Nightlife, Restaurants

The Hunt: 5 of Our Favorite Mexican Restaurants

March 21, 2013

Global – Every week, The Purple Passport team goes out in search of a designated item in whatever city our team members happen to be. This month, we had a hankering for Mexican food and so here are a few of our favorite Mexican places:

Rosa Mexicano
New York, NY

The Skinny: Maybe it’s just nostalgia (I used to live right around the corner), or maybe its that the fresh-as-can-be guacamole is just so so good, but when I crave mexican food in the USA, New York City‘s Rosa Mexicano comes to mind immediately. It is true that it’s midtown location (the restaurant neighbors Lincoln Center – perfect for before or after a show) makes it a popular stop for happy hour groups and in-the-know tourists, but the upscale setting, enchiladas suizas and signature frozen pomegranate margaritas makes facing the crowds worth it.

– Jenn

Photo Credit: rubyshoes on Flickr Creative Commons

La Esquina
New York, NY

The Skinny: For a quick bite when I’m hopping on or off the Spring Street station, I love La Esquina. The inside is tiny—usually I have to linger in order to snag one of the coveted stools—but the food is quick, affordable, and delicious! The fish tacos (pescado a las brasas) and carnitas are my favorite items on the menu. And when you’re choosing your meal, don’t be shy about ordering a few tacos—they’re small and only cost $3.00-$4.00 each!

– Rachel S.

Photo Credit: Charles16e on Flickr Creative Commons

Moles La Tia
Los Angeles, CA

The Skinny: Pinpointing the best Mexican food in Los Angeles is like solving the riddle of the Sphinx−with the city’s proximity to the Mexican border, there’s an overwhelming diversity of regional Mexican cuisine here to choose from. For some of the most authentic, though, the place to head is Boyle Heights, a longstanding Mexican-American barrio. One of my favorites in the neighborhood is Moles La Tia, which draws on the culinary traditions of Puebla, Mexico, with a rainbow array of mole dishes (all type of meat and seafood napped in everything from coffee mole to pistachio mole to tequila-lime mole). Don’t miss the exquisite house-made horchata.

– Rachel L.

Photo Credit: meltwater on Flickr

El Centro D.F.
Washington, DC

The Skinny: Located on 14th Street, nearby to the U Street Metro, El Centro D.F. is known for its tasty tacos, fresh guacamole, and lively nightlife scene. Illuminated by red lighting from the outside, the venue appears much smaller than it actually is. Once you enter, you have the options of dining and drinking on the main floor, the taqueria, downstairs in the basement tequileria, or upstairs at one of the two open-air bars. Each level seems to provide a different type of setting/ambiance, whether you’re looking for a festive night of drinks with friends up at the rooftop bar, a casual late-night eat in the taqueria, or a date-night dinner downstairs in the tequileria. Be prepared for a bit of noise though, as the lively atmosphere and frequent U Street crowds here seem to come with a louder volume. As for their food and drinks, I’d recommend everything I last ordered off the menu, as I remember it being delicious: beef tongue tacos, sangria, and of course don’t forget to try their side of their freshly prepared guacamole.


Dos Perros
Durham, NC

The Skinny: Durham has its fair share of Mexican taquerias, serving about authentic eats, but one of my preferred Mexican restaurants in town is Dos Perros. It’s situated right in downtown and has a great ambiance that works both for a business lunch as well as a nice family dinner or even stylish night out. In true Durham fashion, it’s also got a respectable beer list to go along with their tasty tasty margaritas. With house-made chorizo, heartwarming sopas, and authentic dishes for all, it’s one of my favorite Mexican spots in town.

— Emily

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