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A Whirlwind Tour of Manhattan's Best Taco Places

So I have decided to spend my long weekend embarking on a whirlwind tour of NYC's best taco joints. Any rec's for Manhattan?

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  1. Umm, where are you visiting from?

    Unfortunately NY's taco places don't rank that highly compared with other big us cities, like SF, LA, San Diego, most cities in Texas, etc.

    If you still want NY tacos, I would check out, in no particular order:
    - La Esquina
    - Tehuitzingo (hole in the wall shack)
    - Dos Toros
    - Pinche Taqueria

    I'm not crazy about San Loco, but some of my friends live on the stuff.
    There is also a pizza place on 23rd street between 6th and 7th, that honestly makes a pretty good late night taco.

    If you are willing to leave manhattan, there is a tortilla factory off the Roosevelt stop on the L in Brooklyn that makes fantastic, cheap tacos in their adjunct cafe.

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    Tehuitzingo
    695 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

    La Esquina
    106 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012

    Pinche Taqueria
    227 Mott St, New York, NY 10012

    San Loco
    129 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

    Dos Toros
    137 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

    1 Reply
    1. re: InfoMofo

      I think the OP lives here/near NYC given the posting history... Perhaps just asking for updates on the taco scene...

    2. For Manhattan, you probably won't do any better than Taco Mix in East Harlem.

      http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2010/0...

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      Taco Mix
      234 E 116th St, New York, NY 10029

      7 Replies
      1. re: E Eto

        Agreed on Taco Mix.

        I like Cascabel too but Taco Mix is my favorite. Be sure to ask if they have various kinds of offal - sometimes they're not listed on the board. (buche, lengua, tripa, etc)

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        Taco Mix
        234 E 116th St, New York, NY 10029

        Cascabel
        1538 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

        1. re: gutsofsteel

          3rd this. also not too far away is El Aguila. I love love their green hot sauce.

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          El Aguila
          137 E 116th St, New York, NY 10029

          1. re: daffyduck

            There's a good write-up on Serious Eats of East Harlem's taco joints. They deemed El Aguila on 116th the best place for tacos. In related, exciting news, signage just went up on the heretofore doomed restaurant front at 103rd and Lexington and it looks like El Aguila is opening an outpost.

            http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2011/1...

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            El Aguila
            137 E 116th St, New York, NY 10029

            1. re: versicle

              El Aguila the best?? I'm sorry, I was just there a couple of weeks ago an was unimpressed. Taco Mix (also on 116th, further east), is better.

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              Taco Mix
              234 E 116th St, New York, NY 10029

              El Aguila
              137 E 116th St, New York, NY 10029

              1. re: gutsofsteel

                I like El Aguilla but think Taco Mix is better. I do enjoy all of the salsas at El Aguilla though.

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                Taco Mix
                234 E 116th St, New York, NY 10029

                1. re: gutsofsteel

                  I have been to Aguila a few times but most recently went to specifically try the tacos Serious Eats raved about. They weren't bad, but they weren't rave-worthy. Tongue was a little dry and the carnitas didn't have the crispy bits I like. Having had three tacos in total, it did strike me how filling theirs were with the salsas, particularly the avocado, adding quite a bit to the pleasure of it all.

            2. re: gutsofsteel

              Love the "enchilada" tacos with spicy pork there! Yum

          2. I'm a fan of Tulcingo del Valle, Cascabel Tacqueria, and Empellon, but they're all over Manhattan so you'll want to do some careful food planning.

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            Tulcingo del Valle
            665 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

            Cascabel
            1538 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

            Empellon Taqueria
            230 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

            1. La Paloma Burritos
              Dos Toros
              Fonda Nolita
              Cafe El Portal

              Why do I have a sneaky feeling a certain website might happen to run a taco crawl article shortly?

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              La Paloma
              359 W 45th St, New York, NY 10036

              Cafe El Portal
              174 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012

              Dos Toros
              137 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

              Tacombi
              267 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012

              4 Replies
              1. re: sugartoof

                While these places aren't terrible, this is a list of places I tend to avoid on my own volition because I rather have Mexican food worth traveling for.

                1. re: E Eto

                  They're some of the best tacos in Manhattan, with quality, fresh ingredients.

                  1. re: sugartoof

                    I guess you and I have different standards.

                    1. re: E Eto

                      Considering you seem to only have a problem with the 4 very different styles of tacos, specifically at the places I listed - can you elaborate? What didn't you find up to par?

              2. If you are near the corner of 20th and Broadway, the "Tri" taco truck has just returned from a long hiatus. Just had 3 tacos at $2/each - one al pastor, one lengua, one carne enchilada. Each piping hot off the grill, each meat cooked in its own sauce, and each great.
                BTW, I also agree that the little joint on 23rd is worth trying, I eat lunch there sometimes.

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                Tri Mexican Tacos
                Broadway E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

                2 Replies
                1. re: Positively_103rd

                  I was underwhelmed by the Tribeca taco truck. (That's the "Tri truck" you're referring to, right?) The flavors were flat - I tasted none of the brightness or the freshness that I expect from a quality taco.

                  For downtown tacos, I think Taqueria in the Lower East Side is probably the best of a not terribly impressive bunch. It's real LA-style Mexican fare, and it's quite good. Nothing I'd trek for, but good food and cheap.

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                  Tribeca Taco Truck
                  New York, New York, NY 10012

                  Taqueria Lower East Side
                  198 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

                  1. re: DivGuy

                    Nope, "Tri" refers to the three colors of the Mexican flag - red, white, and green, which are also the three colors in the cream, avocado, and hot sauce on the tacos. BTW, the Mexican soccer team is also called El Tri by its fans, and I'd imagine the guys who run the truck are fans.