Photo by Mayahuel
Address: 304 E. 6th St. (1st & 2nd Ave.)
Review: Though we have never sat down to enjoy a full meal, Mayahuel is worth the trip to the East Village for the cocktails alone. In the middle of the East Village, just off 2nd Ave., lies a mecca for fun and original tequila and mezcal cocktails. With a plethora of options to choose from it’s tough to go wrong. We have nibbled on snacks like spicy popcorn and chips and guac that were a nice treat to accompany our drinks. Those ordering full meals around us were waiving in sizzling plates of shrimp and succulent pork belly..looks like we are going to have to show up with the intention of sampling the fare and not just the libations! A dark and cozy bar with a couple side rooms lends itself to a great spot for a quiet conversation, though, like many of the cocktail establishments in the EV, there can be a wait (normally not TOO bad), but dont let it deter you from the chance to transport your palate to some place south of the boarder.
Photo by Rosa Mexicano
Address: 9 E. 18th St. (5th Ave. & Broadway)
*Locations also in Midtown East and UWS
Review: Rosa Mexicano is a large format chain Mexican restaurant with 3 locations in NYC – Union Square, Upper West Side and Midtown East. But even though it is a chain they have great, more upscale Mexican dishes with deliciously fresh ingredients. They have a large menu with tons of different options and lots of great tequila cocktails as well. You of course need to order the guac which is freshly made at your table, their ceviches are solid and the fundido (Mexican fondue type dish) is super cheesy and terrible for you but oh so good and a must order for the table to share. If you’re looking to have a fun dinner out with friends and/or family, this is a great choice. Though beware, at busier times the servers can get over whelmed, service can get pretty slow and one for got an app we ordered.
Photo by Pampano
Address: 209 East 49th St. (3rd & 2nd Ave.)
Review: Pampano is a high end Mexican seafood spot located in Midtown East. It’s not a far walk from Grand Central and it has really nice outdoor seating among the tall buildings in the area. You have 2 options here – you can eat off the tapas menu downstairs at the bar if your looking for some small bites, or eat off the full dinner menu upstairs (either indoors or out). Everything we tried was truly fantastic. The scallops were prepared perfectly, the braised pork shoulder was savory and delicious and the lobster tacos and red snapper quesadillas were super tasty appetizers. They also have good specialty cocktails, nice decor and quick, friendly service. So if you’re in the mood for some great Mexican food but want to keep it on the healthy side, this is a great spot to bring your date for a nice night out.
Photo by Agave
Address: 140 7th Ave. S. (10 St. & Charles St.)
Review: Agave has a great variety of delicious Mexican food. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu and with the hearty portion sizes you may want to share. They have solid drinks, especially for the tequila lovers and outdoor seating which is perfect for a spring/summer evening. Agave is a lively restaurant that gets packed out on weekends – it can be somewhat loud, but not terribly. This is a good spot to bring a date for some good Mexican food and tasty margaritas in the West Village.
Photo by Choza Taqueria
Address: 66 Madison Ave. (27th & 28th St.)
Review: Choza Taqueria is a hot spot for lunch given the area. We went for a quick, delicious dinner one night. They have GREAT authentic tacos, awesome grilled corn and yummy chips and guac. Unfortunately there’s no booze but they have Jarritos (Mexican soda) in a ton of different flavors. It’s a small place with a take-out look to it so it’s not for anything romantic but the solid food makes it worth a try whether you eat there, take it to go and sit in Madison Square Park or get it delivered to your apartment.
Photo by Dos Caminos
Address: 373 Park Ave S (26th & 27th St.)
*Locations also in Meatpacking, Soho and Midtown East
Review: Dos Caminos is a chain Mexican restaurant that puts out solid grub, though on the pricier side. The menu consists of a more upscale take on your standard Mexican dishes. You MUST try the delicious made fresh to order guac, queso fundido with chorizo, the trio tasting of ceviches and of course one of the fresh fruit tequila cocktails. We also split a couple of the taco options (carnitas and pollo were our favorites). When you’re in the mood for some delicious Mexican and refreshing margaritas in a trendy, intimate atmosphere, this is a great option. You’ll want to make a reservation because it’s usually packed most nights of the week.
Photo by Hecho en Dumbo
Address: 354 Bowery (Great Jones St. & E. 4th St.)
Review: Great place for solid upscale Mexican food. We walked in on a Friday night without reservations but didn’t have to wait too long, and the delicious margaritas at the bar while we were waiting didn’t hurt. We got seated at the chef’s table which was actually really fun and cool to watch them make your meal right in front of you. They have some great cocktails, especially for the tequila lovers like me. The food comes in good sized portions so we split the Tacos de Tuetano (bone marrow and waygu beef), Queso Fundido de Chorizo and the Carnitas Campechanas (tons of pork!) – all equally amazing! We unfortunately didn’t have any room for dessert but they all looked pretty delicious being prepared. The only downside is that the place can be a little cramped for room when busy and can get pretty loud, but Hecho en Dumbo is a great place for a date (as long as it’s not a first date) or a group dinner.