New York has incredible deli food, the greatest pizza on earth, and a serious doughnut contingency. But, Mexican food? Not so much. That’s why El Mitote, in an unsuspecting quiet neighborhood near Lincoln Center, is a major shock. It specializes in the tortas and tequila of Guadalajara and makes a damned good bowl of guacamole to boot.

This spot looks tiny, with a narrow counter and a few high-tops inside, but once you go around the corner, you see a few more casual tables. Best of all, there is a small sidewalk patio that is generally filled from morning till night in the summer.

The Food at El Mitote

Start with an agua fresca and a side of tequila. The margaritas skew a little bitter here but the limon-chia agua fesca is ideal – tart, bright, and just sweet enough. The chia is undetectable and a shot of tequila adds just the kick that you need to start the party.

Guacamole – real, honest to goodness guacamole. No fillers or bizarre blue cheese-truffle add ins here. Buttery, cilantro laden guacamole with a zip of jalapenos and a plethora of still warm, freshly friend tortilla chips.

Esquites – corn never had it so good. Sweet corn mixed with lime, crema, espazote, sea salt, and chile powder. It’s sweet, spicy, creamy, and sharp. Best of all, it comes in a bowl so you don’t have to get your hands dirty while you eat.

Torta – get yours drowned Guadalajara style in a spicy tomato broth. This makes the first half of the sandwich moist and messy and the second half of it deliciously soggy – forks may be required. The pork is juicy and fragrant with coriander, cumin, and garlic. Ask for an extra side of tangy pickled onions if you choose to go with the meltingly tender pulled chicken instead. This sandwich is loaded with refried beans, cotija cheese, crema, and a slew of other veggies, so expect a food coma if you eat this for lunch.

elmitote_@amyleestudios
elmitote_@elevenjayelena

El Mitote is casual, the service is efficient, and the prices are great. What more do you need? All this and more without leaving the zip code, let alone the country.

El Mitote – Google+
208 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY

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Sarah is a writer, editor, and social media manager. She loves seared foie gras at Michelin starred restaurants, Chili-Cheese Fritos from dirty bodegas, and watches"Orphan Black" like it's her religion.