Caribbean restaurants in New York City are easy enough to come across but authentic Puerto Rican mofongo, with its subtly sweet fried plantains and crunchy pieces of pork, is an art form. So in the name of research, we've scoured the city for the best, most authentic, and most delicious mofongo in New York City.
First, some history. Puerto Rican mofongo, Dominican mangú, and Cuban fufú (three similar dishes) all have roots in the Taino and African cultures of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. These three are Western interpretations of the Ghanaian fufu, a dish of mashed starchy root vegetables usually served alongside a meaty stew or broth.
Puerto Rican mofongo is made with starchy fruits or vegetables that are native to the Caribbean, like breadfruit, cassava, malanga, or, most commonly, green plantains. The main starch ingredient is peeled, cut, deep fried, and added to a wooden mortar with salt, garlic, rendered pork fat, and pieces of crispy pork rinds and tender pork meat. It's mashed together and formed into balls, then fried again.
Whether served as a main dish with an extra helping of protein or as a side dish with a hearty broth, good mofongo is labor-intensive, requiring an ardourous multi step process. This means that its usually hard to find. But don't worry, we've done the legwork for your. Here, our top picks for the best Puerto Rican mofongo restaurants in NYC.
Next, where to find the best mofongo in the city...