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Best Mexican in Queens?

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I'm looking for a really good sitdown Mexican place, authentic flavor and all but not a storefront or dive. Especially looking at Jackson Heights, Woodside, Astoria and those areas.

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  1. I don't think you're going to find anything with stellar atmosphere, though I don't know what De Mole at 48th Ave and 45th Street is like. It gets good feedback here. I think I've tried most of the places in Jackson Heights. Most people feel that Taquería Coatzingo is the best, but the first location is a dive. I like the second one a bit better, but it's still a storefront with adequate seating but nothing special. The food is very good, however. There is a Tequila Sunrise on Northern Blvd. and Steinway, that's a bit more upscale, but I just found the food to be pricier, and nothing special. The place that used to be Haitian, on Junction near LaGuardia, might be Mexican now. It's a rather festive place, but I've never tried it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JH Jill

      We eat at De Mole in Sunnyside once a week, and it's a cozy cute small place (VERY CLEAN) with about 7-8 tables and some counter stools..they are super nice there, and they are also open late until 11pm..the food is always fresh, and portions big. We stick to the quesadillas, guacomole, burrito's, and they have the best coconut flan..tried the Tres Leches that was raved about, but guess it just wasn't our thing, as we much prefer the flan..oh yea, they also make amazing mexican hot chocolate..prices are very reasonable, too.

    2. My girlfriend is from LA so we've been very interested in tracking down good Mexican places in Queens since last July. There aren't many. The winners:

      El Coyote, Hillside Ave and 179th Street (F train or easy parking if by car)
      De Mole
      Taqueria Coatzingo

      I'll also mention Original Mexican Grocery on 30-11 29th Street in Astoria for their excellent tamales. It's not a restaurant, but if the rest of their menu is as good as their tamales, it's worth a visit. It's near the subway.

      And...do not go to Tequila Sunrise unless you are in need of hearing a mariachi band while you eat. The food isn't very good and it is overpriced.

      7 Replies
      1. re: BigV

        yo for a good taco check out a stand named el gallo girro. its located outside the 74 st and roosvelt train station under the 7 train. they open around 8 or 9 pm.dont go to the cart next to it its not as good and they close earlier. it s open till at least 3 am a must for cooks seeking late night eats.

        1. re: BigV

          I've always thought that Coatzingo is in a league of its own, provided you order from the list of daily specials. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/247808 Note that I havent been there since December and one recent visitor was served a lousy entree. I've always thought it would go downhill one day since almost nobody orders the elaborate specials, so one day the owner will realize, why bother making them.

          1. re: Brian S

            I personally judge places by their tongue tacos and unfortunately, despite my pleas, they always serve the lengua al vapor (steamed) as opposed to asada (grilled) so I always go to El Poblano, a block away, for my tacos de lengua fix. but coatzingo has wonderful soups (the tripe soup, as well as the large beef soup). goooood stuff.

            1. re: bigjeff

              I've never had a taco at Coatzingo. Sure, I want to try them but each time I'm seduced by one of the exotic entrees. Who can resist goat's stomach sauteed in blood?

              1. re: Brian S

                You have to try the tacos. The al pastor off the spit is as good as it gets. Sometimes I get the chalupas which are taco al pastor meat, cema,salsa on a tortilla , all laid out "open face style" on the plate. I urge you to start your next T.C. meal with a taco al pastor as an appetizer.

          2. re: BigV

            Delighted you mention EL COYOTE.
            A great LUNCH MENU -only $6-7 - free salsa and chips.
            Check the prices however on the specials - not cheap! for lunch.
            Greatest spectacular guacamole as well.
            Lovely people. Summer, you can dine outside tranquil if not so scenic.

            1. re: micheal

              coyote is great, and not at all what people think of at first when they think mexican; and it would almost count as a sitdown place, as opposed to a taqueria. love their yucca fries.

          3. I'm a big fan of Coatzingo, but recently checked out de Mole and it really was delicious and light and healthy - a totally different experience. The atmosphere was OK - would have been better if MTV en Espanol hadn't been blasting, but we came at an off time.

            8 Replies
            1. re: orzabelle

              I love De Mole but not when the TV volume is high. I had to explain to the waitress this is unacceptable. It was lowered. Speak Up.

              1. re: Mike V

                Yes. They are the nicest people ever. And will turn the tv off if you ask. No attitude at all.

                1. re: tracyk

                  any possibilities for a vegetarian at TC or De Mole???

                  1. re: djk

                    certainly,.....you could make a meal of the guacomole, and quesadilla (get the large size---they make it with spinach and garlic), and they can make you a vegetable burrito (had one, they're great)...their salads are good, as well---if you eat seafood at all--get the grilled shrimp with the de mole salad, also...and don't forget dessert..coconut flan....

                    1. re: djk

                      It's also quite possible at TC. They even have vegetable tacos. I personally love chilaquiles and you can get the plain ones with red or green sauce. If you eat cheese, there are lots of options. The chiles rellenos are very tasty, as well as enchiladas, nachos, and all sorts of sopes and gorditas, etc. (You could also order some of these bean and salady things and ask them not to put cheese on.) They have different specials and there's almost always something with mushrooms or squash blossoms or huitlacoche. There are some salads, the fruit waters and shakes, and of course the desserts.

                      1. re: JH Jill

                        thank you both so much - i eat seafood but one dining guest does not so this is helpful. going to de mole tonight!

                        1. re: djk

                          went last night - it was excellent, they were lovely and the spinach enchiladas were great - as was everything really.

                          1. re: djk

                            now you understand why us sunny and woodsiders rave and rave about this place!

              2. I've been a big booster of De Mole since it opened as El Jarro a couple years back. Last Friday after getting the last available table there I casually asked the waitress, "When are you expanding?" She responded, "Probably in about 3 months." It's very nice to see such a good and friendly place doing well.

                She said they'll have to move to a different location, so enjoy the original while it lasts.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Dave_G

                  any idea of where they are looking to move, or if they have a space already scouted? i'm a little nervous about this! while a move closer to Queens Boulevard would be most welcome, I'm afraid they will lose the charm of the cute space they have there. I'm also worried about expansion. Ever since the owner stopped waiting tables, the service has not been perfect. Always nice, but often very slow. I'm worried that newcomers will be less forgiving than those who have been going since they opened.

                  1. re: tracyk

                    I go with my husband and baby boy at least once a week, and the service is always excellent--they are extremely accomodating, and go out of their way to help out heating milk bottle, and offering bread for baby...they couldn't be any nicer, and our food always arrives very promptly....we tend to go on the late side, though, so not sure if that makes a big difference...

                    1. re: tracyk

                      The only thing I got out of the owners sister who was waitressing that night was that they definitely were not moving to Manhattan: "Need more money for that."

                      Sometimes they can be a little slow, especially when crowded, but I attribute this to them wanted to put out a quality product, even when they're slammed. I certainly prefer that to some places that rush everything including their patrons.

                  2. El Compita in Astoria on 34th ave is also worth a shot. Good carnitas tacos, ok pollo. Never had the lengua though..

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: babar ganesh

                      5 Burro was incredible at one time. Their burritos would melt in your mouth, this was in 2003. After my first visit the magic has disappeared. Ive been disappointed each time and stopped going. Its still packed as ever but I think they're living off their past reputation. The thing I loved was it made burritos the way I like them, almost Mexican American style. I wish there was another place that made something similar to theirs.
                      Stay away from the flautas, fried drivel.

                    2. I am a huge fan of Tacos Mexico at 88-12 Roosevelt. They have all around good authentic food. Special faves are the quesadillas, tortas, and my very fave are the tostadas de camaron y pulpo. Very tasty on a hot day.

                      My favorite tacos in Queens are from the truck on Queens Blvd near 39th/40th Street (in front of the North Fork bank I think) which comes out weekend evenings/all through the night. They are definitely better than the ones from the truck in the 50s in Woodside, and better than most that you would get at a sit-down restaurant.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: billowitz

                        my first trip to de mole was not very good and i was confused to all the raves here. their salsa and chips are a perfect starter, but besides that - everything i had ordered then was not good at all. the tamales were bland, the tres leches dessert was awful, and our tacos/quesadillas were nothing special... i thought these items were better from the taco truck on QB & 40th st.

                        but, since it's so close to my home, i decided to try it again, but this time try completely different items. it was a success the 2nd time around! i got huevos mexicanos and my sig other got the steak with rice/beans. both were very fresh, well done and good portions. we doused our food with the spicy green sauce (i can drink that stuff straight!). and we opted not to have any dessert after that awful tres leches debacle.