Home Somerset business We may have found the best empanadas in New Jersey

We may have found the best empanadas in New Jersey


One good thing about growing up in an Italian neighborhood in Union City that turned Hispanic was the food. Especially the empanadas. If you’re looking for the best empanadas, look no further than Latin Bites in Manalapan.

Latin Bites has been in business since 2018 serving Puerto Rican and Cuban fusion cuisine and they do this not only with a great restaurant but also with food trucks.

I spoke with the owner Rodolfo Villanueva aka “Roy”:

What’s your background?

“When I was a kid in Puerto Rico and my mom made some of the appetizers we sell now, I would take her around town and sell them and when I turned 50 I sold my business and I decided to get back into the food business and it’s been doing great.”

What can you tell us about your menu?

“Our menu is a fusion of Cuban and Puerto Rican cuisine.”

What makes your empanadas so good?

“All of our empanada stuffings are homemade with freshly made Sofrito and 100% meat with no fillers or preservatives! But empanadas aren’t just what we’re known for, our bites are a hit! with very popular meat on the island of Puerto Rico.) But our greatest pride is ‘The BIG PAPI.’ This is our Cuban sandwich, the biggest Cuban sandwich you’ll find in Jersey: a 1 1/2 pound sandwich topped with a 12 hour roast pork topped with garlic mojo, swiss cheese, pickles ham and of course mustard, all on 14 inches of Cuban bread! It’s to die for.”

“You’re still writing posts on your website to communicate with your fellow foodies. This season we’re adding new options, come visit our Manalapan restaurant or visit our own trucks. We attend many NJ festivals and events, but we also have our home bases where we park throughout the week. Visit our website to find a truck near you today.”

What would you like to say to those reading this?

“Come visit us and try our food, you will fall in love… We promise.”

The views expressed in the above post are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

You can now listen to Steve Trevelise — On demand! Learn more about the personalities of New Jersey and what makes the Garden State interesting. Download Steve Trevelise’s show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen now:

These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn’t have to be just the beach. Our state has incredible trails, waterfalls and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to New Jersey’s hidden gems, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it’s a great workout.

Before you hit the trails and explore some of our listeners’ suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you descend and encounter an uphill hiker, pull to the side and give the uphill hiker some space. An uphill hiker has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless marked as an official trail, avoid them. Going off the trail, you risk damaging the ecosystems around the trail, the plants and wildlife that live there.

You also don’t want to disturb any wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Cyclists must yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also give in to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you’ll encounter on New Jersey trails.

If you plan to take your dog on your hike, they must be on a leash and be sure to clean up all pet waste.

Finally, pay attention to the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it’s probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions on the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

Municipal tax bill for every city and town in NJ, filed

Just under 30 cents of every $1 of property taxes collected in New Jersey supports municipal services provided by cities, townships, boroughs, and villages. Statewide, the average municipal tax bill alone in 2021 was $2,725, but that varied widely from over $13,000 in Tavistock to nothing in three townships. In addition to the $9.22 billion in taxes for municipal purposes, special tax districts that in some locations provide municipal services such as fire protection, garbage collection or economic development collected 323, $8 million in 2021.