Taco Tuesday Fever: 13 of the Best Mexican Restaurants in the Albany, NY Area
If you're craving an authentic Mexican food experience to get your Taco Tuesday on in Albany, then you don't have to travel very far. We've rounded up 13 of the best Mexican restaurants located in or close to Albany.
For some of the places featured in the following article, local food enthusiast Brian Brosen of The Capital Team has shared what he loves most about some of Albany's go-to Mexican restaurants - look for the "Brian says" in the descriptions for these first-hand recommendations. What would you say about your favorite Taco Tuesday hangout?
New Scotland Taco + Bar
Corner of Ontario Street and Avenue A, Albany, NY 12208
Enjoy a wide selection of tacos at New Scotland Taco + Bar, like ancho chicken, cauliflower, Korean beef, carnitas (pulled pork), and fish (mahi mahi). There are also taco kits, sides like street corn and their New Scotland queso, desserts like the choco taco, and of course creative cocktails.
1610 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12205
You know you're in for a genuine Mexican food experience when you have a chef straight from Mexico! La Fiesta not only brings their A-game with burritos, tacos, fajitas, and all your Mexican favorites, but they also have some of the best rice and beans in the Capital Region. From seafood to steak to vegetarian options, La Fiesta has it all.
Brian says: "Hands down, our go-to restaurant for all things Mexican. The service is always super welcoming, the margaritas are ALWAYS spot on, and the variety of tacos, along with every other dish, is simply heavenly. Authentic flavors, the best refried beans/rice in the area, and tacos/fajitas and other dishes to please everybody at the table."
El Loco Mexican Cafe
465 Madison Avenue, Albany, NY 12210
El Loco Mexican Cafe offers tasty Mexican food in a warm atmosphere, and the restaurant is located just outside of the historic Washington Park in Albany. El Loco opened in 1983 and was the city's first authentic Tex-Mex style eatery. Their claim to fame is traditional Mexican & Nuevo Southwestern dishes served in generous portions.
77 North Lake Avenue, Albany, NY 12206
With lenguna (beef tongue) and chapulines (grasshoppers) on the menu you can't be afraid to get a little adventurous when you check out Oaxaquena Triqui. They also have marinated pork tacos, chicken tacos, steak tacos - whatever you choose it will be absolutely authentic Mexican.
El Mariachi Mexican Restaurant
289 Hamilton Street, Albany, NY 12210
El Mariachi Mexican Restaurant is known for their mole sauce and margaritas, but we don't think you'll be disappointed with anything on the menu! Their massive menu offers everything from tacos and fajitas to a variety of seafood dishes (try the paella!), to hearty vegetarian options.
Salsa Latina Restaurant
315 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206
When you're in need of a low-key option to satisfy your taco fix, swing by Salsa Latina on Central Avenue in Albany for exceptional Mexican and Latin American dishes served in a laid-back environment. From tacos and burritos to enchiladas and poblanos, everything on this menu is full of flavor.
1759 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12304
Kick off Taco Tuesday at La Mexicana on State Street in Schenectady. This Mexican grocery and restaurant is super affordable with tacos starting at just $2.50. They pride themselves on serving traditional Mexican food made from scratch. La Mexicana offers tacos, flautas, nachos, soups, quesadillas, and more. Make sure to pick up tamales to go!
654 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206
If one of the Mexican hotspots on this list could be considered a "hidden gem," it would be the Mexican Market, nearly concealed from view behind a CDTA bus stop. One Google reviewer said: "I am so happy I stopped overlooking this tiny place because I won't get my rice and tacos from any other place but here!" If you are feeling adventurous, try the Lengua (beef tongue) tacos.
952 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, NY 12210
El Charro has your Mexican and Tex-Mex favorites with tacos, enchiladas, burritos, fajitas, and much more - they have even have a seafood section of the menu with options like crab enchiladas, and burrito Cancun, the latter of which is stuffed to capacity with marinated shrimp, melted cheese, Mexican white rice, and more. When you get dips for chips make sure to try the chorizo dip!
56 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206
It's all about the tacos at Cocina Vasquez. "This place has the best tacos. The meat is so succulent and flavorful, and you get so much food for such a good price!" said one Google reviewer. Be ware of the salsa verde, though - it's spicer than you think it's going to be (and, extremely flavorful).
325 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12305
Originally located in New York City, this Mexican restaurant specializes in traditional Mexican food with vegetarian and vegan options. They are known for their spacious environment and hip decor. Salsa is made daily with the best produce, high-quality tortilla chips are fried multiple times a day, and they otherwise serve up everything super fresh. Check out their appetizers - they're a great way to get a taste of all they have to offer. (Pictured above are the Mexican spring rolls - yum!)
Viva Cinco De Mayo
809 Madison Avenue, Albany, NY 12208
Viva Cinco De Mayo perhaps offers the best presentation of Mexican food on this list. Sometimes Mexican food can be a bit messy (though delicious), but if you google photos of meals from Viva Cinco De Mayo they look like they could be in a cookbook. The taste doesn't disappoint either.
"I wish there were more than 5 stars I could give to this restaurant," said one Google reviewer. "I got three tacos at the recommendation of my barber, and oh my God, these tacos changed my life. I'm not even exaggerating when I say they were the best tacos I've ever eaten by far. I WILL be back."
Casa Real Mexican Restaurant
1400 Altamont Avenue, Schenectady, NY 12303*
As with some others on this list, Casa Real Mexican Restaurant serves a menu based on Tex-Mex food, a blend between traditional Mexican food and modern techniques and seasonings from Texas. Burritos are huge and tacos are a favorite, but we recommend trying the chimichanga combo with beef, chicken, and shrimp.
*They have a second location at 3770 Carman Road, Schenectady, NY 12303.
Bombers Burrito Bar
258 Lark Street, Albany, NY 12210*
Located on historic Lark Street in Albany, Bombers Burrito Bar features mouthwatering burritos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, tacos, and more with large portions and affordable prices. Their wings and Cajun fries are also to-die for. Make sure to stop by on your birthday for the free giant margarita!
*They have a second location at 447 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12305.
Enjoy Taco Tuesday - on any day!