7 Restaurants in Florida to Find Puerto Rican Food Made With Love

Courtesy of Bayu de Wela Sara website

By Cynthia De Saint

August 29, 2022

For when you need a delicious meal that tastes like home.

They say, “There’s no place like home…” And when it comes to food, nothing takes us back home to la islita like a delicious arroz con gandules, some yummy pasteles or a big plate of cuchifritos.

That’s because when the food is made with love and orgullo, ¡es para chuparse los dedos!

Here is a selection of some of the best Boricua restaurants in Florida, and what each brings to the table for a delicious meal that tastes and feels home-cooked to perfección.

Pal Campo

Pal Campo
Photo courtesy of Pal Campo

Surrounded by colorful colonial fachadas adorned with Spanish balconies, you will feel transported to a cafe in beautiful Old San Juan. This convivial restaurant and bar features traditional Puerto Rican favorites rooted in tradition like mofongo and arroz manposteao, and even includes some vegetarian sides.

Named Best Puerto Rican Restaurant in Orlando by Big 7 Travel Magazine and #25 Best Puerto Rican Restaurants in America, Pal Campo invites you to “relax and enjoy grandma’s cooking away from home.” Family friendly and fun, it features cocktails, tropical Mojitos, and live music.

13605 S Apopka-Vineland Rd.

Orlando, FL 32821

Find the Menu Here

El Bayu de Wela Sara

“Wela,” of course, stands for “abuela,” and this restaurant with an authentic “Taíno” theme was created by Chef Iram Ayala in memory of “the heart and soul of the family,” his abuela, Sara.

According to Chef Ayala, Wela Sara would always say, “Aquí se cocina con mucho amor y cariño.” That became the inspiration for his traditional Puerto Rican cuisine, which brings authentic native flavors to the table.

The chef’s invention of vegan and vegetarian versions of Puerto Rican dishes—like alcapurrias de vegetales and croquetas de mofongo—also allows for a Boricua gastronomical experience for vegans and vegetarians who have never tried Boricua dishes before.

1917-B Hollywood Blvd.

Hollywood, FL 33020

Find the Menu Here

La Casona Restaurant 

With warm interiors and elegant old world decor, there is a very good reason why this cozy, family-owned restaurant is also known as “El Pabellón del Mofongo.” That’s because although it serves a great variety of Puerto Rican and Caribbean dishes, it is best known for its stuffed mofongos, which can be rellenos with almost anything you desire. Essentially, there is a mofongo for everyone! So it is suggested that whatever you order, be sure to get an order of mofongo on the side.

La Casona also has a kids’ menu, and for those with a sweet tooth, it offers a tempting dessert selection that includes the traditional tembleque de coco, flan de vainilla, and tarta de queso con guayaba.

5709 N. Armenia Ave.

Tampa, FL 33603

Find the Menu Here

La Cosinita Latina

La Cosinita Latina
Photo courtesy of La Cosinita Latina

Its promise: “We guarantee you’ll not leave hungry.” And you won’t! Serving authentic Puerto Rican cuisine that includes alcapurrias, pastelillos, empanadas, and, reportedly, “the best mofongo in West Palm Beach,” La Cosinita Latina is a family-owned business located in the heart of South Florida.

The food is prepared with the same ingredients used in la isla, and includes a varied choice of seafood dishes served in a friendly, pleasant atmosphere, where, according to the owner, “We take pride in treating all of our clients as if they are our own family.”

2480 S. Congress Ave.

West Palm Beach, FL 33406

Find the Menu Here

100×35 Cocina con Raíces 

If you’re wondering about the name of this elegant restaurant with ample ventanales and a modern Latin vibe, the explanation is simple: 100 X 35 is what the isla del encanto measures in miles. And the menu covers its culinary territory with delicious Boricua fare, from acapurrias and sorullitos, to mofongo served in a pilon (as you know, el tipico mortero de madera).

The dessert selection has some interesting choices, from Creme Brule de Quinoa to Cheesecake frito and, for lovers of the delicious hazelnut cocoa spread, there’s a spectacular mousse de nutella that is great to share. Or not.

520 West Ave. 

Miami Beach, FL 33139

Find the Menu Here

El Cilantrillo

El Cilantrillo Restaurant
Photo courtesy of El Cilantrillo Restaurant

Owners Hiram and Dianne had the dream to create authentic Puerto Rican food in Orlando. Their magic formula: Typical Puerto Rican food and big portions to share.

And the rest, as they say, es historia. El Cilantrillo has received a 2022 “Foodie” award from the Orlando Sentinel. And as an active member of the Hispanic community, it is  also an Ignitor of the year award winner from the Hispanic Commerce of Metro Orlando.

Close to Orlando International Airport, this eatery designed with Puerto Rican influences -from flags, portraits of Boricua legends and painted murals – celebrates the varied tastes of the island with a menu that includes favorites like stuffed mofongos; sorullitos de maíz, fried plantains, and arroz cilantro.

3628 W. Vine St.

Kissimmee, FL 34741

Find the Menu Here

Melao Bakery

Sometimes you just want to enjoy a big Puerto Rican breakfast, and when you do, this is the place for it! What is your pleasure? Sandwiches, hot and sweet pastries, fresh-baked bread, hot chocolate or cereals? Owners Dennise Torres and Eduardo Colón got’em! And delicious artisan coffees (melaítos), too.

But that is not all. They also have fresh cold salads, a variety of soups, broths, potato dishes, and dinner entrees. People also come for their live entertainment and Puerto Rican comedians to put a light touch on top of the delicious food.

2001 Consulate Dr.

Orlando, FL 32837

Find the Menu Here

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