79 St Marks Pl.
New York, NY 10003
St. Mark’s in Manhattan is home to probably some of the best concentrations of ethnic food in the city and so a lot of people like to come here to try something new. When you step into the Taqueria, there are a few expectations: this is not a Tex-Mex place that uses Americanized ingredients. It goes for something more genuine, and the front of the menu makes it clear. There are no nachos, no seven layer dips, no fajitas, and they say it three times so you’re clear. There are no “cute clay or adobe plates.” There are no “adorable red, white and green uniforms.”
This place is about representing a genuine culture. And it’s delicious.
Some of the recipes on the menu look familiar, others have ingredients that are very difficult to try. Some of the things worth eating:
- Guacamole: it doesn’t automatically come with your spicy salsa and chips, but you’ll want to take this one as an app. Like much of Latin American cuisine, fresh ingredients are key, and the cilantro here really knocks it out of the park.
- Cactus Tacos: Soft tacos with fresh cut veggies, cilantro, just a bit of cheese, and sautéed cactus. If you’ve never had this plant before and has a good flavor, just make sure to put some sauce on top.
- Pozole: A traditional chili-like stew served with a little bit of a spiciness. This one is a little bit oily, but not too bad. The lime on the side adds a little character.
- Torta: The flatbread-like sandwich with meat of your choosing and some light veggies. The sandwich isn’t too huge so it’s manageable for one person. A lot of mayo, though, if you don’t like it.
- Bloody Mary: Served very strong, a good drink for that brunch menu here that people like. As is typical with the drink, served with olive, celery and lime.
The bar has a distinct and very friendly vibe where it’s a close-in kind of dive bar. People like to hang out here to watch sports — Los Angeles, specifically, and the fans like to come out to visit.
A pretty informal place with prices that aren’t too bad and service that comes pretty quick. It’s worth a try. The St. Mark’s Place area has a lot of competition and this one has managed to hold its own against many other kinds of food. There are good reasons for that. Give it a try.
- The bar has a brunch menu which is very popular on weekends. Just make sure you know to ask about it.
- The bar only seats groups when everyone is in the room. It also typically only accepts one card per table.
- The mixed drink menu is a good place to start.