Best Haitian Restaurant - 2013
Haitians have a saying: "Sel pa vante tèt li di li sale," or "Salt doesn't boast that it is salted." In other words, good food doesn't need advertising. The proverb was practically made for Zila Cafeteria, a tiny but tasty joint that is harder to get hold of than Heat point guard Norris Cole on a fast break. You've probably never heard of the Little Haiti eatery. And if you have, chances are you've called for delivery, only to get an out-of-service message. The truth is, we have no idea who owns Zila Cafeteria or if the place delivers. But that's beside the point. Park your car on NW Second Avenue near 59th Street and follow the smell of roast chicken and the sound of Haitian compas to the door. Then sit at the checkered tables, order an absurdly cheap beer or two, and stuff your face with simple but delicious food. This hole in the wall offers Haitian staples such as griot (fried pork chunks) and mais moulu (cornmeal) as well as daily specials like succulent chicken with beans and rice for just $4.99. With beer as cheap as $1 for a Bud Light or $2 for a Prestige, you'll never want to leave. When you finally do, you'll agree: Sel pa vante tèt li di li sale.