Over the past decade, Harlem has become one of the best areas of New York City to head to when it comes to all things food. Places like Corner Social and Mumbai Masala Indian Grill showcase that you don’t have to be in the trendiest of areas to experience a culinary feast of sorts. Now, we can add one more into that mix, as La Chula just parked its spot on the corner of East 116th Street and Lexington Avenue.
This is the second location for La Chula, as its primarily known for its first one inside one of the most visited spots in Manhattan- Grand Central Terminal. La Chula’s chef Julian Medina prides itself on authentic Mexico City-style tacos and ceviches, that taste worlds apart compared to the normal “conglomerate” types that seem to be inhabiting this city (not specifying any shade here).
116th Street in Harlem spans very long, and for the most part, is a very happening street at all hours no matter if you are on the east side or the west side. As someone who knows the area very well, the space that La Chula has inhabited was closed for over a year as it sad there looking sad and lonely when one would enter or leave the uptown or downtown 6 train that’s right next to it. Now, the space looks lively and upbeat as it is definitely one to stop by after work one day or with some friends on a Friday night!
It isn’t a large space, per se, but doesn’t necessarily need to be as it gets the job done with a beautiful and sprawling bar and spacious seating for your friends and you to chow down on some insanely tasty tacos and more. I stopped by there a couple of days ago and my recommendations are in the plenty when it comes to what to get at La Chula.
Their tacos, at $3.95 a piece, are worth every penny as the flavors they stack into each of them are massively tasty. Case in point: their Costilla and Pastor tacos. The former comes with rotisserie pork adobado and the latter is stuffed with beef short rib. If you are a meat lover, you are going to want to sink your teeth into one or both of these options as the flavor explosion in your mouth will leave you very happy upon your exit.
Of course, they have wonderful sides including my absolute favorite: Elote, otherwise known as corn on the cob with mayo, queso fresco and tajin. My face looked gross by the end as I went through it with Olympic speed, but it was worth the journey.
They also have a fantastic line of alcoholic beverages to compliment the delicious food you are eating, including margaritas, mojitos, Mexican sodas and so much more. If you want to get out of NYC proper for a bit and experience some spice in your life, then head to La Chula.
For more information on La Chula, check out their official website.