Here in New York City, I find myself constantly in awe of the absurdly talented friends I have surrounded myself with. Most recently, my ex-coworker and good friend Mario Mejia launched his new blog “DESIGNplusTACOS”—a beautifully designed destination for the best Mexican food in NYC, specifically tacos. You could say that Mario is a graphic design extraordinaire by day, and a taco connoisseur by night. This past week, I joined him on an excursion to Chelsea Market to scope out Los Tacos No. 1. Check out the full post below, written by Mario, and be sure to visit DESIGNplusTACOS to follow his quest to uncover New York's tastiest tacos!
After several different people recommended "the taco place inside Chelsea Market," I knew I had to give Los Tacos No. 1 a try. I must admit that although I have been in New York for a year now, this was the first time I visited Chelsea Market – and boy was I glad I did! For those of you who aren't familiar, Chelsea Market is a hybrid indoor shopping center meets foodie heaven slash rustic art installation. Basically, my new favorite place.
When we first walked into the market I was a bit overwhelmed since there was a lot going on. People shopping, people eating, people talking, people walking... so many people! Luckily for me, my friend Brittany was no stranger to the busy market and led the way until we arrived to our destination. As you can tell by the picture below, we weren't the only ones in the mood for tacos. We waited in line for about five to ten minutes as we caught up on our weeks and tried to figure out what we wanted to eat. Unlike many other taquerias, Los Tacos No. 1 only serves three different meat options (carne asada, pollo asado, and adobada) and a vegetarian option (nopales) offered in either tacos, quesadillas, or mulas.
Originally I was going to try a taco in each of the meat options but in a moment spontaneity (what I like to call "panic orders") decided to switch one of them for the vegetarian option. All three tacos were made with fresh hand-made tortillas and topped with the usual condiments: onion, cilantro, salsa roja, and a salsa style guacamole. I'm not usually a huge fan of chicken tacos but their pollo asado (grilled chicken) taco ended up being my favorite. The chicken was nice and juicy with a slight smokey, almost burnt taste that I loved. A close second, and Brittany's favorite, was the carne asada taco – full of flavor and you could tell the steak was fresh as it melted in your mouth. I really wish I could write more about them, but they were just too good to remember all the details! In hindsight, I wish I would have stuck with my original lineup and ordered adobada instead as the nopales taco ended up being a bit of a let down. Though I usually love grilled nopales, these were way too bland for my taste – maybe they forgot to add seasoning before cooking? Maybe it's just my personal taste?
Despite the nopales letdown, their flavorful meat tacos were tasty enough to keep me a happy camper. Can they really live up to their "No. 1" name? I can't guarantee it, but they're certainly up there! As I stood there (the seating options were limited so we ate at a communal standing table) savoring my tacos I told Brittany, "I'm not sure what it is but these tacos remind me of my family barbecues." Yup, they're that good!
Overall I would certainly recommend Los Tacos No. 1 and am definitely planning on going back myself. Their location inside Chelsea Market and being steps from The Highline make it the perfect destination for a weekend adventure, especially now that the weather is getting better and better. As you'll notice in some of the pictures below, we had a fun time!
TACO HUNT SCORE: 4/5