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May 2, 2013 10:47 PM

Great Latin American eats (Mexican, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, etc) in Elizabeth?

I know that Elizabeth has a huge and diverse immigrant population representing a number of different Latin American countries. And as a result, the city boasts a ton of mom-and-pop Latin eateries.

But which ones are especially chow worthy? I'm especially interested in Mexican, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, and Salvadoran recommendations, but I'm open to the cuisine of any Latin American country or region.

Sit-down restaurants, hole-in-the-wall take-out spots, sandwich/snack cafes, bakeries, juices and shakes, and anything else are fine with me. Decor, atmosphere, clientele, and price are not important; the only thing that matters is legitimately great food and drink.

Just looking to get pointed in the right direction, as the selection in Elizabeth is overwhelming, yet there hasn't been much online chatter about the food options in this town.

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  1. I've always enjoyed the El Salvadoreno on Elizabeth Avenue

    3 Replies
    1. re: OGguy

      I noticed that place as I was driving along Elizabeth Avenue. Are there any dishes in particular that stand out to you?

      1. re: italianices

        The quail.the roast pork and the chicken with peppers and onions

        1. re: OGguy

          Thanks, will try those when I get the chance.

    2. I dug around the web a little bit and drove around Elizabeth the other day to find some Latin eats. Listed below are a few that caught my eye; does anyone have an opinion on these places? I didn't have time to try any of these but will attempt to do so the next time I'm in town.

      1) Parador Rojo Restaurant
      344 Morris Ave, Elizabeth
      Colombian cuisine with a full menu of entrees, baked goods, snacks like Colombian-style hot dogs, and licuados.

      2) Antojitos y Mas
      1035 Elizabeth Ave, Elizabeth
      Colombian sandwich shop and bakery/cafe. Has coffee, breakfast, arepas, burgers, full-sized entrees, and even a handful of Mexican dishes like tacos (not interested in those since it's a Colombian eatery).

      3) Rancho Mateo
      651 Elizabeth Ave, Elizabeth
      Colombian steakhouse.

      4) Cevicheria Restaurant Manolo
      607 Elizabeth Ave, Elizabeth
      Peruvian seafood specialist that also has non-seafood dishes such as pollos a la brasa.

      5) La Oriental
      603 Elizabeth Ave, Elizabeth
      Cuban sandwich shop. Is the Cuban population shrinking in Elizabeth like it is in many other parts of North Jersey?

      6) Kylie's Place
      558 Elizabeth Ave, Elizabeth
      Salvadoran cuisine with pupusas and larger entrees.

      7) International Mexican Diner
      428 Elizabeth Ave, Elizabeth
      The sign outside advertised rotisserie chicken, but I didn't take a look inside.

      8) Machupichu Restaurant
      442 Elizabeth Ave, Elizabeth
      Peruvian cuisine. Not sure what they specialize in.

      9) La Caravana Pollos a la Brasa
      302 E. Jersey St, Elizabeth
      Peruvian rotisserie chicken (pollos a la brasa) specialist. Looked very promising because the place was packed. Later, I looked it up online and found a handful of mentions about this place, all of which were very positive. Sounds like this place might be the real deal; has anyone been here?

      According to my online research, they also have locations in Passaic, Belleville, and Plainfield. They used to have a location in Harrison until recently, but the building which housed the business was destroyed in a major fire a couple of months ago, so that branch relocated across the river to Belleville.

      10) Restaurante Guananica
      301 Elizabeth Ave, Elizabeth
      Salvadoran restaurant that also has dishes from other Central American cuisines.

      11) La Casa del Pan con Lechon
      336 South St, Elizabeth
      Cuban restaurant with sandwiches and full-sized entrees.

      Without question, there are a lot more places in town that I missed, as I had a limited amount of time to drive around Elizabeth Ave and jot down some notes.

      Also, I didn't really notice too many Mexican eateries. Does anyone know where the Mexican spots are located, and which ones are good, if any?

      Any insight into the city's Latin food scene would be greatly appreciated.