Robert Sietsema's Favorite East Village Mexican Restaurants

Robert Sietsema's Favorite East Village Mexican Restaurants

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The East Village has developed an admirable portfolio of at least two dozen South-of-the-Border bites.

7 Places
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    A honky-tonk bar in the East Village tenderloin conjoined to a Tex-Mex taqueria, what could go wrong? This historic mini-chain, with three other branches downtown, was the originator of the taco loco.
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    The refreshingly short menu of this wildly popular spot presents an authentic take on California-Mexican food, including burritos, tacos, and quesadillas with a choice of four fillings, of which the carne asada (grilled steak) is superb.
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    This miniature maze remains a grocery store, with a taco stand in front and some rickety seating in the rear. Check the chalkboard for daily specials, which recently included a nice tuck-in of albondigas, each with a boiled egg at its center.
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    Meaning “Thatched Hut,” La Palapa is one of the neighborhood’s oldest Mexican restaurants. The menu concentrates on regional fare from the cochinita pibil of the Gulf, to Oaxaca’s mole negro, to West Coast seafood presentations.
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    This thumb-size taqueria offers a perspective on Mexican food from the state of Guerrero, including a landmark green pozole tough to find anywhere else in the city.
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    Chef Alex Stupak, in his second Mexican outing, embroiders traditional dishes with mind-bending new ingredients, sending such recipes as queso fundido, ceviche, and guacamole.
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    Morphing from an Italian bakery to a Mexican bakery and finally to a taqueria, this venerable bare-bones institution produces some of the most wallet-friendly eats in the EV. My favorite is the chicken enchiladas with the chile guajillio sauce.
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