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3 Must-try staples of Latin American cuisine

An estimated 65% of American consumers purchased specialty food in 2017, and Latin American cuisine is becoming popular in countless cities across the United States, especially those in the south. For example, you can find some of the best Latin restaurants in Miami. But before embarking on your search for the best Latin American cuisine, it helps to inform yourself of the most delicious and popular staples that serve as an integral part of this unique type of food. With that in mind, here are just a few staples of Latin American cuisine to try at the best Latin restaurants in Miami.


You’ve probably heard of empanadas before — they’re essentially dough pockets filled with sweet or savory fillings, and they’re a staple of Latin American cuisine.

“A popular snack in Latin American cuisine, an empanada (pastel in Brazilian Portuguese and salteña in Bolivia) is a baked or fried bread or pastry which is stuffed with meat, cheese, huitlacoche (“corn smut”, a delicacy in Mexico), vegetables or fruits, among other fillings. Both savory and sweet versions are available,” writes Hasna Haidar on Top Universities.


A churrasco, which is a Spanish and Portugese term for grilled meat or beef, can be found in Latin American restaurants everywhere. They’re particularly popular in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Colombia, and Guatemala. Appropriately, a restaurant that serves churrascos is referred to as a churrascaria, which means ‘steakhouse.’ Traditionally, these restaurants feature all-you-can-eat buffets filled with various types of churrascos. In these places, it’s authentic for waiters to slice meat directly on to customers’ plates.


If you’re a fan of beans, you’ll love this traditional Brazilian dish, which is essentially a black bean stew with pork or beef. It’s typically served with vegetables, rice, assorted sausages, or a wide variety of side dishes. When enjoying feijoada, pair it with caipirinha, which is Brazil’s national cocktail. It’s made from brandy, lime, sugar, and ice. What a great flavor combination!

One out of every 10 restaurants in the U.S. sells Mexican food, making it the most popular style of international cuisine in the country. That being said, understanding the best foods to try at these restaurants can make your experience more traditional and authentic. Visit our restaurants today to give these staples a try.