The Definitive Guide to NYC's Best Tacos
We get it. We’re not LA. We’re not Austin, either. We’re not anyone on the West Coast and we UNDERSTAND, dammit. But that doesn’t mean that NYC doesn’t have amazing tacos. From down-n-dirty Brooklyn holes in the wall, to posh lobster tacos, we’ve got it ALL.
Pull up a chair at this Mexican deli under the JMZ, which serves a lengthy list of Mexican comfort food in addition to some pretty amazing tacos. The order is the huevos y rajas (eggs and peppers) tacos...full of spice and flavor, and could challenge any breakfast taco you might find in Austin. Ask for extra salsa verde!
888 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11206
The new taco kid on the block is in Greenpoint, and is getting a lot of buzz for its impressive list of tacos, including quite a few veg-friendly options, like a grilled zucchini taco with salsa veracruz and smoked eggplant, and a beet “chorizo” taco with crispy potato, avocado and salsa alas brazas. Enjoy it all in a sun-drenched space that is far from your typical taco hole-in-the-wall.
128 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Los Tacos no. 1
Many a NYC taco snob bill this as the best in the city, and the title is well-deserved... This Chelsea Market stall churns out a short but sweet list of tacos authentic as they are fresh. Most of the tacos are meat-based (nopal taco for the vegetarians), but if you’re a fish taco fan, swing around the corner to their sister shop Los Mariscos for NYC’s best fish tacos.
75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Astoria is a surprisingly impressive taco destination, and home to this taqueria, which serves some of the best al pastor tacos in the city. Tacos are small but mighty, and at only $1.50 each, a rare cheap eat in NYC.
5-08 Broadway, Astoria, NY 11105
El Idolo Taco Truck
Yo LA, we have taco trucks, too! El Idolo is parked on 14th and 8th from lunchtime to laaaaate, serving up the overserved Meatpacking crowd. While at a certain point in the night, you might not even know what you’re eating, or how good (or bad!) it is… but any order at El Idolo is the right one, especially the flavor-packed lengua tacos.
8th Ave and 14th Street
This spot under the JMZ tracks in Bushwick is the definition of a hole in the wall. It’s the perfect place for a quite bite after landing back in Brooklyn after a day working in Manhattan, but is equally worthy of a trip out to the boonies for Manhattanites. They’re known for their sudadero tacos, made with silky braised lamb.
1503 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos
Off the Jefferson Street L train stop (#RIP), this tortilleria and restaurant is always filled to the brim w hipsters. Also a tortilla factory, they know what’s up when it comes to the most important part of the taco… the vessel. It’s great during the summertime when the garage-like eating space (read: garage that you eat in) is open-air, but the tacos are just as fine when the temp takes a dip.
271 Starr St, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Ricos boasts one of the most comprehensive taco menus in the city. The cabeza (beef cheek and other face parts) taco is the taco equivalent of the 100 emoji (also accurately described by the taco emoji). They also have some unique tacos on the menu, like tacos dorados (flautas), tacos arabes (like a pita sandwich), and tacos placeros (market tacos with rice inside). And when the weather is fine, there’s outdoor seating on the street, so you can enjoy your tacos the way they’re meant to be enjoyed… al fresco.
505 51st St, Brooklyn, NY 11220
There are a couple of Tacombis around the city, and even one out in Montauk, but the most fun location is the OG at Fonda Nolita… Manhattan’s most colorful garage. Besides, it’s a proven fact that tacos taste better served out of a vintage Volkswagen van. The breakfast tacos on the weekends are what dreams are made of.
Nolita: 267 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012
West Village: 255 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014
Flatiron: 30 W 24th St, New York, NY 10010
Midtown: 23 West 33rd Street, New York, NY 10118
Clinton Hill: 25 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Jalapa Jar has come a long way since its days as a stand in a SUBWAY STATION (Clark Street), the last place you’d ever think about eating (even tacos). But their breakfast tacos were so good, they could convince you to eat subway food, no matter your thoughts on Jared…. But now they’re got a shiny new brick-and-mortar in Downtown Brooklyn, a step up (literally) from the subway days. After feasting on their steamy Austin-style breakfast tacos, be sure to grab a jar of their salsa to go. 🌶
384 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Yo LA, NYC has taco trucks, too! Rosie’s may be famous for its hot dog, but its tacos are just as 🔥🔥🔥 . The big winner on the menu? The soy chorizo (yes… it’s vegan! we’re in Bushwick, after alll!), which actually tastes like meat.
154 Morgan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Tacos el Bronco
Sunset Park is NYC’s ultimate taco destination. If you’re willing to make the trek, you’re in for a treat at Tacos el Bronco, which somewhat famous in the NYC taco community (lol that’s a thing?). They have tacos both small and large tacos ($1.50 or $2.50, respectively) they also have a food truck by the cemetery nearby. Any order here is the right order.
4324 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Guadalajara del Dia 2
Just over the Bushwick border in Ridgewood sits this Mexican deli which is a local hang. The insanely long taco list includes excellent huevos tacos, and some of the best pollo asado and cecina in the city. Top off your snack with an abundance of their crazy fresh salsa verde.
566 Seneca Ave, Ridgewood, NY 11385
Alex Stupak is arguably NYC’s taco king, with a bevy of Empellón locations across the city. The best of the best of his tacos can be found in the West Village taqueria, but be prepared to pay a pretty penny for bougie creations like duck carnitas and lobster with sweet corn and epazote.
230 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014
The East Village’s best taco can be found at this bodega turned taqueria, which serves its creations on white corn tortillas. While it might not quite compete with the goods in Brooklyn and Queens, it’s the best Manhattanites will get without leaving the borough. The chorizo con papas is particularly good.
215 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009
Tacos at a deli… with a side of fries… it all sounds blasphemous, but Burger One is a true gift to the Upper East Side. The deli is run by a Mexican family who has included some authentic tacos on the lengthy list of deli classics (and very famous burger). Plus… tacos with a side of fries? Why didn’t we think of this sooner?
0307, 1150 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10075