La Esquina

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This cabbie pit stop turned taco destination has three distinct dining and drinking areas: A brightly lit street-level taqueria serves a short-order menu of tacos and tortas; a more intimate 30-seat café is flanked by book- and record-lined shelves. The third and most spectacular is the dungeonesque restaurant and lounge, accessible through the taqueria (to enter you have to confirm that you have a reservation). It’s worth the hassle: A world of sipping tequilas, tiled mosaics and refined Mexican (huitlacoche quesadillas, blue-crab tostadas) awaits.
Venue name: La Esquina
Address: 114 Kenmare St
New York

Cross street: at Lafayette St
Opening hours: Taqueria Mon–Fri 8am–5am; Sat, Sun noon–5am. Café daily noon–midnight. Restaurant daily 6pm–midnight
Transport: Subway: 6 to Spring St
Price: Average main course: $21. AmEx, MC, V
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