I am currently eating rice & beans as I’m typing this - with avocado, naturally. I'm also salivating for a margarita.
Needless to say, I love Mexican/Latin American food. It’s delicious, refreshing and healthy. AND it’s affordable – or, at least, it should be (which is partially why neither Dos Caminos nor Rosa Mexicana are on the following list). So, if you dig good margaritas and freshly-made guac, look no further. I’ve got you covered on my favorite Mexican spots in NYC:
For a Quick Bite… El Mitote, Upper West Side
Fate may have brought me to the Upper West, but El Mitote is keeping me here. Located on 69th & the ever-gorgeous Columbus Ave., this place has the inviting ambiance of a West Village restaurant with the prices and speed of a fast-food joint. El Mitote boasts Mexican sandwiches, akin to Bahn Mi, which I’ve never seen on another menu. While the sandwiches are bomb, my personal favorite is the 3-per-order soft-shell tacos. These come in around $7 and are overflowing with the plumpest shrimp and the freshest, crunchiest cabbage you’ve ever eaten. Each table also gets a slew of homemade condiments and pickled toppings (who doesn’t love condiments?). Mexican beers sit around $5-$6 and the margaritas, while a little higher on the price-scale at $10 ($7 during HH), do come in fun flavors and mason jars. All of this together gets El Mitote 5 stars for the best bang-for-your-buck!
For a date… Mole, West Village
Located romantically at the corner of Jane and Hudson, Mole is one of those restaurants that remind you of why you love New York so damn much. Al fresco dining is met by a cozy interior, making it welcoming any time of year. The food is fresh, well-presented and often served table-side. Plus, the $5 happy hour gets you everything from Guac to Margs, making it the perfect price point for a first or tenth date. I mostly enjoy Mole because, even though it’s super affordable, it has a semi-upscale, tempered vibe and is the sort of place where you can truly slow down, kick back, and enjoy the one you’re with.
For the girls… Ofrenda, West Village
New York is a tough place to have a “go-to spot.” There’s just so many bars and restaurants and, being a foodie, it’s hard to go back to a place more than once. That said, Ofrenda is my go-to spot for ladies night. I’ve gone a handful of times, always recommend it, and it never disappoints. It’s situated directly on bustling 7th ave. and is straddled by rainbow-laden gay bars, which makes it all the more easier to keep the energy high and the vibes good. I suggest making a reservation and keeping your party at 6 or less – it’s a small place, but has a great open-air feel to it. The prickly pear and jalepeno margaritas are truly unparalleled and the Queso Fundido and Pork Belly tacos are sure to give you a good drinking base for wherever you head out to next.