The sign outside reads diner but the Caribbean colors inside (down to the teal faux shutters on the walls), the long marble bar, and the salsa and samba soundtrack let you know this ain’t your usual NYC greasy spoon. As does the menu, which ranges across the Caribbean and Latin America, offering up perfect renditions of such regional stars as lomo saltado (a toothsome tomato and ginger beef stir-fry from Peru), Cuban roast pork with crispy chicharons, and Brazilian sweet-corn empenadas. Open 24 hours, Coppelia also offers breakfast items, day and night, and these, too, have a Latin flair (like the Pan Francese, a take on French toast, which is topped with creamy dulce de leche). A fun place, night or day.
- Pauline Frommer