Despite the hype, Baja-style fish tacos have never quite gotten the traction here we might have expected, still constituting something of a gastronomic rarity in New York. Following are the seven best we’ve chomped on lately.
7. Tortaria (above) — These tacos contains lots of fried red snapper with little distraction from the other materials (i.e., cabbage slaw and Russian dressing, which the menu describes rather effetely as “a mango-chipotle slaw and warm Costeño salsa”). 94 University Place, 212-776-1830
6. Coppelia — The tacos are elegant in their simplicity at this 24-hour Latin diner, and the fish used is flounder. 207 West 14th Street, 212-858-5001
5. Tacombi at Fonda Nolita — Thickly beer-battered and name checking Ensanada, these tilapia tacos are actually more what you’d expect to get at a beachside stand in Baja. 267 Elizabeth Street, 917-727-0179
4. Dorado Tacos and Quesadillas — This Boston mini-chain snuck into town not long ago, and boy do they know their fish! Atlantic whitefish is the swimmer of choice and the filet dwarfs the tiny tortillas. 28 East 12th Street, 212-627-0900
3. Mary’s Fish Camp — You can be sure the fish is titillatingly fresh and varies according to supply at this favorite West Village seafood cafe, but it’s going to cost you. 64 Charles Street, 646-486-2185
2. Peels — Not sure why fish tacos are even on the menu at this agreeable Southern-leaning cafe not far from the Voice offices. But the tacos are excellent, and they even char the lime for you. 325 Bowery, 646-602-7015
What’s number one?
1. Rockaway Taco — Somehow, a fish taco without a little sand in it — or at least the smell of ocean breezes in your nostrils as you eat it — isn’t quite a fish taco. Try one at Rockaway Beach, which labors to become our own Baja, and you’ll never forget it. 95-19 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Rockaway Beach, Queens, 347-213-7466