Walking around the city, you’ll likely stumble upon some delicious new finds in hole-in-the-wall places, but you also risk finding yourself with a stale taco in hand that might upset your stomach more than it dazzles your taste buds. With the abundance of Mexican restaurants in NYC, it can be hard to find a good taco…ranging from no frills to elevated masterpieces.
From small corner taquerias to upscale restaurants, here are some of the best tacos around the city worth trying:
1. Los Tacos No.1, Multiple Locations
With a few locations scattered around NYC including Located in Chelsea Market and a new one coming to Penn Station, this quick taco shop rivals anything you’ll find out west or down south. The taco of choice? Their adobada taco! (Pork marinated in a sweet, chile sauce)
Where: Find your location here
2. Empellón Al Pastor, East Village
This bar/taqueria crossover is great for any occasion, whether it’s going for some Mexican food or trying one of their 17 beers on tap. The Al Pastor (spit roasted pork and pineapple) is the go-to here, but consider experimenting with their other creations like the Cheeseburger Taco (avocado and tomato) or one of Chef’s daily specials.
Where: 132 St Marks Pl
3. Birria-Landia, Multiple Locations
Would it be incorrect for us to say this is one of, if not NYC’s most sought out taco? Birria-Landia is an NYC food truck that started out in Jackson Heights in 2019, most famously for their birria tacos. Now, there’s locations in each borough making it easy to get your hands on these divine specimens. As mentioned, order the birria tacos with a side of consome and see what the hypes about for yourself.
Where: Find your location here
4. Nene’s Taqueria, Bushwick & Park Slope
Nene’s Taqueria might just have the best tacos in Brooklyn, boasting two locations in Bushwick and Park Slope. Although this spot looks like a deli on the outside, you’ll be pleased to see how many delicious tacos are cranked out when you walk through the door. You can build your taco as you please here, but we recommend the birria…which also comes in the form of pizza, ramen, and empanadas when you get bored of tacos.
Bushwick – 14 Starr St, Brooklyn
Park Slope – 660 Degraw St, Brooklyn
5. La Barca Cantina
NYC’s first floating Mexican restaurant, La Bar Cantina offers Mexican fare and delicious cocktails afloat. Blending Oaxaca and New York, you can eat tacos and drink tequila on the water all weekend long!
Where: 81 North River Piers
6. Cafe Nube, Sunset Park
There’s a reason this Mexican-Chinese cafe was named one of the nation’s best tacos, and it’s because of their wacky, yet mouth-watering specialties like the Italian meatball or adobo chicken tacos. They also have solid breakfast tacos (egg/guac/chorizo) too if you’re looking for a hangover cure.
Where: 940 4th Ave, Brooklyn
7. Casa Enrique, LIC
If you come here you can’t leave without trying their slow cooked beef tongue tacos (lengua tacos).
Where: 5-48 49th Ave, Queens
8. Cosme, Flatiron
Everything on the menu at this upscale restaurant will make your taste buds dance, but if you’re in the mood for a killer taco splurge for the duck carnitas.
Where: 35 E 21st St
9. Taqueria Ramirez, Greenpoint
Pretend you’re in CDMX when you sink your teeth into the greatness from Taqueria Ramirez in Brooklyn. Although usually with a line around the block, it’s worth passing the time in the quick line to try their tacos which range from suadero (beef, rose meat confit) and al pastor (marinated pork butt with pineapple) to tripa (slow-cooked and blow-torched beef small intestines) and nopales (sauteed Mexican cactus with onion, garlic, guajillo, cotija cheese).
Where: 94 Franklin St, Brooklyn
10. Flats Fix, Union Square
This bar near Union Square was once started out of a garage back in the day… but it now serves up gourmet tacos, like their House Smoked Pastrami Taco, Seared Wild Caught Fish Taco, Crispy Long Island Duck Taco, plus a whole lot more.
Where: 28 E 16th St
11. La Morada, The Bronx
Offering delicious Oaxacan moles and tlayudas that are certainly worth ordering, when it comes to tacos specifically, the bistec asado steals the show.
Where: 308 Willis Ave, The Bronx
12. Taco Mix, East Harlem
This little spot tucked away in East Harlem serves one of the tastiest al pastor tacos around. Watch as they slice the pork in front of you from the rotating spit…we’re hungry just thinking about it.
Where: 234 E 116th St #1
13. Tacos El Bronco, Sunset Park
With a taco truck in Manhattan, we still suggest you go to the original restaurant for your taco fix. They’re most known for their soft tripe (which if you’ve ever had tripe you know can be tough to chew at most places), but the campechanos is the must-try taco while here. It combines several of the meats they offer into one warm tortilla.
Where: 4324 4th Ave, Brooklyn
14. Taqueria St Marks Pl, East Village
Any taco here is tasty and simple with options from steak to fish to more adventurous items like Buche (pork stomach) or Cabeza (beef head)! However, the star attraction that most will likely be open to trying is their juicy lamb tacos.
Where: 79 St Marks Pl (East Village)
15. Oxomoco, Greenpoint
This Michelin-starred spot in Brooklyn serves elevated tacos that are worth the price. Everything you get will be good here, but we recommend experimenting with their more unique offerings like the Swordfish Tacos or Lamb Barbacoa Tacos.
Where: 128 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn