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7 uptown mom-and-pop alternatives to that big Tex-Mex chain

Updated: May 5, 2021


G's Coffee Shop on W 207th Street in Inwood
G's Coffee Shop on W 207th Street has an "amazing" breakfast burrito.

When a certain Tex-Mex chain opened its second location in Washington Heights last week, a surprising number of you were...less than enthused (see the "Polls" highlight on Instagram).

Instead, many quickly forwarded a New York Post article about the chain's recent rat problem at its 168th Street branch.

Since so many of you are clearly rooting for the little guy, I asked you (on Instagram stories) to share your favorite mom-and-pop Mexican restaurants in Upper Manhattan, as well as your orders.

The result was a series of big-hearted suggestions, organized by location below. (Don't see your favorite spot here? Add it in the comments or contact me.) From south to north they are:

530 W 136th St between Amsterdam and Broadway

"The best! Great food, cheap, and you can order on Seamless. Chorizo nachos, a must. The burritos are great. My partner gets the tacos dorados."—@friendofdolly

1618 Amsterdam Ave between W 139th and W 140th Sts

"Shrimp tacos are to die for!"—@nickferrao

3446 Broadway between W 140th and W 141st Sts

"Something about that riceee."—@dcschaub [If you like it spicy, ask for the morita sauce.]

"Feel free to share, I wanna make sure the local gems keep cash flowing with Covid."—@emma_mcsquared

La Fiesta

3789 Broadway between W 157th and W 158th Sts

"La Fiesta is a mom-and-pop Mexican restaurant 1/2 block up the new Chipotle. I really don't want them to go out of business—they've been there since I've lived uptown 15 years. Great rotisserie chicken, pozole—no online presence but on Seamless/Grubhub."—

1468 St. Nicholas Ave between W 183rd and W 184th Sts

"Great mole enchiladas"—@kevinmichaelmurphy

591 Fort Washington Ave and W 187th St

"My fave Mexican restaurant!! My fave is their steak quesadillas—they are to die for. My boyfriend loves their chicken fajita burritos! They also have the BEST margaritas."—@samiamrealestate

634 W 207th St and Cooper St

"G’s Coffee Shop chorizo breakfast burrito is where to go. [I]t’s pretty unassuming but those breakfast burritos are amazing! Feel free to share, I wanna make sure the local gems keep cash flowing with Covid."—@emma_mcsquared

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