The Definitive Guide to NYC's Chinese-Latin American Restaurants

The Definitive Guide to NYC's Chinese-Latin American Restaurants
Zachary Feldman

In the years following the Cuban Revolution, New York City welcomed large numbers of Cuban-Chinese immigrants, and during the 1960s and '70s, restaurants serving these new residents' food abounded. This isn't fusion cooking like Peruvian chifa; rather, it's a mash-up of both Latin American and Chinese cuisines offered separately, side-by-side. Once a common sight on the Upper West Side and in Chelsea, these restaurants have slowly disappeared as the neighborhoods have changed; the people who built them embrace retirement and old age. This year, Washington Heights lost the beloved Jimmy Oro, and Chelsea's seen the demise of La Nueva Rampa, La Chinita Linda, and Mi Chinita, to name a few. But remnants of this once-thriving type of restaurant still dot the landscape, and the Garment District recently welcomed a new entrant: Calle Dao, named for a famous street in Havana's Chinatown, serves good Chino Latino fusion. Built on a foundation of no-frills cooking and barebones atmosphere, here are the remaining representatives of this proud, fading genre.

The Definitive Guide to NYC's Chinese-Latin American Restaurants
via yelp

14. Peking BBQ (58-11 Woodside Avenue, Queens; 718-672-1414) Locals swear by the rotisserie chicken at this Chinese-Peruvian takeout spot; its red-and-yellow awning stands out on a low-key stretch of Woodside Avenue. A bargain by any standard, everything on the menu save for half-gallon portions of American Chinese food costs under $10, with most items hovering at around half that amount. There aren't many tables, but most are crowded with plates of glazed spareribs over pork fried rice and that chicken, served as quarters or halves and torn of the bone to be dipped into pungent aji amarillo sauce.

The Definitive Guide to NYC's Chinese-Latin American Restaurants
via yelp

13. New Victory, (48-03 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-431-2938) Perhaps in response to the wealth of Mexican restaurants in the area, Sunset Park's New Victory (no relation to La Nueva Victoria on the Upper West Side) serves the spicy seafood cocktail vuelve a la vida, a south-of-the-border hangover cure whose name means "return to life." Chinese food sticks to the Americanized variety, but crispy General Tso's is nothing to complain about. For stronger flavors and offal, look to the Latin American portion of the menu and its tripe and lamb stews.

The Definitive Guide to NYC's Chinese-Latin American Restaurants
via yelp

12. El Pabellon De Oro, (1501 Westchester Avenue, Bronx; 718-328-1252) Load up on Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Chinese favorites at this petite Soundview restaurant in the shadow of the Lexington Avenue line. Cantonese and Szechuan dishes dominate the Chinese offerings, and there's even a touch of Galician Spain in the form of caldo gallego, a hearty soup fortified with greens and beans. Fried rice is a standout, as are the lobsters, which come from the nearby New Fulton Fish Market at Hunts Point.

The Definitive Guide to NYC's Chinese-Latin American Restaurants
via yelp

11. Sabor Latino, (2161 Starling Avenue, Bronx; 718-822-0922) A recent addition to this rarefied group, Sabor Latino was opened in 2007. Chinese-born Robert Ng spent time cooking throughout the Caribbean and at Bronx stalwart Sabrosura. Cooks who've also put time in at Flor de Mayo join him, and together they put out a menu with a few more bells and whistles than your average Chino-Latino joint. In particular, look out for mojito-spiced grilled shrimp and Peruvian-style linguine stir-fried with beef, chicken, or shrimp.

The Definitive Guide to NYC's Chinese-Latin American Restaurants
Sabrosura

10. Sabrosura, (1200 Castle Hill Avenue, Bronx; 718-597-1344) In business for over 30 years, this Unionport staple boasts a livelier interior than most of its ilk -- a gambit that translates to the rest of its menu. The creamsicle-like beverage morir soñando arrives in a fluted colada cup, and the chefs fry plantains and yucca into cups to stuff with seasoned crabmeat, pork, or steak. And while you might not find any shrimp shumai in the mix, combination platters of meats, beans, and rice are served in bento boxes. Don't miss chofan, a Dominican take on fried rice that tosses the grains with chicken and pork chicharrones.



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