The Empanada King Comes to Town

By Leandria Hercules – Staff Writer

From a small convenience store warmer to three locations, The Empanada King is a growing franchise featuring locally-loved empanadas of all flavors.   

The Empanada King is an empanada-based restaurant with various comfort foods, from hotdogs and burgers to desserts such as tres leches and churros. About a month ago, the business opened up its third location at 116 N Washington Ave., with another location also in the making.   

The manager, Kelvin Diaz, and the front register employee Jessica Lantigua explain some details about the shop, its history, and its atmosphere.  

“The history came from Wilkes, Wilkes Township. It started from… a convenience store… selling out a warmer. From out of there, um, we found a location nearby ’cause the town was thrilled with the flavor of the empanadas. So we all decided to expand and open a location and here we are.”  Explains Diaz in regard to the history of The Empanada King’s history.  [Text Wrapping Break][Text Wrapping Break]The three locations are set in Wilkes Barre Township, Wyoming Valley Mall, and the Scranton location, with another location in the making. Each location offers a student discount of 10%.   

Kelvin explains the goal of having a location in Downtown Scranton, “Get to know us and I’m actually offering the University of Scranton something they never have.” 

The atmosphere of the place is “Inviting, welcoming… bright.”  says Diaz.  Lantigua points out that The Empanada King is also “vibrant” and “adds color to Scranton.”  There are a variety of colors throughout the restaurant, such as yellows and greens, which adds pops of brightness throughout the establishment.  

The flavors of empanadas are varied between sweet and savory.  They have flavors such as beef, chicken, chorizo, bacon, egg and cheese, pepperoni pizza, and more.  The sweet flavors they offer include Nutella, Nutella and banana, guava and cheese, and strawberries and cheese.  

“Well, the most popular are the beef and cheese, chicken and cheese, cheesesteak, buffalo chicken….” Says Lantigua. Diaz also agrees that beef and cheese and chicken and cheese are best sellers.  

Kelvin explains that his current favorite empanada flavor is chicken and cheese, while Lantigua’s is plantain-filled.  

Though The Empanada King’s specialty is empanadas, they also serve other food items such as the Scranton Dog, which consists of two hot dogs piled with beef, fries, ketchup, and mayo.  There’s also the Chimi Burger, chicken and tostones, arepas, stuffed cassava, funnel fries, and so much more. There’s an option for everyone at The Empanada King! 

Everything is made fresh daily from the dough to the meat. Kelvin and Lantigua recommend the beef and cheese or chicken and cheese empanada for customers who have never had one before.  

For more information The Empanada King’s hours are Sundays and Thursdays, 9-12 a.m., Mondays to Wednesdays 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays 9-3 a.m. Feel free to connect with the establishment on Facebook at Empanada King Scranton for any inquiries and the full menu.