South of the Border

9 gems dishing up authentic Latin American cuisine across Austin

9 gems dishing up authentic Latin American cuisine across Austin

Boteco Food truck Brazilian food meat dish
Boteco serves up hearty Brazilian dishes at an affordable price. Boteco Food Truck/Facebook
Chago's Caribbean Cuisine mofongo dish Puerto Rican
Get adventurous with the mofongo at Chago's. Chago's Caribbean Cuisine/Facebook
Buenos Aires Cafe empanada Austin restaurant
Splurge on empanadas at Buenos Aires Cafe, but save room for more Argentinean fare. Buenos Aires Cafe/Facebook
Lima Criolla lomo saltado
Lima Criolla is a Peruvian gem, from the food to the atmosphere. Photo by Veronica Meewes
Boteco Food truck Brazilian food meat dish
Chago's Caribbean Cuisine mofongo dish Puerto Rican
Buenos Aires Cafe empanada Austin restaurant
Lima Criolla lomo saltado

There is a plethora of flavor south of the border — and you don't have to leave Austin to experience it. Take a culinary tour of Latin America by visiting these outstanding restaurants that specialize in the cuisines of our southern neighbors. You'll find plenty of meat, plantains, fried foods, and spice on your adventure.

Buenos Aires Café
The taste of Argentina is brought to life at Buenos Aires Café. The empanadas here are essential, but we suggest going easy on them so you can save room for house specialties like pastel de papas, a filling creation comparable to shepherd's pie. There are two Argentinean havens in Austin: Buenos Aires' east side eatery and the full-blown steakhouse in Bee Cave.

Sao Paulo's Restaurante
Dive into the vivid culture of Brazil at Sao Paulo's, a campus-area staple serving Brazilian favorites. Order the pao de queijo — baked Parmesan cheese rolls — and venture on from there.

As Sao Paulo's is more high-end, a more affordable but equally authentic option for your Brazilian fix is Boteco, a family-oriented food truck serving hearty, meat-heavy plates in East Austin.

Casa Colombia
The menu at Casa Colombia is as diverse as the country's heritage. Although the fish, chicken, and vegetable dishes are divine, the beef entrees — particularly the sirloin — are the way to go. All of the necessary accouterment can be found here: chimichurri sauce, criolla seasoning, red beans, plantains, yucca, and more.

Guantanamera Cuban Cuisine
Opened just last year, Guantanamera is as close as you can get to Cuba in the city limits. This South Austin eatery serves classic Cuban dishes like lechon asado, heavily marinated pulled pork, alongside more recognizable Latin-inspired plates like a version of the famed Cuban sandwich.

Costa del Sol
Costa del Sol is well-versed in both Mexican and Salvadorian cuisines, which the staff describes as "Mexican but with a tropical twist." Fried plantains, bananas, and mangos make many appearances on the menu. We suggest starting off with pupusas — fried tortillas filled with the likes of pork, cheese, and beans — and washing down your meal with a Salvadorian beer.

Glorieta Delicias Hondureños
There's a lot to love about Honduran food, and a must-try dish is the Honduran taco frito. Glorieta is a food truck on Oltorf Street that whips up an exquisite version of this Honduran favorite, which is similar to a shredded chicken flauta but with cabbage, cream sauce, and plenty of cheese.

Lima Criolla
Formerly La Chaparrita, this Peruvian gem in The Linc shopping center serves up authentic food with an emphasis on dishes popular in Lima, the country's capital. But it doesn't stop there. "Our food is a mixture of all different cultures: Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish, African, and Incan cuisine," owner Susana Osorio explains.

Chago's Caribbean Cuisine
Get creative with the flavorful fare at Chago's, a Puerto Rican-focused eatery in North Austin. Mofongo is the enterprising dish, a plantain-based construction in a meaty broth. And, of course, everything is better with an ice-cold piña colada.