Culture

These Restaurants Are Serving Up Some Of The Best Mexican Food From The West Coast To The East Coast

Let’s face it: Mexican food is as American as apple pie. So for this list, we’re touring these United States to find the best places to go. We’ll go to five of the top culinary cities: New York, Austin, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and we won’t stop until we’ve had every taco, every relleno, every….husk meringue?

1. Cosme – 35 E 21st St, New York, NY 10010

Source: Cosme, ‘cause you might as well start on the high end. New York Times. Feb 2, 2015.

We’re starting off the list in NYC and we’re going big. Cosme came on the scene with major fanfare, an NYTimes review…and it’s worth it. The only place on this list where you can find husk meringue with corn mousse.

2. Casa Enrique – 5-48 49th Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101

Source: Not your standard tacos at Casa Enrique. Sometimes I Crave. Oct 4, 2012.


Delicious Mexican/pan-Latin cuisine at this popular spot just off the subway in Long Island City (that’s in Queens if you’re not in the know). Try the rojas con crema as an appetizer.

3. El Atroradero – 708 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Source: Frijoles, arroz, and…something tasty. New York Magazine.


This Brooklyn outpost of the Bronx staple brought in a machine from southern mexico to make their tortillas. So, you should start making your way there now.

4. Tacombi Cafe El Presidente – 30 W 24th St, New York, NY 10010

Source: Choices choices choices. Digital Image. Time Out NY.


You could spend all day here. No, really. In the morning, it’s a coffee and juice bar. It’s also a restaurant (obvs) and tortilleria. So, spend all day and then take some home.

5. Los Mariscos – 409 W 15th St, New York, NY 10011

Source: Mariscos means seafood, for the uninitiated. Digital Image. Eater New York. Oct. 5, 2016.


Tourists have found Los Mariscos at Chelsea Market, but so what? They found Cronuts, too, and those are still darn good. Wait in line on a hot day, have some ceviche and chill.

6. El Naranjo – 85 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701

Source: No drooling on the guac at El Naranjo. Digital Image. Pen & Fork. March 20, 2011.


Our culinary journey now takes us south to Austin, TX, land of — OMG look at that guacamole. Is that shredded cheese on top? And those chips!

7. Sazón – 1816 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

Source: Sazón. Digital Image. Thrillist.


Not just tacos and burritos at Sazón. A blend of culinary styles from underappreciated areas of Mexico, should you care to try.

8. El Burro – 1105 S Lamar Blvd Unit B, Austin, TX 78704

Source: Cleanliness is next to tastiness at El Burro. Digital Image. Eater Austin. Dec 7, 2016.


Did Austin need another Mexican restaurant? Did Austin need another bar? On this list, anyway, the answer is always…of course!

9. Fonda San Miguel – 2330 W N Loop Blvd, Austin, TX 78756

Source: A giant chile relleno graces the list for the first time. Digital Image. Fonda San Miguel.


Upscale for down-home Austin, Fonda San Miguel’s dishes are as pretty as they are tasty. Either way, that’s saying something.

10. Habanero – 501 W Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78704

Source: Not our fault if you bite your screen. Digital Image. Habanero Cafe.


You’re looking at the best Mexican comfort food Austin has to offer. And what’ve you got against comfort?

Read: 24 Times That Prove Latinos Just Don’t Do Basic Snacks

11. Carnitas Uruapan – 1725 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608

Source: We’d like you to “meat” the Chicago portion of the list. Digital Image. Vice. Oct. *, 2017.


If you didn’t look at all that meat and think, “We must be at Chicago,” you’ve clearly never been there. A pity. The slow-cooked pork is so much the house specialty at this legendary Pilsen spot that they put it in the name.

If you love Salsa, this Quiz is just for you!

12. Topolobampo – 445 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60610

Source: Topolo–whatever, that looks good. Digital image. Serious Eats. March 8, 2013.


Pictured here is the chilaquiles verde, a house speciality at Rick Bayless’s sequel to the ever-popular Frontera Grill. Tortilla chips with an egg on top? Sure.

Read: These 21 Ways Of Enjoying Sopa De Fideo Are Delicious, Surprising, And Very Different

13. La Chaparrita – 2500 S Whipple St, Chicago, IL 60623

Source: Maybe eat them one at a time. Digital image. Chicago Tribune. May 11, 2016.


Remember how we’re in Chicago? Well La Chaparrita specializes in meats, serving up almost 12 different kinds. And they make their own sausage. Chicago, remember, Chicago.

14. Mi Tocaya Antojería – 2800 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647, Chicago, IL 60647

Source: Anything that circular has to be delicious. Digital image. Undated.


Just look at those colors! A sunny spot modeled after Mexican street food vendors, this place has found a strong following in the Chi.

Read: Here Are The Best Taquerias California And Texas Have To Offer

15. Cemitas Puebla – 817 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60647

Source: Learn the ways of the Cemita. Digital Image. Chicago Tribune. Sep 28, 2017.


For the uninitiated, a Cemita is a type of sandwich which originated in the southern Mexican state of Puebla. It’s tastiness should be evident in the photo above, so why not make your way to Fulton Market and pick one up.

Read: 19 Dessert Tacos That Will Make Your Mouth Water

16. Cala – 149 Fell St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Source: Cala, one of SF’s finest. Digital Image. Focus Snap Eat.


A more experimental, modern take on Mexican cuisine. Different, but delicious. Is it comfort food you seek? Keep reading!

Read: 19 Ways To Make A Taco Without A Corn Tortilla

17. Nopalito – 306 Broderick St San Francisco, CA 94117

Source: Nopalito means nachos. Digital Image. Esquire.com Oct 11, 2009.

Just look at those chips, just look at them! Nopalito started serving what chefs serve for their staff and never looked back.

Read: 20 Destinations In Latin America Anthony Bourdain Visited In Order To Celebrate Culture And Cuisine

18. Mamacita – 2317 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123

Source: Mamacita, what you’ll be saying when the food arrives. Digital Image. Thrillist.


Tequila and tacos are treated equally at this stalwart SF eatery. Try both, but not at the same, you beast.

19. La Taqueria – 2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Source: La Taqueria, where big data met a big burrito. Digital Image. Sep 10, 2014.


La Taqueria bears the distinction of winning statistics site FiveThirthyEight’s inaugural burrito tournament. That’s it, folks, data does not lie: Best Burrito.

20. Tres Agaves – 130 Townsend St, San Francisco, CA 94107

Source: Tres Agaves, bumpin’ despite a Giants loss. Digital Image. SFGate.com


Great eats at this neighborhood favorite, near AT&T Park. And a rooftop bar too, where you can drown your sorrows after the Giants lose to the Dodgers again.

21. Guisados – 1261 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Source: Guisados is as good as you keep hearing. Digital Image. Serious Eats.


Best tortillas on the list. We know because we have tried them all. Speaking of trying, when you go to Guisado’s, try the mushroom tacos, the quesadilla and the agua fresca.

22. BS Taqueria – 514 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

Source: BS Taqueria, where the wild rumpus starts nightly at 7:05 sharp. Digital Image. Eater LA.


The dining room looks like something out of Where the Wild Things Are, and that’s a good thing. Like it’s big brother restaurant, Broken Spanish, this taco-focused outpost keep things hot.

23. Coni’Seafood – 3544 W. Imperial Highway, Inglewood, CA 90303

Source: Coni’Seafood doing what they do best. Digital Image. LA WEEKLY.


Flight into LAX. Quick Uber to Coni’Seafood in Inglewood. Ceviche. Then we discuss plans.

24. Taco Miendo – 11462 Gateway Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

Source: Taco Miendo like a boss. Digital Image. The Daily Meal.


You could do way worse than an asada taco or two from this mini-chain on LA’s west side. LA is a taco town, so even the dives are top notch.

25. Mexicali Taco & Co. – 702 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Source: Mexicali Taco Digital Image. Bun Boy Eats LA. August 23, 2012.

This place used to be a stand in parking lot. They’ve come a long way, with a brick-and-mortar wedged into a little strip between Echo Park, Chinatown and Downtown. Get a vampiro and thank us in your minds.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Entertainment

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

On a recent episode of ABC’s game show To Tell The Truth, three celebrity panelists were tasked to uncover the identity of a real mariachi singer.

Each contender embodied “non-traditional” attributes of mariachi culture either through physical appearance or language barriers, leaving the panelists stumped.

When it came time for the big reveal, with a humble smile 53-year-old Timoteo “El Charro Negro” stood up wowing everyone. Marveled by his talents, Timoteo was asked to perform unveiling his smooth baritone voice.

While not a household name in the U.S., his career spans over 25 years thriving on the catharsis of music.

Timoteo “El Charro Negro” performing “Chiquilla Linda” on Dante Night Show in 2017.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Timoteo, born Timothy Pollard, moved to Long Beach, California with his family when he was eight years old. The move to California exposed Pollard to Latin culture, as the only Black family in a Mexican neighborhood.

As a child, he recalled watching Cantinflas because he reminded him of comedian Jerry Lewis, but musically he “got exposed to the legends by chance.”

“I was bombarded by all the 1960s, ’70s, and ’50s ranchera music,” Timoteo recalls to mitú.

The unequivocal passion mariachi artists like Javier Solis and Vicente Fernandez possessed heavily resonated with him.

“[The neighbors] always played nostalgic music, oldies but goodies, and that’s one thing I noticed about Mexicans,” Timoteo says. “They can be in their 20s but because they’ve grown up listening to the oldies it’s still very dear to them. That’s how they party.”

For as long as he can remember, Pollard “was born with the genetic disposition to love music,” knowing that his future would align with the arts.

After hearing Vicente Fernandez sing “Lástima Que Seas Ajena,” an awakening occurred in Pollard. While genres like hip-hop and rap were on the rise, Pollard’s passion for ranchera music grew. It was a moment when he realized that this genre best suited his big voice.

Enamored, Pollard began to pursue a career as a Spanish-language vocalist.

El Charro Negro
Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

At 28, Timoteo began learning Spanish by listening and singing along to those artists he adored in his youth.

“When I decided that I wanted to be a mariachi, I didn’t think it was fair to exploit the culture and not understand the language,” he says. “If I’m going to sing, I need to be able to communicate with my audience and engage with them. I need to understand what I’m saying because it was about honor and respect.”

Pollard began performing local gigs after picking up the language in a matter of months. He soon attracted the attention of “Big Boy” Radio that adorned him the name Timoteo “El Charro Negro.”

Embellishing his sound to highlight his Black heritage, Pollard included African instruments like congas and bongos in his orchestra. Faintly putting his own spin on a niche genre, Pollard avoided over-saturating the genre’s sound early in his career.

Embraced by his community as a beloved mariachi, “El Charro Negro” still encountered race-related obstacles as a Black man in the genre.

“There are those [in the industry] who are not in the least bit thrilled to this day. They won’t answer my phone calls, my emails, my text messages I’ve sent,” he says. “The public at large hasn’t a problem with it, but a lot of the time it’s those at the helm of decision making who want to keep [the genre] exclusively Mexican.”

“El Charro Negro” persisted, slowly attracting fans worldwide while promoting a message of harmony through his music.

In 2007, 12 years into his career, Pollard received a golden ticket opportunity.

El Charro Negro
Pollard (left) seen with legendary Mexican artist Vicente Fernandez (right) in 2007. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In a by-chance encounter with a stagehand working on Fernandez’s tour, Pollard was offered the chance to perform onstage. The singer was skeptical that the offer was legit. After all, what are the chances?

The next day Pollard went to his day job at the time and said, “a voice in my head, which I believe was God said, ‘wear your blue velvet traje tonight.'”

That evening Pollard went to a sold-out Stockton Area where he met his idol. As he walked on the stage, Pollard recalls Fernandez insisting that he use his personal mic and band to perform “De Que Manera Te Olvido.”

“[Fernandez] said he did not even want to join me,” he recollects about the show. “He just was kind and generous enough to let me sing that song on his stage with his audience.”

The crowd applauded thunderously, which for Pollard was a sign of good things to come.

El Charro Negro
Timoteo “El Charro Negro” with Don Francisco on Don Francisco Presenta in 2011. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In 2010, he released his debut album “Me Regalo Contigo.” In perfect Spanish, Pollard sings with great conviction replicating the soft tones of old-school boleros.

Unraveling the rollercoaster of relationships, heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballads like “Me Regalo Contigo” and “Celos” are his most streamed songs. One hidden gem that has caught the listener’s attention is “El Medio Morir.”

As soon as the track begins it is unlike the others. Timoteo delivers a ’90s R&B love ballad in Spanish, singing with gumption as his riffs and belts encapsulate his unique sound and story.

Having appeared on shows like Sabado Gigante, Don Francisco Presenta, and Caso Cerrado in 2011, Timoteo’s career prospered.

Timoteo hasn’t released an album since 2010 but he keeps his passion alive. The singer has continued to perform, even during the Covid pandemic. He has high hopes for future success and original releases, choosing to not slow down from his destined musical journey.

“If God is with me, who can be against me? It may not happen in a quick period of time, but God will make my enemies my footstool,” he said.

“I’ve continued to be successful and do some of the things I want to do; maybe not in a particular way or in particular events, but I live in a very happy and fulfilled existence.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Entertainment

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Luis Fonsi is kicking off 2021 with a new single. The Puerto Rican superstar premiered the music video for “Vacío” on Feb. 18 featuring rising Boricua singer Rauw Alejandro. The guys put a new spin on the classic “A Puro Dolor” by Son By Four.

Luis Fonsi throws it back to his románticas.

“I called Omar Alfanno, the writer of ‘A Puro Dolo,’ who is a dear friend,” Fonsi tells Latido Music. “I told him what my idea was [with ‘Vacío’] and he loved it. He gave me his blessing, so I wrote a new song around a few of those lines from ‘A Puro Dolor’ to bring back that nostalgia of those old romantic tunes that have been a part of my career as well. It’s a fresh production. It sounds like today, but it has that DNA of a true, old-school ballad.”

The world got to know Luis Fonsi through his global smash hit “Despacito” with Daddy Yankee in 2017. The remix with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber took the song to new heights. That was a big moment in Fonsi’s music career that spans over 20 years.

There’s more to Fonsi than “Despacito.”

Fonsi released his first album, the fittingly-titled Comenzaré, in 1998. While he was on the come-up, he got the opportunity of a lifetime to feature on Christina Aguilera’s debut Latin album Mi Reflejo in 2000. The two collaborated on “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” Luis Fonsi scored multiple Billboard Hot Latin Songs No. 1s in the years that followed and one of the biggest hits was “No Me Doy Por Vencido” in 2008. That was his career-defining romantic ballad.

“Despacito” remains the second most-viewed music video on YouTube with over 7.2 billion views. The hits did not stop there. Later in 2017, he teamed up with Demi Lovato for “Échame La Culpa,” which sits impressively with over 2 billion views.

He’s also appearing on The Voice next month.

Not only is Fonsi working on his new album, but also he’s giving advice to music hopefuls for the new season of The Voice that’s premiering on March 1. Kelly Clarkson tapped him as her Battle Advisor. In an exclusive interview, Fonsi talked with us about “Vacío,” The Voice, and a few of his greatest hits.

What was the experience like to work with Rauw Alejandro for “Vacío”?

Rauw is cool. He’s got that fresh sound. Great artist. Very talented. Amazing onstage. He’s got that great tone and delivery. I thought he had the perfect voice to fit with my voice in this song. We had talked about working together for awhile and I thought that this was the perfect song. He really is such a star. What he’s done in the last couple of years has been amazing. I love what he brought to the table on this song.

Now I want to go through some of your greatest hits. Do you remember working with Christina Aguilera for her Spanish album?

How could you not remember working with her? She’s amazing. That was awhile back. That was like 1999 or something like that. We were both starting out and she was putting out her first Spanish album. I got to sing a beautiful ballad called “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” I got to work with her in the studio and see her sing in front of the mic, which was awesome. She’s great. One of the best voices out there still to this day.

What’s one of your favorite memories of “No Me Doy Por Vencido”?

“No Me Doy Por Vencido” is one of the biggest songs in my career. I think it’s tough to narrow it down just to one memory. I think in general the message of the song is what sticks with me. The song started out as a love song, but it turned into an anthem of hope. We’ve used the song for different important events and campaigns. To me, that song has such a powerful message. It’s bigger than just a love song. It’s bringing hope to people. It’s about not giving up. To be able to kind of give [people] hope through a song is a lot more powerful than I would’ve ever imagined. It’s a very special song.

I feel the message is very relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic we’re living through.

Oh yeah! I wrote that song a long time ago with Claudia Brant, and during the first or second month of the lockdown when we were all stuck at home, we did a virtual writing session and we rewrote “No Me Doy Por Vencido.” Changing the lyrics, kind of adjusting them to this situation that we’re living now. I haven’t recorded it. I’ll do something with it eventually. It’s really cool. It still talks about love. It talks about reuniting. Like the light at the end of the tunnel. It has the hope and love backbone, but it has to do a lot with what we’re going through now.

What do you think of the impact “Despacito” made on the industry?

It’s a blessing to be a part of something so big. Again, it’s just another song. We write these songs and the moment you write them, you don’t really know what’s going to happen with them. Or sometimes you run into these surprises like “Despacito” where it becomes a global phenomenon. It goes No. 1 in places where Spanish songs had never been played. I’m proud. I’m blessed. I’m grateful to have worked with amazing people like Daddy Yankee. Like Justin Bieber for the remix and everyone else involved in the song. My co-writer Erika Ender. The producers Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres. It was really a team effort and it’s a song that obviously changed my career forever.

What was the experience like to work with Demi Lovato on “Echáme La Culpa”?

She’s awesome! One of the coolest recording sessions I’ve ever been a part of. She really wanted to sing in Spanish and she was so excited. We did the song in Spanish and English, but it was like she was more excited about the Spanish version. And she nailed it! She nailed it from the beginning. There was really not much for me to say to her. I probably corrected her once or twice in the pronunciation, but she came prepared and she brought it. She’s an amazing, amazing, amazing vocalist.

You’re going to be a battle advisor on The Voice. What was the experience like to work with Kelly Clarkson?

She’s awesome. What you see is what you get. She’s honest. She’s funny. She’s talented. She’s humble and she’s been very supportive of my career. She invited me to her show and it speaks a lot that she wanted me to be a part of her team as a Battle Advisor for the new season. She supports Latin music and I’m grateful for that. She’s everything you hope she would be. She’s the real deal, a true star, and just one of the coolest people on this planet.

What can we expect from you in 2021?

A lot of new music. Obviously, everything starts today with “Vacío.” This is literally the beginning of what this new album will be. I’ve done nothing but write and record during the last 10 months, so I have a bunch of songs. Great collaborations coming up. I really think the album will be out probably [in the] third or fourth quarter this year. The songs are there and I’m really eager for everybody to hear them.

Read: We Finally Have A Spanish-Language Song As The Most Streamed Song Of All Time

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com