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A man in a blue shirt with a long knife bends over a twirling vertical spit of meat.
Cutting al pastor pork from the trompo at Taqueria Al Pastor in Bushwick
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

37 Outstanding Tacos to Try in NYC

With al pastor, barbacoa, and now birria, NYC tacos hold their own

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Cutting al pastor pork from the trompo at Taqueria Al Pastor in Bushwick
| Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Tacos have nearly taken over slices of pizza as the culinary backbone of New York City. Over the last three decades, we’ve learned to love the southern Mexican style version of two white-corn tortillas folded over a meaty filling, sprinkled with onions and cilantro. But it wasn’t that long ago that our idea of tacos included the hardshell variety. Luckily, other types of tacos have landed in the five boroughs.

During the pandemic, two major shifts have occurred: taco trucks have become more numerous, many in far-flung places; accordingly, we have featured them in this list for the first time. Meanwhile, beef birria — in the Tijuana style — has gone from being relatively unknown to a wildfire hit almost overnight.

Like your tacos rolled? Or tiny? With a flour tortilla? A dab of guac? Freighted with organs? Filled with rice and boiled eggs? Or “arabe” style — wrapped in a flour tortilla like shawarma? We’ve got ’em all, and more. Here are our favorite taquerias, curated by Eater critic Robert Sietsema. And it’s not that we don’t love chef-driven tacos, fusion tacos, or tacos produced by chains (we do!). But this collection is reserved for the more classic specimens across NYC.

New to this map are Antojitos Del Patron, Casa Birria, La Brujeria, La Espiga, Peter’s Crunchy Red Tacos, Rancho San Miguel, Santa Rita, Tacos Lupita, Taqueria Al Pastor, Taqueria Grand Central, and Yellow Rose.

Note: This is an updated list, originally published in 2016.

NYC restaurants can now offer indoor dining at 50 percent capacity along with outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining out, as there are still safety concerns. For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the NYC Health Department’s website. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Taqueria Sinaloense

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113 W 225th St
The Bronx, NY 10463
(917) 261-4146
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With inspiration from the northwestern state of Sinaloa, Taqueria Sinaloense mainly serves a pan-Mexican menu in Marble Hill, a picturesque Bronx neighborhood overlooking the Harlem River. Two unique tacos are available, including tacos gobernador (“governor’s tacos”) loaded with shrimp and hot green chiles, and tacos de canasta, with the tortillas dipped in oil as a sort of temporary preservative that allows them to be sold from baskets by street vendors, hence the name. Birria tacos available, too.

Canasta and Gobernador tacos Taqueria Sinaloense Bronx Marble Hill
Tacos canasta and gobernador
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

2. Estrellita Poblana III

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2328 Arthur Ave
Bronx, NY 10458
(718) 220-7621
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Despite its unexpected location in the midst of the Bronx’s Little Italy, this informal sit-down “Little Star of Puebla” (founded 1999) has some of the tastiest organ meat tacos in town. Don’t miss out on the cabeza (gooey head meat) and lengua (long-braised tongue). In fact, nearly all the tacos are top notch — though skip the shrimp — and the salsas are homemade. Mixed drinks available.

A red storefront with arched windows, the name of the restaurant emblazoned across the top.
Located on Belmont’s main drag
Layla Khabiri/Eater NY

3. Xochimilco Family Restaurant

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653 Melrose Ave
Bronx, NY 10455
(718) 402-5400
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Xochimilco is a sweet spot in the Melrose section of the South Bronx, named after a neighborhood of Mexico City that boasts canals, artificial islands, and gondola-type boats called trajineras. The restaurant specializes in molotes — fried tacos made from hand-patted masa something like San Antonio’s famed puffy tacos. The choice of fillings include cheese, chicken, or chorizo and potatoes, with the latter preferred.

A couple of tacos with deep fried shells that make them look puffy, filled with potato cubes.
Three potato-stuffed molotes
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

4. La Morada

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308 Willis Ave
Bronx, NY 10454
(718) 292-0235
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This relentlessly purple Mott Haven restaurant has become famous for its Oaxacan moles and tlayudas, with some pan-Southern Mexican, Tex-Mex, and Cal-Mex thrown in. The standard roster of two-corn-tortilla soft tacos are available in excellent renditions, including a seriously spicy carne enchilada, al pastor, chorizo, and a particularly noteworthy bistec asado. The welcoming staff is an added plus.

La Morada’s dining room has wooden tables and chairs, purple walls, and a hanging poster saying “all walls down” Alex Staniloff/Eater

5. Santa Clarita

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237 Willis Ave #2
The Bronx, NY 10454
(718) 292-9399

This absolutely killer taco spot joins an ancient dining room to a broad taco window through which you can see the kitchen. A sign lets you know that this restaurant, now faded like a red rose, was founded back in 1971 — though then it was a Puerto Rican and Dominican joint with a dance floor. Now, take your clue from the al pastor cylinder rotating in the window, for some of the finest tacos of that sort you’ve ever tasted, served with green onions charred from the grill.

A hand pinches a taco bulging with charred red meat.
Al pastor taco
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

6. Taco Mix

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234 E 116th St #1
New York, NY 10029
(212) 289-2963
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You need look no further than the beautiful twirling cylinder of pork al pastor in the window, well-rubbed with spices and oozing juices, to know which taco to get. It’s one of the best al pastor tacos in town. Watching the carver at work makes the taco twice as tasty, and there’s an impressive array of taco toppings, running to dried red chiles, chiles in oil, pickled jalapenos, and an array of colorful salsas. Dress away! Miniature tacos and a wide variety of traditional fillings also available.

A man saws away at the al pastor meat cylinder
Al pastor vertical rotisserie
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

7. El Paso Taqueria

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64 E 97th St
New York, NY 10029
(212) 996-1739

Founded 12 ago and now looking pleasantly worn, this Carnegie Hill taqueria on the Upper East Side located midblock on a quiet street offers a full Mexican menu with antojitos particularly well represented, from Pueblan huaraches and sopes, to Mexican-American burritos and nachos. But the tacos at El Paso are easily the neighborhood’s most distinguished, with some wonderful lesser-seen specimens, including octopus tacos that have a nice snappy texture come topped with shredded cabbage and chopped tomatoes.

Octopus tacos El Paso Taqueria Upper East Side
Octopus tacos
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

8. Casa Birria NYC

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184 East 86th St
New York, NY 10028

It wasn’t long before the birria craze hit the Upper East Side and the neighborhood had its own source of beef birria at Casa Birria, a shiny van tattooed with longhorns and other fanciful cattle motifs. The output is delightfully restricted to birria, presented as tacos, tostadas, mulitas, and quesadillas — with consomme served on the side for an extra charge. The mulitas are particularly good — braised meat inside a pair of flour tortillas — because they come with atypical toppings of salsa and pickled onions.

A white styrofoam container with a red tinted filled pair of round tortillas. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

9. Burger 1 NY

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1150 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10075
(212) 737-0095

This old-fashioned Upper East Side lunch counter was taken over by a Mexican proprietor, who still offers all the unexpected items — like hamburgers and toasted cheese — but the menu has been built out with tacos and burritos. The taco fillings form a short list (chicken, steak, chorizo, and carnitas), but they’re all good, and a special features two tacos sharing a plate with an order of french fries, which is feels like a genius cross-cultural genius move (also, put the french fries inside the taco).

Two meat tacos with french fries crowding them on the plate.
The taco and french fry combo
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

10. Salerno Pizza

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29-24 30th Ave
Astoria, NY 11102
(718) 777-1500
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As some Mexican immigrants have taken over pizza parlors in Astoria, Woodside, and Jackson Heights, they’ve added tacos and other antojitos to their menus. The tacos are often good in a unfussy sort of way, overstuffed and garnished only with chopped cilantro and onions. And the pair of salsas that accompany, if not housemade, are at least full of flavor. At Salerno, chorizo and tongue tacos are quite fab, from a roster of eight.

A two tortilla taco with a slice of pepperoni pizza
Chorizo taco
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

11. Tulcingo Del Valle

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665 10th Ave
New York, NY 10036
(212) 262-5510
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Named after a village in southern Puebla, this place started out as a deli, added some seating for an informal taqueria in front, and eventually annexed the next-door storefront, turning it into a full-blown restaurant where you can wash your tacos down with beer. Check out the rolled and deep fried taco dorado, a Pueblan passion, stuffed with chicken, beef, or cheese.

A rolled and fried taco coated with red sauce and topped with sour cream and dried cheese.
Taco dorado
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

12. La Duena Mexican Deli 2

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103-22 Northern Blvd
Corona, NY 11368

Never have I seen a bigger taco placeros (“market taco”) than at this bodega taqueria. The one stuffed with an entire chile relleno, oozing white cheese, is as big as the hand of a lumberjack, perfectly breaded and bedded on yellow rice. Strips of sizzling chiles complete the gorgeous picture. Check out the inventory of snacks on the counter, which are also worth getting.

Chile relleno taco placeros La Duena 2 Mexican Deli
Chile relleno taco placeros
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

13. Tacos Morelos

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9413 37th Ave
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
(718) 947-6381
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This institution started out as a humble cart on Roosevelt Avenue, eventually morphing into a full-blown Mexican gastropub. The cart introduced the taco placeros to New York, stuffed with startling combos of rice, boiled eggs, sautéed chiles, chiles relleno, and potato patties. This is one of the few taquerias licensed to serve liquor, which means you can wash the tacos down with shots of tequila.

A tortilla with rice and a round fried potato patty.
Taco placeros stuffed with rice and a potato patty
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

14. Tacos Grand Central

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711 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10016
(646) 781-9901
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Though it’s not anywhere near Grand Central Terminal, this taqueria gets almost as crowded at lunch and dinnertime due to the excellence of its tacos. The space is narrow, and offers little accommodation for dining, just a table or two and an eating shelf, suggesting tacos should be downed fast before the tortilla begins to crack and crumble. Tacos are served three to an order, with a can’t-miss shrimp taco (the unbreaded shellfish sauteed with peppers and onions), and a vegetarian pinto bean taco that also contains rice, making it a species of taco placeros.

Three shrimp tacos heavily covered with cilantro held on the handlebars of a bicycle. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

15. La Espiga

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42-11 102nd St
Corona, NY 11368
(718) 779-7898
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On weekdays, all the usual tacos are available at this Corona stalwart located in a semi-subterranean space where the carnitas are made right in the window. Over the weekend, the place comes alive when barbacoa is offered by the pound, with a DIY taco kit that includes outsize corn tortillas made on the premises (also right in the window, who could resist?), chopped onions and cilantro, lemons or limes, and two kinds of salsa. It’s a feast!

A giant tortilla with a line of dark greasy meat down the center, with a bigger mass on the upper right on a green plate. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

16. Taqueria Coatzingo

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7605 Roosevelt Ave
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
(718) 424-1977

With a darkened barroom added in the adjacent storefront, this colorful and brightly lit taqueria has bloomed into a full-service restaurant. Tacos are still the heart of the enterprise, rolled into cones in tissue paper, and presented with a good whomp of thick guacamole. Spice-rubbed shrimp tacos are a little more expensive, but well worth it.

Three tacos rolled up in tissue paper dressed with green guacamole.
Shrimp tacos
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

17. Los Tacos No. 1

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75 9th Ave
New York, NY 10011
(212) 256-0343
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Generating long lines, Los Tacos No. 1 in Chelsea Market is one of the city’s foremost taquerias, and now there are three further branches in Times Square, near Grand Central, and in Tribeca. The idea was to recreate a seaside taco shack near Tijuana, and the design aspirations are faithfully executed. So is the slender menu, offering four choices on just-made corn or flour tortillas, of which the best is adobada, which is very much like pork al pastor. Best deal are the mulas, which are like California quesadillas.

A pair of tortillas stuck together with meat and cheese, with the flap on the top one being pulled up.
Adobada mula
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

18. Taqueria Gloria

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117 Tonnelle Ave
Jersey City, NJ 07306
(201) 200-9898
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Though also serving regular deli stuff like wraps and sandwiches, Gloria’s excels at tacos. The carnitas (fried pork tidbits) are best, rich and crisp; the lengua is appropriately spongy and flavorful. The ground beef picadillo adds a Latin Caribbean flair to the taco. Crisp tacos dorados, four to an order and heaped with greenery, are also especially good (order chorizo con papas). Three thick salsas provided.

Three meat filled tacos in a styrofoam container, one being pulled out by a hand.
Carnitas tacos
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

19. Yellow Rose

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102 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 529-8880
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Texas-style Mexican food is the focus of this East Village newcomer, more specifically that of San Antonio. The signature is a refried pinto bean and grated cheddar taco on a flour tortilla, a plain but delicious treat. A juicy carne guisada taco with lots of meat and sauce and nothing else is another instant classic, and on weekends breakfast tacos are featured, including one with eggs and potatoes and another with eggs and chorizo. The homemade salsa is dark and rich tasting, different than most of the salsas you’re used to.

A flour tortilla with bright yellow scrambled eggs dotted with potato cubes in a flour tortilla held in a hand.
Egg and potato taco
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

20. Sabor A Mexico

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160 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10009
(212) 533-4002

Much of the food of this wonderful but tiny East Village café hails from Guerrero, but plaudits on this menu are for the hard shell collection, representing the work of Mexican cooks in America. Best is the birria filling, a sort of chile-braised pot roast popular in East LA, offered here years before it became an omnipresent fad. Dig that yellow cheese! Regular double-tortilla soft shells also available.

sabor a mexico birria tacos East Village Mexican
Birria tacos
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

21. Downtown Bakery

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69 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10003
(212) 254-1757
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Once an Italian bakery, then a Mexican one that eventually dispensed with most of the baked goods to turn into a taqueria, Downtown Bakery particularly excels at breakfast tacos, for which you can request flour tortillas for a bit of Central Texas nostalgia. The egg-and-sausage taco is a delight, but be forewarned the sausage is Italian sausage, a vestige of the old bakery days. Regular taco fillings and corn tortillas also available at this highly recommended East Village mainstay.

Two rolled flour tortilla tacos with sausage and yellow egg visible at the rolled ends.
Breakfast tacos
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

22. Lupe's East L.A. Kitchen

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110 6th Ave
New York, NY 10013
(212) 966-1326
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Utilizing corn tortillas and looking something like flautas, the rolled tacos of Southern California are rare in NYC, but this cheery place has ’em. Accompanied by black beans, Spanish rice, salad, and avocado, these tacos de papa come stuffed with potatoes and topped with crumbled white cheese, making an altogether satisfying tuck-in. And the decor is very LA, a refuge for West Coast expats.

three rolled tacos filled with potato with rice and beans on the side
LA rolled tacos
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

23. La Brujeria

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590 Grand St
Jersey City, NJ 07304
(201) 267-6760
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La Brujeria (“Witchcraft”) is a wonderful taqueria located in the back of a gas station, sandwiched between the Liberty Harbor and Communipaw neighborhoods in Jersey City. The exterior is colorfully muraled, and the interior offers no space for dining, but an elaborate chalkboard menu. On it find lamb birria, which should be enjoyed in tacos, and a vast range of other taco fillings, running from cabeza (pig head) to potatoes to a rather effete ribeye steak. Remember, you’re in a gas station.

Three tacos overstuffed with dark meat topped with chopped onions and cilantro.
Lamb birria tacos
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

24. Peter's Crunchy Red Tacos

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348-416 Jefferson St
Brooklyn, NY 11237
(917) 214-5693
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With a drunken pink panther as its logo, Peter’s was among a slew of taco trucks that descended on the city when the new year arrived, many specializing in birria. It offered the chile-braised beef in several permutations, including tortas and nachos, and delivered the tacos and mulitas extra crisp due to a final griddle-frying in rendered fat. The truck opened just over the Jefferson stop on the L train among a little cluster of taco trucks, giving the neighborhood a late-night carnival atmosphere.

A black taco trailer in a pool of light, with darkened figures milling around.
Peter’s parks on Wyckoff till 2 a.m. every night.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

25. Guadalajara De Dia II

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566 Seneca Ave
Ridgewood, NY 11385
(718) 456-3698
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This Mexican storefront in a pleasant Ridgewood residential neighborhood remains mainly a grocery store, with a fully realized Mexican menu as a sideline, to be carried out or eaten at a single long communal table. Brilliant! The food couldn’t get any fresher, and the list of tacos is prodigious. Our favorite is pollo asado (you can smell the chicken grilling), with cecina, the salted and dried beef that is a favorite of Pueblans, a close second.

Guadalajara De Dia II bodega taqueria interior
Guadalajara’s big table
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

26. Taqueria Al Pastor

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128 Wyckoff Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11237
(718) 269-7538
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Opened just before the virus hit town like a ton of bricks, Taqueria Al Pastor seemed very new and modern among the numerous historic bodega taquerias of Bushwick. There were super graphics on the walls, a limited menu of meats, including a twirling cylinder of al pastor that was the center of attention, and an ordering system and open kitchen to be enjoyed like theater. The al pastor remains one of the city’s lushest, particularly when deposited with lots of pineapple on a volcan, a Mexico City specialty that consists of a tortilla turned up at the edges and deep fried. Did I mention that all tortillas here are hand-patted to order?

A taco shell piled high with shredded meat and cubed pineapple.
Al pastor volcan
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

27. Santa Ana Deli

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171 Irving Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11237
(718) 628-4691

A couple of comfortable tables, a stenciled menu over the counter, and a side kitchen from which stream every manner of freshly made corn-based antojitos — that’s Santa Ana, a taqueria that’s spawned a full service restaurant a blocks east on Irving Avenue (stick with the original bodega taqueria). The chipotle-sauced tacos Arabes are the things to get, washed down with a colorful bottle of Jarritos. Proving that Bushwick still rules the city’s taco scene!

A pair of cone shaped tacos wrapped in white paper spilling out meat and orange sauce.
Tacos Arabes come topped with chipotle sauce and guac.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

28. Taqueria Tepango

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568 Myrtle Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205
(718) 636-8878
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Hidden in plain sight near Pratt Institute, Taqueria Tepango boasts one of the city’s greatest collections of taco types. Sure, there are the soft double-corn-tortilla tacos of southern Mexico, but also find hardshell tacos and tacos placeros — loaded with rice and other ingredients like boiled eggs and grilled jalapeños. And the place also offers an oddity called a super taco: grilled chicken, onions, and crema stuffed in a big flour tortilla smothered in melted cheese.

A rolled flour tortilla smothered in cheese, almost a burrito.
Chicken super taco
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

29. Antojitos del Patron Mexican Snacks

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52 Lincoln Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11225
(347) 533-9911
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Antojitos del Patron is a small, charmingly decorated cafe just east of Prospect Park that offers southern Mexican snacks, such as the legendary taco Arabe, inspired by Middle Eastern immigrants to the city of Puebla a century ago. The taco is made on a homemade flour tortilla of surpassing lightness, now stuffed with pork carnitas, although the original version featured lamb. Also on the menu are regular tacos on small corn tortillas, including chicken tinga, mushrooms, and al pastor.

A big flour tortilla with chunks of pork and splotches of red sauce.
Taco arabe
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

30. Tacos El Bronco Restaurant

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4324 4th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11232
(718) 788-2229

This comfortable Sunset Park restaurant launches a famous taco truck that parks at 37th and 5th avenues, but go to the mothership not far away for a longer taco menu. The specialty of the house: miniature tacos pequeños, which are much easier to maneuver than standard tacos. El Bronco’s tripe filling (small intestine rather than honeycomb stomach) is legendary, but try instead the slightly stranger campechanos, which include several meats, usually including steak and chorizo, and perhaps one more, in one taco. A charred green onion comes as a bonus, and the taste is sweet.

tacos el bronco Sunset Park tripa offal
Pork intestine taco
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

31. Ricos Tacos

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505 51st St
Brooklyn, NY 11220
(718) 633-4816

When this taqueria was founded in 2001, it took over the sprawling premises from a Dominican restaurant, and still retains a nostalgic feel. It also has one of the most complete taco menus in town. The cabeza (beef cheek and other face meat) taco is particularly fine, and the picadillo de res is good if you want something that tastes Tex Mex. Finally, there are a number of others like tacos dorados (flautas), tacos Arabes, and tacos placeros.

Two corn tortilla tacos on a white plate with red and green salsa in the background.
Assorted tacos
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

32. Rancho San Miguel

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4109 New Utrecht Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11219
(347) 955-4242
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Named after a neighborhood in the city of Puebla, this small bodega stocks groceries, but half the space is taken up by a kitchen whose specialties include dozens of themed burritos, as well as quesadillas and sopes. But one of the best offerings is a complete list of outsize tacos placeros (“market tacos”) that includes one overstuffed with chiles relleno and rice, an absolute delight when doused with red or green salsa (or both).

A massive tortilla stuffed with a deep fried chile held open by a hand.
Chile relleno taco placeros
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

33. El Ranchito Poblano

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1228 Flatbush Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11226
(718) 282-0366
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This festive “little ranch,” founded 14 years ago, comes as a surprise among the Caribbean restaurants (and now, scenester bars) of Flatbush Avenue in central Flatbush. Tacos appear in the self-described “Tex Mex style,” with lettuce, tomatoes, and cheddar cheese added to the classic formulation of corn tortillas, onions, and cilantro. Standard meats are available, as are gorditas, picaditas, huaraches, and sopes.

Taqueria interior with orange walls and serapes hung on the walls, tables along both sides running into the interior.
The overly orange interior
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

34. Taqueria El Gallo Azteca

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75 Victory Blvd
Staten Island, NY 10301
(718) 578-4609

This long-running Tompkinsville landmark — which took over a pizzeria on Victory Boulevard long ago — is the taqueria closest to the ferry terminal, an easy walk of a half mile. The tacos are of the overstuffed variety, and extensively braised tongue is the preferred filling, with al pastor and carne enchilada a close second and third. Add Oaxacan cheese or sliced avocado to any taco for a small extra charge, or ante up a little more for a taco Azteca with cactus and caramelized onions.

A blue interior with a few stools along a counter and a woman seen in sunlight at the right.
El Gallo Azteca’s strikingly blue walls
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

35. Taqueria Puebla

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1285 Castleton Ave
Staten Island, NY 10310
(718) 720-1447

Staten Island has more than a few taquerias, including this bare-bones one in the Port Richmond neighborhood. In addition to the standard roster of fillings deposited in double corn tortillas, a goat eyeball taco is available; it’s the only place in town I know that serves this specialty. Other recommended tacos: cabeza and chorizo.

Eyeball taco with a jellylike eyeball and cilantro and onions.
Goat eyeball taco
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

36. Tacos Lupita

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1802 65th St
Brooklyn, NY 11204
(929) 350-5682

Bensonhurst might not seem a likely location for a really distinguished taco truck, but Lupita, parked at the major crossroads of 65th Street and 18th Avenue, attracts throngs of customers on the weekends. The tacos are available in 16 varieties, including the usual, plus several harder-to-find fillings like oreja (pig ear), buche (pig stomach), and the highly recommended campechanos (here, a combination steak and chorizo). All the other Pueblan hand-patted antojitos also available, like quesadillas and huaraches. Open till at least 2 a.m. every night.

An orange and green taco truck.
Bensonhurst’s Tacos Lupita truck
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

37. El Jarochito

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195 Neptune Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11235
(718) 769-4447
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Founded in 1993, the name at this Coney Island bodega taqueria means “Little Rude One” — a tip of the hat to cartoon character Speedy Gonzales, but also the nickname of residents of Veracruz — and the specialty of the house is weekends-only barbacoa. Get it in a taco, or pick the excellent carne enchilada (pork in chile sauce). For an extra 50 cents, rice can be added to any taco. Enjoy a taco or two, then stroll over to the beach.

A pair of rolled tacos with bulbous white onion with green shoots and glistening jalapeno.
Tacos are served with grilled green onions and jalapenos.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

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1. Taqueria Sinaloense

113 W 225th St, The Bronx, NY 10463
Canasta and Gobernador tacos Taqueria Sinaloense Bronx Marble Hill
Tacos canasta and gobernador
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

With inspiration from the northwestern state of Sinaloa, Taqueria Sinaloense mainly serves a pan-Mexican menu in Marble Hill, a picturesque Bronx neighborhood overlooking the Harlem River. Two unique tacos are available, including tacos gobernador (“governor’s tacos”) loaded with shrimp and hot green chiles, and tacos de canasta, with the tortillas dipped in oil as a sort of temporary preservative that allows them to be sold from baskets by street vendors, hence the name. Birria tacos available, too.

113 W 225th St
The Bronx, NY 10463

2. Estrellita Poblana III

2328 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458
A red storefront with arched windows, the name of the restaurant emblazoned across the top.
Located on Belmont’s main drag
Layla Khabiri/Eater NY

Despite its unexpected location in the midst of the Bronx’s Little Italy, this informal sit-down “Little Star of Puebla” (founded 1999) has some of the tastiest organ meat tacos in town. Don’t miss out on the cabeza (gooey head meat) and lengua (long-braised tongue). In fact, nearly all the tacos are top notch — though skip the shrimp — and the salsas are homemade. Mixed drinks available.

2328 Arthur Ave
Bronx, NY 10458

3. Xochimilco Family Restaurant

653 Melrose Ave, Bronx, NY 10455
A couple of tacos with deep fried shells that make them look puffy, filled with potato cubes.
Three potato-stuffed molotes
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Xochimilco is a sweet spot in the Melrose section of the South Bronx, named after a neighborhood of Mexico City that boasts canals, artificial islands, and gondola-type boats called trajineras. The restaurant specializes in molotes — fried tacos made from hand-patted masa something like San Antonio’s famed puffy tacos. The choice of fillings include cheese, chicken, or chorizo and potatoes, with the latter preferred.

653 Melrose Ave
Bronx, NY 10455

4. La Morada

308 Willis Ave, Bronx, NY 10454
La Morada’s dining room has wooden tables and chairs, purple walls, and a hanging poster saying “all walls down” Alex Staniloff/Eater

This relentlessly purple Mott Haven restaurant has become famous for its Oaxacan moles and tlayudas, with some pan-Southern Mexican, Tex-Mex, and Cal-Mex thrown in. The standard roster of two-corn-tortilla soft tacos are available in excellent renditions, including a seriously spicy carne enchilada, al pastor, chorizo, and a particularly noteworthy bistec asado. The welcoming staff is an added plus.

308 Willis Ave
Bronx, NY 10454

5. Santa Clarita

237 Willis Ave #2, The Bronx, NY 10454
A hand pinches a taco bulging with charred red meat.
Al pastor taco
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This absolutely killer taco spot joins an ancient dining room to a broad taco window through which you can see the kitchen. A sign lets you know that this restaurant, now faded like a red rose, was founded back in 1971 — though then it was a Puerto Rican and Dominican joint with a dance floor. Now, take your clue from the al pastor cylinder rotating in the window, for some of the finest tacos of that sort you’ve ever tasted, served with green onions charred from the grill.

237 Willis Ave #2
The Bronx, NY 10454

6. Taco Mix

234 E 116th St #1, New York, NY 10029
A man saws away at the al pastor meat cylinder
Al pastor vertical rotisserie
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

You need look no further than the beautiful twirling cylinder of pork al pastor in the window, well-rubbed with spices and oozing juices, to know which taco to get. It’s one of the best al pastor tacos in town. Watching the carver at work makes the taco twice as tasty, and there’s an impressive array of taco toppings, running to dried red chiles, chiles in oil, pickled jalapenos, and an array of colorful salsas. Dress away! Miniature tacos and a wide variety of traditional fillings also available.

234 E 116th St #1
New York, NY 10029

7. El Paso Taqueria

64 E 97th St, New York, NY 10029