If you didn’t grow up in the New England area, this might be your first time hearing about Cabo Verdean cuisine. Off the westernmost point of continental Africa, you’ll find a beautiful country of islands known as the Republic of Cabo Verde with dishes blending West African flavors and cooking techniques with the colonial influences of Portuguese cuisine.
With direct access to the Atlantic Ocean, seafood plays an important role in Cabo Verdean cuisine. From codfish to octopus to our infamous tuna, each dish is filled with rich flavors, and of course always served with a side of rice and beans.
We love our fried yuca and our corn-based meals like Cabo Verde’s national dish: Cachupa or Katxupa. A slow-cooked stew consisting of hominy beans, cabbage, various vegetables and beans, and the chef’s selection of meat. The dish, known as Katxupa Refogada, is usually refried, served with fried eggs and linguiça and prepared for breakfast.
By way of the whaling industry, Cabo Verdeans have been immigrating to the United States since the late 18th century to land right here in New England. One of the largest growing Cabo Verdean communities can be found right here in Massachusetts.
Cabo Verdeans are proud to share their culture with everyone. When you enter a Cabo Verdean restaurant, the people are welcoming, the music is unique and exciting and the drinks are strong. Each dish tells a different story and each recipe, passed down from generation to generation, is prepared with love.
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Now is your opportunity to make your way to Boston to discover the taste of Cabo Verde. We’ve got something for everyone, from sit-down restaurants with live music to quick in-and-out cafes if you’re in a rush.
Here’s a guide to some Cabo Verdean restaurants in the Greater Boston region.
Named after the famous Cabo Verdean singer, Cesária Évora, Restaurante Cesaria opened in 2002 in the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester. Four friends opened this restaurant to provide a place to enjoy Cabo Verdean cuisine and live music. Nearly 20 years later, co-owners Tony Barros and José Fonseca Brandão continue to hold it down and provide a space to share and express Cabo Verdean culture.
If you’re looking to get a full experience of the culture, food and music, Cesaria is the place to start. Catch a local DJ spinning on a Thursday night, a live band on a Friday or Saturday night or family brunch on a Sunday.
Cape Verde Taste
Cape Verde Taste is a woman-owned business serving an authentic and traditional take-out menu. Operating since 2017, this mother and daughter duo works hard to make sure their community in Dorchester is fed. Rudmilla Barros owns the restaurant and her mother, Ana Semedo is the head chef behind the rotating daily menus.
Chef Semedo is well-known for her annual Thanksgiving giveaway, providing free and fresh meals to the community and families in need. Stop by to see what’s the daily special or try a traditional Cabo Verdean dessert-like pudin–also known as Cabo Verdean flan.
Nôs Casa Cafe
In addition to the ready-to-go rich and flavorful meals, Nôs Casa Cafe is truly mission driven. Located in the Boston neighborhood of Roxbury, this mother and son duo, Ana Maria and Joshua Fidalgo work to provide employment to women living in the community.
It’s a place for these women to share their love for cooking and to showcase the family recipes with the rest of the community. You can pop in and grab a quick meal to go or grab a seat as you listen to traditional Cabo Verdean music.
Luanda Restaurant and Lounge
Just a 30-minute drive south of Boston in the city of Brockton you’ll find Luanda Restaurant and Lounge. Since 2013, owner Amelia Gonçalves has been providing Cabo Verdean and Angolan dishes that represent her immigrant experience as a Cabo Verdean-Angolan living in Greater Boston, like their most popular dish Chicken Natas.
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A dish consisting of grilled chicken breast served with a heavy cream sauce and a side of fries. This restaurant has served as the go-to spot for Cabo Verdeans in the area hosting community events and family functions.