Five Latinx restaurants to try

By Carlos Fuentes | October 6, 2019 12:59pm

Tacos at Tienda Santa Cruz are affordable, filling, and close to campus.

Media Credit: Annika Gordon / The Beacon

After three-hour lectures, tests and long study sessions in the library, students at UP just need to get away from campus and enjoy some of the food Portland has to offer. 

To honor Latinx Heritage month, The Beacon has compiled a list of some nearby authentic Mexican, Venezuelan, Peruvian and El Salvadoran restaurants to satisfy your cravings. Luckily, Pilots don’t have to venture far from campus to enjoy most of them. Although many students are already familiar with tried-and-true options such as Cha Cha Cha or King Burrito, Portland has many more Latinx options to be discovered. 

The tacos at Tienda Santa Cruz are sure to satisfy those authentic taco cravings.

by Annika Gordon / The Beacon

Taqueria Santa Cruz

Price Range: $

Sometimes after countless projects and papers, you need to reward yourself with some tacos. Taqueria Santa Cruz is only a short drive or bus trip away from UP, and their extensive menu offers something for everyone. Located in St. John’s, Taqueria Santa Cruz has been serving Mexican food for nearly twenty years, and they are just as well known for the store connected to the restaurant, which sells aisles of authentic Mexican food. They are well known for all of their food, but their tacos are what really make the place so special. The always fresh guacamole complements practically all of their dishes, and the employees are always eager to help. 

And even after you eat your meal, if you can spare the room, you can hop over to the store side to pick up some freshly baked goods. Fridges are stocked with conchas, sweet empanadas and other types of pan dulce, which are Mexican pastries. 

It's hard to go wrong with arepas from La Arepa, a Venezuelan food cart.

by Annika Gordon / The Beacon

La Arepa 

Price Range: $

If you’re looking for authentic Venezuelan food, look no further than La Arepa, a food truck located in Northeast Portland. Although this is a longer commute than any other restaurant on this list, the food is more than worth it. The open space seating in front of the truck gives you plenty of fresh air to enjoy an arepa or two, which are corn flatbread sandwiches popular in Venezuela. 

If you’re still unsure, know that their menu has something for everyone, including a variety of fillings for their arepas, including meats, cheeses, sauces and much more. So, be prepared to buy two meals when you realize you want to save a second arepa for later. 

The pupusas at Sabor Casero Pupuseria are served piping hot and absolutely delicious.

by Annika Gordon / The Beacon

Sabor Casero Pupuseria

Price Range: $

El Salvador recognizes every second Sunday of November as National Pupusas Day, and for us college students who can’t make the yearly trip, Sabor Casero Pupuseria can help us realize why. A quick 15-minute drive from campus to Northeast Portland, this restaurant is known for their pupusas, and for good reason. Pupusas are flatbreads stuffed with a variety of fillings, ranging from spinach and mushroom to squash and cheese, and can customize any order. The food truck provides comfortable outdoor booths to enjoy your pupusa of choice, or other authentic Salvadoran dishes, such as tortas and tamales. 

Sofia's serves up authentic Peruvian food with fresh toppings.

by Annika Gordon / The Beacon

Sofia’s Peruvian Food and Gyros

Price Range: $

Only a 10-minute drive from The Bluff, Sofia’s is the perfect place to go for those one-hour lunch breaks between classes. Located in North Portland, this truck serves authentic Peruvian food every day of the week, with pork, chicken, fish or lamb in most of their dishes. Some of their special dishes include fish ceviche and potato croquettes. Tucked in the corner of a small parking lot, this truck has a lot more to provide than it might seem, including helpful workers. Try any one of their many sauces and extra side dishes to complete your meal.

Beacon reporter Carlos Fuentes enjoys a chicken burrito from Rose City Taqueria.

by Brennan Crowder / The Beacon

Rose City Taqueria

Price Range: $

For UP students looking for a new restaurant not too far from campus, Rose City Taqueria is a hidden gem of Portland. Located in the St. John’s neighborhood, this cozy restaurant serves traditional Mexican dishes such as enchiladas and tamales every day of the week. This taqueria’s bright green and red exterior pops against the gray neighborhood around it. They cater to everyone, with a complete vegetarian section in their menu, as well as nearly ten house specialties with a variety of Mexican dishes, such as fajitas and chimichangas. Once you eat the food, you’ll understand why the eatery is never empty.

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Carlos Fuentes is a reporter for The Beacon. He can be reached at