It’s a refrain heard over and over again, one that rang in my ears particularly loudly when I moved to NYC from L.A. almost six years ago. It was a proclamation that reverberated through my soul and cast doubt on my new city: “There’s just no good Mexican food in New York City!” The Yelpers yelp it, the media perpetuates it, and the general consensus seems to support it time and again. “I’m from Huntington Beach and I know what real Mexican food is, I’ve even been to Mexico and these tacos aren’t blah blah blah blah.” Well, get the fuck over it.
There is great Mexican food in New York City—anyone who denies it just isn’t looking hard enough. Surely some of the food cooked in one of the 350,000 Mexican immigrants homes in the city is authentic enough for even shrewdest San Diego-born, Corona Familiar-swilling, fish taco-loving armchair critic. The fact is, Mexican food in New York City is different than in Los Angeles. Not better, not worse—just different. Here are five reasons why.