The Best Pupusas in Raleigh-Durham
We let our pocket-loving stomachs do the writing and put together a roundup of the best pupusas and Salvadoran food in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. From pupusa trucks, sit-down pupuserias, and drive-thru eateries, the Triangle offers quite a few places to find some damn tasty pupusas. Are we missing your favorite pupuseria or Salvadoran food spot? Let us know in the comments!
The Best Pupusas in Raleigh-Durham
1. So Good Pupusas
So Good Pupusas is a Durham-based food truck serving up delicious pupusas with a purpose. Cecilia Polanco began making pupusas with her mother, Nora, and some friends out of truck in 2016 to raise money to provide scholarships for undocumented students. Since then, So Good Pupusas has awarded scholarships to multiple students attending various universities through their non-profit organization, Pupusas for Education (P4E). When you enjoy, *so good* pupusas for lunch and dinner, you are also contributing to a scholarship fund ensuring undocumented students are able to achieve a higher education. You can find So Good Pupusas at Cocoa Cinnamon in Lakewood on Tuesdays, and at the Latino Community Credit Union in downtown Durham on Thursdays, for lunch and dinner.
- Latino Community Credit Union: 100 W Morgan St Durham, N.C. 27701
- Cocoa Cinnamon: 2013 Chapel Hill Rd, Suite A Durham, N.C. 27707
2. Samantha’s Pupusas
Samantha’s Pupusas began as a food truck, and while they still use their truck at special events, most patrons now visit their colorful brick-and-mortar location in Hillsborough. This small restaurant offers traditional El Salvadorean and Mexican food such as pupusas, tacos, burritos, and gorditas that are always made fresh. A couple of Samantha’s pupusas are the perfect meal for lunch or dinner with your family, especially when served with their cutrido and salsas, some of which may knock your socks off! Don’t forget to finish your meal off with some of their delicious tres leches cake (which is available on the weekend)!
- 117 Cornelius St Hillsborough, N.C. 27278
3. Pupuseria y Taqueria Orellana
Pupuseria y Taqueria Orellana might be a little difficult to stumble upon since it’s tucked away in a tiny strip mall in far north Durham, but, once you find it, you’ll keep coming back. They serve traditional Salvadoran food such as pupusas, as well as traditional Mexican food, such as carne asada fajitas. This little restaurant offers two kinds of pupusas, cheese and pork, to introduce newbies to El Salvadorean food or satisfy the cravings of natives. Perhaps the most authentic and delicious part of this pupuseria is their curtido, a spicy pickled cabbage slaw. With just the right amount of spice and crunch, this curtido will blow your mind and keep you coming back for more.
- 5300 N Roxboro Rd Durham, N.C. 27712
4. Pupuseria la Metapaneca
Pupuseria la Metapaneca serves incredible pupusas to customers utilizing their drive-through or walk-up window. This small pupuseria is the perfect place to grab a pupusa in Durham if you are in a hurry. From Wednesday to Sunday, they also serve late night pupusas so you can quell your craving for a perfectly grilled masa-based pocket food. Not in this mood for a pupusa? Pupuseria la Metapaneca also serves tacos and whole plates of Mexican/Latin American food. Even though it is a drive-through restaurant, don’t think of it as fast food-- everything is always made fresh to order. To go along with your mouth watering pupusas, try some horchata, maracuya, or grab an ice cold jarrito.
- 2405 Holloway St Durham, N.C. 27703
5. El Cuscatleco
El Cuscatleco has two locations, one in Durham and one in Cary, which offer traditional Mexican and Salvadoran food. At either of their locations, you can order from either section of the menu, or get the best of both worlds by ordering one of their combo plates. We recommend going for the ultimate pocket food combo plate which comes with pupusas and tamales! The “plato tipico” is also a great option if you are looking for a sample of several traditional Salvadoran staples such as pupusas, yuca, and fried plantains.
- 4212 Garrett Rd Durham, N.C. 27707
- 1383 SE Maynard Rd Cary, N.C. 27511
Mar-Y-Sol has two restaurant locations that offer Salvadoran food, Mexican food, and food from a few other Latin American countries. Mar-Y-Sol serves a delicious appetizer of pupusas as well as fried plantains to satisfy your both savory and sweet cravings. Their main dishes offer several options that fall under the Mexican food umbrella such as enchiladas and tacos, as well as various Latin American staple dishes such as pasteles, which are similar to a tamale. For the ultimate flavor adventure, we recommend ordering a few assorted appetizers, or going for one of their combo plates.
- 4020 Capital Blvd, Suite 108 Raleigh, N.C. 27604
- 1310 Corporation Pkwy, Unit D Raleigh, N.C. 27610