jackson heights

Jackson Heights

photo: Jleon at English Wikipedia

If you're looking to do a DIY food tour of Latin America, look no further than Jackson Heights in New York City. The Queens neighborhood is easily accessible through multiple subway lines, and you can get a culinary experience on par with Disney's Epcot — but without the hefty price of admission. 

From Mexican to Colombian to Uruguayan, feast your eyes on some of the most mouthwatering Latin American food options the area has to offer.

These arepas will make you drool.

Made by the infamous Maria Piedad Cano, a.k.a. the Arepa Lady, who has been serving up these delicious Colombian-style creations for eons, and is considered an icon of the street food scene in New York. She started out with a cart but recently added a restaurant to her empire where you can get your life.

Location: Areperia Arepa Lady 

77-02a Roosevelt Ave Jackson Heights, NY 11372

The food at El Chivito D'Oro will send you straight to meat heaven.

Check out the line-up in the Uruguayan's restaurant parillada for one — beef steak, sweet bread, sausage, blood sausage, and veal steak. What more could you ask for?

Location: El Chivito D'Oro

84-02 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372

(Your body isn't ready for this.)

Tacos Él Gallo Giro and Quesadilla Sabrosa Taqueria are taco trucks you can count on.

Rain or shine (or several inches of snow), they'll be there. The ridiculously low prices are the cherry on top.

Location: Tacos Él Gallo Giro and Quesadilla Sabrosa Taqueria

Roosevelt Ave & 75th St, Jackson Heights, NY 11372

Look at how amazing Taqueria Coatzingo is!

From breakfast chilaquiles to sopas to chalupas, you will have to call someone to roll you out of there when everything is said and done.

Location: Taqueria Coatzingo

7605 Roosevelt Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372

(Try one of their glorious cemitas. Trust me.)

Look at all of those sexy layers. Have you ever seen a more beautiful sight?

Brazola is a major hot spot for more than one reason.

You can get your grub on with some seco de gallina, llapingacho, and cazuelas. Then dance it all off later when the restaurant morphs into a club on weekend nights.

Location: Brazola

92-12 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372

The 24-hour empanadas at Mama's Empanadas have to be seen to be believed.

Need we say more?

Location: Mama's Empanadas

85-05 Northern Blvd, Jackson Heights, NY 11372

(The world is truly your oyster at Mama’s Empanadas — there are 50 types!)

You KNOW you need hot dogs with a Latin twist.

Get one stacked with all of the toppings your heart desires or try an equally creative burger.

Location: La Perrada De Chalo

8312 Northern Blvd, Jackson Heights, NY 11372

Urubamba will give you the ultimate Peruvian food fix.

Jalea, ceviche, breakfast platters that runneth over, you name it! Urubamba has it all.

Location: Urubamba

86-20 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372

La Gloria will give you a taste of the Caribbean that you cannot get enough of.

The environment always feels like a party at La Gloria where you can get your fill of empanadas, ropa vieja, and yuca frita while the music compels you to do a light shimmy in your seat.

Location: La Gloria

86-11 Northern Blvd, Jackson Heights, NY 11372

Meet your sweet tooth's match at this iconic neighborhood bakery.

Location: La Nueva Bakery

86-10 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372

You'll fix the alfajores craving you didn't know you had at this shop.

La Nueva Bakery is serving up this dulce de leche-filled treat and every other sweet your heart desires. It's the perfect way to end your culinary tour of this foodie neighborhood.