If you spend too much time down certain Internet rabbit holes or certain pockets of New York City, you might start to panic. By Chloe is the new McDonald’s. Turmeric is the new Viagra. Lattes are made with almonds and matcha, not milk and espresso. Porridge is a thing people eat voluntarily. Cauliflower is too expensive because cauliflower lords are taking advantage of the cauliflower-rice boom. Ramps are not things you walk up.
It can seem like every new NYC restaurant is just another brightly-lit pretty-person hangout serving some combination of quinoa, kale, activated charcoal, and nut butters. But then you go to places like Taqueria St. Mark’s on a Saturday night. And it’s absolutely slammed. And you realize, we’re all going to be OK.
Taqueria St. Mark’s is a divey, two-floor Mexican bar and restaurant with margaritas and Mexican food so cheap you’ll think you’re suddenly back in your college town. Unless you’ve spent a lot of time in LA - in which case, you might think you’re there. There’s Lakers stuff everywhere, the people are friendly, and the tacos here remind us of the ones you’ll find at dime-a-dozen random solid taco spots across that city. The difference is that this is New York, not LA, and when you find a random solid taco spot where you and all your friends can eat and drink like cauliflower lords for well under $20 a person, it’s actually a pretty big deal.
The good news: Taqueria St. Mark’s is not alone. It isn’t the only place where you can eat cheap tacos, drink cheap drinks, and have a good time - but it is one of our go-to’s in that category. Climb out of your health hole and come back to the real world. It feels good.
At Taqueria St. Mark’s, you don’t have to ask for chips and salsa - they just come out to the table, the way god intended. And unlike the misguided Mexican spots in this city, your chip refills will not only also be free, but plentiful. So you can spend your money on the guacamole you were going to buy anyway.
Taqueria St. Mark’s does a few other things besides tacos, but these are really what you’re here for. They do them with 12 kinds of meat, they’re all $3, and they’re all very solid. Even more solid after you’ve had a margarita or four. Carne asada is a strong choice.
This has some nice spice to it, and it’s always involved in our order.
Feeling frisky? You’ll probably want one of these, or the surprisingly good lamb tacos.
A perfectly satisfactory taco, but we prefer the land animal varieties here.
Remember when you were five and you would only eat microwaved cheese quesadillas? This is a lot better than that. Plain cheese, chicken, or chorizo - doesn’t matter which, they all taste f*cking great. Get at least one for the table, depending on your level of sobriety.
At a whopping $8.95, this is the most expensive thing on the menu. They’re not terrible, but you should be focusing on the tacos here.