The Manhattan User Guide recently picked their favorite Mexican food places:
• Alma, 187 Columbia [Degraw/Cobble Hill W.] 718.643.5400. Get a view of downtown Manhattan from the roof deck of this Carroll Gardens favorite as well as Gary Jacobson's imaginative pan-regional Mexican fare.
• Kitchen/Market, 218 8th [21st/22nd] 212.243.4433. Chilhuacle negro peppers, herbs and spices, habanero hot sauce, and tortillas are some of the 400 products offered here to prepare authentic Mexican food at home.
• Maya, 1191 1st [64th/65th] 212.585.1818. Green mole braised lamb shank and pan-roasted salmon enchiladas are just two of Maya's first-rate dishes, courtesy of chef Richard Sandoval.
• Mexicana Mama, 525 Hudson [Charles/W. 10th] 212.924.4119. The chicken mole alone would make this tiny, crowded spot one of the most popular Mexican restaurants in the city, but everything's good.
• Mexican Radio, 19 Cleveland [Kenmare/Spring] 212.343.0140. While we like the offshoot up in Hudson, NY even better, this joint's a good time, fueled by potent margaritas.
• Sueños, 311 W. 17th [8th/9th] 212.243.1333. Sue Torres turns out vibrant and interesting south-of-the-border fare in the old Alley's End space.
• Zarela, 953 2nd [50th/51st] 212.644.6740. You can always count on a joyful noise at Zarela Martinez's, along with absolutely delicious cooking.
You don't need to know who Malcolm Lowry is or be able to locate Cuauhnahuac on a map to enjoy the over 40 tequilas available at the cantina called Under the Volcano, 12 E. 36th [5th/Mad] 212.213.0093.
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