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Where to Find the Best Empanadas in North Jersey

by Erica Commisso
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Empanadas are an incredibly comforting and flavorful food. The origins of these breaded pockets trace back to Spain and Portugal, and the name derives from the Spanish word empanar — which means ‘to bread.’ They are typically either baked or fried and stuffed full of goodies like beef, spinach, chicken, and cheese. Luckily, North Jersey is full of some amazing, gooey, flavorful empanadas. Read on for some of the best empanadas — both savory and sweet — in North Jersey.

Chango Kitchen | 301 Willow Avenue, Hoboken

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Ivy at Chatham

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This Hoboken spot is known to serve traditional Cuban and Latin fare. There are classic dishes like ceviche, quesadillas, ropa vieja, and Cuban-style meatballs. But, their empanadas are a must-try menu item. Their Empanadillas con Pebre are crispy and made with Spicy Chilean Cilantro Sauce.

Read More: Where to Find Latin Food in Essex County

Empanadas Cafe | 123 Washington Street, Hoboken

empanadas cafe hoboken

Just as the name suggests, this Argentinian Cafe serves up some of the tastiest empanadas North Jersey has to offer. Diners can choose from a geographic rendition (Buenos Aires or Cuban) or opt to order a few from the expansive menu that includes dulce de leche and banana, Philly cheese steak, and spicy chorizo. While there, we recommend trying a Jamaican beef patty and finishing the meal off with an alfajor, which is a traditional Argentine pastry.

Empanada Lady Cafe | 20 Grove Avenue, Verona

What started as a food truck recently expanded to an official brick-and-mortar location. The truck was first opened in 2009 after the owner left her corporate job in the 2009 recession and went to culinary school. There, she began making empanadas for friends and family, and the rest is history. An array of options are made fresh daily, with options like three cheesy cheeses, loaded potato, and Indian samosa on order.

Empanda Mami’s | 221 Palisade Avenue, Garfield

 

 
 
 
 
 
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At Empanada Mami’s, its empanada menu has daily options like pizza, three cheeses, chorizo, and others. If you’re into spicy foods, compliment the empanada of your choosing with sauces like hot sauce or chipotle ketchup mayonnaise. Also, be sure to check out weekly specials through their website for other empanada varieties.

Empanada or Nada | 454 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair

best empanadas north jersey

This is the spot to visit for all things empanadas. All the empanadas here are served baked — and there’s also an assortment of drinks (like smoothies) as well as desserts. On the menu is a host of savory empanadas, ranging from beef to Philly cheesesteak, eggplant parm, spinach + feta, and more. There are also two vegan flavors: Plaki and lentil + potato. For a sweet twist, this shop serves a guava + cheese empanada or a Nutella + banana.

Empanada Spanish Grill | 8 Market Street, Clifton

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Many Clifton locals are huge fans of Empanada Spanish Grill for some classic empanadas. What’s fun about this location is it rotates 10 flavors daily, so there’s something new every time you visit. The empanadas are baked, and despite the ever-changing menu, there are always beef, chicken, and cheeseburger empanadas available to order.

The Empanada Shop | 251 B Valley Boulevard, Wood-Ridge

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Gourmet empanadas are the name of the game at this North Jersey eatery, where everything is made fresh daily. Empanadas of the day are advertised on Instagram, and traditional offerings like beef, chicken, and spinach are all served daily. Combos are also available, and those looking to mix things up can also get a naked empanada, which is a rice bowl with all the classic fillings.

 

La Isla Downtown | 104 Washington Street, Hoboken

 

 
 
 
 
 
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La Isla brings a taste of Cuba without having to travel outside the country. Customers can go for the classic empanada. This crispy turnover can be made with either chicken or ground beef. Besides a meat empanada, there is a vegan empanada option. This one is made with cauliflower, potato, and edamame beans with mango pineapple chutney.

Mama Ana’s Empanadas | 590 Union Boulevard, Totowa

 

 
 
 
 
 
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These empanadas are fried to order, though there is also a selection of baked options available. The different flavors take you on a trip around the world with options like pepperoni pizza and eggplant parm empanadas, as well as pico de gallo and bean and cheese options. There are even round options on the menu, like cheeseburgers and chicken and beef chimi. Latin bowls, sandwiches, and sides are also available to round out a mouth-watering meal.

Mis Raices | 1199 Teaneck Road #4924, Teaneck

 

 
 
 
 
 
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This Spanish restaurant has a bunch of delicious fare on the menu, but the affordably-priced empanadas are what really make people flock to its seats. Prices range from $1.50 to $4, with options like lobster, crab meat, and guava on the menu. Soups, salads, croquetas, and more round out the menu, and everything is available at a wallet-friendly price.

O’LaLa Empanadas | 600 Communipaw Avenue, Jersey City

 

 
 
 
 
 
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This Latin restaurant has a casual, homey feel and serves up hearty Latin-inspired food. The family restaurant boasts the matriarch’s recipes, which are Latin with a global twist. One of the restaurant’s most popular meals is the Arroz Chaufa, which is a Chinese/Peruvian fusion stir-fried rice. The empanadas are no less worldly, with options like the Little Tokyo, Bay of Naples, and Greek Goddess. O’LaLa even has a create-your-own option, which can be ordered in a solo, duo, or trio order.

Sasha’s Famous Empanadas | 52 Main Street, Sussex

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Sasha’s is called famous for a reason. Known for the beef and mozzarella empanada as well as the chicken and mozzarella empanada, Sasha’s also serves vegetarian options with spinach as well as unique twists on the classic dish. Go for a seafood empanada or the Oreo Delight for something that’s hard to find anywhere else. And, if you’re feeling hungry, snag the Grande Special, which comes with a drink and fried plantain for $19, or you can add an empanada to the variety of handmade sandwiches, wings, and platters at this Sussex spot.

See More: Everything Bagel Empanadas at Eira in Jersey City

Stella’s Empanadas + Argentine Grill | 615 Elm Street, Kearny

 

 
 
 
 
 
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For over 13 years, Stella’s has been serving the North Jersey community. It serves classic meat empanada options like beef with either cheese or potato, chicken, pork, and Philly cheesesteak. If you’re vegetarian, there are flavors like spinach and cheese, corn, broccoli and cheese, and calabrese. Sweet empanadas are also made here too, with flavors from apple to chocolate.

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