Our 10 Best Mexican Restaurants in NYC
Mexican cooking has been coming of age in the city lately, and even champions of such regional variations as Cal-Mex now have lots to be thankful for. We have our upscale places, too, showcasing the gastronomic stylings of several regions of Mexico, and southern Mexican taquerias in such profusion, that -- if taco trucks are also considered -- you are now never very far from a very good and very inexpensive taco or quesadilla.
All we're missing now is a Oaxacan place, such as the ones in Los Angeles. We can always dream. Till then, savor the wonderful Mexican restaurants we already have, here offered in ranked order. We hope we've included your favorite place, but if not, tip us off.
10. Cascabel Taqueria -- Unexpectedly lodged among the singles bars and other fleshpots of the Upper East Side, and inspired by the regional Mexican cooking of Chicago's Rick Bayless, Cascabel's menu is filled with scrumptious surprises, from the taco stuffed with homemade chorizo to the massive chile-braised beef rib. And the craft beer list puts the place totally over the top. 1542 Second Avenue, 212-717-7800
9. Dos Toros -- Cal-Mex has never been better here than at this microscopic, San Francisco-style burrito joint. The carne asada tacos are one of our faves, bulging with tender marinated steak. Don't forget to spring for the guac topping, at an extra charge but well worth it. 137 Fourth Avenue, 212-677-7300
8. Estrellita Poblano III -- One of the best mole poblanos in town distinguishes this "Little Star of Puebla," so thick and rich you can almost mold it into little peaks, sending up grace notes of nut and cinnamon as it engulfs your chicken enchiladas. The chiles rellenos are some of the freshest in town, oozing buckets of stringy white cheese. 2328 Arthur Avenue, the Bronx, 718-220-7641
7. Tulcingo Del Valle -- Like many south Pueblan cafecitos, this joint evolved from a grocery store that set up a few tables in front, eventually expanding into an adjacent space. The chalkboard lists all sorts of home-style specials from one of Mexico's most arid regions (a long drought fueled immigration from the area), featuring such seasonal ingredients as verdolaga (purslane, served in a green mole with pork skin), faba (stewed fresh fava beans), and a rainbow of moles and salsas. 665 Tenth Avenue, 212-262-5510