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New York's Best Mexican Food, as Determined by Readers

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12_34122012_10_hasmaps.jpegIn a recent Open Thread, Eater asked readers to recommend their favorite Mexican restaurants. This is clearly a subject that New Yorkers are very opinionated about — the comments section exploded and the tipline nearly melted. Of course, too many restaurants were offered up to include in the below map. But here now is a guide to 15 of the restaurants that were most frequently and passionately recommended by Eater readers.


Note: Obvious shills were scratched from the list (sorry Anejo).

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Hecho en Dumbo

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This hip Bowery restaurant offers a somewhat refined take on Mexico City cuisine. The menu includes big-ticket entrees like poached lobster and a mixed grill plate, as well as smaller dishes like tacos, sopes, and quesos. One reader notes: "Hecho en Dumbo is a place that doesn't get the credit it deserves. People I know from Mexico City consistently praise its authenticity. I think the food is always great. Their fish tacos with smoked sable, octopus, shrimp and fish chiccharon are completely unique to NYC and delicious." Make sure to try the bone marrow and tongue tacos. (Krieger)

Tortilleria Nixtamal

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Tortilleria Nixtamal is the only places in New York that makes fresh masa dough, from scratch. Order the tacos and quesadillas to taste the nutty flavor of the tortillas, and make sure to try the tamales, which are also made from that fresh masa. For more on the Nixtamal experience, check out this video. (Yelp)

El Rey Del Sabor

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El Rey Del Sabor is one of the best options for Mexican food in Midtown. Critic Ryan Sutton chimes in: "I've been a regular at El Rey del Sabor (behind Bloomingdales on 60th Street & 3rd) for a few years now and I've yet to find a better spicy pork torta -- the cart's pickled carrots & jalapenos are what make the difference.And while I've had better tamales at, say, Empellon Cocina, these El Rey Del Sabor tamales are my everyday tamales. They cost two bucks are are, dollar for dollar and inch for inch, the most nutritionally dense source of fat, protein and carbohydrates I know of in the city. They will FEED YOU. And the lard ratio is just enough to keep things silky." El Rey Del Sabor has three locations to serve you. (Midtown Lunch)

Casa Enrique

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As Robert Sietsema noted in his rave review, Casa Enrique is one of the only restaurants in New York that serves food from the Chiapas region of Mexico. Order the ceviches, anything made with the fresh chorizo, and the braised lamb shank entree. (Krieger)

Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos

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At this Bushwick tortilla factory and restaurant, the tortillas come straight off the line and go directly to the kitchen. You can see the process through the glass walls in the dining room. The chorizo is the most popular filling here — it's made with cinnamon, dried chiles, and chunks of white potato. Order that in a taco or a torta, and make sure to buy a bag of tortillas to take home with you. (Photo)

Mesa Coyoacán

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Mexico City native Ivan Garcia spent time at Mercadito and Barrio China before opening his own place on Graham Avenue in Williamsburg. The menu at Mesa Coyoacan features a lot of small shareable plates like ceviches, tamales, and flautas, plus a long list of large plates like enchilladas and carne asada. The food here is considerably lighter than what you'll find at most neighborhood Mexican restaurants in New York. (Photo)

Rockaway Taco

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The fish tacos at this seasonal restaurant near the Rockaway boardwalk are excellent. The crispy fried chunks of tilapia come with a dab of good guacamole and a small pile of shaved radishes. Easily one of the best fish tacos in NYC. One reader has this to say: "Bland over priced mexican food with pretentious waitstaff seems to be the downfall of almost every mexican meal I've ever had in New York. Rockaway Taco is way good though." (Photo)

Dos Toros Taquería

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This growing mini-chain serves Northern California-style burritos, plus tacos, quesadillas, and platos. Dos Toros uses good ingredients, but more importantly, the burrito rollers know how to put it all together. The people at Chipotle could learn a thing or two from these guys. Bay Area expats absolutely love this place because it's the only restaurant in NYC that serves a faithful version of the NorCal burrito. (Photo)

La Superior

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One of the best dishes at this fun Williamsburg restaurant is the torta ahogada, which is two pieces of sourdough bread stuffed with beans and carnitas, topped with peppery arbol sauce. It's a real hangover-buster. The tacos and enchiladas are also very good here, and almost everything on the menu is under $11. (Photo)

Las Margaritas

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One reader offers an endorsement of Las Margaritas out in Bay Ridge: "The best-kept secret for tacos is Las Margaritas on 3rd avenue in Bay Ridge. It pains me to let the secret go, but the people are the nicest and these tacos are the best i've had anywhere, at any price point."

Gran Eléctrica

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The Colonie team's new Dumbo restaurant offers traditional Mexican street food made with top-notch ingredients. Early standouts include the squash blossom quesadilla and the pozole rojo. The cocktail list features several drinks made with fresh squeezed juices. (Krieger)

El Sol Azteca

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One reader chimes in with a recommendation for El Sol Azteca, a sit-down restaurant in Jackson Heights: "I'm Mexican and I love Empellon, but I also like El Sol Azteca in queens. Great chiles rellenos and sopes!" In addition to meat dishes, tacos, tostadas and enchiladas, El Sol Azteca also serves monster cemita sandwiches.

Cascabel Taqueria

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Cascabel is a great place to go with a few friends, so that you can try several of the appetizers, tacos, and vegetable dishes. One reader notes: "Cascabel Taqueria on the UES hands down. Discovered it when it was just a hole in the wall and still stupendous and fresh even after its expansion. I live in Brooklyn and travel all the way up there for it." (Photo)

Taqueria Rancho Escondido

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One reader shows some love to Taqueria Rancho Escondido in Kingsbridge: "Taqueria Rancho Escondido...is hands down the best Mexican I've had in New York City. It's a small, friendly place with incredible food - from the tortas to the tacos. Only downside, no liquor license." The Yelpers love the barbacoa.

El Rey Del Taco Truck

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Several readers recommended this wildly popular Astoria taco truck. In a recent Dining Confidential column, Gilt chef Justin Bogle noted: "I have tried everything on the menu from the tacos al pastor, which are my favorite, to the lengua (beef tongue) which runs a close second. It is definitely worth a stop if you are in the area." The owners launched a second truck not too long ago to keep up with the demand. (Photo)

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Hecho en Dumbo

This hip Bowery restaurant offers a somewhat refined take on Mexico City cuisine. The menu includes big-ticket entrees like poached lobster and a mixed grill plate, as well as smaller dishes like tacos, sopes, and quesos. One reader notes: "Hecho en Dumbo is a place that doesn't get the credit it deserves. People I know from Mexico City consistently praise its authenticity. I think the food is always great. Their fish tacos with smoked sable, octopus, shrimp and fish chiccharon are completely unique to NYC and delicious." Make sure to try the bone marrow and tongue tacos. (Krieger)

Tortilleria Nixtamal

Tortilleria Nixtamal is the only places in New York that makes fresh masa dough, from scratch. Order the tacos and quesadillas to taste the nutty flavor of the tortillas, and make sure to try the tamales, which are also made from that fresh masa. For more on the Nixtamal experience, check out this video. (Yelp)

El Rey Del Sabor

El Rey Del Sabor is one of the best options for Mexican food in Midtown. Critic Ryan Sutton chimes in: "I've been a regular at El Rey del Sabor (behind Bloomingdales on 60th Street & 3rd) for a few years now and I've yet to find a better spicy pork torta -- the cart's pickled carrots & jalapenos are what make the difference.And while I've had better tamales at, say, Empellon Cocina, these El Rey Del Sabor tamales are my everyday tamales. They cost two bucks are are, dollar for dollar and inch for inch, the most nutritionally dense source of fat, protein and carbohydrates I know of in the city. They will FEED YOU. And the lard ratio is just enough to keep things silky." El Rey Del Sabor has three locations to serve you. (Midtown Lunch)

Casa Enrique

As Robert Sietsema noted in his rave review, Casa Enrique is one of the only restaurants in New York that serves food from the Chiapas region of Mexico. Order the ceviches, anything made with the fresh chorizo, and the braised lamb shank entree. (Krieger)

Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos

At this Bushwick tortilla factory and restaurant, the tortillas come straight off the line and go directly to the kitchen. You can see the process through the glass walls in the dining room. The chorizo is the most popular filling here — it's made with cinnamon, dried chiles, and chunks of white potato. Order that in a taco or a torta, and make sure to buy a bag of tortillas to take home with you. (Photo)

Mesa Coyoacán

Mexico City native Ivan Garcia spent time at Mercadito and Barrio China before opening his own place on Graham Avenue in Williamsburg. The menu at Mesa Coyoacan features a lot of small shareable plates like ceviches, tamales, and flautas, plus a long list of large plates like enchilladas and carne asada. The food here is considerably lighter than what you'll find at most neighborhood Mexican restaurants in New York. (Photo)

Rockaway Taco

The fish tacos at this seasonal restaurant near the Rockaway boardwalk are excellent. The crispy fried chunks of tilapia come with a dab of good guacamole and a small pile of shaved radishes. Easily one of the best fish tacos in NYC. One reader has this to say: "Bland over priced mexican food with pretentious waitstaff seems to be the downfall of almost every mexican meal I've ever had in New York. Rockaway Taco is way good though." (Photo)

Dos Toros Taquería

This growing mini-chain serves Northern California-style burritos, plus tacos, quesadillas, and platos. Dos Toros uses good ingredients, but more importantly, the burrito rollers know how to put it all together. The people at Chipotle could learn a thing or two from these guys. Bay Area expats absolutely love this place because it's the only restaurant in NYC that serves a faithful version of the NorCal burrito. (Photo)

La Superior

One of the best dishes at this fun Williamsburg restaurant is the torta ahogada, which is two pieces of sourdough bread stuffed with beans and carnitas, topped with peppery arbol sauce. It's a real hangover-buster. The tacos and enchiladas are also very good here, and almost everything on the menu is under $11. (Photo)

Las Margaritas

One reader offers an endorsement of Las Margaritas out in Bay Ridge: "The best-kept secret for tacos is Las Margaritas on 3rd avenue in Bay Ridge. It pains me to let the secret go, but the people are the nicest and these tacos are the best i've had anywhere, at any price point."

Gran Eléctrica

The Colonie team's new Dumbo restaurant offers traditional Mexican street food made with top-notch ingredients. Early standouts include the squash blossom quesadilla and the pozole rojo. The cocktail list features several drinks made with fresh squeezed juices. (Krieger)

El Sol Azteca

One reader chimes in with a recommendation for El Sol Azteca, a sit-down restaurant in Jackson Heights: "I'm Mexican and I love Empellon, but I also like El Sol Azteca in queens. Great chiles rellenos and sopes!" In addition to meat dishes, tacos, tostadas and enchiladas, El Sol Azteca also serves monster cemita sandwiches.

Cascabel Taqueria

Cascabel is a great place to go with a few friends, so that you can try several of the appetizers, tacos, and vegetable dishes. One reader notes: "Cascabel Taqueria on the UES hands down. Discovered it when it was just a hole in the wall and still stupendous and fresh even after its expansion. I live in Brooklyn and travel all the way up there for it." (Photo)

Taqueria Rancho Escondido

One reader shows some love to Taqueria Rancho Escondido in Kingsbridge: "Taqueria Rancho Escondido...is hands down the best Mexican I've had in New York City. It's a small, friendly place with incredible food - from the tortas to the tacos. Only downside, no liquor license." The Yelpers love the barbacoa.

El Rey Del Taco Truck

Several readers recommended this wildly popular Astoria taco truck. In a recent Dining Confidential column, Gilt chef Justin Bogle noted: "I have tried everything on the menu from the tacos al pastor, which are my favorite, to the lengua (beef tongue) which runs a close second. It is definitely worth a stop if you are in the area." The owners launched a second truck not too long ago to keep up with the demand. (Photo)

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