New Yorkers are forever locked in battle with West Coasters who claim our Mexican food doesn't hold up to snuff. And while we'll cede the taco throne to Southern Californians (our bagels and pizza are FAR superior, anyway), there are still spots in this city that'll do even the fiercest taco fan proud. Here are our favorites; we know you'll leave yours in the comments.

(Sam Horine/Gothamist)

TACO MIX: Indeed, we've raved about this Spanish Harlem taco joint time and time again. But the praise is worth its weight in gold, provided that gold takes the form of a perfect tortilla-cradled pile of meat, cheese and sauce. Your best bet here is the al pastor ($3) taco, comprised of a flavorful heaping of slow-roasted pork that's been marinated in nearly a dozen spices before hitting the spit, then paired with pineapple and veggies. Tacos here do hedge on the small side, but that just means you've got room for other fillings, like chorizo ($3), pork ear ($3) and suadero, or flank steak ($3) post al pastor.

Taco Mix is located at 234 East 116th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues in East Harlem (212-289-2963, There's also an outpost at the Industry City Food Hall at 274 36th St (between 2nd and 3rd Aves) in Sunset Park.

Via Yelp

TAQUERIA EL FOGON: Of all the taco spots in Bushwick, one Mexican eatery seems to have captured the hearts food-lovers everywhere, boasting a winning trifecta of value, taste, and table service. The sit-down dining experience at Taqueria El Fogon may be laid back, but the savory options like carnitas tacos ($2.50 each), an al pastor burrito ($7.50) and vegetarian nachos ($6) are seriously flavorful. Combined with a great deal on cerveza ($3 for 12oz, $4.50 for 32oz) and all-day breakfast, El Fogon presents a great case for becoming your go-to taqueria regardless of the occasion. (Ben Miller)

Taqueria El Fogon is located at 1050 Flushing Avenue between Noll Street and Wilson Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn (718-497-7445).

TOLOACHE: For a real fancy taco, try some of the unique options at this upscale chainlet, where you can feast on braised-brisket suadero tacos ($13), spicy lobster langosta tacos ($17) and chapulines, made with dried grasshopper ($15). They've also got the usual suspects, like the braised short-rib costilla and tuetano tacos ($13), pollo ($12) and pescado tacos ($13), but, seriously, you know you want to try some grasshoppers.

Toloache has three locations: 251 West 50th Street between Broadway and Eighth Ave in Midtown West (212-581-1818); 166 East 82nd Street between Lexington and Third Ave on the Upper East Side (212-861-4505); and 205 Thompson Street between Bleecker and West 3rd Streets in Greenwich Village (212-420-0600).

Via Yelp

TACOS MATAMOROS: Authenticity and value can both be found at this Sunset Park eatery, whose menu lists options under the headings “Tacos” and “Super Tacos.” Though it seems hard to understand why anyone would not automatically choose the latter ($2.50 each) for fixings like pico de gallo, queso, lettuce, and sour cream, the reputation Tacos Matamoros has cultivated since opening can guarantee that even their more spartan taco offerings—which are simply served with onion and cilantro—are pretty solid for a $1.50 price tag. In addition to a fan-favorite spicy chorizo, al pastor, and some genuinely steaky carne asada, the meat options cover a lot of territory, extending into the offal realm of tongue, cow head, and tripe. Don’t forget wash down all those tacos with some horchata ($1.50). (Ben Miller)

Taco Matamoros is located at 4508 5th Avenue between 45th and 46th Streets in Sunset Park, Brooklyn (718-871-7627).


OTTO'S TACOS: When Otto Cedeno opened his wood-paneled East Village taqueria in 2013, some taco aficionados—especially those finicky West Coast transplants— may have been skeptical of the high-design space and relatively limited menu. With a top price of $3.50 for a taco, however, many have ventured to Otto’s (both its East Village and newly opened West Village locations) and emerged with high praises for Cedeno’s mastery of masa. Encased within the expertly crafted corn tortillas, you’ll find liberally seasoned helpings of tender spiced shrimp, charred carne asada, both doused with the right amount of liquid heat from salsa roja. Be sure to try their mushroom, carnitas, and chicken taco options, as well as their “masa fries,” which give you more of that wonderful corn tortilla texture in bite-sized chipotle-mayo dip-able form. (Ben Miller)

Otto's has two locations in Manhattan: 141 Second Avenue between St. Marks Place and East 9th Street in the East Village (646-678-4018, and at 131 7th Avenue South between Charles and 10th Street in the West Village (646-657-0646,

TACOS EL BRONCO: There's no shortage of delicious food in Sunset Park, so for these tacos to stand out from the (delicious, spicy, cheesy) pack is truly a feat. Tacos El Branco is foodie famous for its huge portions and fast service, and it should go without saying that a filling taco is a good taco. Even testy Yelpers love this joint, promising: "the hype is real." Stop by the restaurant or one of their two food truck locations, each parked just outside of the beautiful Green-wood Cemetery. (Abigail Rowe)

Tacos El Bronco is located at 4324 4th Avenue in Sunset Park, Brooklyn (718-788-2229,

Via Yelp

LOS PORTALES: Astoria boasts one of the best al pastor tacos in the city, which comes topped with the requisite fresh juicy pineapple, of course. While the taco portions at Los Portales aren't as large as some of the others on this, they offer one of the best deals at $1.50 each, which is the perfect excuse to try as many flavors as you can. Veal flank, pork ear, and beef tongue are all available, if you're looking to treat yourself to something different than your usual pile of chicken. And be sure not to neglect the rest of the menu! Their tortas and fried plantains have been similarly praised. (Abigail Rowe)

Los Portales is located at 25-08 Broadway near 29th Street in Astoria, Queens (718-204-6736).

Via Yelp

ESTRELLITA POBLANA: The Bronx is full of cheap, excellent taco joints, but this Unionport spot stands out among the competition. The fish tacos are things of beauty—for $11.95, you get three tortillas filled with baja-style fish, fresh avocado, pico de gallo, and a killer chipotle cream sauce. They've got the gamut of regular soft tacos, too, like carnitas, chorizo, and al pastor, or you can opt for other specialty tacos like fajitas ($9), arrachera (skirt steak with onion and guacamole, $14) and shrimp ($4.75).

Estrellita Poblana is located at 2231 Westchester Avenue in the Unionport section of the Bronx (718-518-7425,

Via Yelp

TAQUERIA COCOYOC: Another one of Bushwick's killer taco joints, this little spot off the Dekalb L stop serves up mind-blowing tacos and other Mexican delicacies, though note their prices hedge closer to those in Manhattan than those at, say, Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos. Some highlights: the al pastor tacos ($3 to $3.50), the lengua ($3.25 to $3.75) and for the more adventurous, the barbacoa (goat!) picaditas ($7.00). They've also got tortas, burritos and enchiladas and horchata; if you eat in, though, expect at least a half-hour wait for your food.

Taqueria Cocoyoc is located at 211 Wyckoff Ave between Harman Street and Greene Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn (718-497-4489).

Via Yelp

TAQUERIA COATZINGO: Filling up on tacos won't be a problem at this Jackson Heights staple, where tender tortillas stuffed to the brim set you back just a few dollars each. If the enormous, rotating slab of meat sizzling in the window doesn't convince you to order the al pastor, opt for the tripe or just a simple vegetarian filling. Regardless of what you order, expect the meat, onion and guacamole fillings to be barely contained in their corn tortilla shells. If you have a few extra bucks to spend, try out one of the gut-busting cemitas piled high with meat, Oaxaca cheese, beans, avocado and peppers. (Nell Casey)

Taqueria Coatzingo is located at 7605 Roosevelt Ave in Jackson Heights, Queens (718-424-1977).

Via Yelp

TORTILLERIA NIXTAMAL:This Corona tortilleria makes its own soft-shell tacos, and ships them out to Mexican eateries all over the city. But the tacos they serve at their own taqueria deserve plenty of praise. Of note: the juicy al pastor taco made with pineapple, the fiery roasted chile-filled poblano, and the camaron taco, made with sauteed shrimp and mango. They've also got a few veggie options, and the nopales taco, made with grilled cactus and melted cheese, is a particularly tasty one, in addition to a sauteed verduras taco made with seasonal veggies. Note that tacos here typically clock under $4, which is good news indeed.

Tortilleria Nixtamal is located at 104-05 47th Ave in Corona, Queens (718-699-2434,

Via Yelp

PINCHE TAQUERIA: Hailing from Tijuana, Nolita's Pinche Taqueria is for fans of both booze and tacos—they pair their housemade tortillas and signature hand-cranked rotisserie al pastor machine with $5 happy hour margaritas, and daily $20 beer buckets. Pinche Taqueria prides itself on its authenticity, and coming from one of the taco hot spots of the world, it has every right to. The downtown Mexican eatery also boasts a full bar, so we suggest you take a look at their cocktail list before chowing down on any salty shells. (Abigail Rowe)

Pinche Taqueria is located at 333 Lafayette Street between Houston and Bleecker Streets in NoHo (212-343-9977).