In honor of Cinco de Mayo this week, Greenpointers has rounded up the best authentic Mexican flavors in all of North Brooklyn. This list of restaurants ranges from casual taco joints to Michelin-starred destinations. Try one out for Cinco de Mayo, Taco Tuesday, or anytime you feel like eating amazing Mexican cuisine.
Friducha (946 Manhattan Ave.), is a beloved local Mexican restaurant owned by siblings Sandra and Wilson Lopez. The colorful eatery inspired by Frida Kahlo is offering an affordable Happy Hour special this week with $8 margaritas and mojitos, $5 beers, and $25 bottles of wine 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Friducha was recently vandalized and burglarized in the same week, but then, gained an even bigger following afterward with huge amounts of community support. The restaurant’s menu contains a large selection of classic Mexican dishes like tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and fajitas, plus burgers and salads.
Disco is in the air in Williamsburg! Disco Tacos (80 North 6th St.) is a new Mexican joint serving tacos, natural wine and more from husband and wife team Felipe Donnelly and Tamy Rofe. For Cinco de Mayo, Disco Tacos is hosting a “Forever Happy Hour” with half-priced margaritas all night.
The menu at Disco Tacos, inspired from Donnelly’s Latin American heritage and travels, includes fresh ingredients like hand-pressed tortillas and homemade salsas. Try the La Gringa tacos in a flour tortilla with coffee-rubbed carnitas, chihuahua cheese, cilantro, and pickled corn. Pair it with the Strawberry Basil Margarita, made with Blue Agave tequila, mezcal, fresh lime, basil-infused strawberry shrub, and Tajin rim.
Tacombi (242 Metropolitan Ave.) is all about giving back on Cinco de Mayo. On May 5th, 100% of the proceeds from all orders, including in-store, on the Tacombi app, and on the website, will go to The Tacombi Foundation, feeding people in the local community who are facing food insecurity.
To do your part, try the creamy Esquites, the Al Pastor Tacos with pork and pineapple, or the similar Gringa Quesadilla. Pair these with the popular Mezcal Mule or a classic margarita. It’s for a good cause!
Mesa Coyoacan (372 Graham Ave.), featured in the Michelin Guide, is an upscale Mexican restaurant in Williamsburg with a homey feel. Chef Ivan Garcia hails from Mexico City, and leans toward tradition in his cooking rather than making modern versions of Mexican cuisine. He “believes strongly in the classic dishes of his diverse culture,” the restaurant’s website states.
Mesa Coyoacan’s signature dish is the Chiles en Nogada which is a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with shredded pork, organic chicken, peaches, pears, apples and almonds, and then covered in a walnut sauce and topped with pomegranate seeds. “The story of the dish goes back to when Mexico had an emperor imposed by France 150 years ago,” said Brooklyn resident, Jose Luis Celorio. This interesting backstory makes the Chiles en Nogada a historically appropriate and perfect dish to enjoy on Cinco de Mayo.
Although plant-based Xilonen recently closed its doors, fans of Justin Bazdarich and his team still have Greenpoint’s only Michelin-starred destination, Oxomoco (128 Greenpoint Ave.), to enjoy on Cinco de Mayo. Unlike some starred restaurants, the ambience is nice without being fussy, acknowledging the feel of the neighborhood.
If you’re going meatless, try the beet “chorizo” tacos with crispy potato, avocado, and salsa a las brazas. The swordfish tacos with salsa arabe, labneh, and marinated onions are a great option for pescatarians. Pair your meal with the frozen “Recuérdame” concocted with mezcal, rum fire, coconut, and caramelized pineapple.
Mexican bistro Xolo (29 Dunham Pl.), a newcomer near the Williamsburg Bridge, has a menu influenced by the Mexican upbringings of owners Jorge Boetto and Willians Lopez, who were both raised in Mexico. Boetto has been in the restaurant business for nearly two decades, and is currently the owner of another entry on this list, Mesa Coyoacan.
The restaurant’s white, airy interior dotted with paintings by Oaxacan artists is the perfect backdrop for the menu’s vibrant flavors. Do not miss the mini meatballs Al Pastor with pineapple or the fried goat cheese appetizer with honey, pistachio cream and crushed pistachios.
Xolo is hosting “A Mexican Fiesta” with a selection of breakfast items in the morning and Happy Hour during lunch. At 5 p.m., Bar Milagro, Xolo’s sister bar underneath it, starts their celebration with festive Latin music and specials all night.
Móle (178 Kent Ave.) is a Williamsburg staple in an unbeatable location on a busy section of Kent Avenue near the North Williamsburg ferry terminal. This location of the small chain features a large outdoor seating area, perfect for toasting Cinco de Mayo and people watching.
Móle has one of the largest menus with a huge selection of authentic Mexican dishes. Try one of the house specialities like the cochinita pibil, a traditional Yucatan platter of shredded pork, marinated in adobo, and then wrapped and baked in banana leaves, served with picked onions, salsa verde and black beans. You can also opt for one of the many varieties of tacos, burritos, fajitas, or enchiladas.
Thank goodness Cinco de Mayo falls on a Thursday, because if you’re after tacos in Greenpoint on the day, Taqueria Ramirez (94 Franklin St.) will hit the spot. Only open Wednesday through Sunday 2 p.m. – 10 p.m., the tiny taco joint offers no takeout or delivery, and is still one of Brooklyn’s most talked about Mexican destinations, and one of the most casual experiences on this list.
The equally small menu is meant to be eaten hot and fresh and features a short list of authentic taco toppings including pastor or pork, suadero or brisket, and longaniza, a type of sausage. They are small, so try them all!
Danny Meyer and the Union Square Hospitality Group rarely gets anything wrong. So if you’re looking for another casual option, especially with kids in tow, Tacocina (25 River St.) is a great bet. The taco stand in Domino Park is next to the playground and has an unparalleled view of the Manhattan skyline.
The menu is small, but consists of vegetarian options like the mushroom and cheese taco and other taco options like carne asada and pork with pineapple. Tacocina is celebrating Cinco de Mayo with live music, $4 tacos, drink specials, and a special tasting and raffle with Topo Chico from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Vera Cruz (195 Bedford Ave.) is a fun Mexican restaurant with a pretty garden that has been around for over 25 years. On Cinco de Mayo, the Williamsburg mainstay will celebrate with a Happy Hour all night long, giveaways, and a DJ starting at 7 p.m.
The menu consists of traditional Mexican dishes including nachos, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, burritos, and fajitas, and of course, margaritas.
The Cactus Shop
The Cactus Shop (231 Kent Ave.) is a colorful space that functions as a cactus shop by day with a hidden Mexican Speakeasy Cantina behind it.
The cantina’s menu includes authentic bar snacks like elote and soup, plus flautas, tacos, gorditas, quesadillas, and an enticing selection of beverages. The chef insists on “a focus on quality.” Don’t miss the slow-cooked Birria or and Carnitas gorditas or tacos.
The Cactus Shop is celebrating Cinco de Mayo with 2 for 1 Monopolio beer and Paloma cocktails from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.