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Sep 19, 2012 12:47 PM

Date at Fonda or Other Mexican?

Hi all,

Any opinions on Fonda, in the LES?

I am looking for laid back Mexican with very good food for a first-ish date. We've spent time together, coffee, etc... but this is first dinner out. Normally, I wouldn't do Mexican, but she loves it, and I'm in the mood. I want, as mentioned, quality food, a place where we can talk, but that is also a little lively and fun, good drinks (i.e. nice ambience). In terms of cost - any Mex is probably w/in budget - 20s per entree.

I was thinking Fonda, as neither of us have been there, but want to make sure it fits what I need. Any other ideas are welcome, though. Had considered Empellon Taquieria, where she has been and didn't like. Anything further West (W Village, village, soho, nolita, noho) is appreciated.

Thanks in advance.


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  1. I love Yerba Buena Perry. It's perfect for a date.

    1. I think La Camelia is solid. Taqueria Lower East Side is good, too, though more on the casual end.

      6 Replies
      1. re: LeahBaila

        I made a res at La Camelia yesterday, just to be safe. Have you been to Fonda? Any comparison between the two?

        1. re: NYEatenAtty

          Oh, cool. No, I have not been to Fonda, although the menu looks totally legit. Let us know where you end up!

          1. re: LeahBaila

            Definitely will. I have "narrowed" it down to La Camelia, Ofrenda or Fonda. Have you been to Ofrenda? Any thoughts?

            1. re: NYEatenAtty

              I found Ofrenda to be very mediocre. The food was just "meh." They do have decent happy hour specials, though.

              1. re: LeahBaila

                That certainly won't work. I'm going to go for Fonda, and maybe stop at Hecho en Dumbo on my way over (early) and see what the wait is like. Thanks for the input! I like the blog, btw....

                1. re: NYEatenAtty

                  Thanks! I appresh. Good call on Ofrenda. Let us know how Fonda was - def head over to Hecho for drinks either pre or post. Great margaritas.

      2. I think Fonda would be a great date restaurant. Pretty, lively without being too bouncy and the food is a cut above. I was with a group and a number of dishes were passed around and we were impressed by the plating and the quality of the food. Inventive. I wish I could remember every single thing that we tried, but I do remember the duck zarape as being especially fine. I remember the camarones adobados, too, served over a great spicy green rice.

        Good, carefully made drinks. They make a nice mojito but I have to mention the China Poblana,: silver tequila, orange liquor, and fresh lime juice shaken with poblano chile and fresh basil, really, really good.

        1. Fonda is a great date spot. Cool bar area, comfy seating.

          All the dishes we've had on a couple visits were very good. Great guacamole, small tacos to start, a shredded duck plate and very good enchiladas mole. Good drinks. It is now on our regular rotation.