HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
What's your latest food project? Tell us about it


Stuartmc910 Jun 30, 2009 07:29 AM

I am looking for an inexpensive (Less than $30 pp with one drink, tax and tip) Mexican Restaurant in NYC, prefer UES, but will tarvel if it gets lots of ohhhs and ahhhs from the foodies.

  1. n
    notsochubbychubette Jun 30, 2009 07:33 AM

    if you want to travel downtown, try mexican radio.
    i also reccomend rocking horse in chelsea.

    1. JungMann Jun 30, 2009 07:51 AM

      The UES is just south of Spanish Harlem when you can get great Mexican food. I have good memories of dinners at El Paso that were affordable even on my student budget.

      4 Replies
      1. re: JungMann
        City Kid Jun 30, 2009 08:44 AM

        Totally agree: El Paso Tacqueria is a very safe bet for very good, authentic Mexican. Two locations, one on 97th (UES) and one on 104th St. (Spanish Harlem).

        1. re: City Kid
          Stuartmc910 Jun 30, 2009 10:30 AM

          Thanks to all.

          1. re: City Kid
            MMRuth Jul 1, 2009 06:05 AM

            That is my suggestion as well.

            1. re: City Kid
              fbsdg Jul 1, 2009 06:19 AM

              El Paso's newest location is 116th between 2nd & 3rd and it's good too!

          2. gcwells Jun 30, 2009 11:53 AM

            El Paso is good, but we never get out of there under $80 when we have 2 entree's and 2 drinks.

            1 Reply
            1. re: gcwells
              City Kid Jul 1, 2009 10:02 AM

              With the most expensive entree well under $20, an entree with a drink for under $30 -- as per the OP's request -- is highly doable.

            2. d
              douglas525 Jun 30, 2009 12:09 PM

              Puebla in the East Village is under $10 per person, It's a genuine hole in the wall, and I'm not even sure if they serve beer. But if you're looking for a genuine Mexican restaurant and not a Mexican hip scene, then this is the place. I'm guessing at $30 per, you're looking for a place to kick back and have a margarita.

              5 Replies
              1. re: douglas525
                Jorel Jun 30, 2009 12:55 PM

                douglas525, how do you compare Puebla to Downtown Bakery, a restaurant from which I order delivery biweekly?

                1. re: Jorel
                  douglas525 Jun 30, 2009 05:42 PM

                  I went to Downtown Bakery once, because another poster asked the same question on a previous thread, and I never went back. But then, he went to Puebla once and decided not to go back, if I remember the banter properly. I specifically remember liking Puebla's rice and beans better.

                  1. re: douglas525
                    douglas525 Jun 30, 2009 05:53 PM

                    OK...I just found the threads. And by the way, I totally made up the part about the other guy trying Puebla...sorry...memory burp. Anyway, this one is probably more to the point of Stuart's original topic:


                    And this, ...OH SNAP...I just looked at your name, Jorel, and we've had this conversation before:

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/536683 --...

                    I think that might have been me a few days ago as well. I asked if anybody has been to both so that they could compare. I'll agree to go try Puebla if you try Downtown Bakery!

                    I especially recommend the Carne Asada Burrito and the Adovo de Puerco. The tacos are good, too, but seem similar in quality to some of the newer, albeit slightly more expensive taco stands sprouting up around town. More than anything, this isthe best burrito I've had in Manhattan, similar to what you can find in really good CA joints.

                    Permalink | Report | Reply

                    Jorel Jul 09, 2008 11:46AM
                    re: Jorel

                    Actually I'm a step ahead of you...lol. I just had the chicken tacos and pernil enchiladas, and both were quite tasty. The rice and beans were fine, but they were a little too dressed up for my taste. To be honest, though, I haven't been to Puebla in a while, so I'll have to go back to make a qualified comparison.

                    1. re: douglas525
                      Jorel Jul 1, 2009 03:19 PM

                      That is so weird. I remember this now. It was only a year ago.

                      Anyway, I do think Downtown Bakery has gone a little downhill. The meat isn't as well cooked as before and they now put waaaay to much rice in their burritos (which, i realize, shouldn't be in a burrito in the first place). Maybe I'll order from Puebla next time. Thanks for your report, doaglas525!

                  2. re: Jorel
                    LeahBaila Jul 1, 2009 05:00 AM

                    It's funny, I was walking through the EV this weekend and grabbed both menus, which look almost identical. I'm assuming they're not related?
                    Comparing what I read on both, Puebla has the slight edge over DB. Looking forward to checking both out.


                2. h
                  hungrycomposer Jun 30, 2009 03:05 PM

                  If you're in the EV and on a budget, go to Zaragoza. It's a Mexican deli on Ave. A just below 14th st. I love to bring home the tamales, but they serve tacos and enchiladas as well and have tables in the back. They even have beer. You'll only spend $30 if you spring for a meal for everyone there. I think it's much better than either Downtown Bakery or Puebla, and you certainly won't feel like you're paying for phony ambience.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: hungrycomposer
                    iFat Jun 30, 2009 04:30 PM

                    Zaragoza gets a 'oh hell yeah' from me too... i've lived right around the corner for 8 years and literally just discovered this gold mine in the last year. The tacos are great and you get two nice sized soft tacos for $5. They've got your choice of Chicken, Goat, Beef, Pork and some other random animals that will sometimes raise your eyebrows. It's good though.

                    Also, Pinche Taqueria just opened another spot on Lafayette and Houston - cheap and good stuff but another one downtown.


                  2. q
                    qwertyu Jun 30, 2009 04:06 PM

                    Noche Mexicana on Amsterdam near 103. Very fresh, very cheap no frills Mexican food.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: qwertyu
                      chow_gal Jul 1, 2009 08:42 AM

                      Absolutely agree. It hs been almost a year though since I last went. I do hope they are still great. Pozole, huaraches, tacos. Food of Puebla.

                    2. m
                      missbuilding Jul 1, 2009 06:07 AM

                      Toloache in Times Square is one of the best Mexican eateries in the city, and reasonably priced. Check out this NY Times article from last year. I've been to all these place and they are good.


                      2 Replies
                      1. re: missbuilding
                        fbsdg Jul 1, 2009 06:23 AM

                        And then there's the truly authentic one on 10th and 47th, cheap, delicious and they serve beer.

                        1. re: fbsdg
                          chow_gal Jul 1, 2009 08:42 AM

                          You mean Tehuitzingo and/or Tulcingo del Valle.

                      2. c
                        ChefPeter Jul 1, 2009 06:13 AM

                        Look for the trucks, one near union sq. Or keep you eyes peeled for one of the ubiquitous Tex-Mex operations run by the Chinese. They are fast and good, oh yeah and really affordable. I recommend the 1

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ChefPeter
                          hungrycomposer Jul 1, 2009 08:38 AM

                          Do you mean the El Idolo truck at 8th Ave + 14th Street? I love them... Or is there a truck closer to Union Square?

                        Show Hidden Posts