Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

(Photo by Jacqueline Romano/Getty Images For SOBEWFF)

For The the Tastiest Empanadas Try These Ocean County Places!

Empanadas have become incredibly popular. I remember I first heard about empanadas was when I was growing up in the suburbs of Long Island.

My friend Maggie and her family made them all the time and always shared them with us after school.

I don’t think I can truly pinpoint exactly where empanadas originated, although I’ve read that the earliest references are found in ancient Persia, long before Jesus was born. But I believe it was the Spanish who brought them to North America.

I love anything wrapped in dough that can be baked, boiled, or fried.

I have enjoyed many cultural variations of dough filled with meats, cheeses, vegetables, and seafood.

The Italians have calzones. The folks from India have samosas. Then there is the Jamaican beef patty, one of my favorites. The Eastern Europeans gave us knishes & pierogis. The Chinese created bao, and the Greeks created spanakopita. I can go on all day talking about all kinds of food surrounded by dough.

I’ll take yummy stuff wrapped in dough for a thousand, Alex.

Robyn's Chicken Sausage Empanadas with Provolone & Asiago

I’ve been making empanadas for the last few months using ready made Goya brand empanada discs  You can find them in the frozen section in just about any grocery store. I like to bake rather than fry them.

A Brief History Of Empanadas

I’ve made chicken sausage empanadas, pulled pork empanadas, and blueberry cheesecake empanadas in recent months.
I plan on making the dough from scratch in my next attempt.  It’s really easy and a lot cheaper than buying the ready made discs.

An empanada dough recipe requires only a handful of ingredients, all purpose flour, salt, egg, cold water and butter, and it comes together in no time flat. We’re talking less than 15 minutes.

New Jersey List Of Ultimate Hot Dog  Places

When I’m not making empanadas, I enjoy getting them from a few different places. I often ask others for their opinions on which place makes the best empanadas. I used to go to the Empanada Guy’s food truck whenever he popped up at a local event, but now I can find his empanadas in some of the local grocery stores.

Right now, I’m going to share some places in Ocean County that are known for making great empanadas. All of these places were suggested by the locals and people on my favorite food pages.

  • El Familiar - 1246 NJ-166, Toms River, NJ 08753

    This Columbian-Mexican eatery is one of my favorite restaurants in town. When asked about the best empanadas in Toms River, the locals on my town’s community page gave this place high marks. It’s no surprise to me!

    El Familiar Restaurant in Toms River NJ - El Familiar Restaurant

    Welcome to El Familiar Restaurant. We offer the most delicious Colombian and Mexican Food in Toms River New Jersey. Come and enjoy our amazing menu

  • Margo's International Cuisine - 953 Fischer Blvd, Toms River, NJ 08753

    Margo came to the USA in 1989 from Medellin, Colombia. She began working at a restaurant and her new-found dream was to open up a family bistro where she could show her heart in her cuisine. This is when she really began to understand the power of food and how it connects us to one another in a more meaningful way. 

    Margo knows exactly how to excite your tastebuds. The community boards rave about her food, especially the freshly made empanadas.


  • Mendoza's Colombian Cafe - 2770 Hooper Ave, Brick Township, NJ 08723

    I first heard about Mendoza’s when an acquaintance mentioned that she had some amazing chicken and cheese arepas with chicharron, along with a few other mouthwatering dishes. Empanadas were part of the conversation, and she said, “You’ll fall in love.”

  • La Jarochita - 449 E Bay Ave, Manahawkin, NJ 08050

    If you’re going for a meal, go hungry. This place serves hefty portions. Make sure part of your order includes their fabulous empanadas.

    La Jarochita - Manahawkin, NJ

    LA JAROCHITA, 449 E Bay Ave, Manahawkin, NJ 08050, 60 Photos, Mon - 7:00 am - 10:00 pm, Tue - 7:00 am - 10:00 pm, Wed - 7:00 am - 10:00 pm, Thu - 7:00 am - 10:00 pm, Fri - 7:00 am - 10:00 pm, Sat - 7:00 am - 10:00 pm, Sun - 7:00 am - 10:00 pm

  • Mi Pueblito - 166 Main St, West Creek, NJ 08092

    This family owned eatery would certainly qualify as a hidden gem! A great place for a hearty breakfast, lunch, and early dinner. The empanadas are freshly made and stuffed with love.


    Mi Pueblito - Eagleswood, NJ

    15 reviews and 20 photos of MI PUEBLITO "Stopped in Wednesday morning before leaving the Sea Pirate campground. Place is a little gem. Delicious pancakes and french toast. Cheap prices and great service. I will be back!"

  • El Mexico Lindo - 2063 NJ-88, Brick Township, NJ 08724

    Excellent food & service are the first things mentioned from folks who’ve had the pleasure of dining here.  Most people I’ve spoken to have given  a thumbs up to the empanadas.

    Mexico Lindo - Brick, NJ

    Delivery & Pickup Options - 106 reviews and 55 photos of MEXICO LINDO "I can't explain how excited my whole family is to have El Mexico Lindo back! The old restaurant was the Friday night staple for our family, as well as many of our friends' families.

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