5 Spots for Great Tacos on National Taco Day

The chorizo taco at Taco Mexcio in the West Village
The chorizo taco at Taco Mexcio in the West Village

In case you missed it, LA and its surroundings got their undies in a bunch this week after the New York Times published a Hungry City column declaring that NYC could go "mano a mano" with the City of Angels when it comes to tacos.

Wrote Los Angeles magazine's Bill Esparza: "New York City, your inferiority complex is wrapped in a flimsy, dry tortilla made from Maseca, and covered in ketchupy salsa. But it's cute that you keep trying over there." Gustavo Arellano, who pens the "Ask a Mexican" column at our sibling paper OC Weekly and wrote a book about Mexican food in America called Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, said we should "drop our Mexican food inferiority complex" and that claiming good tacos have finally come to New York is like claiming that "good egg cream is now flowing from the spigots at In-n-Out."

The crux of these arguments is that most Big Apple Mexicans hail from Pueblo and Hidalgo, and those regions aren't known for tacos. So what should we do today, the made up food holiday of National Taco Day? Weep into our cemitas and lament our inability to best Southern California at their own game? Nah. One of the best things about NYC is the convergence of cultures that informs our dining scene--and just because MOST Mexican food here comes from Pueblo or Hidalgo doesn't mean ALL of it does. Perhaps tacos aren't part of the culinary history here--and so we shouldn't stake our Mexican food identity on them--but New York still has some pretty good tacos. Good enough to satisfy this former LA County resident's cravings anyway.

Hit the next page for details on where to get five of them.

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