Empellón Taqueria’s Skirt Steak Tacos, One of Our 100 Favorite Dishes


Later this year, we’ll pen our Best of NYC issue, our annual love letter to what’s great in this town. When that paper hits the streets, you’ll find our picks for the very best this city has to offer when it comes to dozens of cuisines, restaurants, dishes, and drinks. Until then, you can get a taste of our contenders as we count down, in no particular order, our 100 favorite dishes from around the boroughs, a list of laudable eats worth tracking down right now.

No. 84: Skirt steak tacos from Empellón Taqueria

Our favorite way to experience Empellón Taqueria, chef Alex Stupak’s inventive West Village Mexican restaurant, is with a group large enough to order just about everything on the menu. We’ll work our way through the guacamole, all of the salsas, the octopus ceviche, the pea and pistachio salad, and several orders of tacos. If forced to commit to a reasonably sized meal for one, though–i.e., just one platter of tacos–we’re giving up, albeit grudgingly, the pork tongue with pineapple and tempura-battered fish to order skirt steak every time. Supple, juicy hunks of pepper-rubbed steak are piled generously into a warm, soft, chewy flour tortilla so enriched with oil it’s almost translucent. A drizzle of tangy, arbol chile-spiked mojo de ajo adds kick and lift, and grilled onions provide sweet, caramelized depth. The tacos come in trios making it easy to swap flavors with friends, but with the skirt, you may not want to share.

No. 100: Carnitas from Taqueria Lower East Side
No. 99: Steamed mussels from Tartine
No. 98: Cookie Monster ice cream from Malu
No. 97: Havana salad from Coppelia
No. 96: Clay Pot Catfish from Falansai
No. 95: Khao Soi Kaa Kai from Uncle Boons
No. 94: Salted caramel “impossible” flan from ABC Cocina
No. 93: Peanut noodles from Shu Jiao Fu Zhou Cuisine
No. 92: Country-fried duck and waffles from Distilled
No. 91: Octopus salad from Calliope
No. 90: Diver scallop crudo from Charlie Bird
No. 89: Fig and pepper bread from Silver Moon Bakery
No. 88: Egg, cheese, and sausage on a roll from Stage Restaurant
No. 87: Marbella’s Full Moon from Manzanilla
No. 86: Bia’s Cary Ga
No. 85: La Newyorkina’s pineapple jalapeño paleta

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