22. La Caridad 78 (Opened 1968)
A “For Lease” sign in the window of La Caridad 78, a Cuban-Chinese staple on the Upper West Side, marks it as another closure of the COVID-19 pandemic. Upper West Side residents had earlier seen people remove furniture from the restaurant and claimed that the phone line was inaccessible. No explicit reason for the closure has been announced, but it joins dozens of other businesses that have permanently shuttered due to reduced revenue and restrictions on indoor dining.
La Caridad 78 was known for fusion dishes like a beef noodle soup with Cuban spices, Cuban-style roast pork with rice and yucca, and spare ribs in black bean sauce. Cuban-style rotisserie chicken and ropa vieja were often accompanied by spicy Cuban sauces, Chinese fried rice, and fried plantains. Dishes were colorful and vibrant, with exciting and bold flavors telling the story of a surprising combination of two rather different cultures.