At this Cuban hotspot, two sizeable half moons of golden, crispy fried dough surround chipotle-sauced chicken and come alongside a colorful trio of dipping sauces: smoky salsa roja, tomatillo salsa and garlicky mayonnaise.
$6.95 for two at 563 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood, 856-854-5555, mycasona.com.
Chef David Ansill’s curried lamb empanadas are nontraditional but globally delicious. Placed atop apple chutney, they’re in samosa territory; folded into Japanese dumpling wrappers, they’re shumai-ish.
$9 for three at 1528 Sansom Street, 215-964-9755, ladder15philly.com.
Chef Jezabel Careaga bakes her empanadas to order, with home-made dough, at this Fitler Square café. She offers multiple fillings, but we’re partial to the ground beef, seasoned with paprika and chili powder and combined with raisins, onions and boiled eggs.
$2 each at 2536 Pine Street, 215-545-2230.
Hoof + Fin
Argentine-style empanadas are a specialty at this Queen Village BYOB. Try the corn-and-cheese variety, filled with corn puree, paprika, roasted red peppers, garlic, onions, plum tomatoes and manchego.
$7 for two at 617 South 3rd Street, 215-925-3070, hooffin.com.
Sazon Restaurant & Café
For Venezuelan-style empanadas, go for chef Judith Suzarra-Campbell’s version, which is more akin to a turnover than a typical empanada. She makes her dough with freshly ground yellow corn and fills it with beef, cheese, black beans, chicken, or ham and cheese.
$6 to $8 each at 941 Spring Garden Street, 215-763-2500, sazonrestaurant.com.