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Your two favorite Mexican restaurants in the East Village

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They can be waiter-service places or literal holes in the wall. I'm going for diversity.

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Thanks Hounds!

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  1. mercadito is the only mex rest i venture to in the east village.

    3 Replies
    1. re: T.D.

      Agreeed. Mercardito is a great destination in the EV. Itzocan is also good, but small.

      There's a low-end place, big, lots of space, called El Rancho de Girasol. On the "authentic" side. I stopped going on weekend nights, however, because they started bringing in mariachis and the noise was intolerable. If there are no mariachis the place is excellent! Call and ask. 1st AVe. and 13th St.

      There's also La Palapa on St. Marks and 1st Ave, but it's expensive and uneven.

      I also, however, also like Juanitas on the LES.

      1. re: xaviet

        Unfortunately, Rancho el Girasol has closed down. It was a great place to go for authentic and cheap sit down Mexican. There tacos were especially good.

        1. re: keith

          Omigod, NOOOOOO! I just called El Girasol and the number's toast. Anyone know where the lady has gone that ran this place? Maybe she'll open up elsewhere???

    2. La Ceiba on Ave A is awesome.

      2 Replies
      1. re: PDDY

        I agree, Mercandito is the place in the East Village (unless you want to count Benny's Burritos). And the ceviche...when it's good, it's oh so good....

        Link: http://menupix.com/ny/restaurants.php...

        1. re: PDDY
          foodie fodder

          cafe el portal is the best mexican i've had in the city, fresh and authentic.

          elizabeth and kenmare.

        2. Mercadito: yes.

          Also brunch at Juanita on Rivington is nothing to sneeze at, especially if you're tipsy.


          Link: http://nycnosh.com

          1. Maryann's. Fifth and Second. It may be passe but I still think it's great.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Steve

              I dont know about this branch, but other ones I've been to are decidedly mediocre and not that authentic.

              1. re: jeanki

                authentic Tex-Mex if that's what you are looking for. Nothing Mexican about the place.

            2. Definitely Paquito's on 9th and 1st. Good and fresh, not overly greasy.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Joe

                Ugh, I had an awful meal there last night. Beans were tasteless and unseasoned, salsa was extremely watery with almost no flavor except for a slight hint of cilantro, rice was dried.

              2. m
                mexican freak

                mercadito is really good. la palapa is really good... mexican radio (soho) is freaking great.

                el sombrero, dirty mexican in the les,is good if only for the fact you can get margaritas to go...

                1. Tonight had a pre-theater chicken burrito ($7) at Cosmic Cantina (3rd@13th)with guacamole inside (+$2), very fresh, tasty and FILLING. $2 beer too. Salsa looked like freshly cut up tomato but tasty and not too hot. Young diners, crazy painting on brick walls, loud rock music. Will go again (after trying Mercadito).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: lumacbol

                    Comic Cantina is awesome, a regular haunt of mine. Two tips: with their nachos they never melt the cheese unless you explicitly ask, and I got my wallet stolen there once. But no hard feelings. You'll see what I mean if you taste the margaritas.

                  2. El Maguey y la Tuna (around Ave D and Houston) is also a pretty good option for both eat in and take out/delivery. MUCH cheaper and less gentrified than Mercadito.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: keith

                      Doesn't get much more affordable than El Maguey Y La Tuna. Had dinner there Saturday evening...Mole Verde with Pork and an avocado salad that was more than enough for two people. Great food, inexpensive and good service. Small room though.


                      1. re: randymac88

                        I didn't know they had become Mexican.

                      2. Snack Dragon Taco Shack was pretty awesome when I went there... Maryann's was underwhelming. I also remember going to somewhere close to St. Mark's that was decent (not Paquito's). Anyone know where I'm talking about? Anyone know what a good cheap one of the aforementioned mexican places are?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Nick F.

                          downtown bakery on 1st ave & 4th st is a solid, cheap option. i'm a fan of their breakfast tacos and chorizo on a roll, and the burritos have recently come in for high praise on another thread. for take-out, tacos from zaragoza grocery on avenue a & 13th st cannot be beat (tongue and veal are especially succulent).