Empanada Mama – A Hidden Gem on 9th Ave in New York City

Why is it that if you fry any foods in grease, it will taste absolutely amazing? Sometimes I wish vegetables tasted the same way. Oh well.

A few weeks ago I was in the city with my sister and I mentioned to her that I was craving empanadas (think of a Jamaican beef patty). She said she knew the perfect place.

We walked from Times Square to the west side on 9th and 51st Street. The weather was beautiful so we just walked and talked. We even saw Ethan Hawkes chatting with some fans.

Once we got to Empanada Mama, I thought to myself, wow, such a small place but there weren’t any empty seats so that must be a good thing. Let’s see if the food is good ‘cuz I was starving by that point.

We waited about 3 minutes then we found a couple of bar stools on the side. The atmosphere was relaxed and the ambiance was decent. People were drinking sangria, eating empanadas and just having a good time. I, myself couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into some yummy empanadas.

We were given menus and served water after just a few minutes. I wanted everything in the menu but ended up ordering an appetizer first. We went with guacamole and plantain chips.

Oh My Gosh! The guacamole was delicious. Very “limey” and quite spicy. The plantain chips was a nice change from the usual tortilla chips.

After our appetizer, I ordered the Spicy Chicken Empanada and the Reggaeton (roast pork and rice w/ pigeon peas). My sister had dinner plans that night so all she ordered was a Brasil Empanada with a side of chimichurri sauce.


Everything was “out of this world” good! But my favorite empanada was the Spicy Chicken. The spiciness of the chicken was definitely on point and the dough was golden brown and crusty.

The empanadas are not the biggest but let me tell you, they hold a ton of flavor. For less than three dollars each, you can have a fulfilling and delicious meal for under ten bucks.

My next trip to Manhattan will definitely consist of another visit to Empanada Mama.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. Empanada Mama doesn’t even know I exist. I merely just wanted to share an awesome and affordable place to eat in NYC.


  1. This place was insanely good! Def coming back! Thanks for the recco! Xo

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge