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We asked W42ST readers where their favorite empanadas were in the neighborhood, and while some places were obvious, other hidden gems in Hell’s Kitchen completely surprised us. Here is our list and all the reasons why these places are the best.
Criollas Empanadas – 1000 Eighth Ave (@Turnstyle Underground Market)
“I haven’t been to Buenos Aires since pre-pandemic and these empanadas transport me there! They are light and flakey. Criollas is an amazing addition to the neighborhood!” said Thomas Gaglio.
Empanada Mama – 765 9th Ave (between W51st/52nd St)
Empanada Mama was always going to be on our list — they won the W42ST Best of Awards in 2020 for best place to eat. Our readers said…
“They have an endless variety for every mood, personality, dietary restriction, craving, you name it! And they’re all delicious!” said Jennifer Most.
“I love their variety and that’s what they specialize in. My favorite is the shredded chicken. I like their accompanying salsas,” added Richard Dinh.
Havana Central – 151 W46th St (between 6/7th Ave)
“Fantastic food and atmosphere,” said Mary Jane Lech.
Kausa – 745 9th Ave (between W50/51st St)
Kausa is the newest arrival on 9th Avenue.
“The rich flavor of the chicken and the crispy dough. The green mild spicy sauce as well,” said Sabrina Reveron.
Lilly’s Craft and Kitchen – 675 9th Ave (between W46/47th St)
“For them to add empanadas onto their menu, especially with stiff competition around the corner, shows how willing they are to showcase their kitchen’s culinary skills. You wouldn’t expect such a crispy, crunchy, juicy, mouthwatering empanada here but they do. Highly recommend to everyone!” said Adityendra Thakur.
David Cerutti added, “They always come out hot and have the perfect amount of seasoned filling! And the tomatillo salsa is perfect! And they go well with their tap list!”
Mia Empanada – 577 9th Ave (Big Apple Meat Market, between W41/42nd St)
“Mia Empanadas is great! Their empanadas are tender, delicately flavored and absolutely yummy… they really keep up the Argentine tradition! Before the public gathering restrictions — over the spring or summer weekends I enjoyed them in all NYC street fairs. Today, I still find them in the Big Apple Meat Market, but… If only I could go back in time to those weekends outdoors full of mouthwatering Mia Empanadas!” shared Iorgo Papoutsas.
Ñaño Ecuadorian Restaurant — 691 10th Ave ( between W47/48th St)
Hell’s Kitchen local, Ryan Sutton from Eater, said on Twitter: “This here is the empanada de verde from Abel Castro’s Ñaño in Hell’s Kitchen. The shell isn’t made from wheat or corn but rather from mashed green plantains. The kitchen stuffs it with cheese and fries it to order. Extremely delicious, with a knish-like texture.”
Romeo and Juliet – 555 W42nd St (between 10/11th Ave)
“It’s the cutest Colombian coffee shop on 42nd and 11th and their empanadas are to die for. They do traditional Colombian style empanadas, and my roommate (who has Colombian family and goes often) and I swear by them,” said Sabrina Escobar.
Seguidilla – 465 W51st St (near 10th Ave)
This new arrival took over the space that was formerly Azuri in March.
“Their flour dough is the perfect thickness, their shrimp one is out of control and the yuca empanadas are unmatched. Also, suuuuuper fresh delivery…and super friendly!” said Jess Svajgert.
Reynaldo Piniella added, “their empanadas are packed with flavor, seasoning and filling that leaves you wanting more. Each variety is delicious, with my personal favorite being the shrimp empanada with the creole sauce. It tastes straight outta Louisiana.”
* All photos from bar/restaurant Instagram unless otherwise credited.