Restaurant Guide: My Favorite Places for Cinco De Mayo Day Drinking, Tacos, and Mexican Fare in NYC
“That taco and Marg was a bad idea” said NO ONE EVER. When Cinco de Mayo rolls around, it’s suddenly early spring, and you’re hankering for a chilled tequila with fresh fruit cocktail mid day, it’s essential to have a list of go to great Mexican spots in and around NYC. From simple, Mexican style street food to the gussied up and gourmet, here are some of the best places to stuff your face with tacos & other great Mexican dishes, while giving Trump a big FU MAN, because these are another reminder why we need to keep inviting our neighbors over to stay awhile.
This Nolita Mexican spot is casual with unique, slightly more upscale inspired fare that is not your typical taqueria. Enrique Olvera, the famous Mexico City chef who also brought us Cosme, is doing things his way with ingredient driven dishes that are perfect for lunch, a lite dinner, and a great cocktail. Meet your girlfriends here to share just about everything on the menu.
372 Lafayette Street, Manhattan, NY 10012
Simply delicious tacos and burritos, this standing room only taqueria has authentic sauces and all kinds of delicious slow roasted meats. Perfect for grabbing at lunchtime or dinner delivery.
Multiple Locations: East Village, Williamsburg, Hell’s Kitchen, and LES
Los Tacos # 1
Dubbed the best tacos in the city, the Chelsea Market taco stand has a variety of meats and incredibly soft tortillas made right in front of you on their griddle. The line is majorly worth the wait.
Inside Chelsea Market
75 9th Ave. NY, NY 10011
Empellon and Empellon Taqueria
Alex Stumpack’s taco empire has three locations, each a slightly different version of his awesome Mexican cuisine. Taqueria, in West Village, is a small plates style Mexican restaurant with a downtown, cool kid vibe great for a relaxed (and slightly loud) date night, group dinner, or rowdy Saturday brunch. Visit any of their locations for Cinco De Mayo specials, killer margaritas, and all the guacamole you could dream of.
Multiple Locations: Midtown, West Village, and East Village
Jean-Georges can do no wrong and ABC Cocina is further proof. Go here for gussied up gourmet Latin fare and fabulous cocktails. But make a res, because a walk-in table will be a wait, although it could be an excuse for shopping.
38 E. 19th St. NY, NY 10003=
This lower West Village restaurant is a bit under the radar, and, frankly, I am not sure why. Chef/owner Julieta Ballesteros has been making great modern Mexican cuisine in and around NYC for ages (her past Chelsea spot, Crema, was one of my favorites). Her dishes are a bit more fancy than a typical taqueria and the sauces are out of this world. Come for a real Mexican food experience, not just a quick taco bite.
29 7th Ave. South NY, NY 10014
Another neighborhood mainstay (with multiple locations!), Mole is one of those casual spots that you can always count on. Great burritos, guac, and tacos, of course. Grab a seat on their patio for happy hour and leave full of tequila and fried Mexican greatness.
Multiple Locations: West Village, East Village, and Brooklyn
Fonda is always packed and for good reason. With three locations, this dark and sexy date spot specializes in modern Mexican, ie not just a simple taco shop, with great margaritas and a lot more to choose from. Come for the small plates and appetizers for a quick bite or stay for a long brunch or dinner with a group.
Multiple Locations: Chelsea, Park Slope, and East Village
A longtime LES fave that has Mexican food with Asian decor. And you know what? It works. This spot is small and will most likely have a wait, especially on weekend evenings. Grab a drink at any near by bar while you wait, because its worth the wait.
253 Broome St. NY, NY 10002
When April Bloomfield makes tacos, you eat them. Salvation Taco’s rooftop bar helps make up for the location, sorry midtown/upper Murray Hill, with food that doesn’t disappoint. This is a go to spot for a post shopping, mid afternoon Marg or after work dinner date.
145 E. 39th St. NY, NY 10016
Looking for more restaurant recommendations? Check out my Restaurant Map Here