In the past decade, New York City’s taco scene has really taken shape. Once a town where almost no one could get a good Mexican (or even Californian) taco, New York is now a city with a plethora of options making national ‘best of’ lists. Summer is the ideal time to indulge in the traditional Mexican delicacy. Here are the best spots to hit up. (See our 2010 picks here). By Siobhan Wallace.
95-19 Roackaway Beach Boulevard
This beachy stand on the Rockaway peninsula has earned accolades from some of the world’s top taco afficienados, despite its hipster reputation. Brave the lines for a taste of their freshly battered and fried fish taco topped with guacamole for $4. Get your fix now, as the stand is only open until October.
Cascabel Taqueria NYC
1538 Second Avenue
Few people would expect one of the city’s better tacos to be found on the Upper East Side-or at their sister restaurant on the Upper West Side-but Cascabel is turning out fantastic, tender carnitas tacos. They’re using slow-roasted Berkshire pork butt that comes out lightly spiced and flavorful, and absolutely perfect under pickled red onion and roasted chili de arbol.
Dos Toros Taqueria
137 Fourth Avenue
Hidden off of Union Square South is a Dos Toros, an homage to Bay Area’s heavier tacos. Stuffed to the gills with your choice of meat or rice and beans, their tacos are topped off with cheese, salsa, and sour cream with guacamole available for extra. With all under $5, they make it quite possible to have a quick and satisfying meal on the cheap.
198 Orchard Street
Taqueria LES does Southern California lighter-style tacos. Their pan-fried fish taco is a winner, but they’re also offering more unique options like cactus or salted beef. Unlike most tacos places, they offer sit-down service and complimentary homemade chips and salsa.
On Roosevelt Avenue, Underneath the 7 Train
Roosevelt Avenue in Queens is a hot-spot of Latin American cart food, especially true Mexican tacos. Most congregate around the subway stops, especially 74th Street and 90th Street/Elmhurst Avenue. They offer your typical beef, pork, and chicken tacos, but the truly adventurous will want to try flor de calabaza (squash blossom) or huitlacoche, a type of fungus grown on corn that has an earthy, omami flavor.