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A bowl of ceviche with hunks of raw fish, sweet potato, corn, and just a touch of fried calamari
Casa Zoraya’s ceviche
Brooke Jackson-Glidden/EPDX

Where To Find Latin American Favorites in Portland and Beyond

Where to find Guatemalan jocon, Puerto Rican mofongo, and more

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Casa Zoraya’s ceviche
| Brooke Jackson-Glidden/EPDX

Most cities in the United States now have Mexican restaurants galore, but not all are blessed with food from other Latin American countries. Unlike Miami and Detroit, Portland doesn’t have neighborhoods with concentrated Latin American immigrant populations (think: Little Havana); instead, restaurants and food carts serving lomo saltaldo and empanadas are scattered throughout the greater Portland area.

When looking for an array of Latin American fare, the all-in-one Portland Mercado is an obvious place to start, but the city is home to a number of locally beloved establishments, bakery-cafe hybrids, and restaurants where reservations are highly recommended. Here are 14 places in Portland serving myriad dishes from counties south (and east) of Mexico. If you’re looking for Mexican dishes like guisados or carnitas, try our taco map or our Mexican restaurant map.

A number of Portland restaurants have resumed dine-in service. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID update page. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Los Chapines Restaurant

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What might look like a typical Hillsboro Mexican bakery from the outside is the one of the only specifically Guatemalan restaurants in the region. The name — Guatemalans call themselves “chapines”— is the tip-off. This is the place for hard-to-find meaty stews like sopa de res, a weekend-only beef soup, hilachas, shredded beef braised with tomatoes, and jocon, a green tomatillo-based stew that’s available with beef or chicken. Los Chapines is open for takeout and delivery.

Boriken Restaurant

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The Pacific Northwest isn’t exactly overflowing with Caribbean restaurants, but for Puerto Rican food like alcapurrias, bacalaitos fritos, and mofongo, a tasty mound of fried plantains mashed with chicharrones, head to Beaverton’s Boriken. The restaurant is open for indoor and outdoor dining, as well as delivery and takeout.

boriken
Mofongo at Boriken
Krista Garcia/EPDX

Abuela Chona

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One of two local Argentine food carts (Portland Mercado’s Alecocina is the other), Abuela Chona in Beaverton’s BG Food Cartel is a rich source of casual fare like baked empanadas in eight different flavors, including a ground beef and hard-boiled egg classic, plus the beloved choripan, a chorizo sandwich dressed with chimichurri and served on a crusty homemade French roll. Abuela Chona is open for delivery and takeout.

View this post on Instagram

Our beautiful menu!

A post shared by Abuela Chona Bakery (@abuelachona) on

Casa del Pollo

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Costa Rica attracts US eco-tourists seeking pura vida, but the Central American country’s cuisine isn’t represented as predominantly in the U.S. restaurant market. One of the Portland area’s only Costa Rican restaurants, however, serves Tico (Costa Rican) faves like gallo pinto, fried white rice and beans, and chifrijo, fried pork, pico de gallo, rice, and beans, served with tortilla chips for scooping. Casa del Pollo is open for takeout and delivery.

Andina has developed a national reputation for its high-end Novo-Andean cuisine, and for many, it’s considered an embassy for Peruvian chefs and a starting point for novice diners. Andina has managed to stay relevant over the years, serving elegant and piquant ceviches in a restaurant space that borders on fine dining. Andina is open for takeout and delivery.

octopus ceviche on a plate with sweet potato and corn on the cob.
Andina octopus ceviche
Krista Garcia/EPDX

Casa Zoraya

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One of the newer additions to Portland’s tiny Peruvian scene is family-owned Casa Zoraya, bringing artful plating and an Andina pedigree to North Portland. The restaurant looks casual on the surface, with its narrow row of tables, rustic mixed wood accents, and pops of azure paint, but the food is meticulously constructed. Dishes showcase multi-hued potatoes and piquant peppers, and lomo saltado — a Chinese-Peruvian dish of stir-fried beef, tomatoes, and french fries — gets an upgrade with sirloin and potato wedges adjacent to a neat mound of rice. Casa Zoraya is open for takeout.

El Pilón

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El Pilón, the lone yellow cart two blocks from the waterfront, specializes in Colombian empanadas, arepas, and patacónes, all naturally gluten-free. Patacónes, normally flattened fried plantains, arrive as little bowls stuffed with shredded chicken, beef, or cheese and greens, topped with Colombian salsa called hogao. Pair it with a hybrid fruit cocktail-punch, salpicon, a name often used for a minced meat dishes in the rest of Latin America. El Pilón is open for takeout or delivery.

Pambiche

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Pambiche, the colorful Cuban restaurant on the lower level of a Victorian building, has persisted just off the now-trendy 28th Avenue corridor since the dawn of the millennium. It is also one of the only places in town to find literal melting pot dishes like ajiaco, a Creole stew containing beef, pork, squash, plantains, and four types of starchy tubers (yuca, malanga, ñame, boniato) that borrows from African, Spanish, and Taino traditions. Most dishes come with moros y cristianos, the colloquial name for black beans and white rice. Pambiche is open for takeout and outdoor dining.

Brazilian House

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Beyond rodizios like Brazil Grill and national chain Fogo de Chão, Brazilian food isn’t easy to come by in Portland. Belmont food cart Brazilian House fills the gap by offering comforting classics like feijoada, the hearty black bean stew filled with sausage and smoked meat often referred to as the national dish, and moqueca, a coconut milk-based seafood stew flavored with palm oil.

View this post on Instagram

Feijoada!

A post shared by Brazilian House Food Cart PDX (@brazilianhousepdx) on

La Arepa

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Venezuelan food shares similarities with nearby countries, and both La Arepa carts offer the namesake corn cake. For something specifically Venezuelan, order pabellón, a mix of shredded beef, plantains, and black beans as an entree served with rice, stuffed into an empanada or arepa, or as a patacón, a sandwich using two tostones for bread. La Arepa is open for takeout and delivery.

QueBolá? Cuban Cuisine

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This Portland Mercado food cart serves Cuban staples vaca frita, fried strips of flank steak marinated in lime, or its stewy relative, ropa vieja, made with wonderfully tender beef. There’s also no going wrong with the “beginner” plate, essentially a sampler of everything: steak, roast pork, grilled chicken, yuca, plantains, rice, and beans. The Portland Mercado is open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining.

plate of meat, plantains, and rice.
Vaca frita at QueBolá
Krista Garcia/EPDX

Que Bacano!

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Que Bacano is one of the most popular carts at Portland Mercado, likely because Colombian food is scarce in the city. It serves the holy trinity of arepas, empanadas, and patacones, as well as bigger entrees like arroz con pollo and the bandeja paisa, a traditional hefty platter of rice, soupy pork-filled beans, plantains, sausage, chicharrones, fried egg, avocado, plus an arepa. The Portland Mercado is open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining.

An arepa at Que Bacano
An arepa at Que Bacano
Krista Garcia/EPDX

Merendero Estela

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Merendero Estela, a Honduran food cart just a few blocks north of Cartlandia, specializes

in pollo con tajadas, a.k.a. “chicken with very green bananas,” an underwhelming name for a princely basket of fried chicken and sliced tostones, nestled next to a bed of shredded cabbage and pink pickled onions. For something simpler, the cart’s baleadas — soft, handmade flour tortillas folded over refried beans, cotija, and crema — are hard to beat. Merendero Estela has covered outdoor seating and is open for takeout and delivery.

Baleadas at Merendero Estela
Baleadas at Merendero Estela
Krista Garcia/EPDX

Chepe's

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Salvadoran pupuserias are scattered throughout East Portland beyond 205, and Chepe’s is one of the most popular. Pupusas, flat corn cakes that are sparingly filled with things like beans and cheese, are grilled and served naked with hot sauce and curtido, a pickled cabbage and carrot slaw spiked with jalapeños. They’re also available with more fanciful toppings — shrimp and cilantro sauce, chorizo and egg — plus sour cream and avocado. Chepe’s is open for takeout and delivery.

Chepe’s revuelta pupusa with curtido
Chepe’s revuelta pupusa with curtido
Krista Garcia/EPDX

Los Chapines Restaurant

What might look like a typical Hillsboro Mexican bakery from the outside is the one of the only specifically Guatemalan restaurants in the region. The name — Guatemalans call themselves “chapines”— is the tip-off. This is the place for hard-to-find meaty stews like sopa de res, a weekend-only beef soup, hilachas, shredded beef braised with tomatoes, and jocon, a green tomatillo-based stew that’s available with beef or chicken. Los Chapines is open for takeout and delivery.

Boriken Restaurant

The Pacific Northwest isn’t exactly overflowing with Caribbean restaurants, but for Puerto Rican food like alcapurrias, bacalaitos fritos, and mofongo, a tasty mound of fried plantains mashed with chicharrones, head to Beaverton’s Boriken. The restaurant is open for indoor and outdoor dining, as well as delivery and takeout.

boriken
Mofongo at Boriken
Krista Garcia/EPDX

Abuela Chona

One of two local Argentine food carts (Portland Mercado’s Alecocina is the other), Abuela Chona in Beaverton’s BG Food Cartel is a rich source of casual fare like baked empanadas in eight different flavors, including a ground beef and hard-boiled egg classic, plus the beloved choripan, a chorizo sandwich dressed with chimichurri and served on a crusty homemade French roll. Abuela Chona is open for delivery and takeout.

View this post on Instagram

Our beautiful menu!

A post shared by Abuela Chona Bakery (@abuelachona) on

Casa del Pollo

Costa Rica attracts US eco-tourists seeking pura vida, but the Central American country’s cuisine isn’t represented as predominantly in the U.S. restaurant market. One of the Portland area’s only Costa Rican restaurants, however, serves Tico (Costa Rican) faves like gallo pinto, fried white rice and beans, and chifrijo, fried pork, pico de gallo, rice, and beans, served with tortilla chips for scooping. Casa del Pollo is open for takeout and delivery.

Andina

Andina has developed a national reputation for its high-end Novo-Andean cuisine, and for many, it’s considered an embassy for Peruvian chefs and a starting point for novice diners. Andina has managed to stay relevant over the years, serving elegant and piquant ceviches in a restaurant space that borders on fine dining. Andina is open for takeout and delivery.

octopus ceviche on a plate with sweet potato and corn on the cob.
Andina octopus ceviche
Krista Garcia/EPDX

Casa Zoraya

One of the newer additions to Portland’s tiny Peruvian scene is family-owned Casa Zoraya, bringing artful plating and an Andina pedigree to North Portland. The restaurant looks casual on the surface, with its narrow row of tables, rustic mixed wood accents, and pops of azure paint, but the food is meticulously constructed. Dishes showcase multi-hued potatoes and piquant peppers, and lomo saltado — a Chinese-Peruvian dish of stir-fried beef, tomatoes, and french fries — gets an upgrade with sirloin and potato wedges adjacent to a neat mound of rice. Casa Zoraya is open for takeout.

El Pilón

El Pilón, the lone yellow cart two blocks from the waterfront, specializes in Colombian empanadas, arepas, and patacónes, all naturally gluten-free. Patacónes, normally flattened fried plantains, arrive as little bowls stuffed with shredded chicken, beef, or cheese and greens, topped with Colombian salsa called hogao. Pair it with a hybrid fruit cocktail-punch, salpicon, a name often used for a minced meat dishes in the rest of Latin America. El Pilón is open for takeout or delivery.

Pambiche

Pambiche, the colorful Cuban restaurant on the lower level of a Victorian building, has persisted just off the now-trendy 28th Avenue corridor since the dawn of the millennium. It is also one of the only places in town to find literal melting pot dishes like ajiaco, a Creole stew containing beef, pork, squash, plantains, and four types of starchy tubers (yuca, malanga, ñame, boniato) that borrows from African, Spanish, and Taino traditions. Most dishes come with moros y cristianos, the colloquial name for black beans and white rice. Pambiche is open for takeout and outdoor dining.

Brazilian House

Beyond rodizios like Brazil Grill and national chain Fogo de Chão, Brazilian food isn’t easy to come by in Portland. Belmont food cart Brazilian House fills the gap by offering comforting classics like feijoada, the hearty black bean stew filled with sausage and smoked meat often referred to as the national dish, and moqueca, a coconut milk-based seafood stew flavored with palm oil.

View this post on Instagram

Feijoada!

A post shared by Brazilian House Food Cart PDX (@brazilianhousepdx) on

La Arepa

Venezuelan food shares similarities with nearby countries, and both La Arepa carts offer the namesake corn cake. For something specifically Venezuelan, order pabellón, a mix of shredded beef, plantains, and black beans as an entree served with rice, stuffed into an empanada or arepa, or as a patacón, a sandwich using two tostones for bread. La Arepa is open for takeout and delivery.

QueBolá? Cuban Cuisine

This Portland Mercado food cart serves Cuban staples vaca frita, fried strips of flank steak marinated in lime, or its stewy relative, ropa vieja, made with wonderfully tender beef. There’s also no going wrong with the “beginner” plate, essentially a sampler of everything: steak, roast pork, grilled chicken, yuca, plantains, rice, and beans. The Portland Mercado is open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining.

plate of meat, plantains, and rice.
Vaca frita at QueBolá
Krista Garcia/EPDX

Que Bacano!

Que Bacano is one of the most popular carts at Portland Mercado, likely because Colombian food is scarce in the city. It serves the holy trinity of arepas, empanadas, and patacones, as well as bigger entrees like arroz con pollo and the bandeja paisa, a traditional hefty platter of rice, soupy pork-filled beans, plantains, sausage, chicharrones, fried egg, avocado, plus an arepa. The Portland Mercado is open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining.

An arepa at Que Bacano
An arepa at Que Bacano
Krista Garcia/EPDX

Merendero Estela

Merendero Estela, a Honduran food cart just a few blocks north of Cartlandia, specializes

in pollo con tajadas, a.k.a. “chicken with very green bananas,” an underwhelming name for a princely basket of fried chicken and sliced tostones, nestled next to a bed of shredded cabbage and pink pickled onions. For something simpler, the cart’s baleadas — soft, handmade flour tortillas folded over refried beans, cotija, and crema — are hard to beat. Merendero Estela has covered outdoor seating and is open for takeout and delivery.

Baleadas at Merendero Estela
Baleadas at Merendero Estela
Krista Garcia/EPDX

Chepe's

Salvadoran pupuserias are scattered throughout East Portland beyond 205, and Chepe’s is one of the most popular. Pupusas, flat corn cakes that are sparingly filled with things like beans and cheese, are grilled and served naked with hot sauce and curtido, a pickled cabbage and carrot slaw spiked with jalapeños. They’re also available with more fanciful toppings — shrimp and cilantro sauce, chorizo and egg — plus sour cream and avocado. Chepe’s is open for takeout and delivery.

Chepe’s revuelta pupusa with curtido
Chepe’s revuelta pupusa with curtido
Krista Garcia/EPDX

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