Ciudad del Toro: Durham Latino Eats for Hispanic Heritage Month
Durham’s sizable Hispanic and Latino community has made many contributions to the Bull City, including a tour of tasty restaurants serving authentic and delicious food from the 33+ countries represented here.
Posted By Craig Carter on Sep 07, 2023
Enjoy a delicious meal, snack or treat at one of these Latino-owned restaurants. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we asked our followers for their favorites, and they gave us delicious answers. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should be more than enough to make you hungry.
If you've been to any Alpaca Peruvian Chicken location, you know their roasted chicken, black beans and rice, and yucca fries are downright addicting. Durham has three locations: 9th Street, South Square and off of Davidson Ave.
The Blue Corn Cafe has been on 9th Street since 1997. Owners Antonio Rios and Danielle Martini-Rios share their love of all Latin and South American cuisine. Chef Antonio incorporates the flavors of his native Mexico and his favorites from the Caribbean into the cafe menu.
A beautiful fusion of Caribbean, Puerto Rican and Southern soul food, you can find Boricua Soul near the "Durham" sign at the American Tobacco Campus. The husband and wife team of Toriano and Serena are behind this exciting spot.
For amazing coffee drinks, hot chocolate and churros, head to Cocoa Cinnamon's third location in the Lakewood neighborhood. The owners, Leon and Areli Barrera de Grodski, were inspired by the churrerias of Mexico. You can find nods to Areli's Mexican background in the bilingual menus and signage as well as the brightly patterned decor and tile work.
El Cuscatleco is another no frills spot where you can find authentic Salvadorean and Mexican food served in a charming dining room. Make sure you bring your appetite because the menu of fresh pupusas, Salvadorean specialties, fajitas, tacos, sopas and more will have you wishing you could order it all.
The phrase "hidden gem" gets thrown around a lot, but Don Becerra Taqueria certainly qualifies. Inside this specialty grocery store, you'll find a restaurant with fast and friendly service and fresh, authentic Mexican and Central American food.
When you pull up to the red and yellow house and see "Cely's Casa De Cambio" outside, you might think you're at the wrong place. But don't worry. Don Gallo (also known as Tacos Nacos) shares the space with a currency exchange store. Walk by the service counter at the front of the store to find a restaurant serving delicious Mexican food in the back.
Owner Rony Ordóñez started El Chapin in 2015. His restaurant offers traditional Guatemalan cuisine like garnachas, guisadas, Pollo en Pepian and lots more, along with a wall of groceries.
Chef Laureano, nicknamed "El Jefecito," cooked for some of Durham's best restaurants while he worked toward opening his own restaurant and catering business. His dream came true with his hit food truck expanding into a recently-opened restaurant.
To experience the full glory of a delicious arepa, visit Guasaca. The small Triangle-based chain specializes in the Venezuela staple. You can find their Durham location off of W. Main Street.
For a sweet treat, head to La Monarca Michoacana, which specializes in Mexican-style paletas and ice cream. Can't decide on what to get? No shame in getting both.
As one Yelp reviewer wrote about La Superior Carniceria (La Superior for short), "You may think it is just a grocery store when you drive by, but it is so much more." Beyond the market is the bakery, which offers fresh tortillas and other baked goods. Behind that is the restaurant where the tacos, huaraches, flan and more are fresh and made to order. For more delicious offerings from the team behind La Superior, visit Super Taqueria just down the street.
Mother-daughter team Esmerelda and Valeria Lopez run this tiny spot on 9th Street. Esmerelda brought the flavors and dishes she serves at Mi Calvillo in her hometown of Calvillo in central Mexico.
Rotisserie chicken, tostones and fried yuca are just a few of the delicious items you can find at Mi Perú. Treat yourself to traditional and authentic Peruvian food at this charming spot.
Off 9th St near the "Angel of Spring," you can find a cute little ice cream shop called Pincho Loco. Here, you can get native Latino flavors like tequila, tiger tail (vanilla, Mexican vanilla, and chocolate), guava, tamarind and more.
When you see the sign with a smiling chili pepper wearing a sombrero, you know you've made it to the right place. From a Yelp reviewer, Restaurante Guanajuato de Durham is "...authentic, wonderful, flavorful, and comforting. The Chile Rellenos is like a warm hug from grandma." The menus are in Spanish, and you can get an English version by request.
Puerto Rican food with southern charm, Kokí is one of the Triangle's food-truck-to-brick-and-mortar success stories. You can find delicious sandwiches, bowls, and empanadas at the Durham location across the street from City Hall.
Located in North Durham, Super Taqueria offers a mouth-watering selection of sopes, tacos, burritos and gorditas, plus a loaded salsa bar. Pair your food with an agua fresca for a stellar meal.
Taqueria La Vaquita or "The Cow Store" as it is affectionately called, is well-known for the bovine statue that adorns its roof. But it's famous around these parts for its delicious Mexican food and beverages.