The Bronx, home to New York’s congressional district with the highest percentage of Puerto Ricans has long been a bastion of all things Puerto Rico including the birth of Salsa and many cultural institutions. Even though the area has seen an influx of a more diverse latino population in recent decades, the heavy Puerto Rican influence in our latino communities still lingers.
The culinary offerings of Puerto Rico, of course, are one of the most visible aspects of the culture as you can’t venture too far before running into a cuchifrito or Puerto Rican restaurant. Sure we know that the fried delicacies shouldn’t be a daily staple of our diets but it’s so hard to resist the smells when you walk by one of these establishments.
Chris Crowley, an avid food writer for various magazines recently picked his top 5 Puerto Rican joints and in the intro he says:
“Already the birthplace of hip-hop, home to America’s most storied baseball franchise, and haven for West African, Albanian, and Bangladeshi immigrants, the Bronx is also a critically important stop on the salsa train. Since 2003, it’s been a majority Latino borough—as well as the center of gravity for the city’s Puerto Rican community dating back to the ’50s. Despite a surging Dominican presence, lechoneras (roast-pork temples perfumed with garlic) still abound, and there are still many places to fulfill a craving for conch-stuffed fritters and cans of Coco Rico.
We’ve compiled a list of must-try places for pastelillos, mofongo, and other specialties of the island’s pork-centric, sofrito-powered cuisine—that wonderful blend of Spanish, American, and African influences.”
I was particularly happy to see Lechonera La Piraña on the list but I didn’t see Isla Cuchifritos on 149th Street and Morris Avenue in Melrose (I love that place since it’s open 24 hours all year round and serves a rotisserie chicken that is so soft and juicy that it falls off the bones.
El Nuevo Bohio made it to the list but you MUST read the article David Gonzalez wrote about it in The New York Times: ‘A Temple to Roasted Pork, Puerto Rican Style’
Check out the list via Our 5 Favorite Puerto Rican Restaurants in the Bronx | First We Feast. Let us know which are your favorites!