Taqueria y Fonda la Mexicana
Taqueria y Fonda la Mexicana has been my favorite Mexican restaurant in New York for a long time. I’ve been frequenting this hole-in-the-wall restaurant since middle school, when I used to grab lunch there with my friends. The restaurant has been through a lot of transitions since then, but one thing has remained consistent: great food at great prices. Taqueria y Fonda is actually pretty easy to miss. It’s located on Amsterdam Ave. between 107th and 108th, and has a small Mexican flag-colored awning with the restaurant’s name on it. There’s a small door that leads into a small restaurant, which contains a counter with flat top grill behind it where most of the food is prepared, and a small dining room with five or six tables and a drink cooler. There used to be a pretty snazzy jukebox with rainbow lights and a selection of Mexican music, but they got rid of it a while ago.
When you’re waiting for your food, they give you a bowl of homemade tortilla chips with a trio of spicy dipping sauces. These chips are amazing, and the perfect snack before the meal. The menu is diverse and authentic. They have everything from traditional meat dishes (which you don’t find at many Mexican restaurants here nowadays) to alambres, to authentic tacos. The tacos are what I always come in for, but everything I’ve tried from their menu has been delicious and pleasingly new. The tacos are $3.50-$4.75 depending on what kind of taco you get, and they’re all served on top of a fresh tortilla with grilled onions, cilantro tomatoes, and a green or red sauce with lemon on the side. You can also get guacamole and/or cheese added for $0.75 each. I usually go for the Pollo taco (chicken) with guacamole and cheese. They also have some options that are harder to come by like Chorizo tacos, and Cactus tacos (which are insanely good). Everything is made fresh to order and the flavors of the sauces and the dishes come out strong!
Within the past couple years, Taqueria y Fonda has gained more popularity as it’s being discovered, rated, and written about. It’s a great place for authentic Mexican food and the people there are friendly and provide good service. Sometimes it gets pretty crowded, especially on weekend nights, but it’s worth the wait!
Taqueria y Fonda la Mexicana: http://order.letsorderonline.com/display/menu/taqueria
968 Amsterdam Ave. (between 107th and 108th Streets)