Doña MartinaClassic empanadas at their freshest
Ciudad de la Costa & El Pinar
A traditional street food in Uruguay is empanadas. This great empanada place has two stores serving more than fifty different types of empanadas, freshly made every day, in El Pinar and Ciudad de La Costa.
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 for their empanadas. In 2020, unable to cope with demand, they opened a second location in the new gastronomy hub of El Pinar.
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 premium ‘sabores secretos’. These ‘secret’ flavours include some of their most requested empanadas—salmon with cream cheese and cilantro (#45), prime beef with provolone cheese and a hint of salsa criolla (#15) and lamb ragu with fresh portobello mushrooms (#76). Personally I love their stroganoff empanadas. Vegan empanadas include humita (maize), verduras al wok (sautéed vegetables) and puerro (leek).
Don’t miss the dessert empanadas including nutella bombons (#85) 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 Both stores are on or very close to the coastal highway (the Rambla costanera) minutes from the airport.
Great Uruguay wines We love that Doña Martina is prioritising top-tier wines from lesser known local wineries, selected by sommelier Adriana Rossi. You’ll find pairing recommendations.
How long does it take for a take-away order to be ready All empanadas are made from scratch and cooked in the moment. 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 call or message in your order 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 restaurants have outdoor seating.
Prices 90-95 pesos per empanada
Doña Martina – Rambla Costanera
San José de Carrasco, Ciudad de la Costa, Canelones
Tel +598 2698 1111
The restaurant is across the road from the water. Coming from Montevideo pass the resto, turn left at the next traffic lights and double back. There’s free parking outside. Open-air dining.
Opening times Mon-Wed-Thu 12 to 4 p.m. / 7 p.m. to midnight. Sat-Sun noon to midnight. Tuesday closed. Delivery within Ciudad de la Costa.
Doña Martina – El Pinar
Pérez Butler M. 249 S. 2 Local 5, Ciudad de la Costa, Canelones
Tel +598 2683 9840
El Pinar is seeing a new boom in appreciation of good local food and drink. The store is located in a small open-air food court set back from the entrance. Dining includes small outdoor patio.
Opening times Mon-Wed-Thu 12 to 4 p.m. / 7 p.m. to midnight. Sat-Sun noon to midnight. Tuesday closed. Delivery from Márquez Castro to the Pando toll.