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Good, authentic Mexican in Manhattan?

  • j

Hey all,
I'm looking for (as the title may imply) some good quality, AUTHENTIC-style Mexican food in the city. No "Fresh Tortillas", Caliente Cab Co., or anything otherwise made overly bland for the gringos (like myself, haha). I used to live in Chicago and you could find fantastic Mexican/burrito places all over the city and suburbs. I've pretty much gotten used to traveling to Astoria now, as that's the only neighborhood near the city where I've found consistently good places - one in particular, a deli/restaurant called Tulcingo IV (off the Broadway stop) has been especially great for years. Can't say enough about that place. That said, I'm looking for some more options w/ less of a commute, given that I'm no longer anywhere near Astoria. I also am a fan of the Taco carts on 96th and Bway, and on 14th St. and 8th Ave, though their selection is obviously more limited. Thanks!

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  1. I have the same problem as I grew up in Northern California. The Queens spots you mentioned are great. I really like Florencia 13 on Sullivan Street (its very LA and not amazing Mexican food but certainly very good by New York standards. Also Telcingo del valle on 44th and 10 Ave is very good. Definitely try Florencia (really good tacos).

    1. Try Tajin in the Financial District -- 85 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10006. Good, inexpensive, authentic. 212-509-5017 Not sure about their hours -- I've only ever been there during weekday lunchtime.

      1 Reply
      1. re: n_larusso

        Tajin is pretty good. The same owners (if I am not mistaken) also have the higher-dollar, more comfortable joint La Bamba a couple of blocks away. This being said, I enjoyed my tacos at Tulcingo del Valle on Saturday more than I've enjoyed many meals at Tajin and Bamba.

      2. I just moved to NY from Texas a month ago. I desperately need answers to this question!!! :)

        1. El Maguey Y La Tuna, Tulcingo del Valle, El Centro, Zocalo, Mama Mexico, La Palapa

          1. i know it's a hike, but taqueria y fonda on amsterdam and 107 is amazing. it is a total hole in the wall but probably the best mexican i've had in new york. the vegetable burrito comes with actual vegetables like spinach and carrots and broccoli in it, and you can get brain tacos if that's your bag. and it's cheap enough for non-trustfunded columbia students.

            7 Replies
            1. re: ginagee

              As another Chicago ex-pat living in NYC, I feel your pain, joeyz. I've also traveled a bit in Mexico seeking out the best food (is there any other kind of travel, really?).

              I second Taqueria y Fonda. Their tortas are the best I've found so far in the city. It gets a lot of Columbia students seeking burritos, which is too bad. Their other dishes are far more flavorful and authentic. It helps that I live only a few blocks away.

              In the same neighborhood, a bit further south, is Noche Mexicana at 102nd and Amsterdam. Don't be put off by the bagged chips they serve you, their chalupas and chilaquiles are some of the best in the city. Service can be slow and spotty however.

              I'm also a fan of El Paso Taqueria on the east side, on 97th between Madison and Park. Great chilaquiles there as well.

              In Spanish Harlem, I like El Tapatio on 116th just east of 3rd Avenue - wonderful Pozole. I haven't explored as much of this area as I would like but I suspect many gems can be found here.

              Mexican Independence Day is coming up (Sept 16th) and in previous years there has been a wonderful street fair on 116th between 2nd and Lex where many, many food vendors set up shop. I stumbled upon it a few years ago and it reminded me of the street festivals in Mexico City.

              And then there is the Sobres y Ruedas taco truck on 96th and Broadway, which you've already discovered. Best for tacos and tamales, I think. But you already know about that.

              1. re: mjps2

                second the chilaquiles at noche mexicana. huge serving and the green sauce is fantastic. i think the first time i went, i ate the whole serving and went comatose for 3 hours it was so filling.

              2. re: ginagee

                I personally thought the burritos at Taqueria y Fonda were awful. Filled with lettuce and gummy cheese, dry tortilla, no whole beans, etc.. I'd stick with tacos and tortas since I agree their meat is pretty decent.

                1. re: a_and_w

                  i stopped ordering the giant burritos once I realized how amazing the rest of the food was.

                  1. re: AndrewOG

                    I don't think it can be considered a burrito...it's really a pile of food covered with a tortilla. I was sorely disappointed when I ate there, high expectations from all the rave reviews. All I got was a soggy styrofoam box which i couldn't just pick up and sink my teeth into...

                    But i think i'll have to go back and try their tortas

                    1. re: kelea

                      kelea, sounds like you got take out at noche mexicana. you may like it far better if you eat in.

                2. re: ginagee

                  I would have to disagree with ginagee about y fonda. I am a Columbia student and grew up in LA and I found this place mediocre at best (and extremely overpriced for the quality.....$13 for so-so enchiladas at a whole in the wall restaurant where the food is being cooked right in front of you is not a good bargain).