Discovering NOLA’s Hispanic, Latinx flavors

Faith McLean, Contributing Reporter

Empanola brings authentic Argentinian and Chilean tastes with Louisiana flair to Uptown. (Wikimedia Commons)

From homemade traditional tamales, modern-style tapas, classic margaritas and Caribbean-inspired cocktails, New Orleans is bursting with Hispanic and Latinx restaurants, bars and taco stands for students to experience. 

With Tulane University students’ walkable proximity to Uptown and short-streetcar ride to the French Quarter, we have the opportunity to truly immerse ourselves in the long-standing, poly-cultural history of Latinx influence in New Orleans. 

Que Rico! – 4200 Magazine St.

Que Rico! is conveniently located near the St. Charles Avenue parade route, making the small turquoise building a must-stop spot for a quick pick-me-up meal during Mardi Gras. Nothing makes your five-mile hike down the parade trail more worth it than Que Rico!’s homemade croquetas and housemade garlic sauce.

Barracuda – 3984 Tchoupitoulas St.

If you are looking for a more COVID-19 friendly taco stand to enjoy with friends, Barracuda is the right venue. Not only will you be filled with cheesy, chicken chipotle tacos and frosty margaritas, but you will be filled with conversations, thanks to Barracuda’s communal backyard barbecue-style set up. 

VALS – 4632 Freret St. 

For a Hispanic spot closer to campus, VALS is open seven days a week, has a no reservation policy and dishes up a homemade salsa verde that will put your Provisions on the Thirtieth Parallel store-bought salsa to shame. Students of age will be excited to know VALS has a daily, yes, daily, happy hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

Cane and Table – 1113 Decatur St.

When Caribbean cocktails and French Quarter wandering are on your agenda, Cane and Table is the perfect Latinx cocktail bar and grill to enjoy housemade empanadas and sweet grilled plantains. Snuggled in a cozy New Orleans alleyway, Cane and Table’s romantic backdrop is the ideal setting for an entertaining, culturally rich evening with friends.

Johnny Sanchez – 930 Poydras St.

If your parents happen to be in town or if you have ventured down to Poydras Street for a Saints Game Day, then Johnny Sanchez, the name-sake restaurant by internationally acclaimed Chef Johnny Sanchez, is a go-to Hispanic dining locale to enjoy tacos and fajitas.

Empanola – 7321 Freret St.

Whether your friend lives by The Boot Bar and Grill or you got lost on the way home from Bruno’s Tavern one night, almost every Tulane student has stumbled across Empanola, the quaint Latinx restaurant near campus. Focused on bringing authentic Argentinian and Chilean empanadas, spiced with a little Louisiana flair to the New Orleans community, Empanola has become a staple for Tulanians.

The Rum House – 3128 Magazine St.

Taco Tuesdays, a weekly event at The Rum House, are an opportunity for students to travel outside the Tulane Bubble. You can dine out on Magazine Street, while enjoying a college-budget-friendly meal and mouth-watering Caribbean tacos. The tacos and beers may only be $3, but the memories shared with friends, at this quintessential Latinx New Orleans restaurant, will be priceless.

Taqueria Corona – 5932 Magazine St.

For an ‘on the DL’ date night, Taqueria Corona has the intimate setting and authentic Mexican food you have been looking for all this time around campus. Sometimes, all you want is a traditional enchilada with beans and rice to end a night, and Taqueria Corona’s Latinx home-style cooking is the comfort food Tulane students need from time to time.