The City of Boston will be celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month, from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. This marks the fourth year in a row that the city has officially honored the history and culture of Latino communities around Boston, showcasing “diverse histories and contributions to public life, culture, language, and identity.”
The City of Boston’s Latinx Employee Resource Group, along with the City’s Equity and Inclusion Cabinet will kick off the month with an event held at City Hall Plaza on Sept. 15, starting at 5 p.m. There will be food, music, resources, and salsa classes.
In honor of this month of recognition, we asked readers to share their favorite Hispanic-owned businesses with us, and we heard many responses, from restaurants serving delicious burritos and tacos to barbershops that families take their children to. You told us about La Fabrica Central Restaurant in Cambridge, serving up Spanish and Caribbean cuisine, and El Peñol in East Boston, where they specialize in Colombian food.
We will update this guide over the course of the month, so feel free to send us your submissions.
Food and Drink
Alex’s Chimis (358 Centre St., Jamaica Plain)
Dominican food is served at this eatery, and guests enjoy digging into the chimi and sandwich combos, the pastries (such as flan and stuffed cassava), and the tropical juices.
Angela’s Cafe (131 Lexington St., East Boston)
Readers love the burritos and mole at Angela’s, a family-owned restaurant originally from Puebla, bringing visitors authentic Mexican cuisine. The chilaquiles are a hit, and the atmosphere is cozy and inviting. “The large picture of the family matriarch, Angela, is a beautiful touch,” reader Michelle G. said.
Banana Samba (Online)
A company founded by Carla and Ruth Wahnon, who grew up in Brazil, Banana Samba is a natural chewy snack, made from slow-cooked bananas “that caramelize their own sugars and turn into a soft fudgy consistency.” Order them online to support this Boston-based business.
Carolicious Venezuelan Food (14 Tyler St., Somerville)
Two Venezuelan mothers, who both joined the Somerville Arts Council Nibble Program, grew up eating arepas daily and now dole them out in the Aeronaut Brewing Co. Food Hub. Flavors include the catira, filled with chicken and cheese, the best buddies, with plantains and mozzarella, and the rumbera, with pork and cheese.
Celeste (21 Bow St., Somerville)
The food at this restaurant comes from ancient Peruvian recipes, transmitted from generation to generation. Order seared scallops with squid ink fettuccine, cilantro stew with lamb and creamed canary beans, or an Incan stew, with potato, chicken, and pork.
Doña Habana Restaurant (811 Massachusetts Ave., Boston)
Named after “a mystical character of the ancestral Cuban santeria,”
Doña Habana prepares mojitos, tapas, and entrees, like the paella marinera and arroz con pollo a la chorrera.
El Centro (338 Washington St., Dedham)
Come here for generous portions and fresh ingredients, in the preparation of your Mexican food. The warm and artfully decorated space offers brunch items, such as the tamale skillet, and dinner dishes, like the rib eye tacos.
El Gran Jaguar (228 Union St., Lynn)
This restaurant in Lynn draws influences from Guatemalan, Salvadorian, and Mexican cuisine. If you visit, you’ll find chicken soup, churrasco, taquitos, tamales, and more cooked up in the kitchen.
El Peñol (54 Bennington St., Boston)
You’re due for a visit to El Peñol if you appreciate Colombian cuisine. On the menu, you can find yuca fritas, salmon soup, and grilled chicken covered in a creamy sauce, with bacon, corn, mushrooms, and cilantro.
El Vaquero Mexican Taqueria (478 High St., Medford)
This taqueria is inspired by the flavors of Mexico, serving up quick bites, as well as quesadillas, tortas, and tacos. They also have some specialty plates, such as the enchilada plate, fajitas, and the grilled tilapia plate.
Frio Rico (360 Bennington St. R, East Boston)
A family-owned store, Frio Rico sells Peruvian groceries, ice cream, and juices. Reader Micah from Lexington praised the “sweet and savory pastries, alfajores, and shaved ice desserts,” calling the spot a “great little convenience store.”
Habanero’s Salsa Caliente (76 Tudor St., Chelsea)
Owner Miguel Sanchez Galeana developed a recipe for this salsa verde “from the salsas his mom made growing in on a farm in Mexico near Ixtapa-Zihuatenjo,” according to a reader. The product features a blend of peppers and spices, a great accompaniment to Mexican dishes.
Jalapa’s Mexican Grill (929 Main St., Millis)
You will savor the tacos al pastor, the chicken flautas, and the fruit smoothies at Jalapa’s. Reader Brendan said, “No one works harder than the Chacon Family and this is an excellent place. Wonderful food (shrimp nachos and the chimichangas are my favorites) and a great patio to enjoy a margarita (or pitcher).”
Jimmie’s Cafe (48 Corinth St., Roslindale)
This locally owned ice cream shop and sandwich cafe brings wonderful flavors to Roslindale. Order a frappe, an ice cream sandwich, or an excellent panini while you’re here, or choose from one of their specialty drinks.
La Catrina (1620 Commonwealth Ave., Boston)
If you’re looking for a casual spot with counter service, La Catrina is the way to go. Offering Mexican food with a Caribbean twist, the restaurant has a plant-based menu, with items such as empanadas, tacos, and an amazonia bowl.
La Fabrica (450 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge)
Readers were enthusiastic about La Fabrica, which offers a fusion of Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Dominican cuisine. In particular, they testified that the Latin sushi, lobster mofongo, red snapper with coconut creole sauce, and lomo saltado (steak) were superb. “The executive chef [Giovanna Huyke-Souffront] is known as the Julia Childs of Puerto Rico,” reader Elena F. said.
La Parada (3094 Washington St., Boston)
This Dominican kitchen serves up tripe soup, stewed chicken, and seafood in coconut sauce. The Egleston Square restaurant was founded by an immigrant couple, Yonatan and Carmen Peña, during the pandemic, in 2020.
La Pupusa Loca & Mexican Food (795 Concord St., Framingham)
Enjoy Salvadoran food at La Pupusa Loca, where they offer tacos, quesadillas, and fajitas. Reader Bill said, “They make amazing pupusas, a Salvadorian treat made with meat, cheese, beans, covered with pickled cabbage and a spicy vinaigrette. They are delish and you can watch them being made.”
La Qchara (506 Franklin St., Melrose)
Central and South American cuisine is served at this vibrant cafe, where you can sit down with a quinoa bowl, chia pudding, or arroz con pollo. Natural smoothies, raw juices, and coffee are also on the menu.
La Reina Cafeteria (80 Bennington St., Boston)
Reader Cindy recommended this Salvadorian spot in East Boston, pointing out the carne asada and delicious pupusas, thick griddle cakes, or flatbreads. Stop by for some home-style cuisine for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
La Sultana Bakery (40 Maverick Square, East Boston)
You can find Colombian treats at this counter-service stop, where they serve empanadas, sweets, and smoothies. Look out for the churros, cakes, and fried foods while you’re there.
La Taqueria (320 Washington St., Dedham)
Stop by to find delectable appetizers, such as “nachos with feelings,” coming with complimentary toppings, and avocado fries at La Taqueria. You may also wish to dig into a chicken tinga burrito or mango habanero shrimp tacos, if you’re seeking out an excellent meal.
La Victoria Taqueria (12 Medford St., Arlington)
At La Victoria, a celebration of Mexican street food, you can order fish tacos, a breaded chicken torta, or just chips and salsa, washing it all down with a horchata or refreshing Jarritos drink.
Maya Sol Mexican Grill (179 Broadway, Somerville)
A casual spot, Maya Sol presents Mexican classics and Salvadoran pupusas in the Somerville area. Chimichangas are prepared here, as are breakfast items, and a variety of melts, including flautas and tortas.
Merengue Restaurant (156 Blue Hill Ave., Boston)
In 1994, Merengue began serving Dominican food to the Boston community. Today, you can find delicious items on their menu, such as ceviche, fried king fish steak, and choco flan.
Mexica Burrito Grill (759 Main St., Tewksbury)
Come to Mexica in Tewksbury for burritos, tacos, nachos, bowls, and salads. Reader Shannon said that she lives near a Chipotle but will drive to the next town to visit this restaurant.
Mexicali Cantina Grill (29 Andover St., Danvers)
There are multiple locations of this grill around Massachusetts, and readers championed the traditional dishes and margaritas. “Many of the bartenders can make you fresh cantaritos with chamoy and tajin, off-menu,” Allie D. said.
Mi Pueblito (333 Border St., East Boston)
Dig into the huevos rancheros, Argentinian-style grilled steak, or vegetarian tacos at this spot, which readers said has a warm atmosphere. “Whenever I am missing my Latin culture, this restaurant has helped me fill that void,” reader Andrea told us.
Oasis Brazilian Restaurant (373 Main St., Medford)
Cooking up Brazilian barbecue, Oasis was founded in 1989 and brings delicious flavors to the Medford neighborhood. Order a fajita, bourbon chicken, or moqueca, a stew made with seasonal fish.
Panela Restaurant (525 Hanover St., Lowell)
When you’re searching for Colombian food in Lowell, drop by Panela. There, you’ll find cucumber and mango salads, arepas, red snapper curry, and strawberries and cream for dessert.
Peka Restaurant (304 Washington St., Brighton)
Readers praised the food and vibe at Peka Restaurant, which serves up ceviche, a variety of tacos, and pitchers of sangria. The spot occasionally has live music, making it the perfect destination for an outing with friends.
Picante Taqueria (352 Boston Ave., Medford)
If you’re craving Mexican classics, visit Picante in Medford, where nachos, tortas, and pina coladas all make an appearance. Reader Kyle N. said that the taqueria is his favorite place to go for Mexican food, adding that the staff are welcoming and the atmosphere is pleasant.
Pollos A La Brasa Beto’s (294 Bennington St., Boston)
The rotisserie chicken is a specialty at this Peruvian restaurant, but you may also think of trying the mussels or a tamale appetizer. Finish your meal off with a smoothie, in flavors like papaya or passionfruit.
Purple Cactus (674 Centre St., Jamaica Plain)
This fun and festive burrito and wrap bar is California-inspired, with a menu that offers teriyaki, turkey avocado, and portobello mushroom options when you ask for a wrap. Make it a super, and order yours with guacamole and sour cream.
Recreo Coffee and Roasterie (1 City Hall Square, Boston)
The single-origin coffee served at this cafe comes from a family farm in Nicaragua. Come by for a latte, and taste the flavors of Jinotega, at either the City Hall or West Roxbury locations.
Rincon Mexicano (99 Broadway, Somerville)
Rincon is a neighborhood fixture in East Somerville, serving traditional Mexican fare. Whether you order an enchilada, pollo asado, or deep-fried flautas, you’re sure to enjoy your lunch or dinner at this local spot.
Sauwce LLC (9 Lupine Road, Lowell)
Created by chefs Ramon Campana and Joshua Labranche, Sauwce offers a variety of services, such as meal prep, catering, and personal cooking. Some of their recipes include cajun spiced fish and vegetables, blueberry cobbler oats, and a fall quinoa/sweet potato salad.
Saxonville Burrito Company (1645 Concord St., Framingham)
You can build your own burrito or bowl at Saxonville, choosing from proteins such as chicken, steak, fish, and pulled pork. You’ll also find flatbreads on the menu here, coming in flavors like the chicken bacon ranch and the Cancun chipotle chicken.
Sazón Perú Restaurant (89 S Broadway, Lawrence)
Ceviche and Peruvian vegetarian dishes are prepared at this restaurant in Lawrence, which reader Katie said has reasonable prices. The spot also serves “some of the best pisco sours in the Boston area,” she added.
Tacos Lupita (194 River St., Haverhill)
This chain serves up classic Mexican dishes, from huaraches filled with roast pork to specialty plates, like the chicken with rice, beans, salad, and a fresh corn tortilla.
Tambo 22 Restaurant & Bar (22 Adams St., Chelsea)
A rustic spot in Chelsea, Tambo 22 is a restaurant and cocktail bar that will transport you to Peru. Readers recommended the aji de gallina en tazon, slow-cooked pulled chicken with a creamy pepper sauce.
Taqueria Carrizal (254 Brighton Ave., Allston)
At this Allston joint, you’ll find Mexican, Guatemalan, and Salvadoran cuisine. Try ordering a puffy pupusa, a fried chicken plate, or the tres leches, a treat to finish off your meal.
Taqueria El Amigo (196 Willow St., Waltham)
A small but lively spot, Taqueria El Amigo is a place where you can seek out traditional Mexican fare, with pollo con mole, fried steak, and tortas gracing the menu.
Taqueria Mexico (24 Charles St., Waltham)
In Waltham, this popular hub doles out house specialties, like the spicy pollo loco (chicken and shrimp cooked in hot sauce), and the pork ribs served with rice and black beans.
Tenoch (382 Highland Ave., Somerville)
Tenoch has many locations around the Boston area, as well as food trucks where you can get your meal while on the go. Their tortas, pressed sandwiches made with telera bread, are delicious, while the tacos are always a hit.
Tex Mex Eats (Multiple locations)
Founded by Amanda Escamilla, Tex Mex Eats specializes in tamales, served at farmers’ markets in Cambridge, Somerville, and the Greater Boston area. They also do catering, offering cactus lima bean soup, grilled jalapeno poppers, and Texas-style potato salad.
This women-owned business was started by three friends from Caracas with a passion for Venezuelan arepas. You can choose from a menu of different flavors, from the Domino arepa, made with black beans and shredded Queso Blanco, to the Reina Pepiada, with avocado chicken salad.
Vejigantes Restaurant (57 West Dedham St., Boston)
Bringing traditional flavors of Puerto Rico to Boston, Vejigantes serves carefully prepared cuisine. Enjoy the shredded coconut shrimp, pork or chicken mofongo, or grilled lobster tail, accompanied by mashed cassava. Reader Amanda F. said that she brings friends here to introduce them to new plates.
Villa Mexico Cafe (121 Water St., Boston)
Located in the Financial District, Villa Mexico Cafe has many loyal patrons who come for the tacos served with the eatery’s famous black salsa. Operated by Julie King and her daughter Bessie, the cafe “treats customers like family,” according to reader Rick M., who said the owners greet guests with a smile and are “hard-working, genuine, and make the best Mexican food in Boston.”
Viva Mi Arepa (5197 Washington St., West Roxbury)
This Venezuelan spot in West Roxbury is known for a few things: the pabellon criollo, a shredded beef dish, is one of them. The restaurant also offers paella, pork chop dinners, and refreshing smoothies to complement any meal.
Goods and Services
1 More Rep Athletics (14-16 Partridge Place, Boston)
Get in shape by visiting this gym, which claims that teamwork is one of its core principles. Take classes in yoga, zumba, fitness boxing, cycling, and spin. You’ll break a sweat, but the results will be well worth the effort.
Artfort Design Studio (Online)
Founder Elena Martinez aims to promote positive impact through design, and Artfort Design Studio offers a range of services. From logo making to website design, to branding and consulting, Artfort can meet the needs of your product or company.
Barrales Law (98 N Washington St. b5, Boston)
This Boston based law firm has helped many immigrants gain lawful status in the United States, while also having recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in workers’ compensation benefits for their clients. They aim to help clients face the legal challenges surrounding the immigration process.
Carla Shaw Sustainable Fashion (Online)
Owner Carla Shaw, who is from Brazil, has envisioned a sustainable jewelry collection where each piece is produced by hand “through a delicate process, and coated in 18-karat gold, originating jewels of singular design and impeccable finish.” Browse online, and you’ll find earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.
Foundation Real Estate Services (175 Market St #2, Brighton)
Owned by Shaun Ulloa, Foundation Real Estate Services can help you buy or rent a home in the Boston area. Reader Anita F. said that Ulloa is “knowledgeable and is known to work [very] hard for his customers.”
In The Cut Boston Barbershop (1437 Tremont St., Boston)
Family-owned barbershop, In The Cut, tries to stay true to “old school” barbershop culture. The business strives to create community by providing top-notch services. An anonymous reader said, “I take my three boys to get haircuts here all the time! They are great.”
Lil’ Labmates (Online)
This woman-owned small business was started by a mom and MIT neuroscientist. The toys, which you can shop for online, have put a STEM twist on developmentally enriching playthings for babies.
Mr. Suazo’s Barbershop (16 Lebanon St., Malden)
Whether you need a haircut or a beard trim, Mr. Suazo’s brings style and design to the chair. The business also offers hot towel and facial steamer treatments, hair designs, wedding packages, braids, and more.
Paper Fiesta (1 Main St., Natick)
If you’re throwing a party, Paper Fiesta is the place to visit. This store sells balloons, greeting cards, wrapping paper, and a variety of gifts, such as mugs, puzzles, and stuffed animals. Reader Melissa said, “We love the owner, Paula. She is such a wonderful addition to our community. She gets to know her customers. She curates special party supplies and gifts.”
Organizations and Nonprofits
Hyde Square Task Force (30 Sunnyside St., Boston)
This Jamaica Plain organization strives to “amplify the power, creativity, and voices of youth, connecting them to Afro-Latin culture and heritage so they can create a diverse, vibrant Latin-Quarter and build a just, equitable Boston.” Among other initiatives, they have a college success program and a music clubhouse.