Los Tacos No. 1

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83 Very Good

What comes on the plate here is taco magic.

75 Ninth Ave., New York, NY, 10011

https://www.lostacos1.com/

Known For

The lowdown

The deftly seasoned fillings at the perpetually frenetic Chelsea Market stall seem to come from ordinary enough sources — beneath the rickety signs plugging Coca-Cola, you’ll see no mention of acorn-fed heritage pigs, or hand-foraged nopal — and what comes off as a sort of taco magic is really just the work of cooks with deep and unwavering commitment to their craft. Behind the line, in full view of customers, they roll out and press petite balls of masa and flip steaks on the grill. They spit-roast pork for the signature adobada, basting the towering inferno of pork with vinegar and mellow chile and rendered lard. Improbably, Los Tacos’ Chelsea and Times Square locations nail the Tijuana street-stall vibe, from the delicious blister of charred, house-nixtamalized corn tortillas to the crisp-fried árbol chilies. If you hit it at the right, late-afternoon moment, there’s often no line at all at the Times Square branch, and if the Chelsea Market stand is too overrun, sister restaurant Los Mariscos is right there, too, with possibly the best rendition of Baja fish tacos in the city.

Hugh Merwin

What you need to know

Insider Tips Adobada taco; especial quesadilla.

DrinksNo Alcohol

Noise LevelCivilized