With Latin America’s growing appetite for U.S.-based fast food restaurant chains, it is not unusual to see establishments such as McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and KFC thriving in these countries. What we don’t see as much is Latin American restaurant chains succeeding in the US.
There are some chains that have made the leap in recent years, but they don’t have the same name recognition as our U.S. counterparts. The Associated Press reported that Miami, New York and Boston are among the cities that have experienced an influx of Latin American restaurants, but we expect them to take hold across the U.S.
Here are 10 restaurants we hope to see everywhere someday
Casa de Toño
The Casa de Toño chain is not a fast food restaurant, but there are 16 locations in Mexico. We definitely wouldn’t mind if they expanded to the United States, because Casa de Toño has specialized in pozole since 1983.
This restaurant might have saved this guy from having to break into his mom’s house to steal her pozole.
In Gringolandia , Koke Santa Ana decides to open a full-on Chilean-style hot dog stand after moving to New York. In real life, he may have tried to bring a Doggis franchise.
The hot dog place also sells empanadas, ice cream and chips. Doggis is currently only available in Chile, Brazil and Peru.
Baleadas, the Honduran staple served in flour tortillas, is a time-consuming process. But this chain promises to have them fast, while still being 100. The restaurant also serves hot dogs, plantain mix and enchiladas.
If any Latin American restaurant is going to take the United States by storm, it’s Pollo Campero. The Guatemalan chain, headed by Juan José Gutiérrez Mayorga and others, has been in business since 2002 in the United States, when it opened its Los Angeles location, and there are now nearly 50 locations across the country.
The first Pollo Campero was established in 1971 in Guatemala, and for those visiting Central America, Pollo Campero has become an important stop.
El Mesón Sandwiches
El Meson Sandwiches has started making its way to the mainland from Puerto Rico, but hopefully, everyone (except Florida) catches on soon. In 2012, El Meson Sandwiches was named one of the best fast food chains by Travel + Leisure .
Since 1972, El Meson has been serving pernil sandwiches and medianoches. There are now more than 30 restaurants.
Before Churromania opened in Miami in 2001, I had no idea there were so many different ways to eat a churro. The Venezuelan company was born in 1997 in Puerto La Cruz. Currently, Churromania is only available in Florida and Texas in the United States, but everyone should be able to fill churros with any flavor they want.
Giraffas has eight locations in the United States; the Brazilian restaurant has been around since 1981. They serve steaks, burgers, cassava sticks, rice and beans. For dessert, they offer tres leche, brigadeiro and salted dulce de leche cheesecake.
Fast Casual reports that Giraffas has 400 locations in Brazil and plans to have 100 in the US.
On Facebook, Pasquale Sanguchería simply describes itself as “Sánguches criollos served with care.” Founded by Peru’s most prominent chef, Gaston Acurio, along with Arnold Wu and Edwin Wu, the chain serves Peruvian classics like butifarra sandwiches, along with sandwich touches on classic Peruvian dishes like a lomo saltado sandwich. They also feature favorites like anticuchos and green noodles.
Juan Valdez Café, named after the character created to represent Colombia’s coffee industry, hopes to beat Starbucks at its own game, according to The Associated Press . They will open 60 cafés in Florida in the next five years, so if they follow in Starbucks’ footsteps, they will soon be everywhere.
Gourmet is arguably the best of the many empanada chains in Buenos Aires. It serves baked and fried versions of the classics (steak, ham and cheese, humitas, etc.), as well as some of the “gourmet” options that give the chain its name (think: Mediterranean and seafood varieties, mmm).
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