In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we rounded up the best spots for Latinx food in the DMV area, from hole-in-the wall to world-renowned eateries. Celebrate by frequenting one (or multiple) of these local businesses through October 15th — and beyond. We recommend sampling a range of what each place has to offer, whether it be sipping on refreshing fruity Jarritos or a creamy horchata, or devouring a crispy-sweet tostones or a smoky al pastor taco.
For authentic tacos in the District, Bandit Taco is our go-to. Vegetarian options are equally as tasty as their meat ones, and piled so high with flavors you’ll be thankful for the second tortilla. Their $2 Taco Tuesday is the most blissful way to start your work week. Burritos, bowls and quesadillas are an excellent addition to their taco menu, and feature protein options such as Korean beef, barbacoa, and wild mushroom. While they’ve switched to mainly takeout options during the pandemic, their interior seating is cozy and vibrant. We’ve never had a better taco for less. You can find them in Tenleytown, U St., and Leesburg. 4629 41st St. NW, DC // 1946 New Hampshire Ave NW, DC; bandittacodc.com // @bandittacodc
This Puerto Rican eatery brings all the flavors of the Caribbean to the District. Chef and Owner Joancarlo Parkhurst is self proclaimed “born in Puerto Rico, raised in D.C.,” and combines his heritages wonderfully. With a relaxed coffee shop ambience, towering ceilings, and warm natural décor, La Famosa is bright and cozy. They serve coffee all day, as well as draft beer, cocktails, and an impressive food menu. Check out their Puerto Rican-style pork chop (chuleta kan-kan) and blended milk drinks with flavors ranging from mango to tamarind. Pastries are available at the counter, and can be enjoyed on one of La Famosa’s playfully crafted swing-bench booths. 1300 4th St. SE, DC; eatlafamosa.com // @eatlafamosa
Habana Village offers Cuban food nestled around the corner from the hustle and bustle of 18th St. in Adams Morgan. The downstairs dining room offers a range of bar seating, high tops and traditional tables against a backdrop of a traditional D.C. rowhouse. There’s much more than meets the eye — follow a winding staircase upstairs to find a dance floor, entertainment space, and additional bar area. Mellow and sleek, Habana Village is an obviously notorious spot for salsa lovers and Cuban food aficionados. Their mojitos are unbeatable, and pair well with a traditional paella Mixta or maduro relleno. 1834 Columbia Rd. NW, DC; habanavillage.com // @habanavillage
Oyamel isn’t a secret, but that won’t stop it from making our list. Chef Jose Andres is part culinary master, part humanitarian entrepreneur, and has been a behemoth in the D.C. food scene for several years. As part of a DMV vaccine effort, Andres offered $50 gift certificates to his restaurants for the recently vaccinated. Oyamel’s stylish, colorful interior is unmistakable — from floating butterflies to playful shared table seating. There are separate menus for different dietary restrictions, as well as an inventive set of entrees. Oyamel prides itself on exploring the regional diversity of food in Mexico, with everything from grasshopper tacos to better known dishes such as pulpo negra marinated octopus. 401 7th St. NW, DC; oyamel.com // @oyameldc
Jalapeno margaritas, yucca fritas, and plantanitas maduros are all staples at this local Woodley Park eatery. Mayahuel is a festive Mexican cocina with a flower draped patio only steps from the Woodley Park/Zoo Metro station. The team behind District Kitchen recently launched this restaurant, which takes its name from the Mexican female deity of the agave plant. Sugar skull décor and ambient lighting elevate Mayahuel from neighborhood spot to hidden gem. It’s lively, fun, and dog friendly – all bonuses of restaurants out of the hustle and bustle of Downtown. 2609 24th St. NW, DC; mayahueldc.com // @mayahueldc
El Secreto de Rosita
Locally owned and operated, El Secreto de Rosita is an eclectic, lush dining experience. Chef Mauricio Fraga-Rosenfeld opened the spot in 2021, and his menu combines Peruvian and Asian influences to create absolutely unique meals. Lobster risotto pairs with Peruvian donuts and lomo saltado. The cocktails are heavy hitters as well – with a lychee rum Kawaii Cocktail sitting alongside the Santo Pecado, a mix of cucumber, agave, blanco tequila and jalapeno. There’s live music, seating across the lounge, patio, and bar, and art that runs the line between renaissance and pinup. El Secreto de Rosita is 100% minority owned and operated, and marries it’s upscale vibe with a relaxed atmosphere. The result is a secret so good that we’d almost rather keep to ourselves. 1624 U St. NW, DC; elsecretoderosita.com // @elsecretoderosita
Chef and Owner Victor Albisu is best known for his Penn Quarter restaurant Del Campo, but this Maryland-Virginia chain combines the finesse of fine dining with the unpretentious joy of your local taqueria. This restaurant is a unique take on Peruvian and Cuban cuisine, offering favorites like lengua and al pastor alongside homemade fudge brownies. An open air kitchen, chrome interior, and bar seating keep the restaurant’s vibe just as upbeat and fun as the food is. Various locations. tacobamba.com // @tacobamba
Taqueria La Placita
Eat family style at this off the beaten path taqueria featuring a wide menu, indoor and outdoor seating options, and local flair in Maryland’s gastronomically vibrant Prince George’s county. The tacos are loaded with fresh cilantro, braised meats, and flavorful salsa, with fresh squeezed orange juice and a huge array of Jarritos promise an authentic dining experience. The dinner platters are enormous, the options are plentiful, and the food can’t be beat. 5020 Edmonston Rd. Hyattsville, MD; yelp.com/biz/taqueria-la-placita-hyattsville
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