NYC is one of the premier destinations in the world for delicious food from different cultures and regions. We proudly boast some of the best Mexican restaurants, which can be found all over the city. With nearly 1,000 Mexican restaurants within the five boroughs, you’re bound to come across something tasty, whether you’re looking for an al pastor burrito or a plate of arroz con pollo. Since there are so many options, we narrowed it down to our favorite 20. Here’s what makes our list of best Mexican restaurants in NYC.
1. Casa Enrique, LIC
Casa Enrique is a Michelin-star-rated Mexican cantina in Long Island City, Queens. Led by chef Cosme Aguilar, their menu explores delicacies from different regions across the country, including traditional Mexican fare and more experimental dishes. Some of their most popular items include de pollo con mole de piaxtla enchiladas and the chile relleno, which offer a modern take on classic dishes.
Where: 5-48 49th Ave, Queens
2. Cosme, Flatiron
Cosme is another Michelin-star-rated restaurant in Flatiron that offers contemporary Mexican cuisine and an impressive selection of tequila and mezcal cocktails. Their menu contains delectable items like duck carnitas and soft-shell crab with chile morita and avocado. What we love though is that despite its upscale menu, the restaurant features a laidback atmosphere that is great for intimate conversation with friends!
Where: 35 E 21st St
3. Casa Azul, Park Slope
Casa Azul is a Mexican restaurant in Park Slope that focuses its dishes on recipes from the Oaxaca region. Named after Frida Khalo’s former residence, the restaurant has a fun, artsy vibe that is high-end yet casual! Their menu features a unique take on classic dishes like their barbacoa adobada with avocado salsa, jalapeno-onion escabeche, and homemade corn tortillas. It has a great atmosphere that is relaxed, yet refined, making it the perfect place to bring a date or stop by for a drink after work!
Where: 369 7th Ave, Brooklyn
4. La Barca Cantina, Hell’s Kitchen
What could be better than a floating Mexican restaurant? La Barca Cantina is a waterfront eatery serving up some of the best cocktails and Mexican fare around. This three-level boat floats off Pier 81 and welcomes New Yorkers from all over for some delicious meals and picturesque Hudson River views. Their cocktails are strong and delicious (try the Bucket List Golden Margarita!) and their food options make it all worthwhile. We recommend their most famous item, the Tony’s Campechano tacos made with beef, pork, and roasted scallions!
Where: Pier 81, W 41st St
5. Empellón, West Village
Empellón is a Michelin-star restaurant in the West Village that specializes in small bites and tacos. Run by chef Alex Stupak, the multilevel restaurant offers a large bar with a modern look and a mezzanine level for a more intimate experience. Their eclectic menu features crowd favorites like lobster tacos and surf and turf fajitas so if you’re in the mood for delicious Mexican food made with advanced culinary techniques, Empellón is the place to be.
Where: 230 W 4th St
6. Los Tacos No. 1, Various Locations
Los Tacos No. 1 is a street-style taco joint with a few locations throughout the city. The brand was started by three friends in Tijuana who envisioned bringing authentic Mexican cuisine to New York. The menu isn’t extensive, but what they do, they do exceptionally well, and Los Tacos No.1 is among the best for tacos and quesadillas.
Grand Central – 125 Park Ave
Chelsea – 75 9th Avenue
NoHo – 340 Lafayette St
Midtown – 229 W 43rd St
Tribeca – 136 Church St
7. Móle, Various Locations
Móleis a casual Mexican eatery with a popular happy hour menu and three locations across the city. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has a delicious brunch menu too with breakfast burritos and huevos rancheros. Our favorite time to go to Móle is on a Sunday afternoon for a margarita and a snack!
West Village – 57 Jane St
Williamsburg – 178 Kent Ave
Upper East Side – 1735 2nd Ave
8. Tacos Güey, Flatiron
Tacos Güey is a modern Mexican restaurant located in Flatiron that offers an updated take on traditional Mexican cuisine. Seafood fans in particular will love Tacos Güey because of dishes like their octopus tostada and prawn ceviche. If seafood isn’t your thing, check out their carnitas tacos or lamb shank birria.
Where: 37 W 19th St
9. Mesa Coyocan, Williamsburg
Mesa Coyocan is an upscale restaurant serving traditional Mexican cuisine in Williamsburg. The spacious yet inviting spot features large communal tables and a charming aesthetic with patterned wallpaper and dangling Edison lightbulbs. The menu offers a carefully curated selection of plates and tacos, including a carne asada plate made with grass-fed beef and rajas con crema. If you’re looking at for a Mexican restaurant in NYC with a warm atmosphere and innovative food, Mesa Coyocan takes the cake.
Where: 372 Graham Ave, Brooklyn
10. Claro, Gowanus
Claro is a Michelin-star restaurant in Gowanus that offers patio seating and modern takes on classic Oaxacan cuisine. All their cheeses, chorizos, and moles are made by hand, and they source their ingredients from local farms in the Oaxacan region! They also offer an extensive menu of mezcal flights, which pair well with their delicious food!
Where: 284 Third Ave, Brooklyn
11. Maya, UES
Maya is a popular Mexican eatery on the Upper East Side that offers a nightly happy hour and bottomless brunch on the weekends! Created by Chef Richard Sandoval, Maya blends traditional Mexican cooking with innovative culinary techniques. If you like tequila, this is one restaurant you won’t want to miss. The menu features over 100 tequilas, which pair nicely with their delicious food.
Where: 1191 1st Ave
12. La Morada, Bronx
La Morada in the Bronx is a family-owned and community-focused Mexican restaurant that specializes in indigenous Mexican cuisine from the Oaxaca region. Step into this restaurant that’s complete with purple walls, multiples tables, and a doctor’s office aesthetic. They’re far from that though. La Morada’s menu is vast and offers some of the tastiest moles, gorditas, tortillas, and so much more. Plus, they have tons of vegetarian options and even operates a Mutual Aid Kitchen that gives back to the community. We love a restaurant for a good cause!
Where: 308 Willis Ave, The Bronx
13. Oxomoco, Greenpoint
Situated in the popular neighborhood of Greenpoint is Oxomoco, another Michelin-starred restaurant offering wood-fired plates and an expansive front patio. The menu takes inspiration from regions all over the country of Mexico, including the Yucatan, Baja, Mexico City, and more. We recommend enjoying a glass of agave and a shrimp ceviche tostada outside on a nice day!
Where: 128 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn
14. The Cactus Shop, Williamsburg
The Cactus Shop isn’t your normal Mexican cantina and that’s because it’s also a speakeasy! Complete with sugar skulls, ornate tiles, and culturally-rich decor, their elevated street food is served with pride alongside their variety of cocktails. Choose between their tasty bites like the Pollo Papa (chicken and potato quesadillas), Baja Cauliflower tacos, and more all while washing it down with a tasty cocktail served in a hand blown cactus cocktail glass (we personally love the Smoky Royale)!
Where: 231 Kent Ave, Brooklyn
15. Oxido, Times Square
Don’t mess with El Jefe! He’s the one making all of Oxido’s food from scratch every day! This spot proudly serves traditional Mexican food with modern influences. They offer the basics in burritos, bowls, tacos, quesadillas, and more. Many of their options are customizable (think Chipotle style) and can be mixed and matched as you please. But what makes them stand out from the crowd is their sauces. From creamy to spicy, their handmade sauces are an absolute must with whatever you order.
Where: 1450 Broadway
16. Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos, Bushwick
Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos is a tortilla factory and hidden gem, all in one. When you arrive, you’re asked to jot your order down on a pad of paper before sliding it to a chef who will whip it up in front of your eyes. Their menu is compact, yet encompassing and highly customizable! Their chorizo filling is their speciality (and the one we love the most), but there are tons of meat options and fillings to pick and choose from. Once you have your food, hangout in their garage-turned-restaurant or step outside to their small cantina. What could be more Bushwick than that!
Where: 271 Starr St, Brooklyn
17. Cantina Rooftop, Midtown
Mexican food on a rooftop simply can’t be beat, and that’s what you’ll find at Cantina Rooftop in Midtown. Come for their eclectic selection of specialty tequila and mezcal cocktails, and stay for their food that’s crafted with precision and passion. If you’re around on Taco Tuesdays and up for a challenge, consider even giving their “Big Ass Taco” a try, which is an $80, enormous taco that can probably feed a whole table! Catch a view, mezcal-rita, and vibes at Cantina Rooftop.
Where: 605 W 48th St
18. Rosa Mexicano, Various Locations
Rosa Mexicano proudly brands itself as an “elevated fiesta” deeply infused with Mexican culture. They serve a mix of classic dishes as well as sophisticated and original meals too. From house-made mole and enchiladas to their Camarones Diablos, there’s a little something for everyone! Plus, their atmosphere is buzzing and vibrant at all times. After you order a tequila or mezcal drink from their menu, be sure to order up some guacamole with chips, that’s handmade tableside right in front of you!
Lincoln Center – 61 Colombus Ave
Union Square – 9 E 18th St
Midtown East – 251 E 52nd St
19. Estrellita Poblana III, Bronx
Estrellita Poblana III is another Bronx staple that serves some of the finest Mexican cuisine in that borough. Their exposed brick interior in tandem with their polite staff makes gives this spot an incredible atmosphere. As for the food, they have a huge menu with some of our favorite items being the tortas and carne asadas. If you stop here you also need to give their flan a try for dessert!
Where: 5975 Broadway, The Bronx
20. Tacombi, Various Locations
The story of Tacombi is a beautiful one. They started off as a food van in the Yucatan peninsula back in 2006, which then turned into a restaurant in an NYC garage in 2010, and now, they proudly have multiple locations scattered across NYC! Now, their original taqueria van is a highlight of the Mexican decor on the restaurant interiors. Their menu consists of classic Mexican meals and a solid list of cocktails and Mexican sodas. Be sure to stop by and see for yourself why they put their pride in their “Mexican hospitality.”
Where: Various Locations
21. Añejo, Hell’s Kitchen
We’re going to be honest with this one, Añejo is more of a tequileria than it is a Mexican restaurant. While there are small plates of Mexican brilliance to pick from, the main focus is their menu of tequila options that seem to never end. Order a bunch of tacos to share with the table and a flight of their mezcals and you’re sure to have an enjoyable experience.
Where: 668 10th Ave
22. Toro Loco, FiDi
Last but certainly not least on our list is Toro Loco, the ultimate Mexican restaurant, cocktail bar, and party spot. This joint is known for their bottomless brunch, authentic Mexican food, margaritas, and extensive tequila and mezcal menu. This is the perfect spot for a birthday dinner, special occasion, or Friday night! The vibes are always on point here and there’s always something going on. They even do drag shows on Sundays.
Where: 15 Stone St