>> La Churreria N.2 | Eat the World NYC

26 September 2019

La Churreria N.2

CUBA 🇨🇺

Cutting through Union City, West New York, Guttenberg, and North Bergen, this section of Bergenline Avenue is one of the East Coast's gems. It would be difficult to decide on any moniker to call the neighborhood by because despite Spanish being the only language heard, the area is quite diverse. After filling up with Dominicans and Cubans near the middle of last century, more recent waves have brought in Mexicans and Central Americans, but smatterings of South Americans are throughout as well.

So far there are no Canadian restaurants, but other than that if it exists in the Americas, you can probably find it in these four neighborhoods. During the day, most establishments are up and running but at night the true nature of it all gets going with families outside meeting their neighbors and of course eating. Restaurants and bars are full and the energy is fantastic.

Empanadas de guayaba y queso.

La Churreria is a workaday Cuban cafe in the southern reaches of all this that opens early enough for breakfast but really is a go to for affordable lunch and dinner specials. It fills up with a varied crowd of old guys talking politics, office folks coming for lunch, stragglers grabbing cubanos and coffee, and families. On weekends these families might be wearing their Sunday best and taking over multiple tables pushed together.

Working class Cuban diners like this are not so prevalent in the city anymore for whatever reason. Cuban cuisine is "cool" enough that many of the eateries are hip and modern, bordering on fancy. Dominicans running counter service diners throughout the five boroughs can certainly cook a great cubano, but a full menu like this is a rare sight on the other side of the Hudson. Here they are everywhere, and La Churreria is one of the best.


It can also be a great place to break up a longer journey, the comfortable dining room usually has at least a couple tables open and cheap bottles of beer are always cold. Eventually an order of one of those respectable cubanos (above and below) will happen, and that is when life starts getting very pleasant.

Always arriving super thin because of their toasting method, the sandwich is nonetheless filling and packs in all the necessary savory and sour parts that it is known for. Not shown is their excellent medianoche, the same ingredients on a delicious sweet bun that might even be a better choice.


Despite being such an economical place, the tastes are of true comfort and soul warming. From the daily specials list, the bistec a la palomilla ($8.95, below) will not knock your socks off with an amazing cut of meat, but the simple seasonings on this thin steak make you think of grandma even when grandma is from Iowa.

These specials always come with two side dishes, of which the black beans here are a revelation and should never be passed on. The cup comes thick with smoke and pork, and a plate of beans and rice would be enough to satisfy on days that require pinching pennies.


On the way out you may notice that like many Cuban eateries up and down Bergenline, La Churreria announces itself as "El Rey del Pan con Bistec," the king of the steak sandwich so popular in the neighborhood. That title might be given to "two friends" further north, but after this steak you might vow to give it a try next time.

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La Churreria Restaurant & Cafeteria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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