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Good, fresh, inexpensive Mexican?

I'm sick of Blockheads, even though it's good for what it is. I've been to the expensive places, and I've been to the chains (Chipotle, etc). I'm looking for good, fresh, inexpensive and/or moderately-priced, basic Mexican food in NYC. Can't ever really think of a good place. Suggestions?

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  1. la palapa

    2 Replies
    1. re: wryorwhite

      La Palapa is NOT inexpensive.

      Check out the places on Amsterdam around 100th St.

      1. re: wryorwhite

        Man, we had the *worst* experience at La Palapa in w. village. Food and drinks were way overpriced, and everything was thoroughly mediocre. Have others had good experiences there?

      2. El paso taqueria.. Not just tacos, really good Mexican..

        1. tulcingo del valle rules -- 10th ave btwn 46/47th

          http://nymag.com/listings/restaurant/...

          1 Reply
          1. re: holland_oats

            Tulcingo rocks...also check out Barrio Chino.

          2. Downtown Mexican Bakery on 1st Avenue around 5th street. 0 atmosphere. Great food.

            1. El Maguey y la Tuna, on Houston.

              5 Replies
              1. re: americanafan

                Thanks all!

                1. re: Jel212

                  Rosa Mexicano across from Lincoln Center

                  1. re: idia

                    Expensive.

                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                      And nothing special...

                2. re: americanafan

                  Maguey is good stuff!

                3. Surprised no one has said this yet, but two excellent places for CHEAP, good Mexican are chowhound fave Pio Maya over on 8th St bet 6th and MacDougal and the upstairs stand-like La Esquina over in NoLiTa. The two are qualitatively different. Pio Maya is a yummy little place reeking of authenticity where you order a knife-and-fork burrito at one of their 4-5 tables and maybe have a nice conversation with the restaurant's excellently chapeaued proprietor. La Esquina, on the other hand, is a greasy, but extremely delicious taco stand that has a fancier club/restaurant downstairs. Skip the club if you're interested in food, but DO get the best torta (mexican sandwich) in New York City. Plus open till 5am. That one's over on Kenmare between Cleveland and Lafayette.

                  Also, for a real stand, you can get the not-quite-Mexican but Cal-Mex Calexico cart over on Wooster and Prince M-F approx 12-3. Not ridiculously authentic but de-licious and also very cheap.

                  Any of the places I have listed I vouch for entirely and they are all under 10 bucks for a good hardy meal.

                  Chow away! Lemme know what you think.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Nick F.

                    Agree on both La Esquina and Pio Maya, two of my favorites in the city.

                    1. re: Nick F.

                      Awesome! Thanks all.

                    2. Red hook ballfields on the weekend.

                      1. i second the post on el paso tacqueria. its really cheap ($1.50 per taco) and really good. awesome carnitas and chorizo tacos. location somewhat annoying on 97th btwn park and madison, but you will not be disappointed.

                        1. It's not a sit down place (rather, a lean-and-eat place), but the taco truck on 96th St., near B'way is cheap ($2 / overstuffed taco) and pretty good. (The real name is Sobre Ruedas.) You're not getting homemade tortillas or anything, but they do grill them nicely.

                          Another Chowhound (Ballulah, I think?) turned me on to La Noche Mexicana (Amsterdam and W. 101) a while back. The food is heavy, but tasty.

                          1. Pampano's takeout counter in the crystal pavillion on 50th and 3rd