Yuca Bar & Restaurant

Yuca Bar is an old East Village love. They have quite possibly the best Tuesday happy hour in the city aka “Loco Tuesday” which is Half Price Tapas until 8 p.m. with $6 Margaritas, Mojitos, Caipirinhas, Sangria or Wine and $4 Cervezas. The tapas are some of the best options on the menu, and I actually think they are better than most of the entrees, so stock up on these bites which are enough for about 4 people to taste efficiently. The Latin menu has everything from Guacamole, Empanadas, Arepas, Taquitos to a Latin Cheeseburger. Start with the Guacamole, and if you’re lucky, get the Crab Meat and Mango special option to flavor up this combo. The restaurant used to offer Lobster Quesadillas (which are what made me first love the restaurant so much), but the Shrimp option will do the trick for now. The tortillas are grilled to a crisp adding a perfect crunch with a nice ratio of cheese to seafood. I am also a huge fan of their Salmon Ceviche. The cut of the fish is an ideal thick size so that you can get a fair amount of ceviche in each bite. The Shrimp entree comes with a creamy seafood risotto and is a really heavy dish especially after devouring some plantains and guac. The fish dishes seem to be my favorite, but I was not a fan of the Paella (2nd pic). There are much better places like Rayuela and Socarrat to get this distinct item.

Yuca Bar is extremely bright and colorful on the outside matching the interiors whose walls are lined with images of  buildings that resemble South American architecture. The open window and sidewalk seating are prime real estate as the weather is warming up now. It creates a vibrant experience with upbeat Latina music especially after cheersing over a few mojitos. This lends for a dance party jive. Yuca Bar is a casual and carefree place to venture to for an after work happy hour  when you want to kick back and relax over some sangria pitchers and laid back Latin food with friends.