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Good Mexican in NY

Any suggestions?

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  1. Taqueria y Fonda in the city, otherwise you have to go to Jackson Heights and Queens in general. You can find world class Mexican there.

    3 Replies
    1. re: JFores

      Thanks JFores! I'm from So. Cal & am missing good Mexican food. I appreciate the suggestion & I look forward to trying it!

      1. re: sushiaddict

        Taqueria Coatzingo on Roosevelt Ave will compete with what you're used to. You'll get a lot more if you post this on Outer Boroughs. Also, it's a really fast trip from the city via F, 7, etc. Lots of trains.

    2. Not sure if you're looking for real Mexican or California-style Mexican, but there are two authentic Pueblan restaurants on 10th Avenue. Tulcingo del Valle is a great taqueria with loads of options from tacos al pastor to chicken mole. Up the street at the Tehuitzingo deli, there is a stand in back that turns out fantastic and plump tacos for the almost entirely Mexican clientele.

      3 Replies
      1. re: JungMann

        Just went back and had 3 tacos at Tehuitzingo, my favorite taco joint in Manhattan, last Saturday. The barbacoa (goat) was particularly good as was the spicy chorizo. Add your own housemade green and red sauce and a slice of partially deseeded jalapeno and you're south of the border. Better than Tulcingo down the block and Pampano Tacqueria and Pio Maya which I also like.

        1. re: guttergourmet

          We went to Tehuitzingo last night. I lived in California for 6 years and crave tacos, but we were pretty disappointed in the fare. We got 4 tacos -- chicken, spicy pork, chorizo with potatoes and tongue. The chicken was the best, and the rest were pretty dry and way too anemic. I prefer plump, juicy flavorful tacos and these were not. Back to the taco trucks in Queens for me!

          1. re: chompchomp

            Yeah, I never got the Tehuitzingo appeal either. Try ordering a torta al pastor (with fresh avocado instead of guacamole) at Tulcingo down the street. I lived a block away from both for years but almost always went to Tulcingo.

      2. Pampano Taqueria in my opinion has the best tacos in the city. It's on 51st and 3rd and is the offshoot of a more expensive and upscale restaurant called Pampano, also hailed as one of the better mexican restaurants. Don't waste your time with Dos Caminos or Rosa Mexicano, they offer some good options, but certainly not the best, nor authentic Mexican.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ginsbera

          I would second the vote for Pampano...

        2. Do please report back. As an ex-California guy myself, I've got to say that I've tried all the usual suspects in Manhattan listed above and found them sorely lacking in comparison to tacos stands and trucks in California. As snobby as this sounds, I really don't think that a lot of people in this town have any idea what good mexican food is, so I'll be interested to hear your reaction. I can't speak about the places in Queens.

          8 Replies
          1. re: jasmurph

            Have you tried Tulcingo de Valle or Tehuitzingo? I grew up among the extensive Mexican population in Chicago, a large and multi-regional community that makes California look like Greenwich, so I think I know an okay amount about Mexican food. Coming from that background, I too have often been disappointed by the "authentic" restaurants my friends would send me to (often claiming it was "just like Cali"), but Tehuitzingo and Tulcingo de Valle are the two best real Mexican restaurants I've found in the borough, especially for Pueblan food. Sure there are a few things I'd prefer like corn tortillas or a little more filling at TdV, but otherwise the flavors are all there.

            1. re: JungMann

              As far as Chicago vs. California and the latter looking "like Greenwich"....um, dude, California actually borders Mexico.

              1. re: JungMann

                I definitely agree with the recs of Tehuitzingo and (especially) Tulcingo for their torta al pastor. Honestly, though, neither place compares with tacos I eat regularly here in LA. For carne asada burritos, try Downtown Bakery and Pio Maya.

              2. re: jasmurph

                Just go to Taqueria Coatzingo. I haven't had better in California itself.

                1. re: jasmurph

                  You should try places in Queens. But I generally agree with you. The Mexican food scene still has some way to go, but it is improving by leaps and bounds, especially when you think about the state of Mexican food in NYC a decade ago. But there's still no place to find fresh masa or good carnitas, or good carne asada in NYC, which are pretty basic items. Tulcingo del Valle and Tehuitzingo are above average, but not exactly great either. I find Coatzingo in Queens better, but when comparing it to my favorite places in LA, it still falls short. And I'm a big fan of Coatzingo since they first opened. I don't agree with many others that the specials at Coatzingo are that great. I think it's best to keep checking up on the neighborhoods with large concentrations of Mexican immigrants, like East Harlem, Jackson Heights/Corona, Sunset Park, and in the Bronx. As NYC has experienced an exponential growth of Mexican eateries in the past decade (mostly clones of the standard Pueblan-Mexican antojitos menus), it stands to reason that the real special places will begin to show up to fill niches that aren't presently served.

                  1. re: E Eto

                    I have eaten at Tulcingo de Valle and Tehuitzingo, and try as I might, I just can't see what people get excited over. There are a half dozen places in Fruitvale (on the BART line, it's a great stop if you're coming in from or going out to the Oakland airport) that blow them away.

                    Thanks all the same for the recs. One day I'll make my way out to Queens.

                    1. re: jasmurph

                      I feel your pain, jasmurph, but they scratched the itch for me when I was stuck in NYC. If you haven't already, try the torta al pastor with avocado instead of guac at Tulcingo.

                  2. re: jasmurph

                    Yeah I agree with you, and whenever I hear someone brag about how they found the one place that even satisfies Californians, I just know it's going to be lacking. There's great authentic Mexican in the way of Aztec styles, etc. so you can get a good mole sauce, but as far as taco and burrito stands, it's not the same. Either the rice or the beans are wrong.

                    There's been a huge influx of Mexicans in the past 10+ years - there must be a family with San Francisco roots who can feed us!

                  3. Sunset Park in Brooklyn is becoming known for a handful of cheap, good quality Mexican restaurants as well.

                    1. As some have already said, Tulcingo del Valle.

                      1. The puerco al adobo at Tulcingo de Valle is amazing

                        1. Avoid La Palapa in the East Village. We wandered in there yesterday afternoon around 4 since we were in the mood for a margarita and a few apps. We waited 20 minutes for our drinks to come despite the fact that there were two other tables in the entire place. My blood orange frozen margarita was light yellow slurry from a machine which the bartender squirted a puddle of nasty artificially flavored syrup into - she didn't bother to mix it but either way tasted terrible. BF's catfish and cactus appetizer was inedible and my chicken chipotle empanadas were greasy, covered in something that resembled cheeze whiz and weighed on my stomach like a rock. Real disappointment.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Nikitenka

                            La Palapa has always been mediocre.

                          2. I lived in LA for three years so I do know that the authentic Mexican food is much better than what you get in NYC. I've also been to various parts of Mexico for real tacos al pastor (on the spit), etc. Up until recently, we didn't have anything authentic. If you want authentic Mexican food, go to Sunset Park in Brooklyn. One of the great places is Tacos Matamoros. There are a few places in Sunset Park on Fifth Avenue that serves cheap, authentic Mexican cuisine.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: sfslinky

                              While I agree it's nothing like the al pastor you get in LA, Tulcingo's is actually on the spit. Their al pastor was the main reason I preferred them to Tehuitzingo.

                            2. Canyon Road on the Upper East Side is very good. The food has been consistent for many years and they make killer drinks. The service is good but sometimes you feel a little rushed especially when they are buys but overall, a good meal nonetheless.

                              Another suggestion is Maya on 1st Avenue and East 64th. A slightly different menu than Canyon Road - you won't find traditional tacos or fajitas here as the food is a little more upscale - lamb shank, filet mignon, red snapper, etc.. all prepared with mexican flare.

                              www.hermanweb.us/category/food-reviews/

                              1. Have you tried Toloache in Times Square? Pleasant surprise, especially in the Times Square neighborhood!