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Review: Empanadas at Dulce Vida Cafe

Smack in the middle of the Upper East Side is a cute little Colombian restaurant called Dulce Vida Cafe.  It's a little hole in the wall - seven 2-seaters and a wall banquet - but the menu is pretty broad and tasty, but the thing we like the most there are the empanadas.

These are traditional Colombian empanadas, made with masarepa (cornmeal) and filled with shredded chicken or spiced ground beef.  The best part (in my opinion) is the chimichurri-style sauce (I say "style" because it has fewer herbs and garlic and more onion than more traditional chimi) - adds the right amount of acidity to offset the crustiness of the masarepa skin.

Personally, I still prefer Argentinian-style empanadas with the pastry and wider range of fillings but these will do. For some good Argentinian empanadas, check out Ruben's in Tribeca.

Dulve Vida features a bakery case with fresh cakes and sweets.  The flourless chocolate cake is fantastic but on the day I went they didn't have so I opted for a 6-layer chocolate cake with buttercream filling and dark chocolate frosting instead. Very good.

Dulce Vida Cafe
1219 Lexington Avenue
Between 82nd & 83rd Street
New York, NY 10028
Delivery available on Seamless

images by MadeForJen
cafe photo from

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