The Under 15 Club: Los Tacos No. 1


Los Tacos No. 1 offers chicken, pork, beef and grilled cactus tacos. (Courtesy of Chris Capuano)

Chris Capuano, Columnist

The Receipt

1x Adobada Taco: $3.75

1x Carne Asada Taco: $3.95

1x Horchata: $3.75

Total (with Tax): $12.45

The Review

Many Fordham students say that New York City is one of the primary reasons they came to this university. Ironically, many of these same people dislike Times Square. Of course, this is purely anecdotal. But in my anecdotal experience, there does seem to be a lot of Times Square dislike among Fordham students, and New York City residents in general.

Maybe it’s the tourists. Maybe it’s the barrage of billboards and signage. Maybe it’s being harassed for a photo by two 35-year-olds in Dora and Elmo costumes. Who’s to say?

Luckily for these Times Square detractors, Los Tacos No. 1 has three (and soon to be four) locations. So, they can avoid Times Square (where one of its locations is) like the plague and still enjoy what just might be the best tacos New York City has to offer. Los Tacos began when three friends from Mexico and southern California decided to bring traditional Mexican tacos to the East Coast.

Since opening its initial location in Chelsea Market in 2013, Los Tacos has exploded in popularity, expanding to its Times Square location in 2017 and opening up shop in Tribeca over the summer. A fourth location near Grand Central should be coming soon (the restaurant’s website says it will open in fall 2019).

For this review, I visited the Times Square location because (a) I’m lazy, and Times Square is closer to Rose Hill than Chelsea Market or Tribeca, (b) the Times Square location has high-tops to stand and eat at (seating can be hard to come by in Chelsea Market), and (c) I really wanted that photo with Elmo. My friend and I approached the restaurant and got in the rather fast-paced line, stomachs ready.

When you reach the cashier, you order your food and get a ticket, which you then hand to the workers behind the counter who whip up tacos at miraculous speeds. As the wall of the Times Square location will tell you, it’s no ticket, no taco —so don’t lose it on your five foot journey to the counter.

All three locations of Los Tacos have the same menu, featuring four types of tacos: carne asada (steak), pollo asado (chicken), adobada (pork) and nepal (grilled cactus). Each is worth trying in its own right, but the adobada steals the show, which is easy to believe when you see (and smell) the marinated pork being spit-roasted behind the counter.

The tacos are served on a flour or corn tortilla (get corn for maximum authenticity) and come con todo (with everything): onions, cilantro, salsa and guacamole. The tacos are simple, filling and probably the best I’ve ever had.
At just under $4 a piece, they are probably not the cheapest option you’ll find in this column, but they might be the most delicious.

Los Tacos also serves quesadillas, which can be made with the same four fillings as the tacos. There is also the quesadilla especial, which is a fried pork quesadilla that more closely resembles an empanada.

As for beverages, the restaurant has three aguas frescas (get the horchata on your first visit, but you can try them all when you inevitably return) and an array of Mexican sodas.

I can’t say that Los Tacos No. 1 is the best bang for your buck that I’ve written about in this column. At $12 for two tacos and a drink, there are certainly better bargains out there. I can say, however, that it is my favorite place to eat in New York City.

The tacos are consistently amazing regardless of location, and though they may not be cheap, they won’t break the bank either. Ultimately, I’d recommend a visit to Los Tacos to anyone and everyone. Their tacos could warrant a trip to a place far worse than Times Square.