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Any cheap but good mexican and $4 Margaritas?

poorstudent Aug 21, 2006 08:00 PM

Hi guys, I would like to dine mexican tonite no more than
$20 pp perferably downtown no higher than the 20's. I'm looking for real big and cheap Margaritas, too. Thanks!

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  1. Nick F. RE: poorstudent Aug 22, 2006 12:21 PM

    Such a real mexican place does not exist in NYC. And definitely not within the given price range. Maybe try Lupe's East LA Kitchen? They sound sort of close.

    1. c
      coryj RE: poorstudent Aug 22, 2006 03:18 PM

      The only $4 margaritas I know of are happy hour at La Palapa (which also has decent $3 small bites) and Harry's Barritos - but their food is TERRIBLE.

      The cheapest and most authentic Mexican food is Noche Mexicana but they still don't have margaritas - just beer and wine. The food at El Centro is also fairly authentic and cheap - similar to what you'd find in a hip young place in Oaxaca or Mexico City - but their margaritas are not cheap.

      But, if you are from Chicago or LA, there is nothing to compare to the cheap amazing options in those places.

      1. thievery RE: poorstudent Aug 22, 2006 07:37 PM

        $4 margarita's in manhattan is gonna be tough...

        el maguey y la tuna is a great, authentic, family run spot with huge portions and good prices. not much on the decor front but very friendly. and the margarita's are tasty (i forget what they cost).


        7 Replies
        1. re: thievery
          janethepain RE: thievery Aug 22, 2006 07:55 PM

          I agree - I just had a birthday dinner there last week. The margaritas aren't too expensive - depends which tequila's in it, but it runs from $5 up I think. But you can also get pitchers of it. And the food is good. And this is another poor (recently ex-) student talking.

          1. re: janethepain
            erikka RE: janethepain Aug 22, 2006 08:04 PM

            I think El Sombrero takeout margaritas are $5--maybe get one of those and go eat elsewhere. Unfortunately, my favorite margaritas never intersect with good Mexican food. The only $4 margarita I know of in the city might be the Turkey's Nest during happy hour.

            1. re: erikka
              kwanito RE: erikka Aug 22, 2006 09:38 PM

              Frozen margaritas at El Sombrero are $7 a pop.

              1. re: kwanito
                holland_oats RE: kwanito Aug 4, 2007 01:21 PM

                2 for 1 on Sundays though...

                1. re: holland_oats
                  stainer RE: holland_oats Aug 4, 2007 02:44 PM

                  Blockheads has $3.50 margaritas, i usually go somwhere better then get some outdoor seating at blockheads. and there are many blockheads... restaurants

                  1. re: stainer
                    drmoze RE: stainer Aug 5, 2007 01:48 PM

                    Agree on Blockheads, and note that their margaritas come in several flavors. And they're good size and strong for $3.50! Three of these will surpass one $10-11 pom marg at Rosa Mexicana, although those are tasty as well. And the Blockheads at 50th or so (bet. 8th/9th) has nice outdoor seating.

                    1. re: drmoze
                      kam0424 RE: drmoze Aug 6, 2007 06:21 PM

                      Definitely agree on blockheads. They used to have tasty fish tacos too, but last time i went they were off the menu. Just stay away from the half sangria/ half rita drink, it made me very sick. too sweet i think.

        2. wleatherette RE: poorstudent Aug 23, 2006 02:21 PM

          and they're lethal.

          1. janethepain RE: poorstudent Aug 23, 2006 02:25 PM

            Haha Rosa Mexicano's margaritas are pretty damn strong too. They come out of one of those slushy machines (if you get their house one), but man, you won't have to be ordering too many rounds. I think they're like $10, but maybe more cost-effective in the long run?

            1. LeahBaila RE: poorstudent Aug 5, 2007 07:21 AM

              Realize that MOST places' margaritas, and most drinks for that matter, will be a bit more than $4.
              Restaurants: El Centro, El Maguey Y La Tuna

              1. e
                eastvillgirl RE: poorstudent Aug 5, 2007 12:11 PM

                El Maguey y la Tuna on East Houston (at Attorney) has $4 house margaritas (and also $4 sangria) during happy hour. The margaritas are strong and OK. Their mole dishes are pretty good. (approx $12 - 13, includes side of rice & beans, hot tortillas).

                Also, you could go to La Palapa on St. Mark's (near 1st Ave) - their margaritas are a lot more expensive than El Maguey's (but also better, in my opinion). You could get a reasonably affordable meal at La Palapa if you get a few quesadillas and a side of beans - their Charros Beans are great, with lots of pork chunks in them. I love their Al Pastor quesadilla, as well as the shrimp one. Great tortilla chips here, too. If you ask for "just chips," without guac or pico de gallo, they cost only $2 for a good sized basket. (With guac and pico, they're $10.)

                1 Reply
                1. re: eastvillgirl
                  JungMann RE: eastvillgirl Jan 31, 2008 11:19 AM

                  Finally made it out to La Palapa (four times this week!). Depending on who's bartending, $4 margaritas can be a steal or just ho-hum. But if you make friendly with the bartender, he seems to be a little more generous. Sangrias are definitely a bargain, served as they are in a mini-pitcher with 3 pours. Antojitos have been generally disappointing, though guacamole and tamales have been okay.

                2. c
                  cricri7 RE: poorstudent Aug 6, 2007 06:15 AM

                  El Cantinero serves 4$ margaritas on their second floor. They are very strong!! They may not be the kind that costs 15$...it is the frozen kind in a machine but they are really good.
                  They have a dining room downstairs where it is not too expensive but the margaritas are more expensive downstairs...6,95 I think.
                  It is on university place

                  1. e
                    elizabeththinks RE: poorstudent Aug 6, 2007 07:13 AM

                    Benny's has 3.50 - 4.50 margaritas

                    1. r
                      rmr327 RE: poorstudent Aug 6, 2007 07:31 AM

                      there are a couple of places on the lower east side -- el nuevo amanecer (stanton and essex) and el sombrero (stanton and ludlow i think). they aren't owned or run by mexicans--the menu is half puerto-rican/dominican and half mexican--but the food is decent and the ritas are strong. also, the food at both places is real cheap. $6 a pop for the drinks, i think.

                      1. JungMann RE: poorstudent Aug 6, 2007 07:33 AM

                        I saw an advert in the Voice for $3 margaritas at Maracas on Mondays. If the weather lets up a little, I'm thinking of checking the place out. Usually a good crowd, though I don't know if that's commensurate with the food or the locale.

                        1. s
                          shayne RE: poorstudent Aug 6, 2007 11:32 AM

                          anyone try taco taco on 2nd ave. nr. 88th?

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: shayne
                            jacques gaudet RE: shayne Aug 6, 2007 12:08 PM

                            i think the best option would be la taqueria 'El paso' on lexington and 104 (el barrio). it is still the best mexican in the city (i just came back from france and tried the new mexican places) and the best margaritas too. they have a bigger "branch" on 97 beween madison and park, more touristy (the other one is mostly for locals) but same food. i mean, you can find better and cheaper places, i'm thinking of two in particular, on fordham road and 173 street in the bronx, but they do not sell alcohol (they do sell great fresh fruit juices) and i do not know if you're willing to go up to the Bronx.

                            1. re: shayne
                              LeahBaila RE: shayne Aug 6, 2007 04:52 PM

                              Taco Taco is great

                              1. re: LeahBaila
                                likaluca RE: LeahBaila Aug 6, 2007 05:52 PM

                                Its not in Manhattan, but you should try Sante Fe on Union Ave in Williamsburg(okay, perhaps I'm cheating, its southwestern food), the happy hour margaritas are $4, the guacamole is delicious and the outdoor seating area is charming and cozy. On Saturdays they have a barbeque... $5 pulled pork sandwiches with a homemade chipotle barbecue sauce.

                                Again... not quite Mexican, but it does me just fine every time I go.

                            2. b
                              bookmonger RE: poorstudent Nov 4, 2007 09:11 AM

                              Taco Taco has great food. I went there last night and if you go definitely order the deep-fried plantains on the side. You could get away with dinner for 12 to 20 bucks a person tax/tip included without drinks--but the drinks are very expensive for a student budget. I'm an UES transplant from Colorado originally, so paying $8 for a margarita smaller than my head is not something I am willing to do, regardless of the location. You can get pitchers for about 28-32 bucks I think, but that still won't bring it down to 4 bucks a glass in a group. We don't like to do our drinking in a lot of Manahttan restaurants because of the ridiculous cost, so you might want to do margs somewhere cheap then go up to Taco Taco for food and a Jarrito (the best brand of Mexcain soda IMO).

                              1. c
                                conngirl RE: poorstudent Nov 4, 2007 09:42 PM

                                Tequila Jack's on 93rd and 3rd has great mexican food and pretty phenominal $3-5 dollar margarita specials. Much better food than Blockheads, much stronger Margs than Blockheads. But it's not downtown....sorry.

                                1. kcijones001 RE: poorstudent Nov 6, 2007 10:22 AM


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