Hispanic Heritage Month begins September 15, so get ready for food, music, festivals, dance, and…more food! North Jersey is bursting with Latin culture so embrace it all for Hispanic Heritage month—and throughout the year. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are a few suggestions to get you started!
Community Day: Fiesta Latina at the Newark Museum of Art
Saturday, September 17, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
49 Washington St., Newark, NJ
The Newark Museum of Art holds its annual Fiesta Latina. The famous fiesta takes place front and center of the museum and through Washington Park. Celebrate Hispanic arts and culture, check out a range of Latin food trucks, and enjoy live performances. Not only is this a day of fiesta, but all guests have free access to check out the museum’s exhibits.
Live at Brennan’s
September 22, 7 p.m.
583 Newark Ave., Jersey City, NJ
Live at Brennan’s is coming soon. For $20, guests get access to food and live performances from Segunda Quimbamba, a local dance group, and Pedro Giraudo Tango Quartet, a Latin Grammy Award-winning artist. If you love rhythm and dance, this event is for you!
759 Farragut Place, West New York, NJ
875 US-1S, Iselin, NJ
177 3rd Avenue, Paterson, NJ
Let’s start with one of the most popular Dominican cuisine spots in North Jersey. Famous for its new twist on Latin cuisine and its homemade sauces, Mamajuana Cafe’s specialties include “the authentic flavors of the Caribbean Hispanic and South American culinary tradition.” Enjoy your meal over the latest bachata and merengues at one of their three Garden State locations.
291 Central Ave., Jersey City, NJ
2179 Morris Ave., Union, NJ
295 Monroe Street, Passaic, NJ (coming soon)
With two locations and one opening soon, El Gordo is a charming, family-owned restaurant specializing in Peruvian cuisine. The dishes served at El Gordo just might make you feel like you’ve been transported to Peru to enjoy a friend’s—or your own—abuelita’s homemade cooking. (Encouraged with every meal, El Gordo’s green sauce has made a name for itself.) If you like traditional dishes like lomo saltado, ceviche, or papa la huancaina, this is the place to be.
1996-1998 Morris Ave. Union, NJ
If you’re looking for must-try Mexican, stop by El Chingon, in Union. El Chingon is known for its arrachera a la Mexicana and for unforgettable tacos. This place is a little representation of Mexico with all the flavor profiles that will make your mouth water and burn (in a good way!) at the same time. Get the squad together for an el Chingon karaoke night!
1706 Bergenline Ave., Union City, NJ
If you’re looking for Central American foods, head to Union City. The pupusas at Guanaco deliver the perfect sense of Salvadorian cuisine. And while you’re there, be sure to try a soup and tortilla y queso!
La Havana 59
110 Moonachie Ave., Moonachie, NJ
Cuban food is a fine mix of Spanish, Latin, and African cuisine. If you’re in the mood for a Cuban meal, head out to La Havana 59, in Moonachie. You’ll find flavors that will surprise you (and you probably won’t leave without posting a pic of your meal on IG!). Check their website to find out when you can catch live music while you’re there.
Brisas Bakery and Restaurant
262 Morris Ave., Elizabeth, NJ
985 S. Elmore Ave., Elizabeth, NJ
99 W. Palisade Ave., Englewood, NJ
214 Somerset St., North Plainfield, NJ
Lastly, Brisas Bakery and Restaurant is a must-try for Colombian food lovers. (My go-to is the Elizabeth location on Morris Avenue.) This location is Colombia to the core, from the food and people to the decor. At Brisas Bakery and Restaurant, freshly baked goods are the stars, like pandebono, tequeños, arepas, and empanadas. And for coffee lovers like myself, don’t forget to order yourself a cup of Colombian coffee while you’re there, of course!