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Nov 3, 2012 02:33 PM

Best Mexican?

My husband and I are coming over the week of Christmas and I've been in the mood for Mexican lately but we live in a wasteland for that style of food. Is there any place that won't leave me disappointed? We're not sure where we're staying yet, but as long as it's walking distance from a subway we're game. Thanks!

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  1. mexican or tex-mex styled food? the former is getting easier to find, albeit not in white tablecloth restaurants, and not so much in manhattan. t for ex-mex/american-style mexican, this is pretty much a wasteland as well.

    1. I like Taqueria Lower East Side, which is Southern California style, with a little DF (Mexico City) thrown in. I would also recommend researching taco trucks. But it's true, you don't come to NYC for the Mexican food.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hungrycomposer

        Taqueria is a good option considering even affordable Cali style Mexican is hard to find.

      2. Ok thanks. I'm looking for Mexican not tex-mex. Ever since a recent trip to New Mexico I've been trying to find something even close and was hoping that Manhattan might have something to offer

        5 Replies
        1. re: NSL

          I never found any real Mexican food in 20 years in New Mexico, just wonderful New Mexico, which is totally different. there is no decent New Mexico food in NYC to my knowledge. For limited regional Mexican food, I like Noche Mexicana on Amst and 101 and Tacqueria El Paso on 97 between Mad. and Park. In the former, stick to the tamales, and other tortilla based items, like the huaraches and tostadas or quesadillas. At the latter, the enchiladas verdes, the pipian, the birria
          Are all good.

          1. re: swannee

            Popular but not necessarily the finest is Rosa Mexicana is directly across from Lincoln Center. Empire Hotel is also across the street if you are looking for close by accommodations.

            1. re: arepo

              I can't even get past the chips at RM. Taste like they've been fried in last month's oil. Last time I was there I met some friends for dinner but I bolted before ordering any of their overpriced food.

            2. re: swannee

              New Mexican is definitely a different breed and if you're coming looking for green chile and New Mexican enchiladas, you'll leave NYC disappointed.

              For the food of Mexico, however, there are are a growing number options from the pricier but delicious food at Mercadito or La Esquina to the inventive at Empellon or the highly traditional at places like Cafe Ollin (much better than El Paso, imo).

              1. re: JungMann

                Agree 100% about Ollin over El Paso. I also prefer Lolita's on 113th and Lenox over El Paso (though like El Paso I wouldn't consider it destination worthy).

          2. If you want a real Mexican experience, not some slick corporate money machine like Rosa Mexicana, consider venturing to El Tenampa, a quick ride from downtown Manhattan on the R train to the Prospect Avenue stop in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. It is like being in Mexico inside El Tenampa. Try the tacos, with the self service condiment bar that will wow you, anything on the menu, the specials, soups...this chef is a man of tremendous integrity. The prices will make you want to try a wide variety of foods, since its Mexican food cooked for Mexican people, not the gringo special.

            2 Replies
            1. re: AubWah

              2nd El Paso. Really like their restaurant on lex at 104!

              1. re: keving

                Search the outer boros board for recs

            2. Hecho en Dumbo
              Gran Electrica
              Fonda Nolita
              Tacos Morelos cart
              Downtown Bakery 2

              But def Hecho easy to get to also, bowery/great jones.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Hey19

                Gran Electrica (one of the most pretentious names ever) is ok but ridiculously overpriced.

                1. re: NYJewboy

                  I guess Im not educated (or something) enough to know why that name is pretentious, but I never really thought about it anyway. I dont really remember the prices being shocking. Hecho en Dumbo is a very good value I think, and I have a lot more experience w the resto.