Best South American restaurants for unique, authentic meals

via yelp.com
via yelp.com

Taco Box I 50 E. Fourth St.

Literally a hole in the wall, Taco Box serves up a selective menu of delicious and affordable tacos ($3-$3.50), as well as homemade sauces and a variety of authentic Spanish sodas.

via yelp.com

Gena’s Grill I 210 First Ave.

This tiny East Village restaurant offers a variety of authentic Latin country-food at reasonable prices. Selections include a bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast ($4) and for dinner, roast chicken with rice and beans or sweet plantains ($12.45).

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Coppelia I 207 W. 14th St.

Open 24 hours a day, this Cuban diner serves a wide variety of South American dishes as well as American favorites. From 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, Coppelia heats up with a live DJ.

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Esperanto I 145 Avenue C

Change up your usual brunch plans and head to this East Village destination for a $12 prix-fixe brunch (like huevos rancheros or a breakfast quesadilla), which includes coffee and a brunch cocktail. You can enjoy their Latin American fare inside the brightly colored restaurant or outside on the patio.

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Tacombi I 267 Elizabeth St.

The most unique thing about this Mexican eatery is its atmosphere. Unlike many city restaurants, the space is very open, with an old red-and-white Volkswagen parked inside, which plays homage to traditional Mexican street food.

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Cafe Habana I 17 Prince St.

Diners go crazy for Cafe Habana’s Mexican-style grilled corn ($4.25) and their famous Cuban sandwich ($7.95). If you’re in a rush, stop by Cafe Habana To Go right next door.

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Caracas Arepa Bar I 93 ½ E. Seventh St.

Caracas serves Venezuelan arepas (fluffy patties made with corn flour) topped with a variety of unique combinations, including cheese, sweet plantain, avocado and tilapia with garlic oil ($6.50-$8).

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The Taco Shop I 166 W. Fourth St.

The menu at The Taco Shop lists several types of tacos (all $3) as well as a selection of “Not Tacos,” including tamales and quesadillas. Their platter options, which include six or nine tacos, are a great option for sharing with friends.

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Ofrenda I 113 Seventh Ave.

Located in the West Village, Ofrenda serves innovative Mexican food in a unique and cozy environment. Ofreda offers a variety of eclectic options, including fried sweet potatoes with truffle salsa ($6) and gorditas (small cakes made with nixtamalized corn flour and stuffed with cheese, meat or other fillings) with coffee braised pork ($12).

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Pio Pio Riko I 409 Eighth Ave.

This Chelsea eatery boasts the “best Peruvian rotisserie chicken,” which is tender and juicy and served with a side of rice and beans ($6.50). Be sure to visit for a delicious Peruvian meal that won’t break the bank.

Caitlin Schnack is a staff writer. Email her at [email protected]

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