Tacos Are The New Pizza. Here’s Where To Eat Them In NYC

Move over pizza, there’s a new junk food item that everybody is obsessed over. These NYC spots prove that you don’t need to go south of the border to get delicious tacos.

It’s unclear when pizza became everybody and their mother’s favorite thing, but all at once it seemed like social media channels were flooded with selfies of girls in lingerie with pizza, pizza logos on crop tops, pizza themed blankets, pizza memes, and any other pizza-themed thing you could ever want. Instagram accounts popped up that were specifically dedicated to pizza, or even subgenres such as @h0tgirlseatingpizza or @pizzaproposals.

But like any trend, pizza got oversaturated and overdone. People got –dare we say– sick of pizza. Sure, they still probably couldn’t resist the dough, cheese, and tomato sauce combination; but it was much less trendy to hit up a neighborhood pizza spot in a pizza-embroidered bomber jacket than it used to be. Instead of thinking that someone who tweeted about craving pizza on a Sunday morning was “relatable,” we thought they were kind of annoying.

Besides, we all wondered, how many of those hot girls actually ate that pizza?

Suddenly, the hot girls on Instagram and your favorite meme account were no longer obsessing over pizza. Perhaps it was a reaction against Trump’s hate towards Mexicans, but suddenly, everybody was into tacos.

Just like pizza, tacos are cheap. They’re also a food that Americans have adopted, made less healthy, and packaged into their own “thing” complete with ridiculous cultural stereotypes that make restaurants look like Disney’s Epcot.

Fish tacos, Cabrito by Garrett Ziegler (Flick Creative Commons)

Fish tacos, Cabrito by Garrett Ziegler (Flick Creative Commons)

And just like pizza, tacos have become more than just a favorite late night food. Suddenly, a sexy taco costume was the most pinned Halloween outfit on Pinterest. Taco memes began springing up out of nowhere. Borgore released a song called “I Love Tacos” in ode to everyone’s new favorite food. Suddenly it was “cool” to list Taco Bell as your guilty pleasure, whereas five years ago you’d probably be shunned for admitting your affinity for the fast food chain’s enchiladas. Tuesdays were no longer just Tuesdays, they were Taco Tuesdays.

But even if Taco Bell is suddenly semi-trendy (they even recently partnered with Airbnb to create a Taco Bell slumber party contest), that doesn’t mean that it’s the best place to grab tacos, especially in NYC. Sure, all your west coast friends will claim that NYC can never measure up to Cali tacos, but we beg to differ.

In fact, even before the taco apocalypse, New York City had plenty of great taco spots. And you don’t need to be a #hotpersoneatingtacos or be wearing a taco t-shirt to enjoy the crunchy, spicy, and delicious delicacies at these places.

Tacombi Nolita

267 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012

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Cafe el Presidente

30 W 24th St, New York, NY 10010

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Tacombi Bleecker Street

255 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

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Tortilla Flats

Tortilla Flats, 767 Washington St, New York, NY, États-Unis

La Esquina

La Esquina, 114 Kenmare St, New York, NY, États-Unis

Toloache

Toloache, 251 W 50th St, New York, NY, États-Unis

Los Tacos No. 1

Los Tacos No.1, 75 9th Ave, New York, NY, États-Unis

Taqueria Izucar

Taqueria Izucar, 1503 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY, État de New York, États-Unis

Taco Mix

Taco Mix, East 116th Street, New York, État de New York, États-Unis

Toloache

Toloache, Thompson Street, New York, État de New York, États-Unis

Toloache

Toloache, East 82nd Street, New York, État de New York, États-Unis

For The Party Animal: Tortilla Flats

 

 

Sometimes, you need a dive-bar type atmosphere to really enjoy your taco… and maybe eight margaritas while you’re at it. The West Village’s Tortilla Flats is your spot. The laid back party atmosphere will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time to your college spring break in Cancun, and unlike most spots in NYC, Tortilla Flats will not break your bank. Plus, if you’re sick of Tinder, you may actually be able to find a suitable date at this taco spot, as they host tons of fun activities throughout the week, from hula hoop contests to bingo night.

For The Bougie Peeps: La Esquina

 

 

If you want to feel like an elite taco connoisseur, look no further than La Esquina, SoHo’s speakeasy style Mexican restaurant. Sure, it’s expensive for tacos, and the portions are notoriously small for the price, but La Esquina is one of those places that you visit for the experience, not the $12 tacos that are ridiculously tiny. If you’re hungry afterwards, you could always head upstairs for the “less elite” restaurant where they serve larger portions for better prices.

For The Theater Goers: Toloache

 

 

It’s super easy to get caught up in tourist traps in the city, where you end up eating stuff that is overhyped and overpriced (looking at you, Black Tap milkshakes), specifically in the theater district (or Times Square area, to the tourist). Toloache is one of few places that is actually legit. While slightly tacky looking from the outside, the inside warmly welcomes guests with three kinds of guacamole, cold beers, and of course–tacos. Do you want to play it safe and go for pork and pineapple? Or take a walk on the wild side with dried grasshopper or veal cheeks? While Toloache also has a list of entrees, the tacos and the tequila are what you should stick to. Besides, grasshopper tacos will definitely get you more Instagram likes than a plain old plate of fajitas, right?

For Hitting Two Birds With One Stone: Los Tacos No. 1

 

Los Tacos No. 1 is the perfect place to go if you want to get in on the taco trend without committing to solely tacos. Chelsea Market is a sight that everybody should see (and taste), and if you can get a taco while you’re at it, even better. Feel free to drag along your friends who aren’t quite as obsessed with tacos, because they can get all sorts of other foods too, including pizza–of course.

For The Real Deal: Taqueria Izucar

 

Une photo publiée par seif (@lifeofseif) le

Une photo publiée par Mac (@soloamericano) le

Located in Brooklyn’s “up and coming” neighborhood, Taqueria Izucar is the Bushwick taco joint that sells your favorite Mexican treats by the dozen. It’s not fancy, and you probably don’t want to take your Tinder date there (at least not on a first date), but it’s cheap, authentic, and delicious. Yes, they’re tiny, but they’re also around $2 each. And if you ask your Mexican friends how big tacos are in Mexico, they’ll let you know that they’re just as small. In fact, small tacos likely mean you’re not getting the Americanized version, which is usually a good thing.

For The Lover Of Street Food: Taco Mix

 

Une photo publiée par tepetl57 (@tepetl57) le

Une photo publiée par tepetl57 (@tepetl57) le

 

Sometimes there are just too many sights to see that you can’t stop and eat, and that’s totally cool. Taco Mix in East Harlem has got your back. It’s super authentic, has no frills, and considering there is only one long table in the entire place, it seems like they intend for you to eat your tacos (we recommend the al pastor or the pig ear) while you’re walking through the city. As an added bonus, it’s open nearly 24 hours of the day, so it’s the perfect place to take your drunk munchies.

For The Obsessive Instagrammer: Tacombi

 

Une photo publiée par Posie Harwood (@posiehh) le

 

Sometimes, it’s not about the food, but about the atmosphere. While Tacombi definitely impresses in the taco department, specifically with their breakfast tacos and crispy fish tacos, their restaurant décor is another interest point on its own. Their Nolita location includes a full-sized van within the restaurant, and their Flatiron location boasts a cutesy pop-art style bar that any social media star would want a picture in front of. It’s slightly pricy, but you could always just do it for the ‘gram, right?

Photo courtesy of Jessica Fiess-Hill (Flickr Creative Commons)

Ashley Uzer is a NYC-based writer and artist with small hands and a big appetite. She dares you to find a food she won't try.
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