Doña MartinaClassic empanadas at their freshest
Ciudad de la Costa
A traditional street food in Uruguay is the empanada. This is the very best empanada place that I’ve found with a mind-blowing 50+ fillings to choose from.
Doña Martina owners, Sergio and Sylvia, come from the Uruguay interior. They moved to Montevideo to study but never adapted to life in the big city. After moving to the green suburbs just beyond Montevideo, in 2017 they started a small restaurant on the scenic coastal highway on the way to the beaches of the east. Though they serve all sorts of traditional Uruguayan cuisine, they quickly become famous locally for their empanadas
The freshest Uruguay empanadas
What makes their empanadas super special is that all of the ingredients are top-quality and cooked as you wait. So you’re eating the freshest empanadas with ingredients sourced from local producers and artisanal fishermen.
The almost sixty varieties of empanada include the Uruguayan classics—carne (ground beef) and jamón y queso (ham and cheese). But the firm favourites with the locals are their ‘sabores secretos’. These ‘secret’ flavours include unusual fillings like camaron (shrimp) and mejillones con verduras salteadas (mussels with sautéed vegetables). As well as novelty empanadas–where they reproduce whole dishes within an empanada. Seriously. Try their chivito empanadas and stroganoff empanadas. Vegan empanadas include humita (maize), verduras al wok (sautéed vegetables) and puerro (leek) empanadas.
Don’t miss the dessert empanadas! See the sheer joy of my Brazilian little sister on biting into a dulce de leche and chocolate empanada.
What you should know
Pick up some hot empanadas for your journey to the beach Doña Martina is located on the coastal highway (the Rambla costanera) just as you leave Montevideo.
How long does it take for a take-away order to be ready All empanadas are made from scratch and cooked in the moment. In fact Sergio and Sylvia have been contacted by other restaurants wanting to sell their empanadas. But they refuse as that would require freezing. Their hallmark is an empanada made and cooked fresh every day. For quickest service,–if you speak Spanish–call in your order (it’s Sergio on the other end of the line and at the cash register) and it’ll be waiting for you. Ordering on arrival, the average wait time is 15-20 minutes.
Not just empanadas and not just take-away Doña Martina also offers other Uruguayan classics including enormous milanesas and miniaturas (cooked on the spot too). The restaurant is simple with outdoor seating. You can see the sea which is pretty unique as most views from the opposite side of the road on this highway are obscured by sand dunes.
How to reach Doña Martina
The restaurant is across the road from the water. Consult the map as to how to cross the highway if coming from Montevideo. There’s free parking outside.
80-85 pesos per empanada
San José de Carrasco, Ciudad de la Costa
Tel +598 2698 1111