Get us in your inbox

Search
La Barca Cantina
Photograph: Courtesy La Barca Cantina

NYC's only floating Mexican restaurant is now open on the Hudson River

La Barca Cantina takes short cruises multiple times per day, five days a week.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver
Advertising

Refreshing agave-based spirits and tasty tacos are now being served onboard a three-story boat in the Hudson River.

On Thursday, La Barca Cantina, the only Mexican restaurant on a boat in NYC, reopened to the public with a summer street food-inspired menu that'll get the party started for you and your friends.

RECOMMENDED: These are NYC's newest rooftop restaurants and bars

Based at Pier 81, next to its sister-restaurant North River Lobster Company, La Barca spans three levels with an expansive outdoor top deck with a bar and table seating, a bi-level interior space with two bars, table seating and booth-like tables—perfect for large groups.

Even better, it takes short cruises multiple times per day, five days a week, offering up sweeping views of the NYC skyline. (It's a must to reserve a table for cocktails at sunset.)

This year, commissioned artwork by renowned artist Tlisza Jaurique decorates the floating restaurant. Jaurique was the first woman of Mexican-American descent to exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and has had multiple exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

“Mexico is one of the most exciting culinary destinations in the world with a rich and complex food culture and history,” said Craig Kanarick, the CEO if New York Cruise Lines. "Having spent the last three years learning everything I possibly can about agave-based spirits, including mezcal and tequila, it’s a thrill to cast a spotlight on a beverage category that is just as diverse and terroir-driven, yet not as well-known, as wine. We are so excited to bring this culture to life this summer on the Hudson River.” 

La Barca Cantina
Photograph: Courtesy La Barca Cantina

On that note, the cocktail menu by Kanarick and Roman Tartakovsky, the beverage director for New York Cruise Lines, features agave-based spirits, such as mezcal, tequila, sotol and racilla, with a diverse bottle list and flights for sampling. Other cocktails include "The Drunken Rabbit" (Oaxacan rum with passion fruit), a "Bandera" (three parts, each served in its own shot glass—one with tequila, one with lime juice, and another with a spicy tomato juice called sangrita, a classic margarita, served on the rocks or frozen, a Paloma and a mezcal mule. Most of these can be served in large format to be shared among couples or groups.

We'd recommend not drinking on an empty stomach, so order from the menu items like tacos (chicken, shrimp and al pastor), Tony’s Campechano (beef, pork and roasted scallions) or the Fiesta Platter (giant boat filled with finger-food dishes—whole Mexican fried chicken, onion rings, jalapeño poppers and corn chips with a variety of salsas). Of course, there are also classics like guacamole with fresh corn chips, a chicken quesadilla and queso fundido alongside. There's a new offering for vegetarian diets—vegetarian nachos, which is a mountain of tortilla chips, melted cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream, and guacamole made with a plant-based meat alternative. 

La Barca Cantina
Photograph: Courtesy La Barca Cantina

La Barca Cantina, located at Pier 81 at 41st Street and 12th Avenue is now open five days a week, Wednesday through Sunday. It sets sail Wednesday and Thursday between 5 and 10pm; Friday from 3-10pm; and Saturday and Sunday from 1-10pm. You can get a boarding pass for $10 online or in-person at the box office at Pier 81. 

Popular on Time Out

    More on Love Local

      Latest news

        Advertising