Photo: foodwtf/TikTok

5 Must-Eat Mexican Dishes in New York City

New York City Restaurants + Bars
by Matador Creators Mar 21, 2023

If you saw Hollywood “it guy” Pedro Pascal’s recent Hot Ones interview, you probably remember when the Chilean actor sheepishly claimed that “there’s no good Mexican food in New York.” Content creator Righteous Eats had something to say about that.

According to the Righteous Eats Youtube channel, the creator’s mission is to “champion diversity by highlighting immigrant-owned, minority-owned, and BIPOC-owned eateries in NYC and around the world.” To prove Pascal wrong, the creator behind Righteous Eats posted a TikTok video outlining five Mexican eateries in the Big Apple that he claims can rival the Mexican food found on the West Coast.

This is where to find the best Mexican food in New York City, according to food creator Righteous Eats.

@foodwtf Here are 5 must-try Mexican dishes at some of the best eateries in📍#NYC 🌮 Which ones are you excited to bite into first? 🎥@righteouseats #nycmexicanfood #bestmexicanfoodnyc #mexicancuisine #nycfoodie ♬ Mother – Meghan Trainor

Tacos el Bronco

Tacos el Bronco is a casual Mexican restaurant located near Sunset Park in Brooklyn. For more than a decade, the taco spot has been serving some of the most delicious and affordable tacos in New York City, especially the al pastor tacos. (Al pastor refers to a type of pork from central Mexico that’s marinated in a variety of spices and chilies, slowly cooked over an open flame or grill, and usually served taco form along with onions and cilantro.) According to Righteous Eats, you’ll be convinced of how good the tacos here are as soon as you see the carving of the trompo, a giant cone of spit-grilled meat similar to what you might see at a kebab shop that’s named after a Mexican wooden top toy.

Where: 4324 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11232


According to Righteous Eats, Evelia in Queens might as well be called the tamale queen. The eponymous owner hails from Tlaxcala in central Mexico, the smallest state in Mexico, and serves deliciously authentic tamales, a traditional Mexican dish made of stuffed masa dough that’s typically steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf. There’s a reason, Righteous Eats says, that he brought Bronx-born Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez to eat there (and as far as we can tell, she readily gave Evelia’s tamales her stamp of approval). You can also stock up on frozen tamales from Evelia’s to warm you up on a rainy day.

Where: 96-09 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11368

Chalupas Poblanas el Tlecuile

Chalupas Poblanas el Tlecuile is a food stand in Queens that slings chalupas so good there’s no competition from the Chipotle located across the sidewalk. The chalpuas are made by a vendor named Cleotilde who’s a veritable master of her craft. (A chalupa is a Mexican dish consisting of a deep-fried, flat tortilla, filled with seasoned meat, lettuce, cheese and tomatoes. It is usually topped off with salsa or sour cream and served with guacamole and refried beans.) Keep this one in mind if you’re looking for a quick bite in Queens.

Where: 37-47 Junction Blvd, Queens, NY 11368


Newyorktitlan is a Mexican restaurant in Bushwick, Brooklyn, that Righteous Eats nominates as one of the best purveyors of chilaquiles in New York City. (Chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican dish that consists of lightly fried corn tortillas cut into small strips and cooked in red or green sauce. The dish is usually served for breakfast with eggs, cheese, and cream.) The chilaquiles at Newyorktitlan are stewed in a rich red salsa, or salsa roja, that comes from a recipe that resident chef Jose learned from his mother.

Where: 1525 Gates Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237


You can’t talk about authentic Mexican food without mentioning mole, an umbrella term for a group of sauces that originated in Mexico’s Oaxaca and Puebla regions. At Ollin in East Harlem, you can get a taste of some excellent mole poblano, a rich and flavorful sauce made from a variety of dried chiles, spices, herbs, fruit, nuts and chocolate, that originated with a grandmother from Puebla, a couple of hours outside of Mexico City. The mole poblano is slathered over a variety of dishes, including chicken drumsticks and chicken enchiladas, and it’s a must-eat if you’re looking for Mexican food in New York City.

Where: 339 E 108th St, New York, NY 10029

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