumed there was only one kind of colombian empanada and that article clearly shows otherwise -- well, if you have not tried the fried corn-crusted ones i have described, by all means try one, you don't know what you're missing! the ones at the now-closed El Bodegon were excellent (tho pricey), Mi Tierra had great ones as well, which were very inexpensive some years ago ($1), and I will report back once I try others including those at Columbus Bakery....

              1. re: berbere

                The Columbian empanada you describe is called an Arepa I believe - I got addicted to them on a holiday to Columbia and would love to fine them in Toronto, as I agree, making them is a bit daunting. Have you had them with an egg inside? Perfect breakfast!

                1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                  No. Arepas are flat, white corn meal discs cooked over dry heat - in a special pan over a gas burner or over charcoal. Some are filled with a bit of cheese. ColOmbian empanadas are filled half moons filled with potato and possibly some meat; and deep fried. Both arepas and empanadas are not particularly difficult to make.

                  1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                    arepa cafe on queen west just opened... not sure what the reviews are. you may find what you're looking for there.

                    columbian empanadas are different as sam has made clear below... they're just so magical compared to the doughy chilean or other various culture empanadas. but i'm also not a fan of bread in general.

                    1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                      It's Colombia, not Columbia. When I visited Cartagena, Colombia a few years ago I had the ones with the egg inside and some ground beef. They were ok but not delicious. They were also extremely greasy so one was more than enough.

                2. re: berbere

                  berbere, I think you're right. I've lived in Colombia for 15 years and have encountered only, "...the kind with the corn dough that are deep fried so they are crunchy-chewy on the outside and filled with roughly mashed potatoes and meat". When I lived in southern Bolivia we had the baked saltenas, my favorite!

              2. just curious if you found anything over the past year? word is that la paisa is gone and the disconnected phone number leaves me to believe they just didn't move.

                they were just... so excellent at la paisa i never bothered to try other places. thinking of going on a hunt sometime soon but would love some thoughts on options. i've got a list of over a dozen options now but have no idea what the quality is like.

                6 Replies
                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                  There's a Colombian bakery on the Lakeshore in Mississauga that I've been by on the bus a million times but have never been able to stop in. It's called Antojitos:

                  Sorry I can't provide any specific insight as to quality but they'd be worth a try, at least, I figure!

                  1. re: Whats_For_Dinner


                    antojitos is one of over a dozen places i have on my list but i was hoping to get a report from anyone who's eaten them. i guess i'll just have to get started on my hunt!

                    1. re: Whats_For_Dinner

                      i just tried the empanadas from antojitos and they are the type the OP was looking for. i found them to be quite tasty and inexpensive, i also tried this item which i cant remember the name for but it was like a very thick strip of bacon that was deep fried..mmm bacon... which i enjoyed as well.

                      1. re: Whats_For_Dinner

                        antojitos is great, they even make dedos which i have never seen here before...long sticks of dough deepfired with cheese inside..

                        Plaza flamingo has some decent empanadas for $1 and you dont have to wait til last call to get them hehe..

                        la paisa is gone but will be replaced with an exciting fusion restuarant, the owner is colombian that lived in italy and other european countries so hoepfully she won't forget her roots..opening really really soon if not already open ..FUSION 99

                        1. re: bettyvee

                          just revisiting to see if there have been any colombian empanada sightings since my original post....i can report that I have only tried one place which is a colombian bakery on east side of dufferin, south of lawrence (beside Lady York) - their empanadas are excellent and of a decent size, not too small and easily transportable, consumable in 3-4 civilized bites (tho i'd never complain about the largeness of any colomb emp given my love for them) - i believe they were about 2 for a buck but can't confirm as i never leave with empanadas alone...their sausage is also very good but i always end up reheating it at home as i'm too occupied eating all the empanadas first....

                          1. re: berbere

                            can't confirm pricing but you're talking about columbus bakery, i would assume it's more than 2 for $1 since the going rate seems to be $1/1.50.

                            i find their shell is thicker and chewier than i'd like, making it a bigger jaw workout than i want. their filling is also predominantly potato which makes it also a touch blander than i'd want. they do not seem to offer the same vinegar herb dipping sauce that la paisa did. i had really high hopes for this place but they are far and away from the excellence that la paisa had. should mention though that they are hardly greasy and the chicken is way way way too dry and flavourless.

                            did enjoy their "churros" which was a dense fried donut type thing filled with dulce de leche, for i think... $1.50 this was of excellent value. it was a gigantic circular pastry. i thought the enameled empanada keychain he threw in was just adorable... very sweet people and totally hopping with neighbourhood columbian cafe atmosphere.

                    2. Have you been to the Latin food court on Milvan north of Finch?? I'm pretty sure you'll find them there.

                      It's a great place to go none the less. Food from Cuba, Mexico, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador and the like.

                      Too bad Mrs. Sippi doesn't work in the area anymore.