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Best Mexican?

Looking for a good Mexican restaurant. Will go anywhere in Manhattan, but was thinking about the Village....

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  1. While it's not in the village, Tulcingo del Valle is great. It's super authentic, cheap and homemade. It's by no means a trendy place, more like a "hole-in-the-wall." What type of atmosphere are you looking for?

    8 Replies
    1. re: LeahBaila

      I second Tulcingo. Their platos are killer. And also try the tacos at Tehuitzingo while you're up there. Most Mexican that costs more than they do is BS anyway. Also, El Paso Taqueria on the UES is amazing

      1. re: raji212

        I'm often confused by your superlatives. El Paso Taqueria is amazingly average, although the one at 103rd is better than their 97th St branch. They certainly aren't up to the level of Tulcingo del Valle or Tehuitzingo. Better yet, a trip up to 116th St will most likely yield better Mexican food than is found in the rest of Manhattan. Otherwise, get to the outer boroughs.

        1. re: E Eto

          I'm not sure what superlatives you are referring to.

          I had a very very good meal at 107. I think I just ordered very well. Tulcingo was still my recc. Spanish Harlem might as well be an outer borough.

          1. re: raji212

            How about a real report about what you ordered? I think that would be helpful to know. I've had a taste of about 90% of what they have at the 97th St branch, and like I said, it's very average. Many items below average.

            1. re: E Eto

              To me, El Paso on 97th St., which is v. close to me, is "fine", not great, average. The guacamole when we were there last Friday was surprisingly good. We also had the fried calamari -decent, nothing to rave about. Both had tacos - not inspired, but fit the bill. I enjoyed my margaritas, but I'd had a rough work week, so I would probably enjoyed any (non-frozen) margarita. I do wonder if the other branch is actually much better - I keep trying to convince my husband to try it, to no avail thus far. What can you tell me to tell him to convince him otherwise?

            2. re: raji212

              I think he meant your characterization of El Paso as "amazing." I personally am not such a fan either. Not terrible, just not worth the trip, imo. I definitely agree re the rec of Tulcingo, though I don't quite get the appeal of Tehuitzingo. I used to live down the block from both and almost always opted for the former. Two other places I like are Pio Maya, though I haven't been since they reopened, and Downtown Bakery. Otherwise 116th St or the outer boroughs as Eric suggests.

              1. re: a_and_w

                ok ok - sorry guys - darn eG you can't go edit a post - even after I posted, I rethought that statement, so no, it was not amazing, but what I had at 107th was very very good.

                1. re: raji212

                  Actually, you can edit a post, within a 2 hour window. You should see an "Edit" link at the bottom of your post" within that time frame.

      2. Atmosphere isn't important. But i forgot to mention that there should be vegetarian options (which most Mexican restaurants have....)

        1 Reply
        1. re: eatgood

          Then this sounds like your place! As far as vegetarian options, I highly recommend the cheese enchiladas or cheese chilaquiles. You will love it!

        2. La Esquina-- ever since going there last weekend I can't tell enough people how impressed I was by it. Great salads, great corn, and awesome white bean tacos (as far was vegetarian options go...)

          1 Reply
          1. re: jdream

            I second that. I am actually surprised that Esquina is not more chowhounded.

          2. Went to mole (allan st.) loved the food and service. its obviously “home made” and cocked with love. App. two entrées, desert and coffee for fifty. its BYOB which is nice (no corking charge).

            2 Replies
            1. re: iwgy

              Mole on Allen is good. There is a separate thread with comments/reviews. I agree with efreid and find Mexican in NYC (vs. San Diego, etc.) leaves alot to be desired. Didn't know Mole was still BYOB and no corkage is really nice.

              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                As far as I know Mole got their liquor license and ceased to be BYOB sometime back in the late-summer/early fall. The food is still relatively fresh, but many dishes are overpriced and the space falls just South of charmingly-cramped on the comfort scale. Be wary of any fried dishes (scallops, fish tacos) as they tend to over-bread everything into flavor oblivion.

            2. I'm a big fan of Suenos in Chelsea....When that restaurant is on, it's great...Charming atmosphere in "hidden" spot with urbanscape views.

              1. For great mexican with an emphasis on seafood go to Pampano


                1. Mi Cocina on Jane at Hudson is truly enchanting and deeply delicious.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Tom Steele

                    I'll add Mercadito to the list, in alphabet city.

                    1. re: foodie4life

                      If you are looking in the Village, there are two Mexicana Mamma's - the top rated Mexican in Zagats. It is pretty good, some nice special - the West Village location is SMALL.

                      1. re: Cookiepuss

                        It's pretty good and in my opinion quite overrated. Also, in no way do any of their dishes seem terribly authentic. They lack the spicey freshness that makes Mexican food so good (especially in the summer).

                        1. re: Cookiepuss

                          I personally am not a fan of either the food, which I find bland and overpriced, or the service, which can be downright rude, at the West Village Mexicana Mama.

                          1. re: Cookiepuss

                            I think this place is delicious, especially for their vegetarian options (the chile relleno is killer)... Bold flavors, nice service, a down-to-earth yet sophisticated ambience. Really great restaurant (though beware of the cash-only and no reservations policy).

                      2. Honestly there is no good Mexican in NY. Other Latin cuisine: Spanish, Caribbean, Central/South American yes; but not Mexican.

                        After 4 years in Tucson, AZ (Sonora & Chihuahua region cooking) and another 8 in Los Angeles (Baja, Jalisco, Michoacan, cooking), I have looked everywhere but have had no success that matches even the most mediocre fast food chain in either city, let alone some very delicious restaurants, dives, and roadside carts that I used to haunt.

                        1. I'm a taco guy. Just tried Tulcingo del Valle on 10th Avenue-carne asada, chorizo, and carnitas. Very fresh, very good, very big with a guayaba Boing! to wash them down. $10! and better than my previous favorites-Pio Maya on 8th Street near me and La Esquina on Center Street. Need to try Tehuitzingo down the block but it was closed for some reason today.

                          1. I hear so much about Tulchingo and Tehuitzingo on CH. What items would you recommend and where are they located?

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: kam0424

                              10th Ave between 46th and 47th. I have lots of fave items...is there anything you won't eat (meat, pork, etc?)?

                              1. re: LeahBaila

                                Thanks to your suggestions, Leah, I tried the cheese chilaquiles with green sauce and they were absolutely phenomenal.

                                1. re: abud

                                  Great to hear and glad you enjoyed them!! Thanks for the update :)

                                2. re: LeahBaila

                                  nope, i like it all! especially love pork though.

                              2. Mercadito is amazing. There is one in the West Village on 7th Avenue and Grove, but the one on Avenue B and 11th st is far superior. Fantastic tiny tacos.

                                1. i like taquieria fonda on amsterdam on the uws. not sure if they are still open, but they make some really good carnitas

                                  1. Tulcingo is by far the best Mexican I've had in Manhattan, but Itzocan in the East Village is pretty wonderful and BYOB. It's tiny though...