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May 27, 2009 11:37 AM

Authentic Mexican in NYC?

After a short trip to Mexico I discovered how incredibly fresh and delicious real Mexican food is. Does anyone know where to find real, authentic Mexican food in Manhattan?

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  1. Mexico's cuisines are extremely diverse... can you share what part of the country you visited and where you ate? The will folks an idea if there is anything comparable.

    1. I was doing volunteer work at a school uptown and stopped it for coffee at a place on 104th and Lex called El Paso Taqueria. I ended up having an entire breakfast because it smelled so good and it was phenomenal Go there! Best Mex I've had in the city and I truly stumbled upon it.

      1. Taqueria y Fonda La Mexicana has great Mexican food.
        Between 107 and 108 on Amsterdam

        Taqueria y Fonda La Mexicana
        968 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025

        1 Reply
        1. re: UWSAnn

          Put me down as someone who hates Taqueria Y Fonda.. It's basically a mixture of dry meat and too many peppers and onions..

          El Paso Taqueria is a good spot..

        2. I would recommend Mole, excellent Mexico City-style fare. Their burrito enchilado with carnitas is superb, my favorite burrito in the city. their enchiladas suizas also quite tasty. it's a small place and it can get a little busy, particularly on weekends.

          205 Allen St, New York, NY 10002

          2 Replies
            1. re: silencespeak

              Just went to Mole again recently. BTW they just celebrated 2 years and they have a great bartender (a SF transplant).

            2. try el maguey y la tuna on e. houston @ attorney. family run. very friendly and no frills. cheap. the americano fare is not too exciting, but if you stick with the more traditional specialties of the house... you'll be in vague-hints-of-chocolate-mole heaven.

              also, a major hole in the wall that is easily overlooked given it's name, 'great burrito' and the fact that it also sells pizza, has excellent al pastor tacos at a proper price. 23st str @ 6th ave... just for take out.

              otherwise head out to the red hook ball fields on weekends.

              9 Replies
              1. re: thievery

                I live right near El Maguey and I order in from there often. Everything is good. BUT...what NYC is truly missing is a California style Mexican Place. I was just in Santa Barbara over the weekend and had the most delicious lunch at a place called Los Arroyos. Amazingly fresh salsas, fantastic fish tacos etc. etc. NOT greasy...not even the chips. Is there any place like this in Manhattan? If there is, I don't know it.

                1. re: Holiday Park

                  That is why the OP needs to let us know where she ate in Mexico. Most of the food there is hearty but greaseless... (and here is a secret people in Mexico rarely eat Tortilla chips... the per capita consumption in the U.S. has to be like 1,000 times higher than in Mexico).

                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                    Tulcingo on 10th between 46th and 47th is worth the trip- the chalupa and torta are very good. Spanish Harlem has some spots- la casa de los tacos on 117th and 1st ave and la puebla chula on 106th off 3rd- fresh and enjoyable. Other uptown spots have closed over the last several years- namely Ciela Azteca on 103rd and Lex, but I'd probably give most spots up there a try.

                    1. re: HowfreshEats

                      But what if the OP visited the Yucatan and fell in love with those regional dishes that are very different than the Pueblan specialties at Tulcingo. I am not saying the OP might not like Tulcingo but it might not be what she is looking for.

                      1. re: Eat_Nopal

                        Are there any restaurants specializing in Yucatan cooking? I fell in love with the food there years ago and have yet to find a pibil in the NY/NJ area.

                      2. re: HowfreshEats

                        I'll second Tulcingo del Valle. I enjoyed it much more than El Maguey. As far as authentic Mexican, it's pretty much going to be Poblano, because most Mexicans in NY are from Puebla. There are also the upscale multiregional places like Zarela (which I think is better than people here tend to give it credit for) and her son's Centrico (which I haven't tried yet). For inexpensive Mexican food in New York, it's either the simple Poblano places or the watered-down Mexican food we lived with for years before the recent wave of immigration.


                        1. re: Peter Cherches

                          Adding to it... its not just that NYC immigrants are Pueblan.... they are specifically of the Mixtec region in Puebla... which has its own cuisine that is very different than the other regions within Puebla.

                          The Pueblan Mixteca.. which includes the Tehuacan valley is most notable as the cradle of Corn... its a highland fairly arid & mountainous region with a great variety of cactus & desert plants... also famous for its Goat dishes and the Matanza (wild goat round up & slaughters).

                          If you shall ever visit this part of Mexico.. the names of towns will be immediately familiar from the restaurant names in NYC... Tulcingo del Valle, Izucar de Matamoros etc.,

                          As a result of this... lots of places may carry Mole Poblano and other more well known dishes from Puebla... but what you will find if you visit those locales in the Mixteca is that they have their own unique specialties that have very little to do with the rest of Pueblan cuisine... in fact I bet you would be hard pressed to find people in Tulcingo & the other mountain side villages who prepare Mole Poblano.

                          1. re: Eat_Nopal

                            I don't know if it's a specialty of that part of Puebla, but I must say the adobo de puerco was excellent at both Tulcingo & Matamoros.

                            Add Coatzingo to Puebla towns that have loaned their names to NYC restaurants.

                            1. re: Eat_Nopal



                              If you want to eat well... take note of the names of the dishes in the CONACULTA's cookbook on the Pueblan Mixtec... and then ask the local restaurants in NYC for those dishes... I bet you would be treated extremely well & delighted to dishes you've never heard of: