These Are the Best Mofongos in the U.S.
Mofongo is Puerto Rico's gift to the world. The mouthwatering dish is made by frying green plantains, then smashing them and mixing them with different fillings before forming them in a cup. Fillings for the African-influenced meal can include anything from seafood to pork, beef or vegetables.
In Puerto Rico, you will find mofongo at virtually any traditional food restaurant. Stateside, you'll find it in any decent Puerto Rican restaurant.
This is great news since you can get a taste of the island without having to pay for flights to it. And for however long the meal lasts, you can feel as if you're in the Caribbean.
Ready for a taste of Puerto Rico? These are the best mofongos in the U.S.
10. La Perla
Location: Oakland, California
For obvious geographic reasons, the West Coast can't compete with the East Coast when it comes to the number of restaurants serving Puerto Rican flavors. But this Oakland establishment gives its counterparts a run for their money.
Besides authentic food that tastes as if it came straight from the island, this joint is a true community place. People from all backgrounds gather here for full bellies, lots of laughter and warm, personal service.
Try La Perla's pollo encebollado mofongo, which is made with chicken and sauteed onions.
9. La Famosa
Location: Washington, D.C.
La Famosa's slogan is "born in Puerto Rico, made in D.C.," which we find quite fitting. The restaurant and bar serves up delicious dishes from the Isle of Enchantment that follow traditional recipes. Not surprisingly, the mofongo is a customer favorite.
Each dish is presented elegantly. But rather than skew the old, La Famosa blends tradition and innovation. Its mofongos, for instance, come in tall wooden bowls that somehow take you back to the days of yore, even when they're a decidedly modern design.
Accompany your food with a delicious cocktail, preferably one that uses Puerto Rican rum.
8. El Sabor Restaurant
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
El Sabor restaurant has no menu, no website and no social media presence. If it's managed to survive in Philly's cutthroat restaurant business, it's for a single reason: The food is that darn good.
The very informal restaurant has a loyal customer base that expands through word of mouth. It takes most first-time customers a single bite to become repeat customers.
Everything is cooked fresh every single day, hence the lack of a menu. And while this ensures variety for the people who come here almost daily, it can be frustrating when you get cravings for a specific Puerto Rican dish.
The good news is that mofongo is such an important part of Boricua cuisine and so popular with customers that it's almost always being served.
Location: Austin, Texas
Open since 2011, family-run Chago's promises that its food tastes just like your grandma's. Even if you don't have a Puerto Rican grandma, you will recognize the taste of homemade meals that fill up your soul as well as your body.
And it's not just the food that feels like it belongs in a loving family kitchen. It's also the way everyone treats you. As soon as you walk in, you're greeted as if you're the cousin who lives in another city and has come for a long-awaited visit. You simply can't beat that feeling.
The mofongos here are sublime. But for something a bit different, try the trifongo, which is made with green plantain, ripe plantain and yucca.
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Vejigantes tries to bring the colorful soul of Puerto Rico to Boston. The restaurant's gigantic, delicious cocktails and lit-up carnival masks adorning the walls make any dinner here feel like a party.
Needless to say, the mofongo is good enough to bring tears to your eyes. You can choose between traditional plantain mofongo or stuffed mofongos. Or, if you want an interesting twist on one of Puerto Rico's best dishes, you can try a yucca mofongo.
For those who have a hearty stomach or a need for cool social media content, the chicharron mofongo is a must. Stuffed with pork and veggies, this dish is topped by a giant rind of deep-fried pork fat. It's cool to see, but even better to eat.
5. Buen Provecho
Location: Hamilton, New Jersey
One of the best things about Puerto Rico is its laid-back, informal attitude. You can get a taste of it at Buen Provecho, which is the Spanish way of saying "bon appetit!"
At this friendly establishment, you'll be welcomed by family and served meals made in-house and with fresh ingredients.
You're also encouraged to bring your own beer — no corkage fee added. So kick back, order a mofongo (of course), and enjoy a drink without the markup.
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Serving elevated yet homemade-style Puerto Rican food, Ponce has carved a nook for itself in the Chicago scene. The restaurant is named after the island's second city, located in the south and known for its gastronomy. It's also been owned and managed by the same Puerto Rican family since 1998.
Anyone who knows Puerto Rico knows there is no one prouder than people from Ponce. Talk to them and they'll assure you their city is the most beautiful, most fun, most creative and most food-forward on the island (heck, the world.) After eating here, you might just be tempted to believe them.
You have a choice of five stuffed mofongos, with garlic shrimp being our favorite.
3. Boriken Restaurant
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Have you ever wondered why Puerto Ricans are called "Boricuas?" It's because Boriken was the indigenous Taino word for the island that we now call Puerto Rico, or "rich port."
Boriken Restaurant takes back this original name and proudly serves Boricua fare. So don't expect to see much fusion or international influences here. This is pure loud and proud islander food.
The mofongos come served in a large wooden chalis, bathed in your choice of sauce and stuffed with your preferred filling.
2. Ay Bendito Con Sabor a Puerto Rico
Location: Miami, Florida
The name of this restaurant roughly translates to "oh my, with the taste of Puerto Rico." It sounds incredibly awkward in English, but in Spanish, it mimics a very common island expression.
And the name is not where the restaurant's authenticity ends. Ay Bendito Con Sabor a Puerto Rico is simple and has a relatively small menu. But you can count on every dish here tasting exactly as it does in San Juan.
Mofongo is offered as a side or a starter, so it's the perfect way to begin an authentically Boricua dining experience.
Location: New York, New York
Obviously, the best place for mofongo in the U.S. would have to be New York, the city with the most Puerto Rican transplants in the world.
Named after a typical blend of spices and herbs that makes everything taste good, Sofrito promises satisfaction, and it definitely delivers.
You'll find many Puerto Rican dishes, but we'd recommend — surprise, surprise — going with one of their six mofongos. The lobster one is particularly delicious.
Best Traditional Mofongo Recipe
If going out to eat mofongo isn't an option, you can easily make it at home in less than half an hour.
Salima's Kitchen has a mouth-watering traditional mofongo recipe that requires few ingredients and packs a whole lot of flavor.