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Best Mexican with fun atmosphere, good food and amazing margaritas?


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  1. how about mama mexico? it can be a bit cramped, but the atmosphere is definitely lively. complete with mariachi performers. good drinks, and surprisingly decent food.

    1. Mama Mexico is definitely fun, but cramped, very STRONG margs, but only their frozen ones are good, so if you like 'em on the rocks, this isn't top choice. And the food is definitely not the best. I would say average.

      Are you looking for "combo platter" type Mexican or more upscale?

      There is Suenos, Maya, Pampano, Rosa Mexicana and Zarela (i think Zarela might be the place for you).

      1. Go to Mama Mexico ONLY if a "fun atmosphere" is most important to you. Otherwise, go at your own risk for underwhelming, overpriced food. And watch out for something else: the last time I went (2 years ago), my credit card statement was overbilled by nearly $450. Thank goodness I kept the receipt, which had the correct price.

        1. Zarela has the best margaritas..and good food, too.

          1. Gabriela's is open for business again at Amsterdam and 93rd St. I think they have everything you're looking for.

            1. How about Mercadito? We just had a terrific meal there a few weeks ago, really hit the spot.

              Also, Gabriela's moved from Amsterdam to Columbus. Haven't been to the latest location, but it was past its prime. You'll get better food and hipper atmosphere at Mercadito.

              I was at Pampano recently and it felt very staid, certainly not fun. Food was good but not as memorable as Mercadito. And while the margaritas and guacamole at Rosa Mexicano are awesome, and the uptown location has some interesting decor, the rest of the food is lousy and overpriced.

              The Maya suggestion is a good one. Excellent food, but a quieter vibe than Mercadito, probably because of the UES vs. LES location more than anything else.

              1. It's more southwestern but I'd recommend Agave on 7th Ave. South and 10th St. for great margaritas, guacamole, shrimp tacos, lots of delicious things and festive atmosphere.

                1. well, i don't know if the margaritas qualify as ``amazing'', but they were certainly above average at Mary Ann's. i'ts been a while since i was there, but i _think_ it was on the LES, near 2nd and 5th---not far off Bowery, which is what i was walking down when i decided to turn east on 5th.

                  i seem to remember the menu listing a few other locations. the place was cash-only, IIRC, and jam packed after 11:00 p.m. food was fairly inexpensive and good for the price.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: johncozzy

                    Whoof, I had dinner and drinks at Maryann's in Chelsea last night. The margaritas were STRONG - you can taste the alcohol immediately. As for the rest of the food, it's serviceable. We were starving and probably buzzed when the food came out, so maybe we're not the best judge. I had this lamb special that was fine. THe guac was good. And yes, a pretty inexpensive option if you're strapped for cash, and you can be loud.

                  2. El Parador Cafe on East 34th street is just the ticket

                    1. Rocking Horse Cafe in Chelsea. The original great authentic Mexican still rocks!


                      1. all these other places are fine...but they are not what you are looking for..go to La Esquina 106 kenmare st nyc 646 613 7100..you need to make a reservation

                        1. Baby Bo's! 2nd Ave b/w 34th and 35th! Small, cozy & chill, always play good music, not too expensive, good margs - delicious fajitas (steak & chicken combo) - ask for some chipotle sauce on the side!

                          One of my favorite places in the city (just b/c it's so comfortable, affordable and delicious)!