When you think of Manhattan, you most likely don’t think of Mexican food. While the district doesn’t pride itself on tacos (hot dogs and pizza, for example), you can still find amazing Mexican food, from fancy restaurants to budget-friendly eateries.
And of course, you can visit other cities to sample some of the best Mexican food outside of Mexico. Texas offers plenty of options, as does California. But what if you’re in Manhattan and want tacos or guacamole? There’s no need to sadly trek your way to the nearest Chipotle. Just try one of these 10 amazing options. Whether you’re looking for a sit-down, a date night worthy experience, or a quick fix on the go, you’ll be able to find something that works for you.
Cosme, located near Flatiron, is definitely a fine dining restaurant. You could easily spend over $100 on a meal, but diners agree that you won’t regret it. The setting is modern and sophisticated, as is the dinner and cocktail menu. Both are filled with modern offerings, with interesting twists, but nothing that strays from the flavors you crave. One thing’s for sure – when you make a reservation here, you’re in good company. Previous patrons include celebrities such as the Obamas.
35 E. 21st St.
Nearby Atla is another favorite restaurant that doesn’t have the modern feel of Cosme. Instead, you’ll likely find a more low-key and relaxed atmosphere at a typical Mexican restaurant, with just a touch more class and sophistication. No matter when you go, this all-day option has you covered, but if you want to avoid the crowds while still enjoying the best of the dinner menu, go for lunch. From tostadas to avocado toast, everything looks even better in a stylish setting with huge dining room windows.
372 Lafayette St.
1 Los Tacos.
Any foodie visiting Manhattan should make a trip to Chelsea Market. This delightful itinerary stop is filled with all kinds of crave-worthy food, but if you’re looking for fun, affordable Mexican dining, Los Tacos No. 1 is where you’ll find traditional tacos made with fresh ingredients and without the hefty price tag. You also know it’s the real deal thanks to the brains behind the brand – one of the partners is from SoCal, the other from Tijuana.Tip. Choose your day here carefully, because you don’t want to get stuck in the Chelsea Market crowd.
75 9th Ave.
Dos Toros Taqueria
A small taqueria near Central Park, Dos Toros is an affordable option that is equally convenient if you want to see the sights on a budget and in a short amount of time. Service is quick: before you pay and are seated at one of the few tables available, they’ll order your food right in front of you. The menu items are typical – burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, and tacos – but with naturally raised proteins and vegan-friendly options. In addition to Manhattan, there are other locations around the city and in Chicago.
1111 Lexington Ave.
In the East Village, the Black Ant Restaurant is just for the adventurous eaters in your traveling group. As you’d expect, the menu features ants and some of their friends – bugs, grasshoppers and more. It’s all Mexican inspired, though, is the cocktail menu (which, yes, you can find some insects on as well). Don’t worry, if bugs aren’t your thing. If bugs aren’t your thing, you can find some non-insects on the menu as well.
60 Second Ave.
Empellón is all character, spread over several floors. Imagine interesting color patterns, curved lines, light wood features and some spectacular tile work. The menu offers favorites, but with a flair for flavor. How about the nachos with crab and sea urchin? Or a more “advanced” tortilla than “hot”? Whatever you like, pair it with a margarita, which is said to be especially strong here.
510 Madison Ave.
La Esquina is a small shop that serves fresh food in a casual atmosphere that is sure to turn heads. On the dinner and bar menu, you’ll find the classics you crave, dishes that have enough energy to make them interesting, as well as new inventions that are perfect for trendy diners. Be aware that it can be quite an adventure to find this restaurant. This restaurant is located in an underground bar-like setting in another establishment.
114 Kenmare St.