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Feb 21, 2005 05:22 PM

Cheap, Good Mexican in West Village?

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I have been living in the west village by bleeker & christopher for several months now and I still can't find good, cheap Mexican.

Mexicana mama is really good, but too expensive for everyday. Tio pepe less good, but still expensive. Caliente Cab is obviously crap.

Where are other west villagers' fav places?

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  1. In our experience there *is* no good *and* cheap Mexican in the West Village. There is good, expensive Mexican, and there is rotten, cheap Mexican, but good, cheap Mexican is nowhere to be found.

    Good, cheap Mexican can be had in abundance uptown, on 9th and 10th Ave in Hell's Kitchen (for one) and north of 96th.

    But if you want to stay in the neighborhood, save your shekels for Mexicana Mama or Mi Cocina; all the cheap Mexican places we've tried have been just awful.

    - er


    8 Replies
    1. re: enrevanche
      adam berkowitz

      i just moved to hell's kitchen recently. which mexican restuarants would you recommend there? thanks.

      1. re: adam berkowitz

        Two reliably good, inexpensive Mexican places within spitting distance of each other on 10th Ave:

        695 10th Ave (cross street: 48th)

        Grocery/deli with taqueria in back. Mouthwatering tacos for pennies. Well, not pennies, but how does $2 a throw sound?

        Two tacos and a soda (many Mexican brands carried) and you're outta there for about five bucks. The chorizo taco is a personal fave.

        Tulcingo Del Valle
        665 10th Ave (cross street: 47th)

        Full-service restaurant. Great enchiladas and tacos al pastor.

        - er


        1. re: enrevanche

          Have you tried leon bakery on 9th avenue between 47th and 48th. Its a bakery/grocery store that sells tamales in the back. I think its around 1.25 for a tamale.

          1. re: anony

            >> Have you tried leon bakery on 9th avenue between
            >> 47th and 48th.

            Not yet, but I've been eyeing it greedily since they opened... I pass it every day on the M11 bus going home, and am certainly going to stop in one night soon and pick up some stuff to take home for dinner.

            What would you recommend, besides/in addition to the tamales?

            - er


            1. re: enrevanche

              Sadly, not much else for dinner besides the tamales. And while they are cheap, tasty, and probably worth a stop on the way home, I personally wouldn't go out of my way for them.

          2. re: enrevanche

            Totally second tulcingo del valle, which serves awesome al pastor on a spit. Try the torta al pastor with fresh avocado instead of the guacamole (their guac is terrible).

            Never quite understood the tehuitzingo raves. I personally prefer La Paloma on 45th off 9th Ave. Not the same selection of exotic fillings, but they do carne and pollo asada, which tehuitzingo doesn't. I also much prefer La Paloma's chorizo.

          3. re: adam berkowitz

            I like mi nidito on 8th ave between 51st and 2nd.

            1. re: adam berkowitz

              TULCINGO DEL VALLE...phenominal for NYC!

          4. I agree with enrevanche: can't always have it both ways. Check out DEL VALLE (10th Ave & 47th St.) for authentic, good, inexpensive Mexican.

            In the Village/Chelsea area, there is also ROCKING HORSE CAFE, which is suppose to ROCK, but would not be considered cheap.

            Also, KITCHEN MARKET on 8th Ave in Chelsea does great burritos of all kinds, but they are more Southwest American (Santa Fe), as opposed to Mexican style. Very yummy, though!

            1. KITCHEN MARKET will deliver to you. its all good stuff. there are also good food carts on sunday church mornings only on w14th bet 8th & 9th avenues.

              there is nothing else cheap or close to cheap that is any good in the area. have a BENNYS BURRITO gutbomb and you will see what i mean. ha.

              1. Updating an old answer of mine that is no longer correct.

                There is really good, cheap Mexican in the Village now.

                Pio Maya
                40 W 8th St
                New York, NY 10011
                (212) 254-2277

                The neighborhood is lucky to have them. Just a few tables inside, but great for takeout if you can't get a seat and VERY nice people in addition to very good food.

                5 Replies
                1. re: enrevanche

                  I really want to like Pio Maya, they are really nice people, but their food is surprisingly mediocre to me. We got some food delivered recently and were really inspired by how fresh it all looked, but in the end the tacos, enchiladas, and roasted pork were all shockingly flavorless and un-inspired. The rotisserie chicken, which I would not normally associate with a mexican joint, but had hear it was good so ordered it, was completely dry. Even the rice and beans were disappointing.

                  1. re: billyeats

                    I agree re the chicken, but these guys are one of the few places in NYC that gets rice and beans "right" imo. Whole black and pintos, and pale-orange rice, as I recall. No tomatoes (this long ago ceased being "Spanish" rice) or annoying veggie niblets (a Central American contribution). Give the carne asada a shot -- much better than the chicken.

                  2. re: enrevanche

                    I totally agree with enrevanche. Eric Eto thinks I'm crazy, but Pio Maya was actually the best Cal-Mex I found in NYC. One of the very few places that steams their burritos, though you have to fight with them to put the guac and cheese inside before doing so. I'm particularly a fan of their carne asada burritos and super tacos. Surprisingly, the only disappointment I encountered was the chicken, which looks amazing roasting behind the glass, but is rather dull and dry to eat.

                    1. re: a_and_w

                      This will probably raise the ire of all the purists, but I like Burritoville. There's one on Bleecker just west of 7th Ave So. I usually get the mega soy or border burrito, both usually with black beans. I sometimes switch to red, which are a little milder. Everything tastes fresh and the salsa is really good. The burritos average $6 to $7.60.

                      1. re: fsd1116

                        Try this one: Route 66 with refried beans, cheddar, guacamole, and NO RICE (brown rice in a burrito is vile). I also like the Mexican burrito -- but again, minus the rice.

                  3. The original comment has been removed