Tacombi (267 Elizabeth Street) is a taco joint created by Food Network Chef Aaron Sanchez as a homage to the “color, flavor, and spice of Mexico’s favorite street food[s].” Tacombi’s laid back décor, friendly prices, and their willingness to throw parties for any occasion keeps customers coming back for more. Plus, to keep the street food feel, your tacos are prepared in a converted VW bus right in the dinning area.
We suggest trying: Mexico City’s favorite taco, Al Pastor, made with marinated pork and roast pineapple or a Mexican Gulf specialty, the Seared Veracruzana Fish taco with roasted tomatoes served with caper and olive salsa on top. All regular tacos are 2/$3.67 and are prepared on gluten-free corn tortillas. To wash down your taco try a freshly made Aquas Frescas for $2.67. We love the watermelon and lime-flavored, Aqua de Sandia.
Mac Bar (54 Prince Street) may only serve one type of food but they do it right. By using artisan cheeses and only organic ingredients Mac Bar cooks up some of the best and ingenious mac n’ cheese dishes you’ve ever tried. Their playful elbow noodle shaped space, painted Velveeta yellow, is small and often crowded but worth the wait. Medium and large takeout containers are shaped like you guessed it, elbow noodles.
We suggest trying: A Mac Reuben, made with braised corned beef, pickled sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and crumbled rye breadcrumbs ($6.99‑14.50) or the Mayan Chipotle with Diablo chicken, Chihuahua cheese, and green onions ($6.99‑12.99).
The Meatball Shop (84 Staton Street) is a cozy, laid back eatery where the ball puns keep you smiling throughout your meal. Sit at the communal table and enjoy generous portions of meatballs in five different ways. There are four different types of balls plus the ball of the day on the specials menu. All the meat is ground in-house and a full list of their food sources can be found on their website. Take a peek at their cookbook so you can make your favorite balls at home anytime.
We suggest trying: A Smash ($8), made with two spicy pork balls, mozzarella, and pesto on a toasted brioche bun and small salad. The Naked Balls ($7) is also a wonderful choice. We suggest the Naked Balls with chicken and parmesan cream sauce on Foccacia bread. A must have is The Meatball Shop’s seasonal lemonades with flavors like, lavender, mint, and chamomile, for $3.
Say Cheese (142 West 83rd Street) recently opened on the Upper East Side to create an innovative take on the time-honored comfort food of our childhoods. Offering nine tasty varieties of grilled cheese, with more to be added to the menu soon, this fourteen seat sandwich shop has a “farm-to-table philosophy [that] supports local farmers and sustainability.” Don’t miss out on their assortment of homemade lemonades, iced teas, and sodas.
We suggest trying: Mascarpone and Nutella grilled on brioche bread ($7.50) or the Swiss, Parmesan, with truffles grilled on Tuscan bread ($8.75).