Whether you’re just stopping by or you’re a long-time local, you haven’t seen the city until you’ve tasted the best it has to offer. From street tacos to fine dining, New York has its share of delicious Mexican food you won’t want to miss. Traditional or reinvented, casual or expensive, these unique restaurants have all earned a spot at the top of your list.
Straight from Cintalapa, Chiapas, this is authentic as it comes. This Queens gem is run by two brothers, Cosme and Luis Aguilar, who use their late mother’s home recipes as inspiration for their traditional style cuisine. Treat yourself to baby pork ribs while sitting in their garden, which features artwork from local Queens artists.
Los Tacos No.1
The handpainted sign in Chelsea Market tips you off that these street eats are casual and unpretentious, and the tantalizing smell is a clear sign that you’ve come to the right place. Creative and exciting combinations served over made-from-scratch corn tortillas puffed up on the grill make this taco counter a must-visit spot.
For a more elegant night, try Cosme. After the buzziest opening of winter 2014, chef Enrique Olvera has established himself as a New York favorite. The reputation remains well deserved as Cosme continues serving up high energy, avant-garde small plates in a fine-dining atmosphere.
The Black Ant
Just off 2nd Ave sits this barely-lit, modern Mexican eatery. It’s not just a name — the menu includes ants, grasshoppers, and other delicacies. The bar revolves around tequila and mezcals, and if you’re brave enough you can even try one of their trademark cocktails made with rare Mexican herbs and ground-up insects for a unique flavor. Stop by at brunch for a gourmet meal in the outdoor patio.
Chef Danny Bowien started out with the popular Mission Chinese, but his Mexican experiment is not to be discounted. These inventive recipes often contain touches of Asian inspiration and feature one-of-a-kind tortillas, made in-house from dried corn using an authentic, ancient Mexican method. It’s a great place to bring your vegetarian friends, as the meatless options are just as delicious as the family style mole spiced chicken wings.
This cozy restaurant is named after the neighborhood where chef Ivan Garcia grew up in Mexico City, and it reflects its heritage with the multi-regional dishes and small bites you might expect to find on those city streets. The recipes that can’t be credited to Mexico City itself come from family tradition, including a ceviche made from a closely-guarded secret recipe. With a comfortable, Southwestern feel and equally comfortable prices, you’ll feel right at home. Which is just as well, because it’s worth to stay for dessert.
There are no pretensions at this hole-in-the-wall in Bushwick. Sit down and take your pick from a wide selection of taco fillings. These teensy bite-sized tacos come by the dozen, which is a good thing since you’ll want to sample them all.