written by
Alex Velazquez

10 Mexican Restaurants NYC Locals Talk About

food travel nyc 6 min read

Mexican Restaurants in Downtown NYC

Who doesn’t know about the best NYC pizza, but what about the best Mexican food?! Burritos, tacos and margaritas are enjoyed by all kinds and New Yorkers and those visiting The Big City are no exception. With so many food choices and eateries to choose from, picking just one seems impossible. But, when you’re craving Mexican food, New York City definitely has several restaurants to choose from, some are even kid-friendly restaurants in NYC that locals rave about. Grab a pen and get ready to take notes about what Mexican restaurants you should visit while in NYC.

Mexican Restaurants with Outdoor Seating

Many diners like to switch things up by letting you dine in the fresh air outdoors. Having lunch – especially at restaurants with outdoor seating – helps you to relax, get out of the work mode, and just breathe in the fresh air. So, where are the best Mexican restaurants with outdoor seating in NYC? Let’s get into it.

1 | Taco Bell | This is the most popular Mexican restaurant in the whole of America, and even people residing outside of America have heard of it. With over 200 Taco Bell restaurants in NYC, you are almost certain to find one close enough to your location within the city. They are known to be very innovative and affordable too. So, if you’re looking for a Mexican restaurant that will give you a fresh flavor to savor, Taco Bell is the one for you.

2 | El Parador Café | This is the oldest Mexican restaurant in NYC and has gained recognition all over the city for making the best Margaritas ever. It is the perfect spot for having laid-back Mexican meals with friends and family, as its cozy decor makes it feel like home. They also have an outdoor patio with takeout and delivery options available to customers. If you’re a sucker for culture, or you are looking for a Mexican restaurant in NYC to dine with those closest to you, El Parador Cafe is the place to share your next meal.

3 | Añejo | Añejo is located in Tribeca, New York. Like every other Mexican restaurant on this list, it has beautiful outdoor seating. With options to make a reservation, takeout, or delivery request, Añejo offers you the luxury of choosing where to eat their mouth-watering meals. Añejo promises to give you the wonderful experience of their cocktails, agave spirits, and food whenever you decide to visit.

4 | YUCO | This restaurant which is new to the scene has already become a popular place to New York locals – so they must be doing something right! They were even awarded the 6th best new restaurant in NYC by Timeout Magazine just 5 months after opening. Known for its excellent beverage program and Yucatán-inspired cuisine, the YUCO restaurant is a Mexican restaurant that gives off an elegant vibe due to its minimal decor. The price of meals at YUCO is somewhat on the high side, so this is certainly a great place to visit if you are looking to go all out with your restaurant dining. With a bar seating for 32 guests and a dining room for 30, it’s best to book your table at least a day before you plan to visit.

5 | El Centro | Popular with many New York City locals for their cheap meals and amazing mahi-mahi tacos, steak chilaquiles, and shrimp quesadillas, this restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating is located right in the heart of NYC. The interior of this Mexican restaurant gives off a funky vibe with its lovely murals and the many metallic figurines adorning the walls. If you are looking for a fun place to brunch with family and friends, look no further – El Centro will satisfy your cravings.

6 | La Contenta | With a brightly decorated 10-seater wooden bar and a 14-seater dining room, this restaurant is almost always packed, giving patrons a cozy dining experience. La Contenta is owned by Chef Mota, the opening Chef-Owner of another popular Mexican restaurant in NYC called Ofrenda. With a bar very well known for its tequila alongside its cultural decor, this restaurant endears you toward the warmth and their celebration of the Day of the Dead which is known as Día de los Muertos.

7 | Ofrenda | Like La Contenta, this restaurant showcases its Mexican roots using the Day of the Dead-themed decoration for its altar. Being inside this restaurant completely sucks you into the world of Mexican culture, from its colorful decor to the handmade plates and tables. The altar is decorated with marigolds, candles and artwork. These candles are burnt to represent the time spent with people and the foods and beverages enjoyed together. A unique part of this Mexican restaurant is the daily Happy Hour from 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm where they sell beers, tacos, and some other meals at discounted prices.

8 | Bar Verde | Known for serving only plant-based cuisine, Bar Verde is a restaurant with a casual environment located in the heart of the East Village in NYC. With an outdoor patio and a 56-seater dining room, this Mexican restaurant makes really good food obsessed by both vegan and non-vegan customers alike. They also have an almost inexhaustible list of tequila and cocktails – after all, what’s a good Mexican restaurant without them? And don’t forget the tacos!

9 | Noche De Margaritas | This is a Mexican restaurant located in the Upper East of NYC with simple decor and a cozy, friendly ambiance. If you are looking for a Mexican restaurant with wonderful Margarita, then Noche De Margaritas is sure to make your taste buds swoon. Their meals are also very tasty and cheap so you don’t have to worry about breaking your budget.

10 | Vida Verde | This restaurant offers both the sound and the taste of Mexico. Its decoration and music make it easy for diners to simply get in a fun mood. Couple that with their great meals, and there you have it – the magic of Mexico. It has outdoor seating as well as a colorful rooftop bar where you can get 10 different flavors of Margarita to quench your thirst and set your tastebuds alight.

Final Thoughts

Mexican food is dearly loved by Americans for its rich flavor and healthy ingredients. It’s no wonder that there are almost 1000 Mexican restaurants in New York alone and about 65,000 in the whole of America. Beyond the 10 restaurants that made it onto this list, there are many more Mexican restaurants scattered all over NYC serving excellent Mexican food. Some of the Mexican restaurants in NYC that didn’t make it to the list include:

● Tacombi Flatiron

● Rosie’s

● Mexicue

● Ponche Taqueria & Cantina

● La Loteria

● Cantina Rooftop

Be sure to check them out too! Visit our Westgate Resorts Travel Blog for more food guides.

food travel nyc