2. Sunset Park is also a haven for Latin American businesses
Although a handful of Puerto Ricans lived in Sunset Park around the 1920s working in maritime jobs, redlining and white flight led to major Puerto Rican immigration to the neighborhood in the 1950s and ’60s. Many Puerto Ricans were pushed away from their communities in East Harlem, the Upper West Side, and the Lower East Side because of urban renewal projects. Many families saw economic opportunities in Sunset Park, but industrial closures around that time made jobs increasingly scarce. Redevelopment efforts, though, and overall cheaper rents led many Hispanic families to settle in the area in the 1960s and 1970s; by 1980, the Hispanic population was half of Sunset Park’s total population. This included recent immigrants from Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Ecuador.
Many of these families opened businesses over the last three or so decades primarily along Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Avenues. Among the most popular spots are Tacos Matamoros, known for its rather affordable tacos, Tacos El Bronco, and Restaurant El Maguey. Gran Villa Restaurant serves up some of the best Salvadoran pupusas in the area, while La Isla Cuchifrito is a popular Puerto Rican restaurant. For a taste of the Dominican Republic, head to Castillo de Yaque, while similarly named Castillo is a must-try for Ecuadorian fare.