Every year, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, Americans join together in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, a time to celebrate Hispanic histories, cultures and contributions of those who originated everywhere from Spain to South America.
The celebration of Hispanic cultures was first enacted by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week. The time was later expanded to a month in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan.
The start date of Sept. 15 has significance, which coincides with Independence Day celebrations for a number of Central American countries, such as Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala.
Today, visiting local Hispanic-owned eateries is just one of the many ways to enjoy the food, but also support a local business. According to restaurant reservation app Seated co-founder, Bo Peabody, Spanish and Korean BBQ are the two most popular cuisines on the reservation and delivery platform.
"We have incredible Spanish and Hispanic restaurants on Seated. I think we have 50 restaurants owned by people with Hispanic heritage. Tasca is right now our number one performing restaurant," Peabody told NBC 4 New York.
Tasca, located on Columbus Avenue and W. 84th Street, is a restaurant that offers a contemporary blend of Spanish and Caribbean cuisines, combining old and new world flavors.
"'Tasca' in northern Spain and Portugal is 'tavern'. Sometimes, when you go to a small town in northern Spain, where you get the best food is in the local tasca," said Tasca co-owner Jay Espinal.
Tasca opened its doors almost one year ago during the Covid-19 pandemic. Before this business venture, co-owners, Jay and Norisa, had ran Don Pedro’s on the Upper East Side. To wife Norisa, it was important to showcase the cuisine at a more intimate dining experience.
"We wanted to go to a place that actually celebrated our culture. There were places, but it wasn't in a setting such as this. Really have that experience where you can sit down, relax and have a really nice glass of wine and really enjoy our food," said Norisa Espinal.
This dynamic duo of restauranteurs are proud to celebrate their heritage during this special month and enjoy seeing patrons experiencing the food and culture at Tasca.
However, whether dining out at a new spot or learning about Hispanic heritage, the experiences do not have to stop on Oct. 15.
Across the boroughs, there are dozens of Hispanic-owned restaurants to savor. Here is a list of a few eateries below.
- Balvanera (Lower East Side)
- Casa Mezcal (Lower East Side)
- El Parador Cafe (Murray Hill)
- EZ Paella (Hell's Kitchen)
- Inti (Hell's Kitchen)
- Rosa Mexicano (Lincoln Square & Union Square)
- Tasca (Upper West Side)
- Via Brasil (Midtown West)
- Beija Flor
- Hoja Santa (Astoria)
- La Tiendita Taqueria (Astoria)
- The Inkan (Astoria)
- Rice x Beans
- Rincon Melania (Astoria)
- Rosatoro (Astoria)
- Cena (Windsor Terrace)
- Colombia in Park Slope (Park Slope)
- Maria's Bistro Mexicano (Sunset Park)
- Mexicocina Agaveria (Prospect Heights)
- Palenque (Williamsburg)
- Pollo D'Oro (Downtown Brooklyn)