Unlock New York City’s best foodie spots, esteemed eateries, and hidden gems with the help of an award-winning local guide.
Claro offers a taste of Oaxaca on the Gowanus Canal from chef T.J. Steele (Tia Pol), featuring classic dishes such as duck mole Negro. Diners can experience its dark and eclectic decor featuring murals, pottery pieces, and traditional wooden tables – make your reservation now to experience Claro!
Casa Enrique in Long Island City has become a go-to spot under Chef Cosme Aguilar, known for its family recipes and Michelin-quality cuisine. Offering starters such as Pal Arrange (starters), Antojitos (appetizers), and Del Puerto (fish and seafood), their menu boasts the usual tacos and guacamole as well as more complex dishes such as branzino prepared al pastor. Grilled with achiote and guajillo or Chamorro de Borrego Al Huaxamole lamb shank braised in fruity-spicy broth – concluding your meal with their classic Tres Leches dessert!
Chef Aguilar of Chiapas Restaurant doesn’t feature colorful banners hanging in its casual cantina and no mariachi band or Mexican wrestling masks here; that is because his menu honors Chiapas cuisine from Mexico’s southernmost state where he grew up, with restrained levels of heat and blue-collar ingredients such as sesame seeds. As such, his mole de Piaxtla made with almonds, raisins, sweet plantains, sesame seeds, chiles, seven different chiles, plus chocolate, stands out but doesn’t necessarily hit candy bar levels that many other restaurants attempt.
This neighborhood spot serves some fantastic food. Their service is friendly and attentive without intrusive; their margaritas are great, guacamole (try it spicy!). I particularly liked their fish tacos, chicken mole, and crab tostadas; we even enjoyed an exceptional chile relleno that was lighter than most. Don’t miss the delectable tres leches, too!
Chef Ivan Garcia’s modern glass-and-steel building hides his culinary tribute to Mexico City: filament bulbs, vintage wallpaper, and traditional ornaments create a homey Southwestern ambiance that starkly contrasts its multiregional fare. Enjoy an addictive appetizer of esquites — which blend the earthy-sweet flavors of corn kernels with creamy chili-spiked mayonnaise and salty bits of crumbled cotija cheese — before diving into dinner courses like tamales or mole-covered dishes that make for delicious multiregional fare!
Bed-Stuy restaurant La Palapa serves authentic Oaxacan food, from giant memes filled with avocado to fried egg and spicy chile guajillo or ancho enchiladas to cocktails! Furthermore, La Palapa also boasts an excellent cocktail selection.
From the team behind Cosme, this taqueria offers casual lunch service and West Coast-style dining in the evening. Their chicken soup is one of our all-time favorites, and the shrimp taco is worth every penny – it was certainly worth our $15 purchase price!
Jackson Heights restaurant La Vida Azul features an eclectic seafood-heavy menu. Expect jalapeno-covered prawns, fish ceviche, and blackened agua chile made with squid ink — yet it’s delicious. Please ensure you save room for their masa-encrusted fish, shrimp cocktail tostada, and roast duck tacos with mole poblano mole sauce; there’s even an on-site bar serving up meals.
Taqueria Al Pastor
Taqueria Al Pastor in Brooklyn offers traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern flair. As a family-run business, members from the same clan work as cooks, waiters, delivery drivers, and delivery service. Open for 25 years now, their tacos have become well-known throughout New York. Plus, they stay open late and serve an array of late-night foods!
Al pastor is a spit-roasted pork dish inspired by Lebanese immigrants’ introduction of shawarma into Mexico. With its subtle flavor and combination with sweet, juicy pineapple for its distinctive tanginess, al pastor is now one of the most beloved street foods nationwide, served at many taquerias across the US.
Food at this establishment is exquisite and fresh; meat is tender and flavorful; sauces are delectable; tortillas are freshly made. Service is friendly and fast; prices are affordable – I recommend this spot to anyone seeking great Mexican dining in NYC.
Taqueria Al Pastor offers some of the finest tacos around – al pastor and carne asada are among its specialties. They feature mouthwatering meat seasoned with garlic and spices and tender, flavorful spit-roasted pork that melts in your mouth. All tacos come served with a generous scoop of jalapeno-studded guacamole that fills out every bite perfectly. However, smaller than other taquerias’ offerings, they still provide plenty of protein-filled meat-filling goodness – perfect sliced radishes and pickled jalapenos add extra crunch!
West Village restaurant Taqueria La Esmeralda serves contemporary Mexican fare with an intimate feel in its cozy dining area decorated with dark pottery and luxurious stone surfaces, natural wood beam ceilings, and a full bar – creating an inviting ambiance perfect for date nights or dinner with a group.
This NYC favorite offers fresh and innovative Mexican cuisine, from guacamole and fish tacos to duck flautas – Inspired by Mexico’s varied landscapes and cultures, its menu boasts delicious flavors with spicy sauces for an exceptional dining experience. Service is impeccable as well.
La Loteria is a modern Mexican restaurant with an eclectic interior atmosphere and expansive covered patio. The decor features chic yet relaxed black leather booth seating and large patterned tiles; dining is open air with substantial front windows perfect for people-watching; authentic Mexican dishes, as well as inventive twists like fried squash blossoms and cheeseburger fundido, are on its menu.
If you’re craving a satisfying bite, look no further than one of the pork belly tostadas! This delectable appetizer features caramelized pork belly, cilantro, and crema for an irresistibly tasty combination that pairs perfectly with house margaritas or tequila flights. Or if pork isn’t your thing, chicken al pastor tacos and wild mushroom queso fundido may also satisfy.
New York City is known for its delectable deli food, world-famous pizza, and abundant doughnut selection, but Mexican cuisine doesn’t always get its due. El Mitote is an oasis in Lincoln Center: This cozy neighborhood eatery specializes in tortas and tequila from Guadalajara (where the owner was raised) while creating tasty guacamole bowls!
This menu is simple but full of flavor at fantastic prices. Service is friendly and efficient; guests love their grilled Mexican sandwiches, burritos, as well as fresh margaritas; plus, crispy and delicious tortilla chips, make for the perfect appetizer or side.
This vibrant cantina in the Upper West Side serves authentic Mexican street food. Their menu offers an assortment of grilled Mexican sandwiches, tacos, burritos, and margaritas, and refreshing margaritas and agua frescas for beverages. Their tortillas are crispy while the guacamole is creamy – not to mention tasty options such as pork-filled chiles rellenos and mole poblano that complete the experience!
La Morada serves a range of indigenous Mexican cuisine from the Oaxaca region. With purple walls and multiple tables that evoke doctor’s office aesthetics but do delicious moles, gorditas, and tortillas, its grilled nopal (cactus) tacos stand out! In addition to providing quality Mexican fare, this family-run restaurant offers Mutual Aid Kitchen that gives back to the community.
Chef Enrique Olvera is one of the stars at Cosme, an elegant Flatiron eatery offering innovative takes on traditional Mexican fare. Formerly head chef at Mexico City’s Michelin-star Pujol, Olvera creates exciting menu items here, like duck carnitas and lamb shank birria, which stand out, but all should be explored thoroughly!
Empellon in the West Village specializes in authentic Mexican cuisine and offers a streamlined alternative to Cosme with a smaller menu and impressive results. Customers enjoy seafood-rich offerings such as the octopus tostada and shrimp ceviche. Other crowd favorites include lamb carnitas and kimchi-spiked Swiss chard as crowd pleasers.
Tuclingo del Valle in Hell’s Kitchen offers an exquisite atmosphere perfect for dates or special events, including luxurious chandeliers, high ceilings, and tile mosaic walls – not to mention indoor, outdoor, and upstairs seating with plenty of indoor, outdoor, and upstairs options – not forgetting Pollo Toloache as well as their famous churros!