Why You Should Go Have $1 Tacos at Mission Cantina


Within the roiling turnover of a Twitter feed, occasional bright blips emerge from the noise. For example, if you happen to follow James Daniel Bowien on any of his social-media platforms, no doubt you pulled a Broad City–style Ilana and excused yourself early from the office last week, to be first in line for the one-dollar taco special that has been running at Mission Cantina (172 Orchard Street, 212-254-2233), which will, we hope, continue into the near future.


Depending on the mood and stock of the kitchen, Mission has been offering some combination of two different types of tacos, sunflower-seeded guacamole, San Diego–style fries, margaritas, and beers, from 4 to 6 p.m. One day those tacos might contain tongue braised in whey, the milky runoff from the restaurant’s Oaxacan cheese production; another day, it might be tilapia fried in a golden jacket of masa, flecked with little speckles of cornmeal. Or lamb breast that’s been braised, shredded, and seared on the plancha and gilded with the animal’s fat, and then backhanded with a muscular salsa roja.

While everyone is champing at the bit to get in to Mission Chinese, equal-caliber cooking in pork with cracklings, sluiced with chile vinegar and wrapped in a tortilla, can be had with ease. Recently, Balo Orozco, formerly of Hartwood in Tulum, has joined the kitchen to good effect. Kitchen, keep it coming.

Scarlett Lindeman is a Brooklyn-based writer covering the city’s best taquerias, fondas, and cantinas.