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Jul 8, 2013 10:01 AM

Hottest Taco Joint in NYC

Hi there,
I am from Toronto and am helping curate a large Canada vs USA taco throwdown in October as part of a Food Network sponsored event. I would like to know what are the top/ hottest taco joints in Manhattan to reach out to for this job. Looking forward to tasting their goods!


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  1. I don't know the hottest, but Salvation is worth checking out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodwhisperer

      except for the horrendous lack of service. Given Salvation a second and third chance ... won't be back.

      1. Hottest? Not sure about that. But Pinche and the Tribeca Taco Truck are my faves. Salvation is very popular, but I've never been.

        1. I'm no taco expert, but if you want to do a throwdown between Canada and the US on tacos, you've come to the wrong city. Sure you can find good tacos here, but you will find better elsewhere. Try Austin or San Antonio to start. Or if you're looking at fusion version, try LA.

          12 Replies
          1. re: Bkeats

            maybe NYC was chosen so there would be some hope of competition.

            i dont usually look for "hot" (as in trendy) in my taco choices, but i think Empellon fits the bill.

            1. re: tex.s.toast

              Yeah, I'd say Empellon, Diablo Royale just around the corner and Dos Caminos would be the closest things to hot or trendy tacos, even though only Empellon is less than several years old. Dos Caminos' folks wrote a successful cookbook which includes tacos, so they'd almost have to be in the mix.

              But I agree with others that the OP is aiming pretty low by having a throwdown with NYC tacos. Mexico is part of NAFTA -- fly someone down to Mexico City and Ensenada. Even though they're a "thing" now tacos aren't really meant to be $22.95 for two of them served with a $13 margarita. They're meant to be eaten off a truck.

              1. re: nokitchen

                Well, we are hoping to have a variety of states involved, NYC being only one. But thanks, those look like good options.

                1. re: hungryabbey

                  You should also be asking on the Outer Boroughs board for places like Rockaway Taco, etc.

                    1. re: hungryabbey

                      Gotcha. From the description you gave downthread you'll probably also want to check out Brooklyn Taco. Made by real live hipsters, there's a taco stand in the Essex Market, which is both uber trendy AND a good deal and a pop-up location (the very definition of millennial hipsterdom) at a bar in Williamsburg. They sell locavore, artisan sustainable tee shirts. Tacos ain't half bad, either.

                      1. re: hungryabbey

                        Up to debate, but here's a list of "the best" tacos in NYC from Gothamist.

                        1. re: GoodGravy

                          Thank you all! I will def check out the Brokklyn Taco.

                  1. re: Bkeats

                    Good point. Maybe they're coming from the wrong city, too! Like Calgary and Atlanta having a coffee showdown!

                    Hungryabbey: is there much of a Mexican-Canadian population in Toronto? I know the place is amazing for ethnic diversity, and I look forward to trying it. But I was mostly thinking of Asian, Middle Eastern and other "ethnic" stuff besides Mexican.

                    1. re: Bada Bing

                      TO chowhounds have long kvetched about TO's lack of quality Mexican food, which is understandable considering TO has a very small Mexican population. Several noisy hipster taco joints run by non-Mexican Cdns have sprung up over the last 2 years.

                      1. re: prima

                        Second prima's sentiment. The group I am working for basically want that scene- hipster taco joints that are super popular with long waits and loud music. Not my personal scene, but hey, I just put these things together as asked!

                        1. re: hungryabbey

                          If Chicago is another one of your cities, Big Star fits your criteria perfectly. Especially if a third, unspoken criterion,is snotty customer service!

                  2. Try Kortako, for bulgogi and kalbi fusion tacos.