Mexican restaurants in New York City
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at these familia-friendly eateries
Fri Apr 15 2011
Photograph: Virginia Rollison
All restaurant information is correct as of press time. However, since hours, prices and other details are subject to change, it's wise to call ahead.
585 Forest Ave at Regan Ave, Staten Island (718-815-9200, theburritobar.com). Travel: From the Staten Island Ferry, take the S48 bus to Forest Ave at Pelton Ave. Average main course: $10. High chairs, booster seats. The theme here is "Peace, love and great Mexican food," and the decor screams fiesta—huge sombreros and chili peppers hang from the ceiling. Favorites include the Grazin' in the Grass veggie burrito and the Yellow Submarine shrimp quesadilla, both shareable—little ones can order a Tyrannosaurus Mex burger from the kids' menu. Sangria may be off-limits, but kids will lap up the frozen strawberry punch.
1538 Second Ave between 80th and 81st Sts (212-717-8226, nyctacos.com). Subway: 6 to 77th St. Average main course: $12. High chairs, booster seats. Order at the counter of this taqueria, grab a seat and feast on piquant Mexican dishes like crispy yellowfin tuna tacos. For brunch, try chilaquiles with sunny-side-up free-range eggs strewn with Amish chicken and cotija cheese. Tots may enjoy the queso fresco and epazote-leaf quesadilla almost as much as the colorful lucha libre (Mexican wrestling) decorations.
485 Columbus Ave between 83rd and 84th Sts (212-712-9090, cilantronyc.com). Subway: B, C to 81st St--Museum of Natural History. Average main course: $15. High chairs, booster seats. See website for other locations. After walking their crocs off at the nearby AMNH, hungry kids will be happy to sit still and fill up at this branch of the popular Tex-Mex chainlet. Appetizer orders of flautas (deep-fried shredded-pork enchiladas served with guac and pineapple salsa) and wild-mushroom quesadillas (stuffed with juicy Portobello, crimini and shiitake 'shrooms) are big enough for most little appetites, but the grilled skirt steak ($19) in chimichurri sauce, with Southwest fries and steamed vegetables, is a hit with bigger kids—and their parents.
111 W 17th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-691-4477, cremarestaurante.com). Subway: F, M, 1, 2, 3 to 14th St; L to Sixth Ave. Average main course: $22. High chairs. Among the many kid-friendly offerings at Julieta Ballesteros's upscale Mexican resto are quesadillas. Here they're grilled flour tortillas laced with Chihuahua cheese and accented with black beans, shrimp, grilled chicken breast or steak. Other options include a taco carne asada entre and sides like seasonal rice or granielote (corn kernels with cream). Tropical flavored lemonade (ooh, passion fruit), ice cream and sorbet round out the la carte offerings.
*2672 Broadway between 101st and 102nd Sts (212-864-2323, mamamexico.com). Subway: 1 to 103rd St. *214 E 49th St between Second and Third Aves (212-935-1316). Subway: 6 to 51st St--Lexington Ave. Average main course: $17. High chairs, booster seats. Kids adore this flamboyant piata of a place and you'll love that no one cares if your nios get noisy. Big-portioned classics like enchiladas and fajitas score high, as do the chile rellenos (two poblano peppers packed with juicy ground beef or cheese, served with lettuce, guacamole, rice and refried beans); it's easy to share and heavy on the queso. There is a children's menu offering hamburgers and chicken fingers, but the super-fresh guacamole prepared tableside ($13) will have even the pickiest eaters diving in for more.
Tehuitzingo Deli & Grocery
695 Tenth Ave between 47th and 48th Sts (212-397-5956). Subway: C, E to 50th St. Average taco: $2.50. You won't need Spanish skills to gobble down $2.50 carnitas (pork seasoned with garlic, thyme and oregano) and garlicky, lime-marinated beef tacos at this tiny, fast-paced Mexican bodega. The two-layer tacos are easy for little ones to handle, as are the sopes (thick cornmeal tortillas) topped with cheese, beans and whatever meat you fancy. Work your way to the back of the store to find a handful of stools to eat at or, if weather permits, enjoy your feast at the Hell's Kitchen Playground right across the street.
104-05 47th Ave at 104th St, Corona, Queens (718-699-2434, tortillerianixtamal.com). Subway: 7 to 103rd St--Corona Plaza Station. Average main course: $6. Cash only. The congenial, busy owners of this Mexican joint make their own fresh masa (corn dough) from grain soaked and ground on-site. This means tacos of spicy skate that's been tucked into ethereal corn blankets for you, and for the kids—if the timing is right (try late morning or early afternoon)—the spectacle of a bright-green machine spewing out tortillas. Once the show's over, grab a table and share a mound of guac and chips, delicate mole-bathed chicken enchiladas or fluffy, well-spiced tamales.