Top tacos on LI: 11 must-visit restaurants
Tacos are the ultimate grab-and-go cuisine. But just because they're portable doesn't mean they shouldn't be made with care.
These 10 LI restaurants create tacos with first-rate ingredients, from making the soft corn tortillas from scratch to slow-cooking meats until they're melt-in-your-mouth sumptuous.
Joan Reminick has eaten tacos across Long Island and you might just see her when you visit. They're that good.
Chichimecas(Credit: Johnny Simon)
Bi-level Farmingdale Mexican restaurant Chichimecas serves authentic soft corn tacos al pastor, with roasted spice-coated pork, chopped onion and cilantro, chicken (pictured) and other choices, too.
El Paso Taqueria y Pupuseria(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)
Spanish is the predominant language at this authentic taqueria that draws a taco-savvy clientele. At El Paso in Farmingdale, the soft corn tacos are filled generously. The taco al pastor, stuffed with marinated roasted pork, is a treat. Better still is the taco de lengua (tongue taco, pictured) crammed with juicy pieces of well-marinated grilled beef tongue.
El Ranchito Mexican Grill(Credit: Newsday / Rebecca Cooney)
Fine soft corn tacos are the rule at El Ranchito Mexican Grill in East Northport. There's juicy beef tongue, smoky crisp carnitas (pork) and a fish taco (pictured) made with lightly breaded red snapper topped with cabbage and pico de gallo.
Taqueria Mexico(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)
Taqueria Mexico in Riverhead makes spare, elegant tacos with homemade tortillas. Try the toothsome tongue, the subtly fiery tacos de longaniza, or Mexican spicy sausage, and lush, braised pork carnitas (pictured), all topped with cilantro and chopped onion.
Pico Tequila Grill(Credit: Heather Walsh)
Admirably, corn tortillas are house-made at Pico Tequila Grill in Bay Shore, but you have to request them. A carne asada "street" taco (pictured) with grilled beef, salsa verde, onion and cheese is a treat. So, too, is a taco of pork, pico de gallo and avocado sauce.
La Casa Latina(Credit: Kathy Kmonicek)
Chef-owner Roberto Herrera does justice to the cuisine of his native El Salvador at La Casa Latina, a popular pan-Latin spot in Westbury. His kitchen chops show in the presentation of fish tacos (pictured), three house-made soft corn tortillas enfolding neatly fried tilapia topped with chipotle salsa, garnished with micro greens, lined up in a clever metal holder. Also good: steak tacos.
Cinco de Mayo(Credit: Randee Daddona)
Authenticity rules at Cinco de Mayo in Calverton, a Mexican restaurant where all manner of tacos — including those stuffed with pig's ear, tripe and tongue — excel. Pictured, from left, are pastor (pineapple-seasoned pork), pollo (chicken) and chorizo (sausage).
Magic Taco Corp.(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)
Magic Taco Corp, Islip Terrace: This quirky spot may be causal, but its approach to food is serious. You can get your tacos (or steamed buns, if you prefer) with or without any of numerous proteins — such as soft corn tortilla tacos with seared marinated tofu and scrambled eggs (pictured) — sometimes including duck and octopus.
Señor Nacho(Credit: Jin Lee)
Street tacos at Senor Nacho in Great Neck mean soft corn tortillas piled with your choice of filling, showered with cilantro and served with lime and sliced radishes. Best is the succulent tongue and spicy pork al pastor, featuring rotisserie-roasted marinated meat.
Cilantro Mexican Inspired Food(Credit: Yana Paskova)
At counter-service spot Cilantro Mexican Inspired Food, with locations in Huntington and Northport, roasted, spiced chicken thighs are the filling of choice for soft corn tacos. Top, perhaps, with bright tomato salsa fresca, roasted chili-corn salsa and chopped cilantro.
Mi Ranchito Bar & Grill(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)
Authenticity informs the tacos Jalisco at Mi Ranchito in Port Washington: Soft corn tortillas are crowned with juicy, smoky cubes of grilled skirt steak showered with cilantro and chopped onion, plated with a spirited salsa verde.