Butler community weighs in on their favorite Latinx restaurants

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by visiting 5 local restaurants. Photo courtesy of Louisiana State University.

GRACIE ELMER | STAFF REPORTER | gelmer@butler.edu

As Hispanic Heritage month comes to a close, here are five Indianapolis restaurants to satisfy your craving for Hispanic food.

La Palpa

Aside from ice cream, this shop has a variety of foods including sandwiches, tortas, smoothies, juice and brownies. Aside from the food, the shop’s colorful style provides another reason to stop by. 

Sebastian Perez-Sandoval is a sophomore English major who works as a public relations strategist for the Butler Latinx Student Union — previously Latinos Unidos. He recommends this restaurant for its creative desserts.

“La Palapa has a snow cone, but it’s infused with a Monster energy drink,” Perez-Sandoval said. “I think that’s a pretty unique one that I’ve tried before.”

La Salvadoreña

La Salvadoreña traditionally serves up tacos, quesadillas, tortas, fajitas and steak. There are also breakfast and dessert options. 

Alex Quintanilla is an associate professor of Spanish at Butler, and the department chair of Butler’s Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures. Although Quintanilla recommends pupusas at this restaurant, he also likes some other interesting dishes as well.

“Besides pupusas, you can find other Salvadoran dishes of indigenous origin, like nuegados de yuca, Salvadoran horchata — a cold drink made of different seeds — and atol de elote — a hot drink made of corn,” Quintanilla said in an email to The Butler Collegian.

La Bamba

This restaurant has Mexican-style cuisine such as tacos, nachos, burritos, quesadillas, tamales, tortas and additional vegetarian options too. Sandoval enjoys La Bamba because of its fast-food style service.

“I think a lot of different cultures enjoy [these restaurants] just because Indiana and Indianapolis are barely starting to get different types of restaurants, like puertorriquenos and Central American restaurants,” Sandoval said. “It’s Mexican cuisine, but it’s not like Taco Bell fast-food. It’s actually more authentic.”

Tlaolli

Similar to La Bamba, Tlaolli is a restaurant that serves up a variety of tasty dishes including soups, tacos, pork, tortas, quesadillas, chicken tacos and steak tacos — all with creative flair.

“They have these [vegan] tacos, and the protein substitute was hibiscus flowers,” Sandoval said. “They were cooked in a way that tastes like meat.”

The Jazz Kitchen

Unlike the other restaurants, The Jazz Kitchen doesn’t represent Latinx culture exclusively. In addition to several Latinx dishes, it includes many food options from different cultures. The menu offers many tasty dishes such as tacos, crab cakes, burgers and steak.

Lilliana Goens, a Spanish senior lecturer at Butler, enjoys both the paella and the restaurant’s festive atmosphere.

“[Paella is] a big plate of rice, different kinds of seafood, chicken and chorizo,” Goens said. “[The Jazz Kitchen] is a place where people go for dancing, and they have Latino nights.” 

Although there may be a limited number of Latinx restaurants in Indianapolis, Sandoval encourages students to be open to trying out a new restaurant for a fresh experience.

“I’d just really encourage everyone to try as many different [Latinx restaurants] as they can because I feel like that’s part of the experience, just the sheer amount of how many options you have,” Sandoval said.

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