New York City’s Newest Taco Spots Offer Enticing, Imaginative Fare
“We’re not going for authentic Mexican tacos,” says Tamy Rofe, the Mexico-born sommelier who runs Disco Tacos in Brooklyn with her husband, chef Felipe Donnelly, and their partner, Mac Osborne. “We’re going for craveability and deliciousness.” The trio, who also own the restaurant Colonia Verde in the borough’s Fort Greene neighborhood, are among a scattering of restaurateurs who have recently opened taco spots in New York City, each offering enticing, imaginative twists on the crowd-pleasing dish. At Rofe’s establishment, which launched as a food truck last summer and debuted as a brick-and-mortar space in May, Donnelly’s Latin American heritage informs the tacos, with fillings such as coffee-rubbed carnitas topped with grilled pineapple and coleslaw, chipotle cream–covered garlic shrimp, and carne asada sprinkled with chihuahua cheese. Each comes wrapped in a hand-pressed tortilla, made with corn flour from the nearby tortilleria Sobre Masa.
Other taco-centric ventures worth traveling for: Mockingbird, located a few blocks east of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, offers “farm-to-taco” breakfast fare via its pick-up window. Owned by sommelier, winemaker, and entrepreneur André Hueston Mack (who was the guest on Ep. 58 of our At a Distance podcast), its spare menu features five tacos, including ones made with slow-cooked brisket, avocado, and pickled shallots, and with house-made chorizo and eggs. Chewy tortillas are crafted daily, from flour that Mockingbird mills itself. At Tiny’s Cantina, not far from the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, chef Cenobio Canalizo uses flavors from his native Puebla, Mexico, to create his famed birria tacos, served with a beef shank, onion, cilantro, and bone marrow consommé. Still hungry? Reach for a meatless taco, the inventive focus of a growing number of Mexican restaurants. In Brooklyn, try Xilonen’s crispy plant-based “chorizo” taco and For All Things Good’s mezcal-sautéed mushroom taco, or head to Manhattan’s Seeyamañana, where chef Carlos Chavarria stuffs tortillas with marinated fruits and root vegetables, including poblano peppers, beets, and bananas.