Our chef’s philosophy is to always adhere to rigorous quality control and the use of fresh ingredients. She embraces her full creative license and unfolds healthier alternatives to modern cooking to deliver a gastronomic experience rather than a conventional meal.

The managing partner’s philosophy is to make the restaurant an environmentally friendly place and also extend conscious practices into their catering model. The focus to reduce impact involves exploration into natural alternatives to disposables, Click here waste reduction and sourcing vendors with similar initiatives.

Together, the business philosophy comes with a bit of nostalgia – a desire to recreate a way of doing business that was prevalent before food became commodified while also caring for the earth.


In 2003, after years of cooking, baking, and catering for events and family, chef Luz Helena Bermudez and her two siblings were ready to start Empanadas Cafe. The team of two sisters and one brother had a clear vision: to make the empanada preparation into a gourmet trip.

But that was not their only vision: in 2005 after the departure of their brother, the sisters adopted an unconventional approach to expansion. Instead of opening Empanadas Cafe in other New York City neighborhoods, they transformed their gourmet empanadas into the perfect hors d’oeuvres to be enjoyed by all. Empanadas Cafe has served clients from diplomats at the United Nations to upcoming artists at museum and gallery events and sports teams in popular tournaments.

Currently, they are invested in a new commitment to the arts and non-profit organizations with their new catering service: Empanadas for the Arts.


From the Chef

“Cooking is a constant research project and the more I learn, the more I appreciate the wisdom given to me from the older generations of our family.

As a self-taught chef, innovation is all about going back to the roots.

But not just my Latin roots, this also includes the roots of other cultures in search for that ingredient or that spice that creates a special flavor.

Right now, for example, I am experimenting with herbs and have found new, delicious ways of using them as condiments.

I always approach cooking as an opportunity to explore: it is a constant search to get a particular taste or consistency though alternative and healthier ingredients.

Awarded Best Empanadas 2023

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56-27 Van Doren Street
Corona, Queens, New York

New hours of operation

8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday – Sunday
8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.