National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15, is intended to be a recognition and celebration of the many contributions Latinx, Hispanic, and Latino-identified communities have made to the United States. And locally, it’s a time to learn more about and celebrate those communities in Orlando.
One of the best ways to do that is through food. 👇
FIESTA, COMER, SIESTA
In the mood for Cuban? Mexican? Latin American food? WE GOT YOU. Two things to note before you dive in: the list below is not only affordable but also offers healthy servings. By healthy, we mean generously portioned, so be sure to take your appetite.
🔥 Latin. Dabeni’s Latin Cafe & Bakery in SoDo has an amazing, authentic breakfast spread and La Placita Latina Supermarket in Kissimmee is the spot for the freshest meats and produce. If tasty barbacoa, Cuban banana pudding and plantains are your jam, then Pig Floyds in Mills 50 gets all of our votes. Though Pulptown readers Chauniqua Major, Mike Synan and Jordan Randall all agree that Latin Square Cuisine brings the heat with its mojo sauce, delicious yucca, and large serving sizes.
🇨🇺 Cuban. Our Caribbean neighbors to the south know their way around a kitchen and these eateries are proof. Head to Zaza’s New Cuban Diner for cafe con Leche and their legendary quesitos plus great vegan and vegetarian options. At Numero Uno, order the tamales and picadillo or chicken with rice, assuming you still have room after consuming an unhealthy amount of Cuban bread.
🇨🇴 Colombian. If you’re in the mood for Colombian, head to Pio Pio Restaurant off I-Drive for the rotisserie chicken and Super Rico Colombian Bistro downtown for one of their rice bowls (p.s. Pro-tip: Friday and Saturday nights they stay open until 3 a.m. and they’re right across from the fire station on Central Ave.)
🇲🇽 Mexican. La Fiesta Mexican Grill in the Hourglass District gets our vote for its Diablo shrimp dish, chimichangas, and their extra tasty, extra-large margaritas. Another classic Mexican favorite of ours is Azteca D’Oro on University near UCF because a) their chips and salsa are the best in town and b) their all-you-can-eat-taco Tuesdays. Finally, Hunger Street Tacos for its authentic street-style tacos.
🔥 Bucket List Eats. Some places that you raved about but we have yet to try are Cindy’s Cafe, Los Generales, El Palacio Buffet, Cafe Madrid Deli & Bakery, and the Malao Bakery Food Truck. Just tell us when you want to meet there and what we should order.
Best places in Orlando to eat/drink/shop/support during Hispanic Heritage Month: Volume dos.
🥘 For more food and drink, check out: Bad As’s Sandwiches for crazy spins on a classic, CFS Coffee for the best in Colombian coffee, Grounding Roots for the ultimate juice bar experience (we’re not kidding, video coming soon), Shakers American Cafe for the best breakfast in town (they have the accolades to prove it). Visit Cafe Pinar for Cuban food, the classic Oh Que Bueno for Colombian cuisine, El Cilantrillo Cafe and Pal Campo for Puerto Rican fare.
🇪🇸 For local grocers, La Placita Latina Supermarket is great, but local foodie Pete Armenteros recommends Unidos Supermarket and Melao Bakery, both of which have opciones de comida sin fin. Pete added that “if you want to see Hispanics eating lunch, go to Sedano’s Supermarket or Bravo Supermarket.” Lunches are cheap and portions are healthy.
🛍 For artisanal shopping and self-care, support and shop: Nail Alchemy for elaborate nail art, Naked Bar Soap Co. for artisan soaps and essential oils without all the BS, Classic Man Cuts or Mr. Man Barber Shop for haircut and barber needs, and T’s Secret for skincare needs.
📰 Tell me something I don’t know, Katie. What you might not know is how much our local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (HCCMO) has done for the metro Orlando region. Formed in 1993, HCCMO now has more than 1,000 active members and since its inception, the Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund has provided more than $1.45 million in scholarships to help 317 students pursue a college education. Each year, HCCMO puts together a list of the 25 most influential Hispanics in Central Florida. You can check out the 2018 list here to see if you recognize a few names.
We encourage you to celebrate Hispanic and Latin-owned and operated businesses year-round, not just within National Hispanic Heritage Month. Also, in weeks to come, you’ll recognize several of these names featured in our Monday Makers series. Feel free to send additional suggestions our way by dropping us a line at [email protected]