Looking for a yummy South American meal near you?
Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the best affordable South American restaurants around Tampa, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of where to venture when cravings strike.
1. El Cafetal Bakery And Restaurant
Topping the list is El Cafetal Bakery and Restaurant. Located at 6241 S. Dale Mabry Highway in Gandy-Sun Bay South, the bakery, Colombian and breakfast spot is the highest-rated budget-friendly South American restaurant in Tampa, boasting 4.5 stars out of 85 reviews on Yelp.
This spot offers pastries, natural juices, Cuban sandwiches and Colombia's signature dish, bandera paisa, which comes with sausage, ground beef, rice, red beans, an arepa and a plantain and is topped with a fried egg.
Yelper Lorri S., wrote, "I ordered what turned out to be chicken and rice Colombian style, and my husband opted for the Cuban sandwich. The Cuban was one of the best I've had, and I will definitely be back. We also split one of the giant chocolate chip cookies. It was so good. I could've eaten the entire thing myself!"
2. Nico's Arepas Grill
Next up is Lowry Park Central's Nico's Arepas Grill, situated at 8303 N. Armenia Ave. With four stars out of 174 reviews on Yelp, the Venezuelan spot has proven to be a local favorite for those looking for a low-priced option.
It's the brick-and-mortar location of the food truck you see around downtown. Expect the same arepas stuffed with a variety of ingredients like avocado, black beans, chicken salad, plantains, shredded beef and more. Try the Nico's sampler, which comes with two of each pastry: mini cachapas, mini arepas, empanadas and tequenos (fried cheese sticks).
Old West Tampa's Antojitos, located at 2302 W. Columbus Drive, is another top choice, with Yelpers giving the low-priced Colombian spot four stars out of 89 reviews.
Yelper Theresa L. wrote, "Got an empanada and a tequeño. Both were so good! The empanada was hot, fresh, authentic and super tasty—especially with the hot salsa on top. The tequeño had warm gooey cheese and also tasted freshly made. The best part about it is the low pricing, so eating here won't break the bank."
4. Arepa Marketplace Latin Cafe
Arepa Marketplace Latin Cafe, a Venezuelan spot in University Square, is another much-loved, affordable go-to, with 4.5 stars out of 47 Yelp reviews. Head over to 11142 N. 30th St. to see for yourself.
If you're curious for more, we found these details about Arepa Marketplace Latin Cafe.
"It offers arepa, pepitos, cachapas, tequeños, salads, burgers and much more," per the history section of the business's Yelp profile. "Our cafe offers a broad array of coffee including American coffee, coladas, cortaditos, etc. We make everything in house from scratch with fresh ingredients to give our customers the best quality food possible."