Valentain Dei: Best Latin Events in NYC

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Whatever your feelings are regarding el Día de San Valentín—whether love is in the air, whether you’re feeling lonely, or whether your heart is just two sizes too small—there’s no way to avoid it. The best thing to do is figure out how to spend your day, and who better to ask for romantic advice than Latinos? We do have a reputation for this sort of thing, after all.

Any good Valentine’s Day date begins with dinner, and—as everyone knows—NYC is a great place to eat. There’s no shortage of delicious restaurants offering up plenty of atmosphere as a side dish. Rayuela on the Lower East Side has an unusual menu (excellent, but unusual) made up of “freestyle Latino cuisine,” borrowing from many countries and traditions for its dishes and ingredients; the unusual menu compliments the somewhat unusual decor (there is a full-on tree growing through the floor).

SoHo spot Ñ is a cozy, sexy location with a great selection of Spanish wines and delicious tapas if you happen to be in the sharing mood…which you should be, because it’s Valentine’s Day. Another great tapas-and-sangria spot is Oliva, another LES location with a less intimate, more brightly lit atmosphere. Also, the sangria is strong, so altogether it’s not a bad place to go if you haven’t been dating your Valentine too long. A number of restaurants are also offering prix fixe menus for the occasion: Mexican restaurant Ofrenda and Cuban restaurant Agozar are among them, along with the patriotically named Industria Argentina and Cuba (pictured to the left).

Don’t have a gift yet? Want to seem romantic and culturally sensitive? Well hey, La Sirena is here to help. Snag some amor-and-amistad-themed, hand-made Mexican folk art, with items ranging from flaming heart mirrors to wedding calavera sculptures.

After dinner, time to get with the get down (list will be updated daily!). Or if you’re interested in showing off your cultured side, two Latino theater companies are holding performances this Valentine’s Day weekend. Neither show is overtly romantic, but hey…


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All of this failed? Download our F*ck You, Amor. playlist and wallow.