Best Mexican Restaurants in Manhattan

Tonight, Mexicans around the world would be celebrating one of the greatest moments in Mexico’s history: our Independence Day, an uprising occurred on September 16th, 1810. That’s right, not on Cinco de Mayo… sorry, American amigos. 

Mexico’s Independence Day is a celebration that usually starts the night before to honor “El Grito de Dolores”, the first independence cry made by the priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla.

Besides Mexico’s Independence Day, September carries another big celebration for Latinxs and Hispanics in the United States: the beginning of the National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th to October 15th.

Hispanic Heritage Month honors the culture and contributions of all Hispanics and Latinxs, as well as all the cultural roots from Latin American countries that we can find in the United States.

This celebration started in 1968 as a one-week holiday, and it expanded to a month in 1988. It coincides with national independence days in several Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Also, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively, according to hispanicheritagemonth.gov  

I love sharing my Mexican culture with people from other countries, and this month is going to be filled with Latinxs vibes all over; so, the first thing I want to share with you is my favorite Mexican restaurants in Manhattan. Are you ready?

Los Tacos No. 1

Los Tacos No. 1 has the best carne asada tacos EVER! Seriously. The first time I tried it, I felt like those Sunday afternoons in my beautiful northern hometown at a quinta with my friends. If this doesn’t tell you how delicious their food is, I don’t know what will. 

Even though they also have chicken, pastor, and nopal tacos, I always order carne asada because #norteña. So, make sure to eat at Los Tacos No. 1 if you ever come to Manhattan.

La Contenta

If you are looking for amazing traditional food and creative drinks, this is your place. La Contenta has gained popularity among New Yorkers not only because of their tasty and well-prepared dishes, but because of their signature drink: pulque!

Pulque is an ancestral Mexican drink that was consumed by the Aztecs, and now we have it in New York! To be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of pulque, but La Contenta’s pulque de guayaba is out of this world! 

La Esquina 

La Esquina is my go-to restaurant when I don’t feel like cooking, but want something that reminds me of home. Every time I go there, I order the same thing because I actually love it: quesadilla de camarón and tortilla soup. 

La Esquina also has bowls, a wide variety of tacos, tortas, and margaritas! But, just listen to this Mexican girl and give it a try, at least, to the tortilla soup. You won’t regret it. Spoiler alert: it’s kind of spicy.

Los Mariscos

If you want to feel like you’re in Cancún, you have to try Los Mariscos! Owned by Los Tacos No 1. (or vice versa, I’m not really sure), Los Mariscos offers mouthwatering seafood, prepared just like in Mexico’s coasts. 

Whether you’re craving a spicy ceviche, tasty tacos de camarón, or a life-saver coctél de camarón, Los Mariscos has everything to make you feel like on vacation mode. And If you go to Chelsea Market, you can find these two Mexican restaurants next to one another! So basically you can have one carne asada taco and then one spicy ceviche with a michelada… are you craving it now? I am.

Cantina Rooftop

La Cantina Rooftop is the perfect Mexican restaurant to have a boozy brunch or a girl’s night out while enjoying a beautiful skyline view. 

Their authentic menu offers a variety of drinks, appetizers, and main courses perfect for all kind of fiestas and happy hour afternoons. Oh! and prepare yourself to dance like crazy!

La Newyorkina

La Newyorkina specializes in treats and traditional Mexican desserts. Here you can find the best Mexican hot chocolate, delicious ice cream paletas, and assorted Mexican pastries.

I can’t choose only one item of La Newyorkina to describe their amazing flavor, but what I can do is to thank them for making the best pan de muerto in the city!

After trying some disappointing pan de muerto from other places during my first years in New York, I finally found La Newyorkina in 2018. If it weren’t for them, I’d be crying every Día de Muertos for not having this traditional (and my favorite) bread to honor my ancestors. 

Have you tried any of these Mexican restaurants? If you have, you know what I’m talking about. If not, add them to your list and thank me later. ¡Provecho!

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