Unlike Los Angeles (duh) and Chicago (surprising!), New York City doesn't have too much in the way of "authentic" Mexican food outside of Red Hook Ball Fields' local street vendors. Yes, the city is filled with tons of Latino flavor, but when it comes to South of the Border fare, it becomes a real hassle to find a decent taqueria.
Enter Cochinita, located in Brooklyn's Clinton Hill neighborhood. Inspired by the flavors offered at Mexican market-stalls, Cochinita makes its pillowy tortillas in-house while also focusing on humanely-raised, quality ingredients for its tasty taco fillings. Think Yucatan-style stewed chicken, spicy pork, steak or even vegetables, any of which satisfy even the most extreme Mex-fix craving. The narrow, tiny space doesn't look like much, but the flavors being served up from the kitchen are big.
Take the shop's cochinita pibil, or pork shoulder slow-cooked with spices and oranges within banana leaves, accompanied by bright pickled onions, cheese and Cochinita's spicy salsa. Daily specials vary but it's not surprising to see a pan-seared fish taco once in a while. Served with lime and tossed with a healthy amount of cabbage-chipotle slaw, cilantro and lime, these fish tacos are as close to the Left Coast's boardwalk tacos as you can get. Individual tacos start at $3.50, but you can also order a plate of anything, served with expertly cooked frijoles, arroz, a side salad and tortillas.