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The 25 best tacos in NYC

From tried-and-true al pastor to an off-the-menu, deep-fried creation, tuck into the city's best tacos

Photograph: Courtesy Sasithon Pooviriyakul

New York claims to be the best at a wide variety of foods, from bagels to sushi, and Mexican is certainly no exception. Distance notwithstanding, any Gothamite will boast that the city's Mexican restaurants rival those of traditional strongholds like California and Texas. From the pocket-friendly street-style to fine-dining tasting menus, these are the best tacos in NYC.

Best tacos in NYC, ranked


Fish taco at Pinche Taqueria

This spin-off of a Tijuana, Mexico, taqueria channels the Baja original with fresh fish tacos. Golden fried fingers of beer-battered mahi-mahi line a single tortilla and are dressed with crunchy shreds of green cabbage, onions and an herbaceous streak of cilantro mayo.

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Beef taquito at Taquitoria

Rolled tacos are the focus of this graffiti-tagged snack shack. The twice-fried cigars give way to succulent meat fillings: The top-notch beef variety—a moist blend of Creekstone Farms eye of round and short rib—finds delicious foils in salty cotija and chili-garlic sauce.

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Lower East Side

Camarón tacos at Pampano Tacqueria

The tacos at Richard Sandoval's lunch-only outpost of upscale Mexican cantina Pampano may cost a buck more than street-cart varieties, but the killer camarón—sweet and succulent adobo-sautéed shrimp in a supple flour taco—and indoor seating options justify the extra green.

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Midtown East

Taco Arabes at Ricos Tacos

Named for its Arabic origins, this Lebanese-Mexican roll-up combines spiced spit-roasted pork with sweet strings of caramelized onion in a pita-like, flour-based flatbread.


Carne Asada tacos at Taco el Gallo Giro

Miguel Gallardo, 23, dishes out some of the city's best carne asada specimens from this cart, 12 hours a day (6pm to 6am). He deftly chops well-seasoned beef, piles on homemade salsa and toppings (onions! cilantro! guacamole!) and wraps the whole thing into a perfectly portable tortilla cone.

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Chorizo taco at la Tortillería Mexicana Los Hermanos

The chorizo at this Bushwick tortilla factory is some of the city's best; ground bits of sausage are sautéed with a few pieces of potato, coating the spuds with cinnamon, chili and pork fat. The spicy mess is deposited on top of two freshly made tortillas, along with cilantro and a squirt of crema.

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Suadero taco at Tacos Morelos

Late-snacking hipsters can offset whiskey binges at these Williamsburg and East Village trucks, which are satellite operations of a Jackson Heights taqueria. The suadero is cheap and satisfying: Chewy, steamed slices of brisket are pepped up with a mix of onion, cilantro and guacamole.


Birria de res taco at Taqueria Coatzingo

At this top-notch taqueria, beef simmers with dried guajillo peppers and avocado leaf for three hours, until the meat is tender and infused with aromatics. The saucy, spicy stew is finished with a sprinkling of cilantro, onion and guacamole on a double layer of corn tortillas, which can barely contain the filling's savory juices.

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Barbacoa taco at El Aguila

This outpost of a New Jersey tortilleria slow-cooks its incendiary goat special in huge pots, then heaps the tender meat generously onto supremely fresh tortillas. The gratis-condiment station offers vats of lively salsas and other toppings.

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East Harlem

Al pastor tacos at Rosie's

Inspired by travel and festive meals taken in the family homes, Marc Meyer showcases traditional dishes, from appetizing antojitos made at an in-house comal bar to Veracruz-style whole roasted fish. Tacos, folded using a single house corn tortilla, include barbacoa braised lamb, battered fish and the al pastor—succulent spit-roasted marinated pork with pineapple.

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East Village
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Marc B
Marc B

Cantina in Harlem 111/7th Ave has the BEST tacos in NYC. And during Happy Hour they are only $2 each! 

Gordon S
Gordon S

 Tehutizingo on Hell's kitchen? Taqueria at LES? Much better than many of these overly hipster and hyped outfits.


Tacos El Bronco truck in Sunset Park has THE best tacos in NYC, hands down.

Corey S
Corey S

@Katie They have a truck on White Plains in the Bronx, too. They are great and they deliver. But the Bronx never gets any love on these lists.