Makus Empanadas – Empanadas All Over the Triangle

The abundance of food trucks in the Triangle area is plentiful and the demand is only growing.  These delicious meals-on-wheels options are great because they serve up quality food fast, which is perfect during the lunch rush or after hours post bar-hopping.  On our Food On The Move Directory we will feature a new food truck each time so you can get a feel for all cuisines available here in the Triangle in a mobile format!  We will include just enough information on each food truck to give you a “quick bite” that we hope will inspire you to track them down and try their food for yourself.  We’re stepping outside of the box this time to feature Makus Empanadas because they are literally all over the Triangle.  Their storefront location is in Durham, but they cater events across the area and are featured at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.  Plans are on the near horizon to be included in many other entertainment arenas across the Triangle, too. 

Who runs the shop?

Makus Empanadas is run by brother duo Hernan and Santiago Moyano and their longtime childhood friend, Ricky Yofre.  These three men hail from Argentina and decided to shake things up by filling the bellies of Triangle diners with the most popular food item from their homeland: empanadas.  As Santiago says, “Empanadas are just part of everyday life in Argentina.  They’re the perfect food to eat on the go, at a family gathering, with friends at a party or at a sporting event.  Everything we did growing up was centered around food and empanadas were a large part of that communal experience.”

Makus Empanadas - Ricky, Hernan, and Santiago

Makus Empanadas – Ricky, Hernan, and Santiago

Why did you choose Makus Empanadas?

Each man brings a varied background of talents and skills to Makus Empanadas.  Hernan previously worked in finance and real estate and serves as their marketing and sales guru.  Santiago worked in real estate and is Makus Empanadas’ finance and legal connoisseur.  Ricky is a retired commodities trader and oversees a majority of the production in Makus Empanadas’ establishment.  These three men grew up together in Argentina with a big passion for food, family and friends.  They did not have a background in food service, so they started small.  With each passing catering job for a party or wedding, the buzz around Makus Empanadas grew.  It was only a matter of time before the demand for their product grew so large they needed a storefront.  As Hernan says, “We’re perfectionists in everything we do. We want to make people happy with the food that we’re making.  If it’s not right, we will fix it right away.  We believe in the importance of building a brand and maintaining the quality of Makus Empanadas wherever we go.”

Makus Empanadas - Malik

Makus Empanadas – Malik

What items are they cooking up?

Hernan, Santiago, Ricky and their super friendly team are whipping up traditional empanadas along with ones to please the American palate.  Empanada flavors include beef, chicken, pepperoni, bacon & cheese, ham & cheese, onion & cheese, sweet corn, spinach and veggie.  Something I’ve never eaten before, but have started to crave is their Chipa Bread.  These crispy bites are made with parmesan cheese and cassava.  They’re delightfully chewy and cheesy in the best sort of way.  The dessert selection varies slightly, but the Cochitos is a family recipe from Ricky’s daughter that features dulce de leche over a coconut cookie. Yum!

When can I eat their amazing food?

Makus Empanadas opened their storefront shop in Durham in Hope Valley Commons in December 2015.  Store hours are posted on their site.  They’re available for private catering and special events, too.  They also continue to be a vendor at the Duke Farmers Market.  Their appearance at Durham Bulls Athletic Park is for all home games.

Makus Empanadas - Beef Chimichurri

Makus Empanadas – Beef Empanada with Housemade Chimichurri

Where can I find more information on Makus Empanadas?

Check out their main website.  They can also be found on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

What’s the price range of the menu?

Empanadas $2.50, Chipa Bread $3.00, Sweets $1.00-$1.75.

Spoiler alert: Do not forget to order a side of chimichurri.  It’s hard to keep from drinking this straight up, but all the empanadas get an added pop of flavor once they’re dunked in this delectable liquid.


Tessa Nguyen is a chef and registered dietitian working in the Triangle area. She is an alumna of Johnson & Wales University and Meredith College. When Tessa isn’t traveling and discovering new food spots, she teaches culinary nutrition cooking classes at Duke and works as a consultant in the health and wellness industry. You can follow her on Instagram or Twitter @ChefTessaRD.


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