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La Esquina

Restaurants, Mexican Nolita
4 out of 5 stars
(7user reviews)
Cinzia Reale-Castello
Cinzia Reale-Castello laesquina1

Time Out says

This Mexican-style brasserie is hidden underground, part of a greater complex that includes a more casual street-level taqueria and a takeout window. Both are housed behind a huge, retro facade occupying coveted downtown real estate space, where Soho turns into Nolita on the south side of charming Petrosino Square.

Once you find it and enter the buzzing dining room, you’ll be directed through the kitchen and around the corner into a dim wrought iron dungeon, complete with a full bar and lounge space. Just getting to your table is an experience—ambience is one of the things La Esquina does best. 

Certain dishes stand out because of their adventurous twists, like the Chile Relleno, a ground beef–stuffed roasted poblano pepper with pears, raisins, almonds, pomegranate seeds and a memorable walnut sauce ($18).

Other must-orders are the Queso Fundido ($12) and the cooked-to-perfection pork shoulder with jalapeño and hominy grits, rubbed in adobo ($24). Tequila and mezcal enthusiasts will be pleased to find an impressive menu divided into highlands and lowlands, rather than a standard list of margarita specials.

The restaurant isn't out to reinvent the wheel, but what it does, it does right, and with its signature dishes—and non-fussy yet attentive service—it sets itself apart from a million other pricey Mexican joints. 




Address: 114 Kenmare St
New York
Cross street: at Lafayette St
Transport: Subway: 6 to Spring St
Price: Average main course: $21. AmEx, MC, V
Opening hours: Taqueria Mon–Fri 8am–5am; Sat, Sun noon–5am. Café daily noon–midnight. Restaurant daily 6pm–2am
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Users say (7)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

Even sitting in the construction on the corner the service and atmosphere was fun! I'm not a fan of enchiladas usually, but the chicken was so good we ordered 2 orders! As was the salsa verde. The margaritas were not as good as I hoped but overall si si si si so! Quite authentic.


La Esquina means “the corner” in Spanish. So, this upscale diner style Mexican joint is super hip and of course, located on a corner. If you are looking for a quick snack or take out order the upstairs dining area is great. Want a more elegant dining experience? Then head downstairs to the brasserie which may be a bit tricky to find for newbies. La Esquina offers Mexican type street food like tacos, quesadillas and tortas. Wash is down with a margarita or refreshing corona. Don’t forget to order the freshly made guacamole and chips and delicious Mexican street corn.


Easily one of my favorite restaurants in SoHo. When I worked downtown, it was close enough to walk to from Broadway to work up an appetite and quick enough to either eat there for a break from the office or to simply take back to the office if it was too crowded. Not only do they have a delicious selection of street-style food options, but if you're a fan of a nicely hidden speakeasy, book yourself a spot downstairs. Though you typically have to have a reservation, it is possible to walk in if it's late enough or a week night. Food-wise, I love the fish tacos as well as their barbacoa (aka braised lamb) which are smothered in adobo, oaxaco pasilla salsa. I also love a good side of rice and beans (the rice is so nice and fluffy with some corn mixed in!) and the fried plantains are perfect to split if you have a bit of a craving for sweet and savory. In addition to the food, I also love getting the horchata. It's totally refreshing on a hot summer day and if you need a bolt of caffeine, I sometimes get the horchata to-go and then toss in some espresso at a nearby coffee shop.

Definitely one of my favorite spots! If you're looking for a quick bite I recommend the walk up window or the sit in cafe around the corner. If you are in the mood for a nice sit down meal make a reservation in the lower restaurant below the cafe. You'll need to make a reservation WELL in advance, unless you know someone. 

There is nothing on the menu that I wouldn't recommend. Their offerings are vast and no matter if it's the walk up window or sit down restaurant you are guaranteed excellent service and a delicious meal.

GF people, you're all set here. Almost everything can be ordered or made gf. I've never had an issue here.

One of my favorite taco spots in NY. I can go here every single day and never get tired of it. Service is incredibly fast and it's affordable! If you go DEFINITELY make sure you try the corn. Honestly the best corn you probably will ever have! 

Staff Writer

Great little spot for dinner with a difference. You’ll need a reservation so that you can be directed through a ‘secret door’ by the doorman and down into the bowels of the building. The subterranean bar is cracking and the food is terrific. Recommend getting a bunch of share plates for the range of flavors. Only complaint: it gets packed later in the evening and the tables are seriously squeezed alongside each other. Cosy fun unless you were planning to have a serious chat (which you’ll be sharing with strangers after 9pm).

This taqueria is misleading from the outside with a divey look and takeout menu posted on the first floor. Reservations are hard to get but worth the wait. Once inside, you head downstairs to a great vibe, eclectic decor and fast paced service. Not many frills but the food is all good. We tried tacos, ceviche, queso, tortas, tortilla soup, quesadillas and the poblano crema side. Lots of flavor and recent priced wine selections. I would go back and bring out of town guests or a date.