New York is packed to the gills with the best tacos from food trucks and torta counters, but you can make your own with the help of a Mexican grocery store. Put down Seamless and pick up a knife, creating tasty quesadillas and soupy pozoles to serve yourself instead of heading to Mexican restaurants. With these Mexican grocery stores’ dried beans, queso fresco and Mexican oregano, you’ll be able to whip up a tasty south-of-the-border meal in no time.
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Find a Mexican grocery store
This enormous Woodside supermarket stocks all the spices, dry goods, meats and fresh produce you’ll need to not only create Mexican meals but meals from all over South America. The store caters to the neighborhood’s incredibly diverse population, boasting hard-to-find ingredients from Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and more. Look for lucuma puree, the liquefied version of the much-loved honeyed Peruvian fruit that’s commonly used in desserts and shakes.
This South Slope favorite is beloved by locals for its excellent prepared food counter, serving fresh and authentic burritos, tamales, tacos and more, but for aspiring Mexican chefs, there are plenty of excellent groceries to be found on the deli’s shelves. Look for dried herbs (oregano, bay) and chilies (guajillo, ancho), as well as refrigerated queso fresco and queso Oaxaqueno and plenty of tortillas to make your own tacos.
At the back of this Bed-Stuy deli, there’s a small restaurant serving excellent tortas, cemitas, tacos and more—definitely a must-stop if you’re in the area and feeling peckish. If you’re in the mood to shop, though, you’ll have luck here too: There’s a modest produce section offering fresh jalapeños and tomatillos as well as an enviable snack section with favorite packaged goods like Takis (rolled corn chips akin to Bugles) and lime-chipotle Barcel potato chips.
This Hell’s Kitchen deli also serves up quality Mexican grub including enchiladas, flautas and perfectly prepared rice and beans. To recreate some of these items at home, browse Tehuitzingo’s shelves for cans of chipotles en adobo, pickled jalapeños, dried beans and hominy, crema and more, all at prices that are lower than the neighborhood average.
For years, Alphabet City has been home to a substantial population of Latin American immigrants, and many of them do their grocery shopping at this well-stocked Mexican bodega. A plethora of hot sauces lines the deli’s shelves, including Guadalajaran-style Tapatio; also look for dried herbs and chiles and brightly colored Mexican sodas from Boing! and Jarritos. If your hunger is more imminent, check out Zaragoza’s prepared food counter, serving up overstuffed burritos, tacos and tamales.
This little grocery store servicing Spanish Harlem doesn’t look like much from the outside, but inside it boasts a remarkable array of Mexican products. The produce section is well stocked with fresh herbs including cilantro and its cousin culantro, plus all the tomatillos you’ll need to make salsa verde. If you don’t want to make your own, the store stocks its own homemade version along with freshly prepared guacamole.
For fans of the incomparable Mexican cuisine that hails from the southwest region of Oaxaca, this Corona deli is a must-visit. Its small kitchen prepares excellent tlayudas, paper-thin, pizza-style tortillas topped with black bean puree and melty Oaxacan cheese, as well as empanadas, homemade tortillas stuffed with chicken and yellow chile salsa. To prepare some of these specialties at home, pick up some of the tortillas and dried chilies to go.