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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Best non-Mexican Latin American restaurant

Pura Vida was the clear winner among readers and the AJC's international dining specialist. (ADRIENNE HARRIS/special)

Pura Vida was the clear winner among readers and the AJC's international dining specialist. (ADRIENNE HARRIS/special)

1. Pure Vida
Readers love chef Hector Santiago and Pura Vida, with one reader calling it the most creative food in Atlanta.

2. Havana Grill

3. Tierra

4. Papi’s

5. Las Palmeras


1) Pura Vida, Virginia Highland

The AJC’s dining team’s specialist in International Cuisine Gene Lee says, “Pura Vida is the easy top choice for this category. Chef Hector Santiago and his Virginia Highland restaurant has come a long way over the years with a stint on Bravo’s Top Chef for Santiago to send the restaurant’s evolution into overdrive. The attached sandwich shop Super Pan and El Burro Pollo, the weekend-only burrito store in the same space, offer some of the best intown dining options for around a $10 price tag.”

2) Las Brasas

3) Las Palmeras

4) Las Arepas de Julia

5) Havana Grill

110 comments Add your comment

mary b

November 21st, 2011
1:43 pm

Havana on Buford Hwy

Ted

November 21st, 2011
3:53 pm

TimT

November 21st, 2011
3:57 pm

Las Palmeras on 5th street is the best Cuban or Latin American food in the Metro Area. If you haven’t had their marinated and then roasted chicken, you haven’t lived.

Brent

November 21st, 2011
4:00 pm

Papi’s Caribbean in Lawrenceville.

Sou eu

November 21st, 2011
4:02 pm

Casa Vieja on Shallowford is one of my favorites in the Buford Highway corridor. It’s a Colombian restaurant and the food is flavorful, authentic, and the prices are great. If money were no object, I would eat at Fogo de Chao every day.

ziza

November 21st, 2011
4:04 pm

mojitos in midtown

LR

November 21st, 2011
4:05 pm

Pure Taqueria, Cinco, & Mojitos!

TC

November 21st, 2011
4:10 pm

Havana South in Buford

Munson

November 21st, 2011
4:10 pm

Tierra in midtown

midtownblue

November 21st, 2011
4:17 pm

Tierra on Piedmont (Midtown).

Kiss Me

November 21st, 2011
4:17 pm

Las Palmeras hands down!

Virginia

November 21st, 2011
4:20 pm

Donkey200

November 21st, 2011
4:26 pm

Eclipse di Luna

tiffyinmbc

November 21st, 2011
4:28 pm

Bernard The Woodpecker

November 21st, 2011
4:28 pm

Thank you for differentiating between ‘Latin’ and ‘Mexican’. I routinely get suckered into going to restaurants touted as a great ‘Latin meal’ only to be served the all too familiar glop of cheese covered excreta (ostensibly, frijoles), cozied up to some nondescript mound of beef, lettuce, tomatoes and bilious guacamole. Going with ‘Pura Vida’ as my vote.

PJ

November 21st, 2011
4:32 pm

For quick lunch, Palomilla in Norcross. For fine dining, Pampas.

SAWB

November 21st, 2011
4:33 pm

Havana Restaurant on Buford Highway.

Moderate

November 21st, 2011
4:41 pm

Mojitos midtown

NomNomNomATL

November 21st, 2011
4:42 pm

Theron Sapp

November 21st, 2011
4:49 pm

Tierra. One of our city’s real jewels.

KJ

November 21st, 2011
4:51 pm

A lot of good choices, but Tierra’s my favorite. Great pork and seafood dishes and their tres leches cake is the best I’ve ever had.

Mark Richt

November 21st, 2011
4:51 pm

Mexicali Grill in Athens

j

November 21st, 2011
4:52 pm

Tierra on Piedmont is amazing!

alana

November 21st, 2011
4:52 pm

Papi’s off Ponce!!!!

Kar

November 21st, 2011
4:56 pm

Soft spot for Machu Pichu and their hot pepper/butter spread and more than one type of ceviche. Seriously, any place that can saute beef tips, onions and tomatoes and serve it over hot fresh fries should be honored. I’ve seen many a good ol’ boy lose their heart there.

Latin

November 21st, 2011
4:58 pm

Pampas is consistently good, but only slightly Latin in spite of the Argentine label. Tierra is excellent.

Thorton

November 21st, 2011
4:59 pm

I like the Lunar Tappas. The food there is very, very good. I also like the one waitress. She is pretty. And she really, really gets me I think. I go there and she never, never has to ask what I want because she sees me so much. Sometime I feel like I don’t even exist, but then she lifts my spirits because she remember me. I hope she gets to celebrate “Christmas,” but I also hope she is working so I won’t feel so alone in the world. I know it’s not typical but I may buy her a present if a waitress is allowed to accept gifts. That would make it a happy, happy Christmas. But if she is not there to get the gift it might make me even sadder. I wish my kids could have met her before it happened to them.

Reality

November 21st, 2011
4:59 pm

Pura Vita, without a doubt.

JATL

November 21st, 2011
5:01 pm

Mezcalitos in Oakhurst (Decatur)

HoneyB

November 21st, 2011
5:02 pm

Havana South in Buford

chainshaw

November 21st, 2011
5:02 pm

Las Palmeras on 5th

mamajosh

November 21st, 2011
5:03 pm

Tierra. Best. Meal. Ever. (Latin or otherwise).

atl

November 21st, 2011
5:09 pm

Havana on buford hwy, and la parilla!

Jen

November 21st, 2011
5:16 pm

Mmmmm….Havana on Buford Hwy!

Kar

November 21st, 2011
5:20 pm

Never got the Havanna love. Mediocre medianoche sandwiches and they don’t even have moros.

Egger

November 21st, 2011
5:21 pm

Las Palmeras for sure!

Realtvjunkie

November 21st, 2011
5:23 pm

Mojito Cafe @ Johns Creek. Good Cuban Food

Byron

November 21st, 2011
5:49 pm

So many choices! Havana on Buford Hwy is a perennial favorite for Cuban. (Love their empenadas!) Cafe Mambo in Alpharetta is Cuban / Peruvian and quite tasty. Eclipse di Luna is good for tasty (but not authentic) tapas. I’m still on the lookout for a good Colombian restaurant. (Any suggestions?)

Edward

November 21st, 2011
5:53 pm

The topic is NON-MEXICAN and people still post crappy Mexican joints. My vote is for Las Brasas in Decatur. Amazing Peruvian rotisserie chicken and sides. Las Palmeras used to be good, but of late it seems their heart just isn’t in it any longer. I’ve had better ropa vieja or picadillo from a can.

ATL Diner

November 21st, 2011
5:55 pm

It’s not even close: Pura Vida and Chef Hector Santiago in a landslide victory….

Chris

November 21st, 2011
6:01 pm

Tierra is incredible.

Dominican11

November 21st, 2011
6:05 pm

pollo tropical lawrenceville awesome food and its cheap

Matt

November 21st, 2011
6:16 pm

Any decent Venezuelan places around?

Winger

November 21st, 2011
6:22 pm

Pollo Campero. Best chicken and black beans ever served.

Sarah P

November 21st, 2011
6:26 pm

Tierra is my favorite upscale Latin restaurant. I like their inventiveness and the way they combine elements of cuisine from many different Latin American nations.
Casa Vieja has great Colombian, though I prefer Patacon Pisao in Norcross for a family outing.

Southside Progressive

November 21st, 2011
6:33 pm

Tierra is a hidden jewel in ATL. Intimate seating, great food!

Cerezita

November 21st, 2011
6:42 pm

Papi’s on Ponce De Leon! Authentic Puerto Rican food! I spent a summer in Puerto Rico – Papi’s is good!

MOMMA WAS RIGHT

November 21st, 2011
6:49 pm

Natarica Grill & Restaurant Great Venezuela Food!
5730 Buford Highway # K Norcross, GA 30071-2569
(770) 582-1059

Jefe

November 21st, 2011
6:52 pm

Pampas is a great upscale spot, while a good casual place is Fina Estampa in Norcross (best Peruvian food in Atlanta after my wife’s of course) and Eclipse de Luna for tapas and drinks. Pura Vida is pretty good too, especially the Pisco Sours that are served at the bar there.

Steve

November 21st, 2011
6:54 pm

Tierra for upscale, La Fonda Latina for budget (love the Paella)

Doc

November 21st, 2011
7:07 pm

Jadzia

November 21st, 2011
11:49 pm

Cuban Diner in Marietta has great Cuban food, owned & cooked by Cubans. Kiosco, also in Marietta, has great Colombian food, owned & cooked by Colombians.

Pura Vida and Tierra are indeed excellent hispanic restaurants. However they are, for Atlanta, fine dining, not places delivering home-style cooked meals.

Bill

November 22nd, 2011
12:33 am

The real best is this Chilean enterprise. The BEST empanadas. Not to mention humitas, pastel de choclo, and pan amasado.

http://www.empanadaschilenasenatlanta.com/

midtownfoodie

November 22nd, 2011
2:10 am

Tierra – Midtown Fave!! Wasn’t it the AJC Restaurant of the year a few years ago?

Mark

November 22nd, 2011
8:16 am

Kiosco on the Marietta Square is the best Colombian food around. There used to be one other off of Pleasant Hill, but it shut down.

Tito El Bambino

November 22nd, 2011
8:16 am

Casa Vieja y La Casona (Colombian cuisine); Derek’s in Canton Road (Dominican); Pura Vida

greg

November 22nd, 2011
8:31 am

Dulce Maria’s Kitchen, Covington, GA

Tired

November 22nd, 2011
8:43 am

For casual, Las Palmeras. For special occasion, Tierra. It’s absolutely exquisite.

Atlanta Native

November 22nd, 2011
9:03 am

Palomilla’s in Norcross
Pura Vida
Rincon Latina

Steve

November 22nd, 2011
9:07 am

Southwest ATL

November 22nd, 2011
9:10 am

Yolanda Rodriguez

November 22nd, 2011
9:40 am

MI Pilon
5705 Buford Hwy. NW, Norcross, GA, 30071
(770) 797-2924

BobbyH

November 22nd, 2011
9:43 am

Machu Picchu Peruvian Restaurant on Buford Highway in the Northeast Plaza. Absolutely wonderful.

Paige

November 22nd, 2011
9:49 am

Las Brasas in Decatur! Best rotisserie chicken ever!

Ken

November 22nd, 2011
9:52 am

Natarica on Buford Highway is great Venezuelan food. Hit’s the spot. Arepas are pretty good. I’ve had better in Florida, but no much to choose from here in ATL.

John

November 22nd, 2011
9:58 am

Palomilla’s Cuban Grill House in Norcross and Johns Creek

Vince

November 22nd, 2011
9:59 am

There are way too many great Latin restaurants in Gwinnett to even start naming them. Papi’s in Lawrenceville is very good. For everyone naming intown trendy spots…..get outside your comfort zone and try something authentic. It’s okay to go outside the perimeter.

Roofita

November 22nd, 2011
10:11 am

My favorites:

Cuban Food – Papi’s ( all that I tried it’s good)
Pupusas (El Salvador) – Panaderia Elizabeth (It’s a bakery that serves central america food and sells the best pupusas ever) located at 5050 jimmy carter norcross.
Pollo Tropical – Latin Food
Puertorican food – La garita bistro 2785 cruse road lawrenceville. 100 % authentic

My favorites are located in Gwinnett for now but always trying good food when I don’t cook it at home.

Had tried Pampas, but my husband as Argentinean doesn’t agree to pay the price.
Need to try Tierra.

Christy

November 22nd, 2011
10:14 am

Offering more love for Cuban Diner in Marietta. Great food and fantastic service.

Phil

November 22nd, 2011
10:22 am

Las Palmeras, without a doubt!

Edward

November 22nd, 2011
10:24 am

Vince, if you live outside of town, by all means support your local restaurants. However, for those of use who do live in town, it is unrealistic to expect us to drive 30-40 miles each way just for a meal. I can hop on the MARTA train and be enjoying some great Las Brasas chicken in 30 minutes without having to worry about traffic or parking.

chris

November 22nd, 2011
10:25 am

MWoods

November 22nd, 2011
10:59 am

Cuban-Mambo’s Cafe on Haynes Bridge in Alpharetta. The “Miami” sandwich is fantastic

Steve

November 22nd, 2011
11:02 am

Havanna is still great after all these years and recovering from the fire and moving! Nice folks, great food!

WarDogDaddy

November 22nd, 2011
11:05 am

Columbian Patacon Pisao in Norcross, Jimmy Carter. Sabor de Inca in Duluth, Pleasant Hill
Road

Steve

November 22nd, 2011
11:08 am

Any of the Papi’s Cuban Resturants. Kennesaw, Lawrenceville or Midtown. All very good. The best Cuban sandwich that I have ever tasted and that includes some from the heart of Little Havana in Miami.

Benj

November 22nd, 2011
11:09 am

Byron, for awesome Colombian food, go to Kiosco in the Marietta Square. Though you’ll have to wait for its imminent reopening after a fire forced its closure the last few months.

Elvis Prez

November 22nd, 2011
11:11 am

Papi’s, and for more upscale Tierra

Katz P Ajamas

November 22nd, 2011
11:12 am

Can’t find cuy in ATL. No problem in NYC.

Fidel

November 22nd, 2011
11:18 am

Salsa Havana on Howell Mill.

Joy

November 22nd, 2011
11:18 am

I agree…it’s Papi’s in Lawrenceville.!

ANA D

November 22nd, 2011
11:25 am

Mojitos in downtown Norcross.. great food! and entertainment the owners are musicians , so much fun… tiny place, get there early or you will be standing outside! PS.. next door you will find an Art Gallery featuring Cuban artist!

Jon

November 22nd, 2011
11:30 am

Unquestionably Palomilla’s in Norcross. This is the best Cuban I’ve found outside of South Florida.

BIGPIGGY

November 22nd, 2011
11:33 am

..Yo quero TACO BELL !!!…ALL OVER ATLANTA !!!

RK

November 22nd, 2011
11:59 am

Nescio quis de Latinis popinae.

Andy

November 22nd, 2011
12:42 pm

Tierra, hands down. Been enjoying changing, fresh menu since the day Tierra opened 12 years ago. Amazing flavor combinations. And, did anyone mention the tres leches cake or the homemade lime sorbet?

J

November 22nd, 2011
12:47 pm

Fudego de mundo in the Prada. Awesome you wont be disapointed in quality or price.

Cris

November 22nd, 2011
12:48 pm

Columbian – Presto (Marietta on Roswell Road)
Brazilian – Sabor do Brazil (Marietta on Delk Road) or Brasilian Bakery (Marietta on Powers Ferry Rd)
Cuban – Cuban Dinner (Marietta on Roswell Road)

Javier Boffill

November 22nd, 2011
12:54 pm

The ONE AND ONLY “Mojito’s Cuban-American Bistro” in Old Norcross, GA is the best Cuban food I’ve had. I am Cuban and I know what real Cuban food is and Mojitos can do it there. The flan that they have there is out of this world. Please try it out!
A loyal customer,
Javier Boffill

Tomcombv

November 22nd, 2011
3:09 pm

Tierra on Piedmont.

ricky ricardo

November 22nd, 2011
5:01 pm

hey lucy..how about babba lou’s

loki44

November 22nd, 2011
5:03 pm

La Casona, just off Buford Hwy. near 285. (Colombian)

RL

November 22nd, 2011
10:36 pm

Las Brasas in Decatur

Olivia

November 22nd, 2011
10:40 pm

David Harris

November 22nd, 2011
11:33 pm

Tierra near Ansley Park in midtown is one of the most delightful restaurant of any cuisine.

Alex H

November 23rd, 2011
1:27 am

Las Arepas de Julia, in lilburn over by the Walmart on 29. The people are always friendly and be sure to get the Arepa Paisa filled with beans, cheese, guacamole, shreaded beef, and chicharrones. Absolutely delicious.

cindy

November 23rd, 2011
1:58 am

tierra has been serving delicious combinations of latin flavors – classics, like their tres leches cake, or original takes, such as the mole lasagna – and doing it consistently for years. there isn’t room to mention the great dishes; they change quarterly so your favorites come back around, augmented by whatever new delight they’ve found over the year.

latinlover

November 23rd, 2011
2:00 am

love pura vida. love super pan. love chef hector. some of the hardest-working people and most creative food in atl, not just latin food.

latin[food]lover

November 23rd, 2011
2:01 am

love pura vida. love super pan. love hector santiago. some of the hardest-working people and most creative food in atl, not just latin food.

Christy Rutherford

November 23rd, 2011
6:18 am

Really? Tierra by far! If you’ve not been there you are truly missing out. Wonderful food, great atmosphere and the owners/chefs are incredible! I agree with the post above – a hidden jewel in Atlanta.

top chef

November 23rd, 2011
4:23 pm

rcostilow

November 23rd, 2011
8:02 pm

Tierra is a Gem! We love their talent and commitment to good food.

William

November 23rd, 2011
8:44 pm

peter haarhoff

November 24th, 2011
1:33 pm

Nobody beats fogo de chao, best meat restaurant in atlanta by far.

BigEd

November 25th, 2011
3:30 pm

Bill

November 26th, 2011
12:53 am

La Rumba in Woodstock has the best Cuban sammy by far in town.

Transformers Games

November 26th, 2011
4:39 am

quite intriguing post

savta

November 26th, 2011
1:27 pm

Fuego Mundo, in The Prado, Sandy Springs. A cut above. http://www.fuegomundo.com.

Alicia

November 27th, 2011
12:20 am

Colombian restaurants: Patacon Pisao in Jimmy Carter Blvd has great steaks.
And La Casona (exit 32 I-285) the best soups.

Chef Dawg

November 28th, 2011
1:29 pm